Paisley Park Tour - Prince pioneered what has become known as the Minneapolis Sound, a synthesizer-based brand of funk. The birthplace of Lovesexy, Batman, Diamonds and Pearls, The Gold Experience, Sign ‘O’ ‘the Times and Emancipation, Prince recorded 30 albums at Paisley Park, many of his greatest hits, and possibly his last recorded work. Most recording artists typically sing in a smaller, soundproof recording booth. Prince, however, acted as producer on all 39 of his albums and therefore had to remain in the control booth.
Prince was more than a legendary singer and songwriter of funk and R&B—he was a talented producer, editor, mixer, and talent scout. He brought together a wide variety of up-and-coming musicians, protégés, and collaborators who ventured to Minneapolis to record music. Many famous singers recorded music at Paisley Park, including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Paula Abdul, and Madonna, to name a few.
There are three isolation rooms around Studio A’s large central room:
* granite room to aid in enhancing digital recordings, with a grand piano and microphones. Prince loved the sound of the piano reverberating off the granite.
* wood room designed for acoustics, has the purple Rickenbacker guitar that an18 year old Wendy Melvoin played in Purple Rain. In addition to the guitar is a series of effects pedals and two mic'd amplifiers.
* vocal isolation booth.
In the control booth, melted candles sit next to Prince’s microphone and his chair remains in front of the mixing board where he sat to both sing and engineer his own voice simultaneously. His handwritten notes and lyrics believed to be the unreleased song Stay Cool, and typed lyrics to Look At Me, Look At U sit on a music stand – just as it was left on April 21, 2016. Minda pointed out the Linn drum machine and OB-X synthesizer, key elements of the funky, layered Minneapolis Sound, still plugged in and ready to go.
Minda had us stand in the middle of the studio and played an instrumental sampling of yet-unreleased music recorded in mid-October 2015, by Prince and is apparently from the last sessions he did with MonoNeon, Adrian Crutchfield and Kirk Johnson. The title Soul Patch was confirmed on Prince's Twitter account as a new song, after a brief snippet from the track was played during a video to relaunch his Instagram account, Princestagram. This song was possibly intended for the tentatively titled Black Is The New Black album that Prince was working on.
Basic tracking on another instrumental song, Ruff Enuff by MonoNeon features Prince as producer, on keyboards and guitar, which took place on January 6, 2016 at Paisley Park Studios. It was released as a download and the Tidal Purple Pick of the Week on January 11. During a Twitter exchange about the track, a fan asked if this was the first track to be recorded in 2016, to which @Prince3EG replied: "YES, IT'S ALREADY GOT A SISTER: ON THE SAME ALBUM AS "FREE URSELF"...THEY SOUND GREAT 2GETHER!" It has been speculated that Free Urself is the title of an album that would contain the title track and Ruff Enuff, but this has not been confirmed. The title track was released using the artist credit Mono Neon, while Free Urself was credited to Prince.