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Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
berklee.edu/arp19
Saturday, May 18 • 10:00 - 10:30
Forged by design? - The control of a genre expected sonic signifier on collaborative creation practices within modern heavy metal

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The sonic signature of a recorded music artifact bears the collaborative artistic imprint of the producer and the imprint of the performer's engagement with the technology. Genre specific technology, recording practices, sonic staging, with artifice, construction, representation, and mediation, is inherently driven by the societal field of the specific musical and sonic characteristics of specific styles. This paper compares the two specific genres of modern heavy metal and dub reggae electronica production, through the framework of creative practice theory and the lens of practitioner based enquiry, and contextual spectral analysis, to identify the practice-led outcomes of collaboratively recorded and self-produced cases studies.

Contemporary heavy metal music production has defining features of the genre’s high commercial standard of production as heaviness and sonic weight combined with definition and intelligibility of the instrumentation involved (Mynet, 2012). Individualist and isolated recording techniques are diligently employed consistently in this genre to create this high level of production.
Group inclusion within reggae culture and music includes ideals of group performance and community. Concepts of live-ness and collaborative interactivity are indicative of the preferred technique of live multi-tracking of the band in the same room.

Acoustic space manipulation and the concept of staging is inherent to both genre but is presented in different ways to produce expected sonic signifiers such as the use of tape echo in dub reggae electronica.
Along with specific mixing techniques, these convectional practices are defined by the individual or collective creative choices, societal field and domain expectations of sonic signifiers and signatures. These definitions are disseminated as practice led comparisons for the key practices of recording, mixing and mastering of these audio artifacts.
The use of discrete spectral analysis of the recorded artifacts provides additional quantitative incite into the sonic similarities to accepted cumulative frequency- response and power level statistics equalization curves of the two case study genres.

Speakers
avatar for Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath

Programme Manager In Audio Production, Southern Institute of Technology & Griffith University



Attendees (5)