ATTENTION Space Music Fans!

This music library is aimed at media producers who have a need for unusual and beautiful space music. The MUSIC BACK-PACK Library isn't a general-public consumer item, since the purchase price includes a license fee for additional performance rights and usages. But, some of the best music from this library is available on our Geodesium series of albums, so if pure listening enjoyment is what you're looking for, be sure to check them out!


Loch Ness Productions is famous for its space music. Mark C. Petersen's distinctive style of original keyboard performance and unique electronic, choral, and orchestral sounds have become synonymous with the term. That's why major planetaria commission us to produce original soundtracks for them. And naturally, producing our own programs provides us the opportunity to showcase what we do best.

Over the last three decades, we've amassed hours and hours of MUSIC composed and recorded specifically to be BACKground in planetarium shows and other presentations. We've assembled and catalogued more than 14 hours of it into PACKages for producers in all media to use as a library of source material when recording soundtracks. We call them MUSIC BACK-PACKS for short.

Each MUSIC BACK-PACK is recorded on compact disc, and contains more than 70 minutes of music written expressly for soundtrack production usage: to set moods and scenes, fill in gaps in the narration, and introduce visual effects; to be talked over, mixed, looped — in general, used!

Producers around the world have purchased over 1,000 MUSIC BACK-PACK volumes in the Library's previous tape incarnation. We're proud of that fact, and now we're pleased to present the music in compact disc form. We've re-mastered every cut, digitally removed analog tape hiss, adjusted pitch and levels, added new tracks, and reordered the tracks in logical fashion.

We license the MUSIC BACK-PACK Library for a wide variety of projects, including planetarium shows and online videos. Our blanket license covers the most common production usages. For mainstream media projects, we have very reasonable rates — contact us with a description of your project and we'll provide a quick rate quote!

For all-original, "copyright-hassle-free" music produced specifically to fit your productions — your soundtracks and your audiences deserve the best. The MUSIC BACK-PACK Library — space music at its finest!

1. I already have some MUSIC BACK-PACKS on tape. Aren't these the same things?

Not exactly. For one thing, we've added nearly two hours of music not previously available in the old MUSIC BACK-PACK Library, and created some "alternate" mixes as well.

We've also remastered every selection, a process that involved digitizing the original analog tracks; digitally modeling and removing the last vestiges of tape hiss and noise; adjusting the pitch so every track is "in tune" with the others across the entire library; normalizing the volume levels, and so on. We think the music sounds a lot cleaner, and in some cases, a lot better than before.

The old tape volumes held about 40 minutes each. CDs have almost double that capacity. Each disc holds just under 74 minutes worth of music. When viewed as a collection, we found we could index the tracks in a more logical manner, to place together stylistically consistent tracks from across the gamut of the tape volumes.

Finally, we know you'll find CDs a lot easier to search through, when compared to shuttling through tape reels or rewinding cassettes!

2. Since I've bought MUSIC BACK-PACK tapes before, shouldn't I get some kind of a discount when buying these CDs?

When you bought CD versions of vinyl LPs you already owned, did you ask for a discount from those big record labels?

Our music's now digitally remastered, each CD has not just a "bonus track" or two, but another half hour's worth of additional music, they're more convenient to use, take up less shelf space, they're more durable than analog tape. Increased value and efficiency — and yet you want some special deal, more for less?

Well, to show you what nice people we are, and to acknowledge your past support, we're offering a special one-time discount to all customers who have ever bought MUSIC BACK-PACK tape volumes at any time since their introduction in 1978.

Here's the deal: When you place your first order for CDs from the Library, we'll apply a $10 credit for every tape volume we've ever sold to you. Got 4 tape volumes? We'll take $40 off the bill. Own 10 tapes? Save $100. Own 'em all? That's worth $160 off the price the first time you place your order.

Now that's a better deal than those big record labels gave you, isn't it?

3. Where's the track called "xxxx" from the old tape version located on CD?

There is a Tape/CD Cross-reference chart included with the Library's index book.

4. I can't afford the whole library, maybe just a few discs. Which ones would be good to start with?

The MUSIC BACK-PACK Library is compiled in roughly chronological order. Discs 1-3 are from the 1970s; 4-6 from the early '80s; the rest are of more recent vintage. We like to think we improve with age, so if you're just starting out, we suggest starting in the middle, say with Disc 7, then work your way up and down from there. Discs 10 and 11 have a "Native American" or "Southwest" flavor.

We've given each Disc and track a name, and a short description that we feel fits the music. However, a title like "Asteroid Belt" doesn't mean that it can be used only when discussing asteroids. This particular piece makes for "scary" sounds, when played in total darkness on Halloween! How we envision using any piece may be quite different from what you might imagine.

People's ideas of what they like in music is so subjective, it's risky to make generalizations. Here's one example: synth pioneer Wendy Carlos did "Switched-On Bach" on analog gear in the late '60s, and redid it digitally as "Switched-on Bach 2000" twenty-five years later. There's a flamboyant exuberance to the original tracks, a very direct, "in-your-face" feel to the music, and a lot of "fun" is apparent in the work. The remake is more mature, refined and polished — richer in textures and subtlety. Which is "better"? Neither — they're both good, but they're different. Each has its own unique qualities.

It's the same with our music, too. In the '70s, digital hadn't been invented, synthesizers could at best produce two notes at a time, we didn't have 24-track recorders, MIDI, CDs or personal computers. The electronic music produced then was characteristic of the time; everything was a new sound, novel to the ears. Analog synthesizers produce the fat, direct, upfront signature sounds that make them as much in demand today as then. Modern digital gear produces cool, clean, refined sounds and textures. We use it all — but only after it's been invented!

