MCTS Toronto


Photo by Paul Reid, HotHouse Creative Inc.

Toronto, Saturday May 26th, 2012: The city of Toronto has a rich musical heritage. From its iconic famous sons Neil Young and Robbie Robertson to the birthplace of bands like The Band, Barenaked Ladies, Broken Social Scene and Rush, to venues like the El Mocambo where the Stones recorded Love You Live and studios like Number 9, Phase One and Kensington Sound that have played host to scores of international acts from Van Morrison to James Brown, Toronto is the New York of Eastern Canada, the place that everyone gravitates to; the place where everyone needs to be.
The Level 2 Master Class Training Session hosted and produced by Canadian distributor Global Music Depot, settled on a new downtown recording facility, Noble Street studios, tucked away off trendy Queen Street. Noble Street boasts a superb live room, a killer SSL 4056 E/G desk in Studio A’s roomy control room, and a nice comfy lounge to seat the Gold ticket holders.  

Photo by Paul Reid, HotHouse Creative Inc.

The day kicked off with both Gold and Platinum (control room) Attendees packed into the lounge for the welcome; Alan going round the room to ascertain exactly who he would be interacting with during the day. Toronto drew an excellent mix of people from TV professionals to educators to students—from green-and-keen to grey-and-gracious.  
MCTS Toronto featured acclaimed Canadian prog rockers, The David Barrett Trio, fresh from an album produced by mentor Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and engineered by Richard Chycki, who was also in attendance. Today the band was augmented by guest vocalist Paul Reid and keyboard player Douglas Romanow, the latter who runs a very sophisticated production facility within the studio complex.
In time-honored fashion the session began with playback of the demo. Alan nodded sagely as the song’s tale of blood and guts unfolded. Interesting! Alan wondered if perhaps a less gloomy word than ‘death’ might be contemplated in the chorus? Death ‘in the afternoon’ was then explained to reference Hemingway; the song’s title and theme looking at bullfighting and the famous matador, Belmonte. “Ah, right,” said Alan. “Well I’m not going to interfere with that then!”
The track features a dramatic staccato hits section and Alan, Attendees and band discussed whether there might be a better placement for them. It wasn’t long before a general consensus for a more concise arrangement was reached and everyone then ventured out into the studio to look at drummer Sascha Tukatsch’s kit to discuss drum miking.

Photo by Paul Reid, HotHouse Creative Inc.

The basic tracks for Belmonte were being recorded live with Tukatsch and bassist Jason Farrar plus Dave Barrett and keyboardist Douglas Romanow playing as a band. Farrar’s bass was being DI-ed, as essentially, were Romanow’s collection of beautiful ancient and modern keys comprising MiniMoog, Crumar string machine, Hartmann Neuron, and Yamaha CP80. Barrett’s rhythm guitar [played on an Epiphone double neck] was snugly tucked away in an adjoining iso booth, powering out via a pair of Mack amps [1 x Skyraider and 1 x Heatseeker] further enhanced by Pigtronix Fat Drive, Echolution, and Envelope Phaser.
Once the basic track was recorded, overdubs proceeded. Romanow added some B3, and Barrett, switching to his Gibson ES175, unleashed a killer guitar solo.
Paul Reid revealed himself to be a highly accomplished singer, delivering immaculate lead and harmony vocals in record time.


Photo by Paul Reid, HotHouse Creative Inc.

The session would ultimately run more than 10 hours with only a modest break for lunch. But by day’s end a board mix of the track was produced and the entire attendance—including band—was blown away by Alan’s physical and aural stamina in being able to tackle and solve every twist and turn of the recording process without seeming to pause for breath.
After a quick re-group the live studio area was turned into a concert stage plus meet-and-greet area complete with food and drinks; The Dave Barrett Trio (now quartet) then treating all the Attendees to a brief but thoroughly enjoyable set.
A full and final mix of Belmonte is due to appear on The David Barrett Trio’s next album [no title details are available yet], which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2012.

MCTS Toronto – Tickets Go On Sale for May 26th Event

Noble Studios Control Room

Alan Parsons’ Master Class Training Sessions touch down in their fifth country since the inaugural event in Argentina in 2011 with the announcement of a Level 2 MCTS at the prestigious Noble Street Studios located downtown in Canada’s music city, Toronto.

Hosted and produced by Canadian distributor Global Music Depot, MCTS Toronto is an action-packed 1-Day session featuring acclaimed Canadian prog rockers The Dave Barrett Trio, fresh from an album produced by mentor Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson. The band will be augmented for the session by special guest vocalist Paul Reid.

Dave Barrett Trio

In keeping with previous MCTS’s, attendees will spend a hands-on day working with Alan in Noble Street’s spacious SSL 4056 E/G control room, gaining invaluable experience in all aspects of recording and assisting in the production decisions.

Alan will keep attendees fully engaged from miking and isolation in the recording area to EQ and processing in the control room to interaction with the performers. Options and alternatives are freely discussed as the final product takes shape throughout the day.

