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Alan Parsons Art and Science of Sound Recording Series

March 15, 2010

Alan Parsons’ Art and Science of SAlan Parsons Sound Recordingound Recording, the acclaimed instructional series covering all aspects of sound recording, has released a series of new sections, available for streaming and digital download at www.artandscienceofsound.com

The Art and Science of Sound Recording collection offers something for everyone interested in recording their own music, from novice to professional engineers. Supported by extensive musical examples, custom diagrams, and interview clips, each section offers an in-depth view of individual areas of the recording process.

Along with the premiere scenes released last month covering MIDI, EQ, Delays, Drums, Noise Gates and Recording a Choir, the new sections individually examine the recording topics of Studio Acoustics, Consoles and Controllers, Digital Audio and Computers, Monitoring, Microphones, Keyboards, and Bass. Details of each include:

Studio Acoustics
These days, the recording process often takes place outside of a conventional recording studio, and there are a variety of spaces now which have to be adapted to be suitable for this purpose. In this section, Alan looks at the various properties of sounds being played in small rooms and examines everything from soundproofing techniques to room modes as today’s “studio” is constructed.

Consoles and Controllers
During one filming session in Los Angeles Alan is alerted to the location of the mixing console that he’d used when working with McCartney, Pink Floyd, and others at Abbey Road. After this emotional opening (he’d not set eyes on the board for more than thirty years) Alan examines conventional modern consoles, looking at each item on a typical channel strip in detail. Finally Parsons assesses how they – and their cousin, the controller – relate to and can enhance the experience of using a DAW.

Digital Audio and Computers
Nowadays, much of recording has become a computer-based activity. But what can be learned from the veterans of the analog recording art and what knowledge can be carried over to the digital world? Parsons takes us on an extensive tour of the equipment currently available – hardware, interfaces, applications, and software, and injects some classic principles into this brave new platform.

Monitoring
In a world of listening increasingly dominated by the iPod, how you hear your music as its being recorded and mixed will impact how the listener hears and feels about it in the end. In this section, Parsons explores the components and roles of monitoring devices and looks at all the options -- from a professional high-end monitoring system in Los Angeles’ Record One Studios to everyday ear buds. Alan also unearths the speakers he used to make Pink Floyd’s, Dark Side of the Moon and examines their role in that classic production.

Microphones
This scene opens with the “two tin cans connected with string” experiment, beloved by kids for decades, to demonstrate how microphones are effectively the inverse of loudspeakers. This section offers a behind the scenes look at mics, from the varieties in their designs and applications to the fine art of microphone placement. Along the way, Alan gets the points of view of a number of noted producers and engineers, including mic junkie John McBride at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios.

Keyboards
Of any type of instrument, keyboards offer the widest range of sound and sensibility. From a synth string pad on a plug-in to a sampled drum loop, from playing piano to programming -- much can be required of the keyboard player. In this scene, Parson’s explores approaches to keyboard recording with Foo Fighters’ Rami Jaffee, and then looks at some approaches to miking specific keyboard such as a grand piano and B3/Leslie.

Bass
Whether the recording is rock, pop or hip-hop, the role of bass is absolutely crucial. In this section, Alan discusses bass recording techniques during a live tracking session for a new Alan Parsons track, All Our Yesterdays, with Nathan East and long-time bass hero, Carol Kaye, who contributed to many classic groundbreaking records with Phil Spector, Quincy Jones, The Beach Boys and many others.

Parsons, the acclaimed engineer, musician, and record producer known for his work with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney & Wings, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and of course The Alan Parsons Project, offers viewers his exclusive insider access to legendary musicians, producers and engineers and to their award-winning recording techniques. Featured guests span the entire realm of music recording, from producers like Jack Joseph Puig (John Mayer, Green Day, Fergie), John Fields (The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus), to Elliot Scheiner (The Eagles, Steely Dan) and Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Slash).  Although Parsons’ heritage is firmly in the rock camp, the series 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), as well as Grammy-winning artists like Michael McDonald, Taylor Hawkins and The 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.)

Alan Parsons host and presents the entire project; aided by actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton, who takes on the role of narrator throughout.

The final set of sections in the ASSR series will be available in a month, just ahead of the release of the complete Art and Science of Sound Recording boxed set.

New visitors can go to www.artandscienceofsound.com to download the first twelve sections, take the recording quiz to win free downloads, and learn about premium membership packages which offer exclusive bonus materials are pre-order discounts. Current ASSR members who have pre-ordered the DVD series will be able to log into their account and have access to the new sections.


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