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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
Sunday, May 19 • 11:30 - 12:00
Learning to be a ‘Tracker’: A pedagogical case study of learning collaborative music production

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Record production no longer needs a large recording facility for the duration of a recording project and record producers now routinely collaborate with musicians, artists and songwriters via remote and online means. The ‘tracker’ production process is a growing trend in music production where topline songwriters work with music programmers and music producers. In this case, production, songwriting and recording often happen concurrently and the creative process is flexible and typically influenced by the unique approaches of the various individuals involved. The tracker’s role involves the synthesis of ideas, musical negotiation and expertise in using digital technologies to keep the recording project on track. The tracker process underlines how the traditional model of record production has been modified and updated in light of the development, availability and affordability of digital audio technologies and diminishing budgets for recording projects.
Record production no longer needs a large recording facility for the duration of a recording project and record producers now routinely collaborate with musicians, artists and songwriters via remote and online means. The ‘tracker’ production process is a growing trend in music production where topline songwriters work with music programmers and music producers. In this case, production, songwriting and recording often happen concurrently and the creative process is flexible and typically influenced by the unique approaches of the various individuals involved. The tracker’s role involves the synthesis of ideas, musical negotiation and expertise in using digital technologies to keep the recording project on track. The tracker process underlines how the traditional model of record production has been modified and updated in light of the development, availability and affordability of digital audio technologies and diminishing budgets for recording projects.

In providing ‘real world’ learning activities, HE institutions delivering audio education face a number of logistic, musical and social challenges when facilitating a ‘tracker’ assessment; particularly where much of the communication and collaboration is undertaken online. The following paper reports on the experiences of a cohort of Bachelor of Popular Music students who undertook a tracker process assessment at an HE institution. Students’ perceptions of ‘engagement’ and ‘learning’ were captured via a creative synthesis and online survey. A thematic analysis of the findings indicates that this form of teaching and learning can help to more adequately prepare graduates for the realities of a career in contemporary music production. In this landscape much of their work may be highly collaborative, rely both on specialist and non-specialist knowledge and involve the extensive use of digital communications between the collaborators.

Speakers
BA

Brendan Anthony

Griffith University
avatar for Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson

Reader in Popular Music, Leeds Beckett University
Paul Thompson is a professional recording engineer who has worked in the music industry for over 10 years. He is currently a Reader in Popular Music at Leeds Beckett University in the School of Film, Music and Performance Arts and his research is centred on record production, audio... Read More →
avatar for Tuomas Auvinen

Tuomas Auvinen

University of Turku



Attendees (19)