MCTS: Los Angeles

MCTS Los Angeles

Date: 22-23 July 2011
Country: USA
Venue: Village Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Event: MCTS Level 3
Musicians: Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East, Rami Jaffee, P.J. Olsson, Michael Thompson
Track: Do You Believe At All © 2011 Parsons, Olsson, Erez
Engineers: Alan Parsons, Coley Read, Vanessa Parr
Production Assistant: Abi Colbeck
Publicity: Lisa Roy
Video & Photography: Ben Cruz, Cameron Colbeck, Annie Colbeck

Produced by: KEYFAX NewMedia Inc.



A select group of 16 attendees joined Alan Parsons and the crème de la crème of LA’s session musicians at the legendary Village Studios in Los Angeles to record a new song Do You Believe At All by Alan Parsons and songwriting partners P.J. Olsson and Guy Erez

This intensive two-day workshop comprised a live band tracking session, acoustic piano, electric guitar and mandolin overdubs, lead, harmony, backing and ‘choir’ vocals, and a mix.

A total of 64 tracks were recorded into ProTools.

The Musicians

This event featured what must surely be one of the greatest rhythm sections in the world: Nathan East and Vinnie Colaiuta.

Vinnie of course has worked extensively with Sting (Ten Summoner's Tales amongst others) and with Jeff Beck on his most recent release Emotion and Commotion as well as the much-lauded live concerts.

Nathan East's work with Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and so many others speaks for itself and MCTS attendees are incredibly fortunate that Nathan has agreed to be part of this event during his precious few days off in between touring with Toto and his own band Fourplay.

In view of both Nathan and Vinnie's schedule, the Los Angeles MCTS offered an almost priceless opportunity to see how this legendary rhythm section works - individually and together. And not just be there, but interact.

Rami Jaffee was also just back from Europe with the Foo Fighters. Rami has been a hugely in-demand keyboardist ever since he burst on the scene with the Wallflowers, playing his distinctive Hammond organ on the band’s landmark hit One Headlight in 1996. Appearing on record with artists such as Johnny Cash, Leann Rhymes, Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Nicks, and Macy Gray. The chance to see how Rami goes about creating his trademark textures and parts was a real treat.

We were also delighted to announce the arrival of guitarist and LA session supremo Michael Thompson.

From his long association with one man hit-making machine David Foster during the 1990s, to film scores with Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard and Randy Edelman, to records with artists such as Michael Bolton, Michael Bublé, Babyface, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, and Shania Twain, Michael has also found time to front his own records with the Michael Thompson Band in the 1990s and TRW (Frontier Records) in 2007.

Finally, vocalist PJ Olsson will be well known to Alan Parsons Live Project fans since he has been handling lead vocals for Alan for the past five years. A dramatic and powerful singer PJ is also an accomplished engineer and songwriter and his ability not only to do what he does, but also explain it, made his contribution doubly rewarding.


This is a Level 3 (Advanced) event and so will require a working knowledge of DAW recording, studio etiquette and a good level of experience as a musician, engineer, or producer.


The MCTS was held at Village Studios • 1616 Butler Ave • West Los Angeles, CA 90025
• Tel (310) 478-8227• Fax (310) 479-1142 •



  • 10.00–10.30 Discussion on Studio Layout and overall approach to the session. Set up for tracking.
  • 10.30–12 Miking the drums; miking the piano, bass, and guitar set up; getting sounds.
  • 12.00–12.15 Break
  • 12.15–1.45 Recording the basic tracks.
  • 1.45–2.45 Lunch with Alan
  • 2.45–5.00 Continue with rhythm section and overdubs for guitars and piano
  • 5.00–5.15 Break
  • 5.15–7 Panel with refreshments with musicians Q & A outside the studio. Ends at 7.30.


  • 10.00–12.00 Recording vocals
  • 12–12.15 Break
  • 12.15–2 Backing Vocals
  • 2–3 Lunch with Alan
  • 3–5.15 Mixing (preparation & concepts)
  • 5.15–5.30 Break
  • 5.30–7 Final Mixing
  • 7–7.30 Q and A. Photos and presentation of Certificates

News Report

Action packed event at Alan Parsons’ Master Class Training Session in Los Angeles

Video Review


Please join the discussion in our OFFICIAL MCTS:LA forum thread.


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