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Create Digital Music has some great videos and information (1, 2) on the Dr. Who Theme. Here’s one with the composer:

And here’s one with Delia Derbyshire who was responsible essentially for “producing” the theme and giving it so much of its sonic character:

Whenever I feel frustrated with my audio setup here I’m going to re-watch that video.

Posted on - March 20, 2007 [at] 7:32 am by Brad
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4 Comments on this post

david hendricks on Making of the Doctor Who Theme
March 21, 2007 at 10:32 am

I took an electronic music class back in the early 90’s. The studio still had a lot of these old machines around, they even had an Emu modular, and a early 70’s vintage Moog, both restored and in working order. The professor would give us assignments like: “make a sound that goes meeeooooowwwp”. We also had to make some music contréte pieces with the old reel to reel recorders. As vintage as the stuff was, there were things that still can’t be replicated with a computer. Because the Emu was voltage controlled we’d plug our guitars into it to control it or anything else we could use as a control voltage, other than the keyboard. We’d be cutting and splicing tape, using mic stands as a capstan with our 15 foot tape loops – you could really get your back into your music-making in those days. Those were the days when a patch was really a patch, and the reason why I still like knobs better than buttons. Also why I still am amazed by computer recording. If you’ve physically done it the old way, it gives you a real appreciation for the days we live in.

DP on Making of the Doctor Who Theme
March 24, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Holy sheep shit. After taking a look at those videos, I spent 2 hours researching and watching the Alchemists of Sound documentary (at about 3am/perfect atmosphere). I almost feel guilty for being able to do what we do now, with such ease. What REALLY impressed me is that this electronic music thing has its roots smack in the middle of the late 60s. While the Beatles and Hendrix were rockin’ it, people like Derbyshire and Baker were doing some wacked out shite at Radiophonic. I don’t know, it really amazed me. I was slightly upset that some of the Radiophonic people were turned off once the synth hit the street. Bloody Americans and there synths! Wrong answer. I think everyone who comes around here knows you can’t stop technology, so you better give it a great big hug.
I will never hear the Dr. Who theme in the same light.

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