Alan Parsons on 5.1 Music Mixing, Live and Studio Page 2

Like using the audience as the ambience, for example? Yes, exactly. It's very clear that the audience is there, and they're very much in surround.

We did have to go through quite a process to get the whole thing out of XM's Pro Tools system. We had the usual Macintosh-formatted-drive-not-working-in-a-PC problem, so I had to install a program called MacDrive on my system to get it working. But thankfully all of the tracks were nicely labeled, so it wasn't a problem. If you're going cross-platform, it's good to label the tracks themselves individually.

During "Games People Play," after you first sing the line, "Nobody gives us a damn," the drums came in with some serious impact. How did you mix that particular moment? It's just a snare beat in its usual place - front of the room, slightly toward the center. It worked well. And we had the keyboard loop that's generated by my keyboard in that song in the back of the room.

Did the band hear the final mix? What kind of feedback did they give you? P.J. Olsson, the singer, was here in my studio while I mixed it. We did a few small repairs. We edited a few glitches onscreen, did a couple of backing vocal parts. We didn't cheat that much. [chuckles] That's the beauty of having multitrack recording for a live show - being able to do small repairs that may have been fairly jarring if we hadn't put them right. Only the people in the room on that day will know the difference.

I'll never tell. We'll remember it exactly the way we hear it when it's broadcast. [laughs] Fair enough.

Any thought of making it an official release somewhere down the line? Other artists, like Wishbone Ash and Jethro Tull, have made their XM sessions available for purchase. We've got enough live stuff out there already, including all of the songs we performed that day. But we might put it on the website, if we get permission. What might be nice would be to get the rights to the whole program and maybe sell that.