MCTS Miami

Alan Parsons in Miami for a 2-day Recording and Mixing Master Class Training Session

Alan Parsons Session1

MCTS Miami

Date: February 16-17 2016
Country: United States
Venue: The Hit Factory Recording Studios Criteria, Miami
Event: MCTS Level 3
Engineer And Producer: Alan Parsons
Musician: Chris Price
Web Feed:
Track: The Dream is Over (But We're Just Waking Up)
Event Director: Charlie Steves
Event Producer: Julian Colbeck for KEYFAX NewMedia.


Alan Parsons and the ASSR team will be at Miami's The Hit Factory Recording Studios Criteria on February 16th and 17th, 2016 for a Level 3 Master Class Training Session.

Attendees to this prestigious event can observe and assist Alan Parsons in the making of a brand new recording with singer/songwriter, Chris Price. Over the course of two days, attendees will be involved in every stage of the recording process from (on Day 1) arrangement and song structure to principle recording, vocal and instrumental overdubs and preparation for and execution of a full mix on Day 2. Mixes have tended to be pushed for time at previous MCTS events so this will be an excellent opportunity to see and ask questions about Alan’s mix philosophy in terms of levels, stereo positioning, compression, preparation for mastering and more.

Master Class Training Sessions (MCTS) are special and unique occasions for audio professionals, aficionados and students alike, giving people the opportunity to participate in a very practical way with one of the best in the industry. Attendees are always encouraged to ask questions and make suggestions throughout the workshop.

About The Venue

Located in Miami, Criteria Recording Studios has been a landmark studio for a host of producers, record labels and artists from Eric Clapton (461 Ocean Boulevard), to the Bee Gee's (Main Course and Spirits Having Flown), Fleetwood Mac (Rumors), The Eagles (parts of Hotel California were recorded here), Dr. Dre and of course Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine during a critical point in her career as she emerged as an independent artist (Cuts Both Ways). In spite of or maybe due to such illustrious patronage Criteria was purchased by New York’s The Hit Factory in 1999, subsequently enjoying a $10m refit.

There are five studios in total and the MCTS will take place in Studio A, which has a huge tracking room and is currently blessed with an SSL 9096J console, Genelec 1031AP monitors and an Aladdin’s cave worth of outboard and processing equipment including EMT140 stereo plate.

The Artist

Florida native Chris Price is a singer/songwriter/producer now based out of Los Angeles, California. His debut album Homesick was recorded entirely on an iPhone 4 in 2012. The lead single, "That's Your Boyfriend" was iTunes Single of the Week and has been downloaded over 185,000 times. To promote the album, Price did a mini-tour of Apple Stores to demonstrate how to make an album on your phone, and did a TED Talk at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Price also served as a musical consultant on the X-Factor TV show, arranging material for the contestants. Recently, Price has overseen the resurgence of two 70's cult icons of music, Emitt Rhodes and Linda Perhacs. Perhacs' new album was released by Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label in 2014 to high acclaim and Rhodes' first album in 43 years will be released on February 26th through Omnivore Recordings. Both albums were produced by Price. He is also getting ready to release a series of new albums in 2016. Chris Price

Event Details

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. Day 1 will focus on recording, from a live tracking session to instrumental overdubs and vocals. Day 2 will predominantly be a mix day – not only the process itself, but also how best to mix if you know it’s going to be sent onto a mastering engineer.

A Life In The Day
What it’s like working in the studio with Alan Parsons

The key ingredient in any Master Class is hang time with the Master. Not hang time in terms of swapping jokes or sharing the peanuts but considered, observational hang time where you’re able to pick up on the vibe, the pacing, the approach to the day’s proceedings.

These days it can seem everyone has the same information available to them and to some extent we have. How to mic a snare (“use a 57”), how to record upright piano (“point a pair of AKG C12’s at the back from a foot and half away”) but exactly where to point the 57 on ‘this’ snare, how much stereo to shoot for on the upright are the details on which the devil bases almost all his levels of success.

The beauty of MCTS events is that there’s time and opportunity to ask and get answers, to live and learn. And also to contribute.

Validation is often quoted as one of the most valuable take-aways from an MCTS. “I was just going to suggest a little boost at 12k” said one Attendee. “And then Alan comes up and says ‘I think we need a little more at 12k’ and I was like YES!” Hearing can sometimes just be believing in yourself. At the other end of the spectrum are those “You’re right but I’d never have thought of that” moments like when Alan stunned a session in Buenos Aires by physically EQ-ing the left and right overheads and not simply ‘copying’ left and right settings and reminding them: “Recording is about how it sounds, not about how it looks.”

MCTS events are both hands-on and feet on the ground affairs. In fact knees on the ground as often as not. Alan is not averse to plonking himself down n the floor to nudge a mic a half an inch to the right so that it’ll escape the worst of the spill from a neighboring sound source.

There will be many moments in an AP session where the muse and the magic starts to flow. Often you’ve got to be quick and really pay attention to ‘what just happened’. Alan is not going to bang a gong (literally or figuratively) and either telegraph every move he’s making or make some big deal of it after. So much of what makes a great producer or engineer is taste and instinct that the observer needs to keep their wits about them in order to distill a particular moment into tangible lesson form.

Much of what Alan Parsons is all about he learned at Abbey Road, be it overarching concepts like ‘value for money’ or the particular such as miking a concert Grand piano. At all levels, benefiting from Alan‘s lifetime of experience in two day’s worth of work is an exhausting and exhilarating experience for everyone involved.



Platinum seats: $1950 US Dollars. AES Members qualify for a 10% discount.

Attendees will each receive a signed Certificate of Completion signed & presented by Alan Parsons, as well as a copy of either the Book or the 3 DVD set of ASSR at the end of the workshop


The MCTS Sessions will be held at The Hit Factory Recording Studios Criteria in Miami. • 1755 NE 149th St • Miami, FL 33191 • Tel (305) 947-5611 • Criteria Studios Criteria Studios


Day 1 (Feb 16, 2016)

  • 09.30–10.00 Welcome, Registration. Coffee and pastries will be served.
  • 10.00–10.45 A brief introductory talk & audio lecture where Alan Parsons will talk about composition and arrangement in the context of the new Chris Price tune. Playback of the song, accompanied by the writer. Discussion on arrangement. Move into the live room for drum and instrument microphone placement.
  • 10.45-11.30 Tracking session with drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and guide vocals.
  • 11.30–11.45Break
  • 11.45–1.00Continue tracking session.
  • 1.00–2.00 Lunch with Alan and performers at the studio.
  • 2.00–4.15 Continue tracking session / instrumental overdubs.
  • 4.15–4.30Tea Break
  • 4.30–6.30Instrumental overdubs / vocals.
  • Day 2 (Feb 17, 2016)

    • 09.30–10.00 Arrival and Re-registration. Coffee and pastries will be served.
    • 10.00–11.30 Final vocal/instrument overdubs (if/as necessary).
    • 11.30–11.45 Break.
    • 11.45-1.00 Setting up the mix.
    • 1.00–2.00 Lunch with Alan and performers at the studio.
    • 2.00–4.00 Mixing session (with special focus on levels, tones, textures and placement)
    • 4.00-4.15 Tea Break
    • 4.15-5.30 Mixing session continued.
    • 5.30-6.30 Playback of the final mix with Q&A.
    • 6.30-7.30 Reception with drinks and light refreshments - photos/autographs/distribution of certificates and ASSR materials..


    Ticket for full event, February 16-17 $1950

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