Art of Record Production Conference
May 17-19, 2019
Berklee College of Music, 921 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215
Sunday, May 19 • 13:00 - 14:15
Methodology Panel - Introduction by Albin Zak

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Technology and Studio Practices in Record Production Research: Object, Subject, Variable and Data Collection Tool

Record production research brings together an array of disciplines, research questions, researchers and methodological approaches. Our varied and distinct perspectives, at some level, share (at least) one axiom: there would be no record production without technology. Recording technology, signal processors, instruments — tools for capturing, creating, manipulating, storing and reproducing sound; knobs, faders, touch pads and screens, control surfaces, mice, track balls, and other interfaces; every piece of hardware and software has constraints and affordances that warrant study.

For nearly a century, record production was for the most part practiced in a recording studio. Producing practices were deeply entwined with the studio’s socio-technical affordances. However, for an entire generation of musicians and engineers, ‘the recording studio’ (and the technologies and practices that it once embodied) is anyplace we decide to put down our laptops. Our well-established ideal of studio production is remediated by computational and networking technologies. Accordingly, we must consider if/how the traditional studio roles of the ‘producer’ and the ‘recording engineer’ are perhaps also remediated concepts — concepts that need to be reassessed and rethought; and new roles, such as that of the software engineer, and ‘software’ itself, need serious consideration. As researchers, we are confronted by a new set of problems in defining the objects of our inquiry and how to effectively develop new methodologies to study them; and in this context, the idea of remediation itself may be a problem as it gets in the way of understanding what is fundamental to common practice in fully digitized music production. In addition to surveying how the field is currently addressing these issues, the panel will consider how various methodological approaches enable exploration, and also, the challenges of studying technology, its use, its effects and it affects.

avatar for Albin Zak

Albin Zak

University at Albany
avatar for Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen

Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen

Associate Professor, University of Oslo
Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen is Associate Professor in Popular Music Studies in the Department of Musicology and RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at the University of Oslo, Norway. She has published articles and book chapters on music production, digital... Read More →
avatar for Nyssim Lefford

Nyssim Lefford

Associate Professor, Audio Technology, Luleå University of Technology, Associate Professor Audio Technology
Associate Professor, Audio Technology
avatar for Paul Théberge

Paul Théberge

Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
avatar for Alan Williams

Alan Williams

Chair, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Ethnomusicologist focusing on recording studio practice, recording mythology, with a sideline interest in surround sound and the audiophile community.

Sunday May 19, 2019 13:00 - 14:15 EDT
David Friend Recital Hall