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The SqueeGees

Squeaky clean workflow with Digidesign By Ko Maruyama
The SqueeGees, a musical duo whose track from their first album has been included on an episode of the Warner Brother's Gilmore Girls television series, shared a little bit about how easy it was to record their first album.  Using some professional hardware and desktop software, they were able to record in their personal studio, and mix on a  small board with high end results.  Playing mostly for an audience under the age of 6, the SqueeGees are having a lot of fun making music.

Even if you're a fan of Gilmore Girls, you may have missed the musical addition to the background ambience of show #7-15 "I'm a Kayak, Hear Me Roar".  During the episode one character (Luke) has interloper houseguests (Liz, TJ and a baby) who have apparently supplied music to listen to.  While Liz creates jewelry in the kitchen and Luke finishes dishes, TJ shouts, "I love this song", referring to the SqueeGee track that accompanies the scene. The band behind the music behind that scene is The SqueeGees.


The Gilmore Girls airs on Warner Brothers Television : The CW


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Getting onto the Gilmore Girls' audio track was much more difficult than getting onto a CD.  To record the tracks for the EP was really quite easy.

The SqueeGees, aka Samantha Tobey and Roman Bleum, began when the two started talking about making children's music.  Already accomplished musicians, they decided to work on some material to record.  One of their personal challenges was to come up with something catchy, easy for parents to listen to, and educational.  Samantha Tobey was teaching music and sign language to infants and pre-K children when the project began.


Roman Bleum notes, "It's important for our music to stress positive messages.  Our songs include themes about eating a healthy diet, animal rescue, and even the internet!"

Samantha Tobey adds, "The song used in the Gilmore Girls episode is called 'Making Noises'.  It was created specifically for infants and toddlers, but has a beat that older kids and parents can listen to as well.  During classes, the children love to participate with songs they can sing (or make noise) along with.  Even infants recognize and enjoy the tempo changes in the song."

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Equipped with instruments and a couple of microphones,  Samantha and Roman recorded the raw tracks for the album.  "We used ProTools and an Mbox.   With the Mbox, it was very easy to get audio directly into Pro Tools.  It didn't matter what we needed to put in, analog, digital - it all goes in USB.  There was no conversion or secondary import when it came time to sweeten the tracks."

The SqueeGees needed only a pair of microphones in their gear - a couple of Shure microphones.  The SM57 and the SM58.  Their acoustic guitars comes through the SM57 much more warmly than it does through pickups wired through (or held to the body) of their guitars.



"We took the raw tracks to Assaf Lotan to mix. Using his command|8 control surface, he had tactile control over the session.  Mbox comes with Pro Tools LE 7 - and all of those projects just open up right into the studio's bigger system."  Roman grins adding, "He mixed it and mastered it in a couple of days... VoilŠ, The SqueeGees was born.  I wish there was something more mysteriously technical, but it was really pretty straightforward.  It wasn't technically difficult to create the CD.  There were a couple of plugins used in Pro Tools 7, but nothing beyond the basics."

"Of course we still have our 'grown-up' music," Samantha notes smiling. "My non-SqueeGees music is more 'indy-slash-acoustic and folk'.  Roman is...  well... also serious and brooding in his alternate music.  When we get together to write songs for children, we just seem to be... 'happy and fun'."



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You can find out more about The SqueeGees at http://www.meetthesqueegees.com.

Samantha Tobey has her own music for grow-ups.   You can listen to at her myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/samanthatobey, which includes a link to an upcoming show in Altadena, California.

Gilmore Girls airs Tuesday nights on The CW network at 8PM.   There are blogs about the Gilmore Girls show as well as show notes and all kinds of community news.  You can find more about your local showtimes and other shows offered by The CW (like "Everybody Hates Chris") at their website: http://cwtv.com/shows/gilmore-girls.  Although Warner Brothers hosts some of their television shows for free online, The Gilmore Girls is not currently available.

Digidesign (http://www.digidesign.com)is the maker of Mbox 2, which retails for around $495, and ships with Pro Tools LE 7 and runs on both the Mac and Windows XP OS.  Command | 8 is considerably more, at $1295, the 8 fader surface allows you to control ProTools via a USB connection, but makes for a very easy and efficient mix session.





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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:Audio mixing, audio production, protools, Warner Brothers Television, Mixing with ProTools

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