Tickets to MCTS Toronto comprise Platinum ($800)–all-access for those who want first-hand experience of working with the man himself in the control room–and Gold ($400), which puts you in a prime observation area in Noble Street’s luxurious studio lounge from where you’ll be able to view live blow-by-blow HD video of the proceedings. Alan will deliver regular personal progress reports for Gold level ticket holders throughout the day.

Both Gold and Platinum level tickets include a copy of the Alan Parsons’ Art & Science Of Sound Recording DVD set ($149)–signed, no doubt should you wish–lunch and refreshments throughout the day and a ticket to the evening VIP meet and greet hang time with Alan, the band and the Global Music Depot and ASSR team.

Noble Studio A

MCTS Toronto will be especially interesting as it features an established band in the progressive rock genre, which will surely take Alan back to his days working with Pink Floyd and Yes (the Parsons-produced Symphonic Music of Yes album featuring Alan’s collaborator on ASSR Julian Colbeck on keyboards.).

Only 20 of the Platinum seats are being made available for this prestigious event so early reservations are strongly advised.

Tickets and more details from Global Music Depot.

Register Now for MCTS Toronto

KEYFAX NewMedia offices and studio complex to become
Santa Cruz City Morgue!

Keyfax Move Notice

In a move that could fit nicely into the cult classic film The Lost Boys, also shot in Santa Cruz, CA, KEYFAX NewMedia, music technology support specialists and video producers–creators of the best-selling Alan Parsons’ Art & Science Of Sound Recording video series are re-locating to new premises on Jan 16th 2012 because the city of Santa Cruz has purchased their entire business complex in order to turn it into the city morgue!

“We were aware that the economy was moribund,” says CEO Julian Colbeck “But it was hard to anticipate something quite like this.”

“Out of the blue we got a visit from the county saying that they had purchased our business park via ‘Eminent Domain’ on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department,” Colbeck continues. It wasn’t until later that Keyfax discovered the specific fate of their building but in spite of stiff initial resistance there was ultimately nothing the company could about it.

In their current and ironically named Live Oak business park KEYFAX has a full recording studio, video studio, as well as shipping department, web and design facilities. The process of trying to find another space that could accommodate all our needs “was enough to put anyone in their graves” says Colbeck. “At times I just felt like just staying put and waiting to get stuffed in a drawer myself.“

But it all worked out in the end. KEYFAX’s new facility in the arts-based West Side of Santa Cruz, comprises 3000 sq ft of custom studio and office space. “It’s really to die for. We have newly-built audio and video facilities plus we even have showers–perfect for when clients get really hot and bothered.”

KEYFAX web and phone contacts–for Alan Parsons’ Art & Science Of Sound Recording, leading support site as well as Keyfax’s music production store and global video production team will remain unchanged but their physical address from mid January will be: 509-A Swift St, CA, 95060, USA.

831-477-1205, 1-800-752-2780.

The producers Alan Parsons and Julian Colbeck look back at the debut year of ASSR!

Check it out here or download the PDF release.

Alan Parsons at USC

Strengthening ASSR’s ties with music and recording technology institutions, on Nov 5th & 6th 2011 students at the USC Thornton Popular Music Program in Los Angeles will get to work with Alan Parsons at the prestigious Village Studios in West LA.

Over two days Alan will discuss his recording and production career and then conduct a recording session of an original song performed by some of the students. This session will provide a hands-on learning experience for students and introduce fundamental recording, arranging, production, and mixing techniques.

Chris Sampson, Associate Dean and Director of the Popular Music at USC Thornton, says the opportunity for students to work with Alan Parsons is unique. “Alan Parsons is one of the most highly regarded producers in music,” says Sampson. “Our students will have the chance to work directly with him and learn from one of the greats.”

These sessions are part of a required class for Popular Music majors at USC called the Popular Music Forum. Popular Music Forum is a guest artist series designed to give insights into the music industry and profession. Other guest artists who are a part of the course this fall include Fred Wreck (producer with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg), Glenn Frey (co-founder of the Eagles), Linda Perry (hit songwriter and producer), Trevor Rabin (film composer), Tena Clark (CEO of DMI Music and Media Solutions), Darrell Brown (hit songwriter and producer), and Tom Johnston (co-founder of the Doobie Brothers).

USC Thornton’s Popular Music Program is unique within the music conservatory model and created as a rich multi-disciplinary hub for rock, pop, R&B, folk, Latin, and country artists. Set within the vibrant creative center of Los Angeles, the program ushers students into all the facets of the pop music scene, and the Forum is an integral part of that goal.

More at, or call (213) 740-3233.

“It’s vital that university programs try to connect with the real world of music and recording technology,” says ASSR producer Julian Colbeck. ”In Los Angeles it’s great to see USC taking advantage of their location and actively involving people who have already achieved so much in this industry. Acknowledging the past–in a time when music also had a business attached to it–strikes me as a very positive move towards ensuring that students enrolled in these types of program actually have a future.”

Brought to you by the ASSR Educational License