MCTS Mexico City
Date: April 24-25, 2015
Venue: Estudio Piayet, Tec de Monterrey, Mexico City
Event: MCTS Level 3
Artist: Tren A Marte
Musicians: Alan García (Vocals), Edgar García (Vocals), Cristian Carrillo (Drums), Adrian Adame (Guitar), Allan Fuentes (Bass), Luigi (Keyboards) Cardoso (Violin and Cello)
Producer: Alan Parsons
Event Management: Charlie Steves
Engineer: Nicolás Mariñelarena
Video: Cameron Colbeck
Event Producers: Alejandro Ramos Amezquita, director at Tec de Monterrey, Julian Colbeck for KEYFAX NewMedia Inc.
For two whole days 10 AM to 7PM more than 400 students on Tec de Monterrey’s Music Production course got to participate in the making of a new record produced by Alan Parsons.
Held at Estudio Piajet on the walled and heavily fortified Mexico City campus, shifts of 30 students at a time piled into the control room for a morning or afternoon session with Alan and Latin GRAMMY-nominated Tren A Marte for the recording of a new track Yo Queria.
With double lead vocalists, brothers Alan and Edgar Garcia, supported by a line up of drums, bass, guitar, keys, violin and cello, the day began with a playback of the demo followed by a discussion between Alan, band, and the 30+ other producers in the room as to how best to arrange the song. Should the drums come in quite so late? Did that power chord guitar part really work? Could the keyboard part be simplified?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that recording a song in Spanish with a 7-piece band in front of a live and impressively opinionated audience would phase even the most seasoned producer. But Alan takes all such and more - a 2-day deadline to record and mix, a live webcast broadcasting the activities to two other TEC campuses in the city - in his not inconsiderable stride.
Every decision, from routining to mic choices and placements, to performance and production judgements, was taken with calmness and clarity—a lesson in itself for the students.
Within the session students got to observe the recording a basic tracking session—including a short-course in isolation with drums and acoustic grand piano recorded in the same room without gobos—copious instrument overdubs including violin and cello, two lead vocal recordings, backing vocal recording (including participation by Alan himself), a couple of mic shoot-outs featuring two mics Alan had brought along himself (the new Rode ribbon, and a Miktek CV5), and a full—though necessarily speedy—mix with processing and stereo considerations addressed.
The final mix of Tren A Marte’s Yo Querio is probably not the final final mix but it was nonetheless greeted with tumultuous applause when played back for the public the following day at the SoundCheck Expo at Mexico City’s World Trade Center.