Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome back my friends...

I'll have to do this blog post in two parts because there's a lot to talk about from yesterday's MONSTER session with Keith Emerson and Alan Parsons. The two of them have met only once before briefly but I'm friends with both of them so I thought to try something. If they get along with me they'd surely get along with each other and they did! It was quite an EPIC session! I was originally going to do two separate sessions on different days but somehow it ended up all on the same day. A bit nerve-wracking but it all came together in the end! I don't know if I would have been comfortable doing that if I didn't know already that these two guys are some of the coolest, easy going and friendly 'legends of rock' there are.

So it started off with Alan Parsons arriving just outside of LA coming down from Santa Barbara. He first marveled at an electric car built by Gene Stopp, a technician who has been working for the past year on fixing and 'hot-rodding" Keith Emerson's massive Moog Modular system. Apparently Gene's car proves that such a thing can be made, a car that would cost 8 times less than gas to run and it does go up to 85 mph. He has a blog about it.

While we were there waiting for Keith to arrive up in the hills just north of and west of LA we set up video and talked to Alan about what he's up to musically. We asked more questions about classic Alan Parsons Project albums and made good use of the time. When Keith showed up we all chatted for a bit and then got to work! Now, because Keith's Modular Moog System is so huge and heavy, instead of bringing it to a studio I brought a studio to it! I had one of the most portable high quality recording rigs you can get with me on this trip. A MacBook Air, ProTools 10 and an RME UCX interface. I had my IK Multimedia iRig Keys handy as well. Fortunately with a direct signal you're not concerned with the acoustics of the environment being a factor.

Squids New Portable Studio Rig

So... what WAS I doing with Keith Emerson and Alan Parsons and a recording rig? That's a very good question. Well, I am co-producing two sample libraries with them for my company Sonic Reality. One is the Alan Parsons Sample Project and the other is the Keith Emerson Keyboard Collection. They're not 'officially' announced yet and this is all advanced 'being the scenes' stuff I like to share in the long process of making these types of products because... well, because it's fun! The end resulting products will be a series of authentic sounds these guys are known for which my company SR puts into software products that musicians can buy to use in their own music. It's essentially like having a virtual reality Keith Emerson play on your song with his amazing rare equipment. Or it's like having Alan Parsons engineer your drum sounds or cool esoteric keyboard sounds. It's sort of like that in that you can use these authentic elements in your own music if you purchase their Sonic Reality products when they become available. 

We're sampling the keyboards Keith Emerson has used with ELP and more for his upcoming sample library with Sonic Reality. 

The other thing we're doing is making music! I like to 'mix up the elements' and go for the unexpected chemistry of people, gear and sounds. Since I've been fortunate to meet and work with some amazing artists and producers I've had the chance myself to combine interesting cameos and collaborations on music I'm producing with my own music project, Sonic Elements (aka "The Sonic Reality Progressive Rock Project"). So, one VERY cool thing we did during this session was have Keith Emerson play a ripping synth lead on a song that Alan Parsons and I are working on with Sonic Elements. I'll tell you more about that in the part 2 of this blog post. Right now I have to get ready for another session with Durga McBroom-Hudson. She was one of the backing vocalists on the Pink Floyd Momentary Lapse and Division Bell tours. More to come!

Alan Parsons, Dave Kerzner & Keith Emerson

All pictures are ©2012 Dave Kerzner & Erik Neilsen. All Rights Reserved. Do not use without permission. 

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