We’ve written about Alan Parsons a few times. Pretty much every time the guy says anything about recording music we listen. CEPRO had a great interview with him recently where he mentioned how important room acoustics are to recordings and talked about his new instructional DVD about sound engineering. Check it out:
What is the biggest thing that both electronics dealers and enthusiast consumers should do when setting up home theater/sound systems?
…I do think in the domestic environment, the people that have sufficient equipment don’t pay enough attention to room acoustics. The pro audio guy will prioritize room acoustics and do the necessary treatments to make the room sound right. The hi-fi world attaches less importance to room acoustics, and prioritizes equipment; they are looking more at brand names and reputation.
You have a DVD box set called the Art & Science of Sound Recording. Why did you decide to make this box set, and does someone need to be an aspiring sound engineer to learn something from this set?
I think anybody who has had a curiosity about what goes on in a recording studio will enjoy it. Anyone that has a vague interest will enjoy it because it is entertaining. We made it more as an educational aid for people in training at colleges for recording technologies. We’ve had a lot of interest from those types of schools, and many are putting it into their curriculum. We can’t ask for more than that.
Some of my contemporaries have said they enjoyed it, and I learned from making it too. The program is based around interviews with other recording professionals and it provides a variety of perspectives.
What do you think is the most misunderstood part of the recording/mixing process that audiophiles don’t understand that you address with the box set?
I think what perhaps critics don’t appreciate is that there is a lot of luck in getting a good sound. It’s not all about the equipment, spectral response and compressing. It’s all about the quality of the musicianship, the songwriting and the sound reaching the microphone … that’s crucial. It’s often been said, “garbage in means garbage out,” so if that’s the case you won’t get a good sound.
Everybody strives to get perfect sound and we work hard to get the best sound we can. A certain artist or song or style of music will sound a certain way. It would be ridiculous for me to make a Jonas Brothers record using the techniques and procedures I normally use. The techniques used to make many modern pop records involve a lot of compression and that’s what those consumers want, according to the labels. A lot of the processing that audiophiles criticize is a style thing and part of the music itself.
…it’s all about song writing, performance and talent on the production team. If you get all those, you have a winning formula. (more here)