Santa Cruz, CA (January 5, 2010)–Alan Parsons’ Art and Science of Sound Recording, a video series covering sound recording, has debuted online in streaming and digital download formats. A DVD edition will follow in February.
Parsons, noted engineer, musician, and record producer, was involved the production of several legendary albums, including The Beatles’ Abbey Road and Let it Be, as well as Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, which earned him his first of many Grammy nominations. He has worked as an engineer and producer on countless hit albums for Paul McCartney & Wings, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Pilot, Al Stewart, the Hollies, and many others. With Eric Woolfson, Parsons co-founded The Alan Parsons Project, famous for its revolving group of studio musicians and vocalists, and its platinum albums and singles, including Games People Play and Eye in the Sky.
The Art and Science Of Sound Recording, an eight-hour, definitive collection of training videos produced by Parsons, gives viewers access to legendary musicians, producers and engineers, as well as their award-winning recording techniques.
Featured guests include producers like Jack Joseph Puig (John Mayer, Green Day, Fergie), John Fields (The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus), Elliot Schiener (The Eagles, Steely Dan) and Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Slash). Although Parsons’ heritage is firmly in the rock camp, the series also features country music producers like Tony Brown (Dixie Chicks, George Strait) and Chuck Ainlay (Melissa Etheridge, Mark Knopfler), alternative rock producers like Sylvia Massey (Beck, Tool), R&B producers and engineers like Jimmy Douglass (Justin Timberlake, Timbaland), Allen Sides (Phil Collins, Joni Mitchell), and Grammy-winning artists like Michael McDonald, Taylor Hawkins and Foo Fighters.
The Art and Science of Sound Recording series also invites viewers into Parson’s personal custom HD recording facility and some of the country’s most acclaimed recording studios, such as Ocean Way, Record One, Sound Kitchen, Blackbird, Phantom Recording and Henson Recording Studios (formerly A&M.)
The Art & Science of Sound Recording collection offers something for everyone interested in recording their own music, from teens with a budding interest in music, to students at music and audio engineering schools, to professional audio engineers busy making music. The series traces the recording process from the beginning principles of studio acoustics all the way to the final mix of a new album, shown being tracked live. Everything in the recording process is closely studied, from studio equipment and instruments to individual techniques, and even individual applications, such as simultaneous recording of acoustic guitar and voice, or recording a choir.
Supported by extensive musical examples, custom diagrams, and interview clips, The Art & Science of Sound Recording takes a classic approach to recording and listening – followed by informed experimentation – and shows how this approach can live in the modern DAW-based environment.
The initial sections individually examine the topics of MIDI, EQ, Delays, Drums, Noise Gates and Recording a Choir. Presented in an easy to follow step by step style, each section offers insider tips and tricks; even after multiple viewings, the viewer will still find new ideas to apply to his or her own music. Details of each include:
Here Parsons demonstrates exactly what MIDI is and explores its current uses and applications. Featured guests include Dave Smith, who developed MIDI in 1983, Madonna producer Patrick Leonard, and Simon Rhodes, senior classical recording engineer from Abbey Road Studios.
This epic section gets to the heart of what EQ is all about, from frequency response to the range of human hearing to every form of EQ process and device. Instrument by instrument, Alan looks at all the major sound types: what they need and some of the danger areas. Blackbird’s John McBride and Green Day producer Jack Joseph Puig provide invaluable observations on this key aspect of recording.
Tracing its development from tape echo in the 1950s, Parsons looks at modern delay devices, parameters, and applications. This section features an extended free-form section where Alan uniquely twists, turns, and distorts delay effects on vocals.
In this section, the Art and Science of Sound crew descends upon legendary British session drummer Simon Phillips (The Who, Toto) in his Los Angeles studio. Simon reveals many of the secrets of his phenomenal sound, from tuning, to miking – choice and positioning – to recording and processing. Additional insights on phase are offered from Tool producer Sylvia Massey.
In this section, Parsons’ finds Paul Buff, the man who invented the noise gate (and who happened to sell Frank Zappa his first studio), and moves on from there. A complete set of practical demonstrations of ways you can use a noise gate in the studio concludes the scene.
Recording a Choir
While almost every school, college, and church has wanted to record a choir at some stage, and most likely already have the equipment – most need the knowhow. In this section, Parsons shows up for class one morning at a California High School and teaches them the art and science of recording a jazz choir. The result is pure magic.
Alan Parsons host and presents the entire project, aided by actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton, who takes on the role of narrator throughout.
Various sections will be made available for download in the coming weeks prior to the release of the complete DVD boxed set in February.
The Art and Science of Sound Recording