Alan Parsons discusses his Abbey Road lecture series at MusicRadar!
Posted by HLPAPG
In advance of his lecture series at Abbey Road Studio, Alan Parsons author of, Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording, sat down with Tim Cant of MusicRadar. Alan talked about his book (and the DVD set of the same name) and why he avoids using compression.
“I think I’ve had the best luck with Neve, but having said that my biggest claim to fame, Pink Floyd’s //Dark Side of the Moon// was actually done on an EMI desk. I recently did an album with Stephen Wilson of Porcupine Tree, I did an album with him called The Raven That Refused to Sing and that was on a vintage Neve [RCA Custom 8028] Console at a studio here in California called EastWest, the same people that do the orchestral samples.”
Was there anything you particularly liked about that desk?
“Well, the opportunity is there to use external mic pre’s, that seems to be the way of the world right now, but I was perfectly happy to use the onboard pres most of the time. I’m a great believer in simplicity. It just complicates matters when you choose one mic pre for the kick drum, another one for the snare, a different one for the overheads…
“I just like to keep things simple. Having said that, my favourite mic pre which is also a limiter/compressor is the Universal Audio 6176… I’m looking at it right now. I’m also a big fan of the original dbx 160.”
Have you used the Universal Audio plugins?
“I use them all the time, I love their plugins, particularly their EMT plates! I use them on everything, any time I need reverb that would be my go-to.”
What about their range of compressors?
“I prefer to use external compressors and limiters. I tend to avoid compression and limiting, I never compress mixes, and I only ever usually limit two things: vocals and bass.”
Records are mastered very loud these days, so if you’re not compressing at the mixing stage the mastering engineer…
“I resist even letting the mastering engineer limit or compress. I mean, maybe just a dB of brickwall limiting for the peaks but otherwise no, I’d much rather leave it alone. If the consumer says it isn’t loud enough, turn it up! Do you think records sound as good as they used to?”
“Absolutely. The level war is the worst thing to happen to audio in years. Interestingly though there has always been a level war, even on vinyl.”
Read the rest of the interview over at MusicRadar!