imgLos Angeles, CA (July 28, 2011)—Legendary producer/engineer/performer Alan Parsons shared his insights on recording during a two-day Master Class, held July 22-23, 2011 at Village Studios in Los Angeles.
The two-day event was based around the recording of a brand-new song “Do You Live At All” from Parsons and writing partners P.J. Olsson and Guy Erez. The dream team of musicians included Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Nathan East (bass), Rami Jaffee (keys), Michael Thompson (guitar) and singer P.J. Olsson.
A total of 16 Attendees participated in every aspect of the recording, from setting mics on the drums to EQ-ing the grand piano. Nathan East demonstrated his new four figure instrument cables, Jaffee and Parsons traded Leslie miking stories, Colaiuta discussed studio playing dynamics and showed his vintage Gretsch kit in detail, and Michael Thompson displayed his giant, blinking recording rack and pedal array.
With the live tracking session in the bag, Day 1 concluded with overdubs, including grand piano, electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin and percussion. Throughout the event, Parsons gave a running commentary on each procedure.
Day 2 began with vocals, with Parsons demonstrating a number of recording techniques, including the singer monitoring the track on speakers and how to use reversed phase to reduce spill into the mic. With lead and backing vocals completed, Parsons led all the attendees into the studio to record a choir track. “You guys sounded really, really good,” he pronounced at the reception in The Village’s theater at the end of the event.
The working section of Day 2 continued with the mix, preceded by a demo from JCF Audio about its new Audio AD8 converter.
A total of 64 tracks had been recorded by the end of the session, and attendees got to take home not only the stereo mix but also a copy of the multitrack Pro Tools session.
Discussions for future Master Class Training Sessions are already in the works, including the possibility of a follow-up to this event comprising a scientific study of mixing in-the-box and hands-on-with-hardware, conducted and studied side by side. This event will look not only at the audio results but also the psychological impact of the two approaches.
Alan Parsons