Since 1975, we've used a large array of electronic instruments in creating our music, including an Emulator II digital sampling keyboard, a Mellotron analog sampler, synthesizers and equipment from E-Mu Systems, Roland, Sequential Circuits, Oberheim, Rhodes, Yamaha, Alesis, ARP, Moog, EMS, and more. As the Disc numbers increase on the Library volumes, you can trace the development of both technology and our musical styles as they evolve. (See, evolution is not a theory, it's a fact!)

Your taste in music, how you intend to use it in your soundtrack — these are all personal considerations. You get to decide which you like. We simply provide the variety from which to choose.

5. Will CD-Rs play in my CD or DVD player?

They should. To encode their ones and zeroes, CD-Rs use a dye layer which changes color when recorded. As a result, it's somewhat less reflective when compared to the silver "pits and flats" of commercially-pressed compact discs. This is not a problem for most CD players.

Newer CD/DVD "combo" players are designed to work with all media; we own several, and our CD-Rs play with no problems.

Some older DVD players are specifically fine-tuned for DVD media, which use a different method involving crystallizing the dye to encode the data. These players may not recognize CD-Rs as valid DVD media — because they're not!

For best results, we recommend playing our CDs in a player designed to play CDs. What a concept!

6. I have some Geodesium albums, and I see some of the same tracks here. What's the deal with that? [Permalink]

This is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about.

Geodesium albums are essentially commercial consumer items. They contain music that is "foreground" as well "background"; drums are often mixed more prominently, for example. But no commercial CDs — including our Geodesium albums — come with the synchronization rights needed to use the music in soundtracks.

The Usage License for the MUSIC BACK-PACK Library includes both performing and synchronization rights, so the way to ensure full compliance with the copyright laws is to use the tracks from the Library in your soundtracks, even though some may appear on our Geodesium albums too.

6a. You mean I need synchronization rights to use tracks from Geodesium albums in my soundtracks?

As a practical matter, we're the copyright owners, so we get to call the shots when it comes to authorizing public performances and granting sync rights.

Whenever producers ask for permission to use tracks from a Geodesium album in their soundtracks, we've operated with this informal policy:

As long as you have purchased at least one volume from the MUSIC BACK-PACK Library, we extend the Usage Rights License to include tracks from Geodesium albums too.

The policy has worked well for us so far.

7. Why can't I just use Holst's "The Planets" as usual?

Selecting music for soundtrack production is a task often approached with trepidation. When talking about Mars, for example, you don't want the snare drums beating and the trumpets blaring "The Bringer of War" from Holst's The Planets (definitely NOT easy to talk over)! From an acoustic standpoint, it's more difficult to concentrate on a narrator's words when a 120-piece orchestra is sawing away at fortissimo; a strong theme and rhythm will conflict with any narration, no matter how low the loudness control is kept. And aesthetically speaking, that obviously terrestrial orchestra connotes EARTH, not MARS.

Of course, commercial albums aren't intended for soundtrack production purposes. They're FOREground music, designed to be listened to only. Aesthetics aside, there are critical legal issues involved. To play any piece of music in your production, you need to secure the public performance rights and obtain a license from ASCAP or BMI, so you can simply play the music in public.

But, in addition and more importantly, you need to obtain the synchronization rights (from whomever) so you can legally edit the music, and synchronize visuals and narration to it. There's no getting around the copyright law.

Since we hold the copyrights on our own creations, we make it simple and easy for you to use MUSIC BACK-PACKS legally. Included in the purchase price of each volume is a license to use the music; we grant you in-house performance and synchronization rights. As outlined in our license, you are free to use as much of our music as you wish. It's all spelled out in plain English, in our "Copyright Statement and Usage License" which accompanies each product.

Copyright Statement and Usage License

With discs purchased from the MUSIC BACK-PACK Library, we include this blanket license that covers the most commonly requested usages. It spells out what producers may and may not do with our copyrighted music.

© Copyright 1975-1997, 2000, Loch Ness Productions.

The music in this Library has been copyrighted by Loch Ness Productions. As the copyright owners, we have the right to make copies of our music, and authorize its public performance. In return for the blanket license fee paid, we hereby grant to you (the Licensee listed on the cover page of the index book) permission to use the music in this library worldwide in perpetuity for your project's usages defined below.


Synchronization rights

You may edit and mix the music, synchronize visuals and narration, and add other sounds to create your own audio-visual productions.

In-house performance rights

Within your facility, you are authorized to publicly display your projects containing our music as often as you wish, and charge admission to the performances.


You may make copies of any portion of the music that you need for your production purposes, and backup copies for archival or safety purposes.

Internet and Web rights

The music may be used in original productions you create for the Web and Internet.

Promotional rights

The music may be used in the context of your project's promotional purposes, such as public-service announcements and advertisements for the project.


Broadcast rights

No portion of the music may be played, performed, or broadcast on radio, television, cable, data server, or the Internet as stand-alone music.

External distribution rights

No portion of the music may be used in any program produced for sale, or commercial purposes, without first obtaining our permission. Additional fees may apply. This includes feature films, commercials, games, and ringtones.

Non-transfer of license

You may not lend or give any portion of the music to another individual or institution.


Screen credit

If you use our music in your production, we ask that you include an appropriately placed credit, such as:

"Original Music by Mark C. Petersen, Loch Ness Productions"

Basically, any other usage of the music beyond what is outlined above requires our express permission. Special licensing terms may apply. So ask! Tell us what you want to do. We're reasonable people.