Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part c

2nd Observation.P2a.renamed

Bordering my music-making practice

As mentioned in the previous blog, I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice. Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making.

Historical development of the industry – industry standards

Industry Standards of Practice: Commercial
Historically, the music and audio industry’s standards have addressed economic and technical criteria. Both of these criteria are included in annual industry award events, well known and usually televised events the public engages in with interest, as they make up the consumer market for such music and audio artifacts (ie songs, mp3s, CDs, albums). The Grammy Awards (The US), the British Music Awards (the UK), and the ARIA Awards (Australia) acknowledge publically released artists and their music, in terms of specific criteria such as: commercial success (song sales via record companies and formal distribution channels such as i-tunes); popularity (via radio play which may or may not transfer into song sales[1]); with a few categories acknowledging the technical and creative expertise of the engineers and producers behind the artists[2]. “A successful record producer is, by definition, someone who has had multiple hits” (Burgess 1997, 162). However, the limitation of such a standard on the discipline of contemporary DIY music production is two-fold: firstly, these awards acknowledge only publically-released music through formal distribution channels, and we have already concluded a contemporary DIY music production practitioner is not likely to be motivated by economic motivations, and less likely to release their music through formal distribution channels. In fact, they are likely to deliberately choose to release their music through alternative informal independent DIY music channels, and; secondly, the awards are predominantly for non-DIY artist producers, where the artists contract the professional services of an external producer. Artists such as Lorde, who may do aspects of the music production process themselves, such as writing, and may have achieved a degree of success by engaging in informal distribution channels such as ‘Soundcloud’[3], are produced by an external professional[4], and therefore do not fit into the definition of contemporary DIY music production practitioner (Bockstedt et al 2005).

