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 • 15:00 - 15:30
Take Two: Multitrack Audio as a Musical, Cultural and Pedagogical Resource

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Few studies have been able to gain access to the private and intimate environment of a commercial recording session and gain critical insight into what actually happens during the creation of a popular music recording. This is because the recording studio is closed both acoustically and socially (Thompson & Lashua, 2014). However, fragments of each recording session remain in the separate individual pieces of audio that are created during a recording session. These pieces of audio are called multitracks and, prior to being combined at the mixing stage and then prepared for duplication and release at the mastering stage, can be used to shed some light on some of the creative decisions taken during the session.

This study builds upon previous studies in this area (PitS: Performance in the Studio, AHRC research project; Williams 2012; McNally et al 2017; Thompson et al 2017) and focuses on multitrack materials, the cultural, technical and musical knowledge needed to create them, and the development of new ways to analyze these materials to gain some useful insight into the commercial record production process more generally. By drawing upon a series of multitracks created during a week-long studio project at the Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, this study introduces new ways multitracks can be analysed and shows how giving access to commercially-created multitracks can begin to address the ‘virtual absence of pedagogical resources’ (Zagorski-Thomas, 2016) within the field of popular music and audio education.

avatar for Kirk McNally

Kirk McNally

Associate Professor, Music Technology, University of Victoria
Kirk McNally is a recording engineer, music producer and sound artist living in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He received his Master’s of Music in Sound Recording from McGill University. As a recording engineer he has held positions at the Tanglewood Music Centre (Lenox, MA... Read More →
avatar for Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Reader, Popular Music, Leeds Beckett University
Paul Thompson is a professional recording engineer who has worked in the music industry for over 15 years. He is currently a Reader in Popular Music at Leeds Beckett University in Leeds School of Arts and his research is centred on record production, audio education, popular music... Read More →

Friday May 17, 2019 15:00 - 15:30 EDT
Classroom 311 (3rd floor)