In March of 2020, I came across the recordings of a rock-opera titled “Virtual Reality,” that Patt and I wrote and produced back in 1990. There are six shows recorded on VHS tape, ranging from 1990-1992.
Many of the performances are from The Troubadour, located on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Doheny Dr. in West Hollywood, (at the threshold to Beverly Hills). Other performances are from The Roxy Theatre, next door to the Rainbow room on the sunset strip, and a popular rock club in the valley called “The FM Station”.
Years ago, I had transferred the recordings from VHS to DVD and Digital Video cassette, which helped preserve the quality after so many tears.
Step One: Digitizing the footage and import.
This presented its own challenges. Each of the six shows are 35 minutes in length and with that much footage to digitize and edit, I decided to enlist the help of a dedicated 500 Gig drive that I had lying around. After I had the shows converted into DV files, it was time to load the files into the AVID for editing.
Step Two: Editing Video for Each of the Six live Hollywood shows
I edited each show sparingly, preserving it in the way that it appeared at the time it was recorded in the venue, adding only titles and a few graphics along the way to provide information and to help make the show interesting for the viewer.
Each show is recorded from a different perspective at the venue, three of the six shows are shot from center balcony and the others were shot from balcony left or right, or a combination of the three, left, right and center.
As I edited each show, I got a good feel for the best viewing angle for each performance and the best audio quality for each song in the set. I posted the six full-length shows to YouTube, but felt like it needed more…
Step Three: Stripping and Re-mastering 12- songs for a concept album.
Now that I had gone through each song from the six shows and identified which audio tracks sounded best, I stripped the audio track from select video performances and then re-mastered the audio tracks using the full regalia of outdated but still useful mastering equipment that remains alive and well at Saturn Studios.
Through careful and nuanced EQ tweaks, normalization and audio sweetening, new life was given to these live recordings made 30 years ago.
Now that I had the best version of each of the 12 songs, I put together some graphics and made a pitch to Rock Dog to release the concept album that we anticipated releasing a few decades ago.
Step Four: Back to Step Two? Not exactly…
Rock Dog was howling with excitement over the remastered audio tracks and agreed to release the songs as a concept album, (just the way the band was intended so many years ago).
But it did not stop there… A new idea was raised to edit more video, this time using all angles and editing that over each of the new audio tracks. That would involve taking the best viewing angles from each show and edit it all together over each audio track, giving each song a varied perspective, making it a hell of a lot more interesting for the viewer.
I liked the idea, and as I started editing it together, it was exciting to see the songs of the concept album finally portrayed in the way they were meant to be seen; and from multiple angles, it was possible to see much more of the performance, specifically more of what the musicians and dancers were doing at any given moment. Once done, I felt that the multi-camera videos did a great job at bringing each track on the concept album to life.
Step Five: Anticipated Release date:
September 4, 2020 marks the public release date for Parousia’s concept Album “Virtual Reality” available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, TikTok/Resso, Google Play/YouTube, Amazon, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, iHeartRadio, ClaroMusica, Saavn, Anghami, KKBox, NetEase (beta), and MediaNet.
Free previews for the 12-tracks on the album will be made available on SoundCloud on a limited basis. The Muti-camera (Multicam) video clips corresponding to each song on the concept album will be available on YouTube with links to the content on this page.
cool. The sound is amazing … I am John Patrick Jewell III an American Opera Composer ( friends with Elton ) I have been working on an Original Opera with elements of Rock since 1996. fast forward to 2022 I’m turning the bend on 88 pages and at the end of act II in scene III . . . with only the final scene to go , we’ll my young friend Elton at Rusk studio will help me find the choirs and orchestra near me in Salt Lake City Utah !
Wow, Parousia, one of my favorite Progressive rock bands. I used to go see them in NY clubs back in the early 1980’s