Industry Standards of Practice: Technical
Other standards exist within the audio industry, addressing technical criteria. The Audio Engineering Society {AES}, formed in 1948 in New York as a body offering industry expertise to the developing recording and broadcast industry (AES 2015). A significant outcome of the AES was the creation of standards for which the industry could operate, and that manufacturers of any recording and broadcast industry equipment could comply with. This was very beneficial as the development of certain equipment such as microphones were being constructed with a variety of unique fittings that meant that microphones were not universal, requiring different microphone cables for each manufacturer’s device. The AES was instrumental in influencing a universal standard over time (AES 2015; Huber and Runstein 2010, 111-179). However, the majority of standards developed were technical or theoretical to audio engineering, not process or workflow-based for the more global discipline of music production (AES 2015). As access was limited to recording studios up until the 1980’s, such music production process or workflow remained to those in the one of the specific skilled roles previously referred to, or as an artist. ‘Practice’ was aligned to the typical corporate organisational effectiveness objectives, to maximise profitability. Music production practice was controlled by the management of the commercial radio and television studios or the recording studios; the skilled scientists, technicians or manufacturers creating the technology or the processes, with the focus on correct use and application of technology, inline with the studio management’s directives of conservatism to preserve the organisational objectives; or the music producers who had successfully produced recordings for artists, contracted to abide by management’s directives to meet the organisational objectives (Robbins et al 2009, 708-710; Burgess 2014, 38-41, 42-55, 82-97; Emerick and Massey 2006, 54).
As technology developed and music production related equipment became available to the developing prosumer market in the 1970’s and 1980’s, user manuals provided by the manufacturer instructing the user how they were best to use the unit was one of the few mediums of effective practice being made available outside of the professional studio environment[5]. One of the first units with such a user manual was for the TASCAM series 144 model Portastudio user manual (TEAC 1979); A decade later, the first industry functional text, sponsored by one of the major manufacturers on the sector was released. Initiated by two audio engineers, arranging sponsorship from the Yamaha Music Corporation to be able to write it, the “Yamaha-The Sound Reinforcement Handbook” was at the time the only comprehensive audio engineering textbook of its kind, and instantly became a standard reference book to the industry. The text remained for more than a decade as the only text book comprehensively, outlining audio engineering theory and techniques for ‘sound reinforcement’[6]. The industry to date has only a few disparate best practice documents such as The Recording Producers and Engineers Wing (2008) “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production”. Whilst it offers some good advice for DAW setup and standardized protocols when dealing with DAW Sessions, it does not comprehensively cover contemporary music production practice.
The industry has progressed from the traditional music production model, where exemplars existed across the different roles and skills. However, now within the decentralized music production era, the disparate roles across the music production process tend to be fused and completed by the one person, the contemporary DIY music producer. Traditional standards of effective practice are therefore being challenged by DIY culture and their interpretation of practice.
Contemporary DIY music production practitioners have access to a large range of ancillary services and products, such industry trade magazines, texts, forums and blogs. Audio industry magazines such as “Sound on Sound” and “Audio Technology” are recognized as reputable magazines within the audio industry and music production discipline. But do they truly reflect the contemporary music production practice, or are their roots from the traditional music production model causing a widening gap of relevance? Alternative press options such as “Computer Music” (2015) and “MusicTech Focus” (2015) magazines have their origins in the development of digital technology. But do their roots limit their relevance by not including the more creative and musical requirements of the contemporary music production practice? Other alternative press includes “Wire”, which focuses more on the cultural and aesthetic aspects of music culture and practice. There is a vast range of support for music practitioners in the form of forums and blogs, with some of these operated by recognised industry professionals[7]. However, many of these are run by hobbyists with well intentioned advice, whilst others are commercially driven, with some of their marketing tactics, products and advice is at best, questionable.
Some scholars refer to the current field of DIY music production as being in transition (Hracs 2012), although it can also be thought of as a fusion or hybrid of two prior developments: that of traditional large format console studio music production and computer-based sound generation. Irrespective of the definition, twenty-first century contemporary DIY music production illustrates the ways that practitioners have broken with previously accepted industry practices, with consensus about effective or best practice now difficult to identify, or indeed where the idea of best practice has been actively challenged through social and cultural changes in the practices of cultural production. As such, the discipline of contemporary DIY music production lacks the infrastructure of an established and mature industry where consensus of what effective practice is, might be found.
The notion of effective practice[8] originated in business centred on notions of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity (Montana and Charnov 2000,12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996). In this way, effective practice is a quantifiable measure and assumes the ‘organisation’ or practice has commercial or technical objectives. In contrast, contemporary DIY music production practitioners may not be motivated by either commercial or technical objectives, and therefore effective practice measures may not apply to many practices within the discipline (Rogers 2013, 168). In fact, contemporary DIY music production is a discipline in which notions of effective practice may actually be actively disregarded due to the perception that other motivations such as creativity, emotional connection and free-spiritedness are more important (McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41). As a result, the term best practice is perhaps more appropriate in the discipline of contemporary DIY music production, bringing with it the idea of benchmarking, or “analysing and copying the methods of the leaders” in the field (Robbins et al 2009, 313). However, without accepted discipline standards, and consensus of what best practice is, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately and effectively benchmark amongst the discipline and its practitioners. Further, if the contemporary DIY music production practice is lacking in organisational characteristics of a mature industry such as robust management processes and procedures, sophisticated vision and strategic planning, then the contemporary DIY music production practitioner is less likely able to measure quality standards should they exist, nor consciously position their practice within the field in order to optimise the chance of success (Robbins et al 2009, 708-710, 716-717).
Service and support more recently provided for budding DIY music production practitioners is a range of formal instructional courses, vocational and tertiary courses such as the likes of the Australian-based SAE Institute (originally named the School of Audio Engineering), and JMC Academy (JMC Academy 2015). SAE – supposedly the first commercial vocational course of its kind in the world – commenced in Sydney in 1976 (SAE 2015). In order to teach subject content, studio processes had to be analysed and industry-valid curriculum developed in order to justify to potential consumers and prosumers the justification of making the tuition fee investment. Burgess confirms their relevance in the discipline: “combined with a proactive DIY approach, a good school program can fill in knowledge gaps and instil a deeper understanding of the fundamentals while increasing awareness of best practice”(Burgess, 2014, 35).
Industry standards of practice – Creative, Aesthetic or Affective
As already indicated, creative, aesthetic or affective standards are extremely worthy for contemporary DIY Music Production practice. But as I have already raised, how does one effectively construct standards for these elements? Apart from subjective opinion, these are usually made by industry-based music critics in popular fan-based music magazines – such as “Rolling Stone” magazine (Wenner et al 1971) or Wire (2015), and/or via the formal industry awards as already mentioned. Apart from these two sources, I did not discover any standards – nor any guidance – that could be adopted by contemporary DIY Music Production practice.
Industry standards of practice – Soft Skills
Similarly, apart from the industry feedback to educational and training intuitions such as SAE Institute as already indicated, I could not discover any soft-skill standards that were relevant to Contemporary DIY Music Production practice.
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] Radio play which may or may not translate into album sales such as Australia’s Triple ZZZ ‘Unearthed series’, acknowledging emerging artists, and by default, their productions (ABC 2015)
[2] Within these music and sound awards, there are numerous categories, in which the artist, the producers and the recording engineers are acknowledged. These categories cover predominantly the economic criteria (album or song sales), but there are some categories that acknowledge the technical and creative of music production. For example: ‘68. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical’, ’69 Producer of the year, Non-Classical’, ’70 Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical’, ‘72 Best Engineered Album, Classical’ (Academy Award 2015).
[3] Soundcloud.com is an informal hosting site for musicians, producers and artists. Soundcloud is not a sales based distribution site, and therefore I am classifying it an informal distribution site, as it is possible to generate interest to a potential consumer market (Souncloud 2015).
[4] Lorde’s producer of her first album was local Auckland NZ producer, Joel Little (Audio Technology 2015).
[5] The manufacturer’s user manual described ‘effective practice’ for the user to operate that unit safely, following a technically correct process
[6] Sound reinforcement is a term used to describe the live audio industry function which still remains today.
[7] Pensado’s Place is operated by Dave Pansado who has had a recognised audio industry career (Pensado 2006).
[8] The notion of effective practice originated in business and post-War Japan, centred on notions of effectiveness (“doing the right thing”), efficiency (the effort exerted in “doing the right thing”), and productivity (the relationship between input and output) (Montana and Charnov 2000, 12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996).
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2d (Page 2015c). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
ABC. 2015. “Triple J Unearthed.” Accessed 20th April, 2015.
AES. 2015. “Audio Engineering Society (AES) History.” Accessed 20th April, 2015
Audio Technology Magazine. 2015 http://www.audiotechnology.com.au Accessed 20th April, 2015
Bockstedt, Jesse, Robert J Kauffman and Frederick J Riggins. 2005. “The move to artist-led online music distribution: Explaining structural changes in the digital music market.” In System Sciences, 2005. HICSS’05. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on, Hawaii, USA, edited, 1-10: IEEE.
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Computer Music. 2015. http://www.musicradar.com/computermusic Accessed 20th April, 2015
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
Davis, Gary and Ralph Jones. 1990. Yamaha-The Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed 20th April, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Griffin, RW. 1996. Management. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
JMC Academy. 2015 http://www.jmcacademy.edu.au/?gclid=CN636-HnmcsCFQGbvAod7GoMDQ  Accessed 20th April, 2015
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
Montana, Patrick J and Bruce H Charnov. 2000. Management. 3rd ed. Vol. 333, Business Review Books. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
MusicTech. 2015. http://www.musictech.net Accessed 20th April, 2015
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015c. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2d  Accessed 29th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2a  Accessed 20th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 1  Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Pensado, David. 2006. “Secrets of the mix engineer.” Sound on Sound.com 19.
Recording Producers and Engineers Wing, The. 2008. “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production.” Accessed May 27, 2015. https://www.grammy.org/files/pages/DAWGuidelineLong.
Robbins, Stephen, Rolf Bergman, ID Stagg and Mary Coulter. 2009. Management 5. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
Rogers, I. 2013. “The hobbyist majority and the mainstream fringe: the pathways of independent music-making in Brisbane, Australia.” In Redefining mainstream popular music, edited by Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett and Jodie Taylor, 162-173. New York: Routledge.
SAE. 2015. “SAE Institute.” https://sae.edu.au/ Accessed 20th April, 2015
SoundCloud. 2015. “SoundCloud.com.”  Accessed 20th April, 2015. https://soundcloud.com.
Sound on Sound. 2015 http://www.soundonsound.com Accessed 20th April, 2015
Target image courtesy of: http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/target-skills-53658831 Accessed 15th August, 2015
TEAC. 1979. “TEAC Tascam series: model 144 Portastudio manual”, edited by TEAC Inc. www.tascam.com: TEAC Inc.
Wenner, J, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. 1971. Lennon remembers: the Rolling Stone‘ interviews [with John Lennon and Yoko Ono]. New York: Penguin.
Wire. 2015. http://www.thewire.co.uk Accessed 20th April, 2015
– @David L Page 29/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2b

