Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
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Friday, May 17 • 10:00 - 10:30
The Producer’s Vision: Creation, Form and Function

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It is widely accepted in modern popular production, by producers and clients/artists, that in accordance with their responsibilities, producers mentally formulate “visions” for projects, and these mental representations are expected to exude a major influence on subsequent musical outputs (Anthony 2017). Self-reports reveal that producers approach envisioning differently, that visions vary in nature and serve varied purposes in productions. Envisioning is a context sensitive process that is dependent on the unique musical histories of individual producers, how they understand the intentions of their clients/artists and how the producer expects the vision to influence the act of creation. Anthony and Lefford (forthcoming) compares producing practitioners’ descriptions of their own visions to the cognition literature in order to identify forms of mental representation that these visions may take. This paper takes that work forward by explicitly connecting the intended purposes of a producer’s vision to its mental representation.

Purpose and mental representation are integrally intertwined. The form the mental representation takes restricts the kind of information it may plausibly hold and how that information may be mentally processed—and thus how it functions in the producer’s thinking. For example, does the producer envision a fully realized, balanced mix. Or is it something fuzzier, like a patchwork of reference recordings, drum sounds from here and guitar sounds from there? We have identified plausible mental representations, and four ways producers might utilize their visions, as templates, simulations, epistemes, management/leadership tools. To investigate factors that shape a vision and its influence on creative production processes, we consider these utilities across three stages: the formulation of a vision, as part of formulating a strategy for producing (given the context, producer’s history and artist’s intentions), and the manifestation of the vision through recording. This paper explores connections between the nature and utility of vision through these stages.


Brendan Anthony

Griffith University
avatar for Nyssim Lefford

Nyssim Lefford

Associate Professor, Audio Technology, Luleå University of Technology, Associate Professor Audio Technology

Friday May 17, 2019 10:00 - 10:30 EDT
Classroom 311 (3rd floor)