Close Up: Parsonics Studio

Legendary Resumé, Groundbreaking Studio: With the launch of his ParSonics Studio, situated atop his secluded Tres Vientos Ranch in the hills above Santa Barbara, Alan Parsons is still a behind-the-boards visionary to be reckoned with decades after his legendary engineering work with The Beatles (Abbey Road, Let It Be) Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon), Wings and The Hollies, producing hit albums for Ambrosia and Al Stewart and scoring hits with his group The Alan Parsons Project (including “Time,” “Games People Play” and the Top 5 single “Eye in the Sky”). After working for years in a modest in-home studio setup, he got the urge to record new music “the old way, with a full band interacting with one another”––and worked with designer Jared Stansill to extend and convert a shed building on the property into a larger, state-of-the-art facility. In 2019, the year he won his first Grammy (after 12 previous nominations) for Best Immersive Audio Album Eye in the Sky (35th Anniversary Edition), he did more touring than ever before throughout the U.S. and Europe after the release of The Secret, which featured guest appearances from Jason Mraz, Lou Gramm and Steve Hackett. With the pandemic keeping him off the road, Parsons––in addition to working on his own projects––is now making his immersive studio magic available to the public for the first time.

ParSonics’ Secret Weapon: Parsons has eternal praise for his 32 channel Neve 5088, which he dubs “a most wonderful sounding machine,” but beyond the state-of-the-art gear, stunning acoustics and the wealth of experience the producer brings to each project, ParSonics has a powerful secret weapon in engineer and Pro Tools master Noah Bruskin. Bruskin is a onetime MI student who rose from an internship at Santa Barbara’s Playback Recording Studio to become head engineer, working with everyone from Olivia Newton-John and John Farnham to Pink, Protoje for Rebelution’s Grammy nominated album Falling Into Place––in addition to post-production work (for Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe, Kevin Costner, et al) and projects with Apple, HBO, Skywalker Sound and other prominent companies.

A Quote from Parsons: “Noah was there every step of the way during construction, and was very influential on the way we wired it and the provisions we made for mic panels and outboard gear. As an engineer, he’s as capable of conducting a session as I am, and is a whiz at Pro Tools. The wonderful thing about an analog console is that in the early stages of recording, we can talk about mics and musicians and go back to the way I was trained at Abbey Road, using my technique and ears to balance the sound. Then Noah works his digital magic, getting all the levels right and fixing anything, including vocals, that have been compromised.”

Studio Specs: ParSonics offers a quiet, isolated location with stunning 360-degree views with a full kitchen and relaxation area, guest apartment and “a slightly less salubrious Airstream trailer.” In addition to the classic Neve console, the control room offers 5.1 monitoring through B&W 802 Loudspeakers and a selection of microphones collected by Parsons throughout his career, including a Neumann U47 FET (Field-Effect Transistor), several other Neumann mics, British Coles 4038 ribbon mics and the Neve RNR1 ribbon mic, a gift to Alan from Rupert Neve. Joining the vintage and contemporary, he also has mics from Miktek and Rode plus access to the original speakers used on Dark Side of the Moon.

Visit Parsonsics website here.