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020
(2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part b

2nd Observation.P2a.renamed

Bordering my music-making practice

As mentioned in the previous blog, I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice. Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making.

Historical development of the industry – an overview (continued)

Project Studio
Further technological developments gave rise to the increasing opportunity of having a music production setup in the home, based around a personal computer, a sound card, and some form of digital audio workstation to either record or arrange the music. Izhaki noted: “as computers became more affordable and competent, and the hiring of expensive {large format console, commercial} studios was no longer a requisite for multi-tracking and mixing”, a new era of home music creation and production studio iterations known as project studios began to emerge (2013, xiiii). As early as 2005, with a project studio based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers, Stuart Price admitted he “did much of the work for Madonna’s ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album” in his home-based project studio (Doyle 2008). Madonna’s ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album” was a commercial success. As Leyshon highlighted “the recording studio sector is not a particularly profitable or efficient part of the musical economy overall” (Leyshon 2009, 1315), and therefore from an industry perspective, it was positive that alternative options evolved.
Consoles – DAWsand Digital Virtual Instruments – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
The late 1990’s and 2000’s saw the development of the digital audio workstation (such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and then eMagic’s Logic). Virtual instruments (software instruments) and sample libraries (audio libraries for software instruments), available from 3rd party providers such as Spectrasonics, Native Instruments, Garritan, East West Quantm Leap, or Vienna Symphony came with extremely large and varied databases, at a cost range suitable for novice to serious producers, ready to include into their productions (Gilreath 2010). Miles Hubber and Runstein reinforced the view that the project studio, now with virtual technology “brought about monumental changes in the business of music and professional audio”, with the greatest benefit being a music creator able to “select from a wide range of tools and toys to generate specific sounds – or to get the particular sounds that he or she likes”, without necessarily having that instrument or musician capable of playing that instrument, on hand (Huber and Runstein 2013, 10-11). Webb confirms the potential of this practice, citing a commercially successful song (having reached the US Music charts) that included a sample from Apple’s household digital audio workstation Garageband: Rihanna’s “Umbrella used one of its drum loops (specifically, Vintage Funk Kit 03) to great effect” (Webb 2007).
As composer producer Goyte had made his first two albums using samples from prepared sample libraries exclusively, he decided for his third album he wanted to incorporate a range of unique acoustic instruments into the process. Recording these acoustic instruments – for example, an African thumb piano, music box, an autoharp – over time in his project studio (a barn on his family’s property), using a MacBookPro and a multi-track reel to reel recorder, Goyte then processed the recorded wave samples in a digital audio workstation via a digital sampling instrument. This effectively created a range of new virtual instruments that could be played in ways that the original acoustic instruments could not have – rhythmically, harmonically and even melodically. Goyte commented that “in virtualizing the instrument this way, it would become something unique” (Gotye 2011): effectively a unique instrument that no one else had access to, and had not necessarily heard previously, as a direct result of the digital environment processing. Goyte’s “Making Mirrors” CD was released to critical acclaim, and among many awards worldwide, won a Grammy Award for ‘Best Album’ in 2011.
“The rise of more affordable digital recording rigs and easier programming protocols represents a democratisation of technology, making available a process that was once accessible only through the facilities and skills provided by a recording studio” (Leyshon 2009,1309).
Portable Studio
With the development of laptops and handheld microphones such as the Zoom H4, the project studio got smaller and more mobile. Coined as portable studios, anyone with musical aspirations could compose and produce in a studio one moment, and then move outside to into nature, or even the extreme, “on the beach of a remote seaside island under battery power” and continue to compose and produce (Huber and Runstein 2013, 78). Such flexibility of recording environments enabled the composer producer the choice of using actual instruments (acoustic or digital), virtual instruments, purchased sample libraries, or creating their own sample libraries directly from the environment they habituate using these portable studios.
The laptop, particularly the Apple MacBookPro, was an integral part of this technological development enabling the portability of music production. Discussing the music production process of his 2011 Grammy Award winning “Making Mirrors” CD, Goyte reinforced choice with “some songs I sang into the mic of the MacBookPro – for whatever reason it sounded really good in that room and I left it in the final mix” (Holder 2011). Hewitt concludes that such choice and options of practice allows aspiring music producers “a significant degree of creative freedom”, to “produce highly accomplished soundtracks”, of a standard where “some of these tracks … can literally be sent straight to the record company for final mastering” (Hewitt 2008, xv). Certainly, the portable studio became a new environment for music production (Huber and Runstein 2013, 78).
Whilst specialising in the Post-Production stage of the Music Production process, Grammy award winning Mix Engineer Leslie Braithwaite mixed the Grammy Award winning song “Happy” entirely within a digital audio workstation. He explains his recent change of workflow to a “21st Century DAW-only approach” in order to:
“keep up with my productivity schedule. Doing recalls on large format consoles is a pain the butt, because it takes a lot of time and it is therefore just not efficient. With my workload increasing and me also trying to meet the demands for smaller budget projects, going into the box made total sense” (Tingen 2014).
As I gathered information, I documented it into a chart. This proved to be very beneficial enabling me to notice specific developments, and make connections across the various discipline streams of the industry that I have not previously recognised.

