Alan Parsons: «Art & Science of Sound Recording» (The Book)
Hal Leonard have recently published a book by Alan Parsons, «Art & Science of Sound Recording», which is a companion book to the 3-DVD set of educational videos released a few years ago. The book, co-written with Julian Colbeck, looks at the various technical aspects of modern recording (detailed diagrams included), explains how to use various technologies effectively, and reveals some secrets of music production, studio etiquette and dealing with artists.
“The reason for making the ASSR video in the first place was to attempt to give back some of my knowledge from my recording career, and also to include a lot of viewpoints of other people in the industry — other artists, producers, and sound engineers,” says Parsons.
The initial video series released in 2010 was three years in the making. The legendary sound engineer, producer and musician included documentary footage covering various recording sessions. According to Parsons, the book and DVDs are addressed not only to novice sound engineers, but also to amateurs who want to get an idea of the modern recording technology in general.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Alan Parsons, published on audiofanzine.com website (a conversation about mixing):
Audiofanzine: So you pretty much know what you’re going for from the beginning?
Alan Parsons: I wouldn’t say that so much, but once I’ve established what effects I’m going to use, what reverb I’m going to use, what’s going to be featured and the things that get taken in an out. Once I’ve established that then, yes, I’m very focused.
AF: In the book, you mention that you don’t like using master bus compression. Why is that?
AP: Because I like to preserve dynamic range. It’s like listening to the difference between a CD and FM radio. FM radio has a different effect. I don’t particularly like it. I’m all in favor of preserving dynamic range, particularly drums. If you compress drums they go all wishy-washy. You lose the punch. It’s so strange, some people compress drums saying that it gives them more punch, but I don’t subscribe to that.
Alan Parsons’ recording career began at London “Abbey Road” studio working with The Beatles. In his career spanning over more than 40 years Parsons has recorded every imaginable musical style, from Pink Floyd to London Symphony Orchestra and a California high school choir… His training course, «Art & Science of Sound Recording», examines all aspects of modern recording making — microphones, recording consoles, sound processing and computer-based DAWs. The video series includes unique one-to-one interviews that Parsons conducted with his famous colleagues, such as Jimmy Douglas, Elliot Scheiner, Jack Joseph Puig and many others.
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