Contextual Development of Field_2015

Contextual Development of Field (2015b)
As my investigation continued to focus, I was able to form connections that I hadn’t previously noticed between the development of music-making technology, and the development of certain musical styles.  The industry of music production had exponentially developed, and was now so diverse.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Doyle, Tom. 2008. “Stuart Price: producing Seal & Madonna.” Accessed 20th April, 2015. https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/stuart_price.htm.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2013. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c  Accessed 29th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2a  Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 1  Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014. image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Tingen, Paul. 2014. Inside track: Happy – secrets of the mix engineers: Leslie Braithwaite. Accessed 1st May, 2015. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may14/articles/inside-track- 0514.htm.
Webb, A. 2007. “Is GarageBand top of the pops?” The Guardian Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/18/news.apple.
– @David L Page 20/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 29/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2a

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2014)
 This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2015a) for the previous blog.

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part a

As part of the professional doctorate program I had entered, we were inducted into the world of academic research study. Whilst I was a relative open book in terms of my quest for new knowledge, I found the requirements of being fast-tracked from a position of practitioner into the world of academia at a doctoral level, overwhelming. The level of growth required was enormous.
As part of our program, we were being led to examine three (3) aspects of our practice:
  • the field and discipline of practice
  • the site of our practice
  • and me as a practitioner
Despite my practicing for many decades, I was starting to realise that I actually knew very little.

Bordering my music-making practice

I came to understand within the first few months I needed to broadly explore the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, in order to border – and define – my music-making practice.

Due to the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century, I felt it was necessary to review the industry, fields and disciplines of music-making. I looked in depth at:
a.     Historical development of the industry from the 1830’s to the current era. Recording industry – from the invention of the 1st recording, microphones, corporate studios, progressing to large format recording studios
  • Music Production
  • Digital Technology – Consoles
  • Digital Technology – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
  • Project Studio
  • Consoles – DAWs and, Digital Virtual Instruments – Organs, Synthesisers, Sampler
  • Portable Studio
b. Industry standards of practice – commercial
  • Industry standards of practice – technical
  • Industry standards of practice – creative, aesthetic or affective
  • Industry standards of practice – soft skills
c. Defining DIY
d. Social, Cultural and Music-making practice Related
e. Changing Face of Music Production
f. The traditional definition of Music Producer
g. A new discipline of music-making emerges
h. The contemporary music-making practice
i. The contemporary music-making practitioner

Historical development of the industry – an overview

Music Production
Historically, music production lay within what is now referred to as the audio industry. During the 1940’s and 1950’s in both the US and the UK, the field of audio and the discipline of Music Production was centralised around commercial radio and television studios (Zagorski-Thomas 2005, 70), with the hiring of technical experts to experiment both in terms of recording techniques and equipment. By the early 1960’s the recording industry was flourishing with a lot of experimentation. Studios were now starting to be owned and operated by large recording corporations such as RCA, Colombia and EMI records[1], with technical departments to develop analogue technology to use within their studios. As a result, access to the technology, along with the knowledge and skill in using this technology was somewhat restricted to only those working within these environments (Burgess 1997, 30). Though it must be noted, a number of small-scale independent recording studios also operated in the 1960’s, though usually owned and operated by technical-based enthusiasts[2] who proved they were capable of commercial success[3].  However, by the early 1970’s and then into the 1980’s, with the advent of expensive and large format analogue consoles[4], commercial record label studios became more of the norm, and small independent studios became less prevalent (Zagorski-Thomas 2005, 70). Industrialization generated specialist roles and skills[5], as well a culture of capitalizing on one’s skillset, and reliance on others’ services for financial remuneration (Morawetz 1974, 3,4). Capitalism also introduced the notion of barriers to access in order to create or preserve the imbalance of power relations and ongoing dependence on goods and services. This culture was very prevalent in large format console commercial studios, and for those who were fortunate enough to gain employment within the scarce but highly sought after roles within these studios, were inclined to preserve the culture of limited access, scarcity of information and skills knowledge (Leyshon 2009, 1316). Burgess acknowledged a diversity of backgrounds of music producers from that era as being: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multi path (1997, 29).
Digital Technology – Consoles
Throughout the 1970’s technology advanced, with “quality digital recording equipment more widely available” at progressively decreasing cost to the consumer (Wallis 2001, 11). With the development of digital technology alternative music production options to the large format console studio became available. The first digital portable console[6] was introduced in 1979 using tape technology, marking the beginning of a dramatic change in the music production playing field. “Evidence from the 1980’s showed that multi-track cassette based recording technologies spread at a high pace to virtually every nation” (Wallis 2001, 11). Three years after its initial release, Bruce Springsteen released the widely acclaimed and large volume selling solo album ‘Nebraska’[7], made on this same digital portable console in his bedroom {with the intention of it being a ‘demo’, but then choosing the quality and aesthetic as preferential to a studio produced product he had access to as a label signed artist} (TEAC 2015; Burke 2011, 119,188).
Digital Technology – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
Towards the end of the 1980’s, low cost digital keyboards and devices were released globally by a number of manufacturers[8]. Digital synthesisers and samplers, triggered by a MIDI[9] controlled keyboard could now play a range of tones, sounds, and emulate instruments. Because a single key could trigger multiple sounds or chords[10], the technique and skill required to play each of the instruments became virtually redundant. Whilst initially the range of instruments emulated were fairly limited, over time this has grown exponentially, from acoustic – European[11] or world[12] – instruments to synthetic instruments[13]. Such resources allowed music producers to have numerous instrumentation options available to them to integrate into any one of their music productions, as their creativity desired.
This has also had of course an affect on the industry in terms of labour, rendering musicians with specialist skills to a certain degree redundant. “Digital sampling and simulation techniques have decreased studio producers’ dependence on hiring the services of live musicians. These trends apply virtually everywhere in the world” (Wallis 2001, 11). However, the positive of this technological development enabled the creation and development of specific electronic music genres, and social and cultural events such as the 1990’s based rave parties. (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295)
Over the next two decades technology continued to develop at an exponential rate, in terms of general devices[14], global communication network options[15] and music-making equipment[16]. “Renewed interest and wider adoption of DIY cultures and practices through 1) easy access to and affordability of tools and 2) the emergence of new sharing mechanisms” such as the internet had a prolific effect on the widespread interest of music production (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295).
Wallis noted recently five (5) five main current trends in the music and audio industry, three (3) of which are related to the scope of my Research Study: one being the “deregulation of existing analogue channels and the growth of the Internet and digital channels as global means for conveying music to businesses and consumers”; another being the “removal of national boundaries in distribution, leading to globalization of media products” (‘distribution’ excluded in this essay); and ‘technology’: “Widespread diffusion of new digital technologies for recording and distribution, providing wider access to technology with satisfactory quality at an affordable price” (Wallis 2001,10).
The Behringer company (Music Group 2015) commenced while the founder was studying audio engineering at a German University with insufficient supply of working order audio processing equipment. With limited access to equipment, Behringer who had a DIY electronics background, started repairing the existing inoperable devices, and then progressed to building additional devices for his own use. Behringer recalls about the mid 1980’s “there was simply a tremendous need for good and affordable sound equipment”. Behringer’s mission became “to provide professional products at prices every musician could afford”, creating as they claim a new “prosumer or home-recording market that had not existed before”. Whilst quality was an issue in the early years, by the mid-2000’s Behringer was a very well established provider as they had aspired to.
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] The biggest studios were owned and operated by large media companies like RCA, Columbia and EMI, who typically had their own electronics research and development divisions that designed and built custom-made analogue recording equipment and mixing consoles for their studios.
[2] later becoming known as audio engineers.
[3] Likewise, the smaller independent studios were often owned by skilled electronics engineers who designed and built their own analogue desks and other equipment. A good example of this is the famous Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, the site of many famous American pop recordings of the 1960s. Co-owner David S. Gold built the studio’s main mixing desk and many additional pieces of equipment and he also designed the studio’s unique trapezoidal echo chambers.
[4] In the 1970s the first large analogue 32 channel mixing consoles appeared. Mixing consoles now featured EQs and FX sends on all channels, and it became also possible to route signals from one channel to another (such desks are also called “inline mixing consoles”). In the mid 1970s Neve developed NECAM, the first computer-controlled moving fader automation. Many popular mixing console manufacturers debuted in the 1970s. Famous mixing console companies in the 1970s included AMS Neve, Solid State Logic, API, Harrison and Raindirk.
[5] concept of skilled and unskilled labour
[6] The Tascam Portastudio 144 was released in 1979, at a cost of approximately US$150. It was the world’s first four-track recorder based on a standard compact audio cassette tape (TEAC 2015) .
[7] In 1982, Bruce Springsteen released his solo album project “Nebraska”, recorded in his home, on a Tascam Portastudio 144 digital console. The album sold to platinum (Australia and the US) and gold (UK and Canada) levels, and was considered a success, making numerous top albums of the decade lists (Burke 2011; George-Warren et al. 2001) .
[8] Korg, Roland and Yamaha were the early manufacturers of digital synthesisers and samplers.
[9] Musical Instrument Device Input (MIDI) was created by a number of musical companies to allow the flow of digital signal between two or more digital devices (Gilreath 2010).
[10] Known as pads.
[11] Such as a double bass which I have seen many times in both European music orchestras and contemporary Jazz bands, but never played one.
[12] Such as a Kenyan Nyatiti which I have only seen in Kenya in the 1980’s.
[13] Such as a Jupiter-8 synthesiser which I saw being played live in Japan in the later 1980’s.
[14] Such as personal computers.
[15] A global communication network option – the internet – was termed in 1982, and grew within 5 years to 10,000 host sites. By the year 2000, the internet had 300,000 host sites, indicating the exponential growth that it was capable of into the future (Burgess 1997, 119).
[16] Such as those previously mentioned, namely digital samplers and digital interface.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2b (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
 Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Burke, David. 2011. “Heart of Darkness : Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska”. London: Cherry Red Books.
George-Warren, Holly and Patricia Romanowski. 2001. The Rolling Stone encyclopedia of rock & roll, edited by Jon Pareles: Touchstone.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the expert amateur: DIY projects, communities, and cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox:ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
Morawetz, David. 1974. “Employment implications of industrialisation in developing countries: a survey.” The Economic Journal: 491-542.
Music Group. 2015. “Behringer : our story.” Accessed 15th April, 2015. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017. 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2b Accessed 29th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 1 Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
TEAC. 2015. “TEAC TASCAM history.” Accessed 15th April, 2015. www.tascam.com.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Zagorski-Thomas, Simon. 2005. “The US vs the UK sound: meaning in music production in the 1970s.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 57-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
– @David L Page 15/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 20/04/2015
– updated @David L Page 10/06/2017
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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Critical Listening Part 3a

As I introduced in my blogs Critical listening part 2a & b [March 2015], aspiring audio engineers need to proactively and diligently develop their Critical Listening skills with regular and disciplined critical listening practice sessions. It will take time, practice and considerable dedication to learn to listen for the nuances of the cultural production – the genre, musical characteristics and the sonic qualities to a level of mastery.
Last month I introduced genre, musical characteristics and sonic qualities, followed by a first listening task example. In that reference track critical listening example, I introduced genre considerations, explored music characteristics in some detail, and then introduced the sonic qualities that supported the genre. Now that you have been practicing critical listening in dedicated sessions a couple of times per week over the past four weeks, I want to continue this month, outlining considerations and questions to stimulate your development of Critical Listening skills to a deeper level, focussing more closely on the third area, the sonic qualities of a production.

cooltext170963325809258

MIDAS Console_looking left

(DLP 2015)
In my blog Mixing Part 6 – effectively guiding creative artists through a task: process [May 2014] , I outlined Owsinski’s elements of mixing that he sees as common to all: session set up, gain structure, stereo balance, spectral, dynamics, time-domain and interest (Owsinski, 2013).  In this blog I will focus on these elements, making suggestions as to how you can use resources that you have access to as an aspiring engineer to assist in a deeper level of discovery of a reference track. I will then provide a second listening task example in my next blog Critical listening part 3b [April 2015].
As mentioned in last month’s blog [March 2015], audio engineering is a craft and art that relies not only the auditory, but also on visual cues as well.  Some of the tools I use include: my DAW, Pro Tools as the primary tool; and several plug-ins. But most importantly I rely on my ears and the enormous amount of experience as a hearing-able human I have.

The Human Ear

(The Jury Expert 2015)

Critical Listening – Musical Characteristics

~Music_staff Blue

(AE 2015a)

Session set up

As outlined in last month’s blog, the first step is to open a DAW such as Pro Tools, import the reference track into the session, and create a click track. The session will be used initially for three main purposes: to play back the track, and while listening assist you in determining: 1) the bpm of the track, 2) the time signature of the track, and 3) assigning markers to determine the structure or form of the track, noting down what musical elements (instruments) exist, and feature in the various stages of the song.  Having critically listened to the song many times over by this stage, we complete our critical listening analysis of the musical characteristics of the song, by deducing the harmonisation (chords) of the song.

Critical Listening – Sonic Qualities

Music_staff_+_notes_2560x1600.v1c

(AE 2015b)

Gain Structure

My goal in this second stage of the reference track critical listening analysis task is to consider the balance of the musical elements in terms of their amplitude levels (ie their volume) – overall and relative to each other. Whist I have a DAW session in front of me, looking at this screen while listening to the track over multiple times, I also look to the visual cues available to me. This is the levels displayed on the metres, and also the audio wave file image. I listen to the track several more times, specifically from this perspective, and note down all and any of my observations. Focus questions could include:
  • Are the metered levels excessive?
  • Do the metered levels maintain a degree of consistency throughout the piece?
  • How are the individual musical elements (instruments) levels relative to each other
  • How much inherent noise is present (noise floor)?
  • If so, to what degree?
  • How much headroom is present?
  • Based on your gain level analysis of this track, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, equipment used or techniques applied?

Stereo Image/Stereo Field Balance

full-2
The next step is to consider the stereo image. Audio engineers consider stereo image in two ways: the stereo image of the whole track/mix, or the stereo image of the individual musical elements (instruments) [Izhaki 2013, 69]. My goal in this third stage of the reference track critical listening analysis task is to consider the balance of the musical elements in terms of the stereo field – the left and right side imagery.
Initially, I am interested in determining if there are obvious left and right channels of the audio mix. It is interesting to look at the history of production, as different approaches have been experimented with. For example, some of the early Motown records featured the vocals in the centre, with bass and drums primarily in one channel, and the snare primarily in the other channel (Moore 2012, 52). In some of the early Beatles tracks the vocals were featured primarily in one channel, and the instruments of the band primarily in the other channel.  It was not until the 1970’s with the introduction of large format consoles that a normative approach to mixing had the drum kit sitting essentially in the middle of the stereo field (Moore 2012, 34).
As a critical listener, it would be foolish of me to to make any assumptions regarding the stereo field and the placement of the instruments. I want to understand how the engineers have spread out the various musical elements over the entire breadth of stereo field. I may do this by selecting the split into mono feature most DAWs in this era allow. This is a right-click feature when you have the audio wave form selected. It splits the stereo wave form into two distinct wave forms – one left, and one right. Once we have the stereo track split into two single mono tracks we are in a position to analyse them in greater detail (see my blog a second listening task example for how I apply this practically [April 2015]).
Sound stage/Sound stage environment
My next task here is to imagine and reproduce the sound stage on which this artist is imagined to be playing, with a rough estimate of the type of stage and dimensions, and where the instruments and musicians are located on that stage. A stereo phase vector scope display is useful here (I use IK Multimedia’s T-Racks CS as this is a simple well laid out metering tool that includes three amplitude metres – PPM and Perceived Loudness and RMS -, a stereo phase vector scope display, and a spectrometer), but I daresay that your ears and experience as a listening human will be your best resources. My advice, is to close your eyes, and imagine where the producer is attempting to transport you as the listener to.  I listen to the track several more times, specifically from this perspective, and note down all and any of my observations. Focus questions could include:
  • What can I hear in terms of a stereo image?
  • Draw a picture of all musical elements (instruments) you can hear?

 

– What musicians and instruments are performing?

 

– Where on the sound stage are the musicians and instruments likely to be, relative to the other musical elements (instruments) are around them?

 

– Which of the musical elements (instruments) are the main or featured instruments, and which instruments make up the rhythm section?

 

– Do these musical elements change during the performance as the song progresses?

 

– And if so, do the positions these musical elements have on the sound stage change?

 

– Based on your analysis of the stereo field of this track, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, the instruments or equipment used, or techniques applied?
Sound stage environment
At this time, it is also useful for me to consider the type of environment this artist is imagined to be playing in,  a rough estimate of the type of venue that the sound stage is located in, its likely dimensions, and the likely materials the walls – if any – are surrounding that sound stage. As we know from our studies of sound theory and acoustics, the space in which a performance occurs will influence the sonic qualities of all of the elements included in that performance. These are the instruments – including the vox – and any of the processing devices used by both the artists and the live engineers in and around the stage.
  • Where is this song likely to set (as you imagine the mix engineer has imagined it to be set in?)
    • indoors or outdoors?
    • if indoors – in a small venue, or a large venue?
    • if outdoors – in an urban environment or a rural environment?
    • if in a rural environment – in a valley or on a mountain?  in a forest or by the sea?
    • out of space?
  • What type of venue?
    • what is the likely imagined room size?
    • how high is the ceiling likely to be?
    • what are the likely materials on the walls, floor and ceiling of this imagined venue?
    • what effect are these materials to have on the mix acoustically/sonically?
    • is the venue filled with an audience, or empty?
    • what effect is the presence or lack of audience likely to have on the mix acoustically/sonically?
  • Based on your stereo image analysis of this track, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, equipment used or techniques applied?

Spectral Processing

My goal in this fourth stage of the reference track critical listening analysis task is to consider the balance of the musical elements in terms of their frequency range.  I listen to the track several more times, specifically from this perspective, and note down all and any of my observations.  Useful tools here are an equaliser and a spectrometer. I use a dedicated EQ here (such as Pro Tools 7 band EQ or Sonnox’s EQ), and IK Multimedia’s T-Racks CS as this is a simple well laid out metering tool that includes a spectrometer. Whilst the tools can be very useful for confirming specific frequency information,  your ears and experience as a human will be a very good starting resource. Again, close your eyes and listen the musical elements of the song, and their frequencies. Focus questions could include:
  • What can I hear in terms of spectral processing? List all spectral processing you can hear?
  • Referring back to the first stage of the this reference track critical listening analysis task, what are the musical elements (instruments) included in this song?
  • What are the frequency ranges of each musical element (instrument)?
  • Do they share any of their frequency range with any other musical element/s (instrument/s)?
    • if not, what is or are the other musical elements (instruments)?
    • is this other musical element or elements (instrument/s) one of the main or featured instruments, or is it a musical element (instrument) that makes up the rhythm section?
    • is there obvious masking present, with one instrument masking or covering up another instrument’s frequency range due to sharing or overlapping a similar frequency range?
    • if so, is this masking likely to exist deliberately for corrective or corrective purposes?
  • Does the amount of spectral processing applied to this track (or not) support the stereo image perspective as the producer has established?
  • Based on your frequency range analysis, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, equipment used or techniques applied?

Dynamic Processing

My goal in this fifth stage of the reference track critical listening analysis task is to consider the balance of the musical elements in terms of the dynamic range – overall and for each of the musical elements (instruments). I use a range of dedicated dynamics here (such as Pro Tools Dyn3 Compressor, Dyn3 Gate or Sonnox’s Dynamic), and IK Multimedia’s T-Racks CS as this is a simple well laid out metering tool.  I listen to the track several more times, specifically from this perspective, and note down all and any of my observations. Focus questions could include:
  • What can I hear in terms of dynamic processing? List all dynamic processing you can hear?
  • Looking at the audio wave image reveals the amount of energy at various points in the song. Is the signal a dynamic audio signal with lots of movement between amplitude levels?
  • Or the signal quite static, with little movement between amplitude levels?
  • Further, has there been any heavy limiting applied to the track, essentially flattening out the top of the wave form?
  • If so, has this been applied naturally through an analogue signal path by driving the gain very high?
  • Or via an external compressor/limiter during tracking, or in post-production?
  • Has there been any other dynamic processing applied – eg gating – for either corrective or creative measures?
  • Does the amount of dynamic processing applied to this track (or not) support the stereo image perspective as the producer has established?
  • Based on your dynamic analysis of this track, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, equipment used or techniques applied?

Time-domain Processing

My goal in this sixth stage of the reference track critical listening analysis task is to consider the balance of the musical elements in terms of their time-domain placement within the song – overall and for each of the musical elements (instruments). I listen to the track several more times, specifically from this perspective, and note down all and any of my observations. Focus questions could include:
  • What can I hear in terms of time-domain processing? List all time-domain processing you can hear?
  • How much of a time-domain processing tail exists on any of the musical elements (instruments) when I stop the track?
  • How obvious is the time-domain processing (and the presence of a tail)?
  • Is the same degree of time-domain processing applied to the mix overall, or just on one or several of the musical elements (instruments)?
  • Is the degree of time-domain processing likely to have been applied for corrective or creative purposes?
  • Does the amount of time-domain processing applied support the stereo image perspective as the producer has established?
  • Irrespective of the determined purpose of the time-domain processing, does it work within this musical style (genre)?
  • Based on your time-domain processing analysis of this track, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, equipment used or techniques applied?
  • Based on your time-domain processing analysis of this track, is there anything you can you deduce about the post-production session, equipment used or techniques applied?

Interest

My goal in this seventh stage of the reference track critical listening analysis is to consider the balance of the musical elements in terms of interest – overall and for each of the musical elements (instruments). I listen to the track several more times, specifically from this perspective, and note down all and any of my observations. Focus questions could include:
  • What can I hear in terms of points of interest (hooks for the listener) in this production? List all you can hear?
  • Have any of the following points of interest (hooks for the listener) been used in this production?
    • Form Hooks
    • Rhythmic Hooks
    • Harmonic Hooks
    • Melodic Hooks
    • Improvisational Hooks
    • Instrumentation Hooks
    • Arrangement Hooks
  • If so, describe how they have been used, and comment as to their significance (points of interest hooks for the listener) in this production
  • Have any of the following contrasts been used in this production?
    • Shade (light/dark)
    • Mood (happy/sad)
    • Tempo (fast/slow)
    • Frequency (high/low)
    • Structure (complex/simple)
    • Instrumentation
    • Timbre (ie ‘colour’)
  • If so, describe how they have been used, and comment as to their significance (points of interest hooks for the listener) in this production
  • Based on your analysis of this track in terms of hooks, is there anything you can you deduce about the original tracking session, equipment used or techniques applied?
  • Based on your analysis of this track in terms of hooks, is there anything you can you deduce about the post-production session, equipment used or techniques applied?

Summary

As I introduced in my blogs Critical listening part 2a & b [March 2015], aspiring audio engineers need to proactively and diligently develop their Critical Listening skills with regular and disciplined critical listening practice sessions. It will take time, practice and considerable dedication to learn to listen for the nuances of the cultural production – the genre, musical characteristics and the sonic qualities to a level of mastery.
Last month I introduced genre, musical characteristics and sonic qualities, followed by a first listening task example. In that reference track critical listening example, I introduced genre considerations, explored music characteristics in some detail, and then introduced the sonic qualities that supported the genre. Now that you have been practicing critical listening in dedicated sessions a couple of times per week over the past four weeks, I want to continue this month, outlining considerations and questions to stimulate your development of Critical Listening skills to a deeper level, focussing more closely on the third area, the sonic qualities of a production.
Using Owsinski’s (2013) elements of mixing  I have focussed on each element making suggestions as to how you as an aspiring engineer can use resources that you have access to, to assist in a deeper level of discovery of a reference track. I have listed a number of focus questions to assist you in focussing your critical listening sessions.  I have encouraged you to rely not only on audio, but also on visual cues as well.  Some of the tools I use include: my DAW, Pro Tools as the primary tool; and several plug-ins. But most importantly I rely on my ears and the enormous amount of experience as a hearing-able human I have.  In order to demonstrate the application of the suggestions and focus questions provided within this blog,  I have provided a second listening task example in my blog Critical listening part 3b [April 2015] .

Music_staff_+_notes_2560x1600.v1c

(AE 2015b)
In the coming months, we will develop our Critical Listening process to the next level, Critical and Analytical Listening.
References
AE 2015a Music note montage in the universe image courtesy of: Angelic Exorcism (AE) Studio Projects  Accessed 11th March 2015
AE 2015b Music note montage in the universe image courtesy of: Angelic Exorcism (AE) Studio Projects  Accessed 11th March 2015
DLP 2015 image courtesy of David L Page Accessed 9th April 2015
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Moore, Allan F. 2012. Song means: analysing and interpreting recorded popular song. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited.
Owsinski, Bobby. 2013. The mixing engineer’s handbook. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Page, David L. 2015. Critical listening Part 1  Accessed 9th April 2015
Page, David L. 2015. Critical listening Part 2a  Accessed 9th April 2015
Page, David L. 2015. Critical listening Part 2b   Accessed 9th April 2015
Page, David L. 2014.  Mixing part 6 – effectively guiding creative artists through a process  r 2014]  Accessed 9th April 2015
Pulsating image courtesy of: Image Accessed 15th January, 2016
The Jury Expert. 2015. Man listening image courtesy of: The Jury Expert Accessed 2nd February, 2015
– ©David L Page 10/04/2015
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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