History Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music-production

This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016a) for the previous blog.

Maypole Dance.P1

(Maypole 2018a)

Mainstream popular music-making practitioners draw on broader lineage

Musical hybridity is prevalent in most approaches to music-making, particularly roots-based approach music. Mainstream music developed out of traditional roots-based forms of music such as blues, country, folk, bluegrass and jazz musical styles. Fused into an ever-growing range of hybrid musical styles such as rhythm and blues, soul, pop, rockabilly, rock n’ roll, and its various hybrids of country rock, folk rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock and rock n’ soul. With large record labels in control of studios, mainstream music-making was a commercial venture. Innovation of technology or workflows would generally not be considered until the early adopters of such technology and workflows had demonstrated the benefits (Martin & Hornsby 1979, 58-61). Mainstream music-making benefited from inventive creative practice in the studio by a range of innovators and early adopters in the 1950’s and early 1960’s such as Les Paul, Phil Spector and Frank Zappa (Moorefield 2005, i; Cotter 2002, 593-594).
Freak Out_Zappa.1966.album cover
(Zappa, 1966)
However, it was not until 1966 that mainstream music-making – such as the Beatles and George Martin, and Brian Wilson – adopted the creative practice of Paul, Spector and Zappa[1].
(Beatles,  1966)       (Beach Boys,1966)       (Beatles,  1967)
In the mid to late 1960’s, mainstream music connected with the lineage of experimental music forms. Holmes describes the merging of roots-based approaches to music, and electroacoustic and sonic art-based approaches to music in his Chapter “Rock, Space Age Pop, and Turntablisim” (2012, 442) from the era of the Beatles. Holmes notes McCartney and Lennon’s interest in experimental forms of music-making such as Cage and Stockhausen, their adoption of the Moog Synthesiser (2012, 443-446); discusses Pink Floyd (2012, 448); Emerson, Lake and Palmer (2012, 450); and the Beach Boys, and their adoption of the electro-Theramin (2012, 455).
(Emerson, Lake & Palmer,  1970)     (Pink Floyd,  1973)
It was perhaps Brian Eno who continued on the legacy of inventive creative practice in the traditional studio that Paul, Spector, Martin and Wilson had laid (Moorefield 2005, 51). Eno has produced a large number of albums that are stylistically diverse: pop, rock, and progressive rock. Eno’s body of musical work is heavily dependent on technology – so much so, “it could not have existed in any previous age” (Tamm 1988, 63). Eno conceives the studio as an instrument, using the technological devices for purposes that the original manufacturers may or may not have originally intended. His “sound-altering devices are always changing” (Tamm 1988,73).
(Eno,  1974a)                   (Eno,1974b)                    (Eno,  1975a)
However, it is the musical style that he created that he is now perhaps become best known for: ambient music (Tamm 1988, 1). This form of music was not roots-based music-making. This was a form of music that drew on a lineage of music-making very distant to that of roots-based music and traditional instruments such as voice, guitars, bass and drums.
(Eno,  1975b)                (Eno,1978a)                (Eno,  1978a)
Eno released his first solo ambient album in 1978, Ambient 1: Music for Airports. This album’s music hinges “not on what a musicologist might be inclined to call their ‘purely musical qualities’ of melody, harmony, rhythm and so on – but rather on aspects of production and engineering, on how the recording studio was used to produce a particular kind of sound texture” (Tamm 1988, 63). As a self-confessed non-musician, Eno commenced composing in the studio, rather than the traditional method of arriving to a studio with a completed composition, in order to record the piece. “(I)n-studio composition’ is the result of the multi-track idea ‘that composition is the process of adding more’“ (Tamm 1988, 64).
“In his 1979 lecture “The Studio as Compositional Tool,” first given …. in New York, Eno shared his ideas about recording, composing, and producing in the studio. His talk makes clear that he is already at that time quite aware of the implications of his work, ….. and ….. the history of making records. He places the beginning of his involvement as producer-composer at the dawn of the sixteen-track studio, circa 1970” (Moorefield 2005, 53).
Brian Eno in his London studio.2014.jpg
Eno in his London studio in 2014 (Dark Shark 2016)
With the exponential development of technology over the past four decades, the contemporary DIY music-making practitioner can now access – at an affordable price – a very wide range of digital or digital virtual technology capable of producing cultural productions to an industry standard. There are infinite choices of: technology, and combinations of technology; different sites, and combinations of sites; workflows, and combinations of workflows; a contemporary DIY music-making practitioner can compose with. There is infinite choice in which to create one’s own unique sound, in order to express one’s own unique voice. Progressing the legacy of the likes of Paul, Spector, Martin, Wilson and Eno, the contemporary studio – irrespective of a project studio or a portable studio – is now more than ever a creative compositional workspace:
“(T)he studio is where composition (not just recording or even arranging) takes place, and what is being made is not a replication or extension of a concert experience, but something altogether different” (Moorefield 2005, 54).
Eno believes the process actually likens music-makers practice to that of other creative practitioners, such as painters. Using a studio and its technology as a compositional tool affords the practitioner a high degree of flexibility to add, subtract, or to rearrange aspects that have already been laid out (Homer 2009, 91).
George Martin_Painting with Sound
Martin was a practitioner who understood the idea of “painting with sound” (Kleon, 2016)
         (Eno & Byrne 1980)                                    (Eno & Byrne,  1981)
As the decades advanced, the legacy of Paul, Spector, Zappa, Martin and Eno gathered momentum. Music styles and approaches to production were appropriated; drawing on different technologies; using many and varied unconventional sites; using converged and conflated workflows. Hybridity was gathering momentum…..

Maypole Dance.P2.jpg

(Maypole 2018b)
[1] I will discuss Frank Zappa’s impact on mainstream music-making in a later section on experimental music-makers
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History of Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios (Page 2016b).
References
Beach Boys, The. 1966. Pet Sounds. Capitol. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1967. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1966. Revolver. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
Cotter, Jim. 2002. “Frank Zappa (1940-1993).” In Music of the twentieth-century Avant-Garde: a biocritical sourcebook, edited by Larry Sitsky, 593-598. London: ABC-CLIO.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer. 1970. Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian in his London studio, 2014 image courtesy of: Dark Shark Access after 1st May, 2017
Eno, Brian. 1978b. Music for films. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Eno, Brian. 1978a. Ambient 1: music for airports. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Eno, Brian. 1975b. Discreet music. EG. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian. 1975a. Another green world. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian. 1974b. Taking Tiger Mountain. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian. 1974a. Here come the warm jets. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian and David Byrne. 1981. My life in the bush of ghosts. Sire/Warner Bros. Compact CD.
Eno, Brian & David Byrne 1980 image image courtesy of: Talking Heads session, Different Fur Studios Access after 16th May, 2016
Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
Holmes, Thom. 2012. Electronic and experimental music: technology, music, and culture. 4th ed. New York: Routledge.
Homer, Matthew. 2009. “Beyond the studio: the impact of home recording technologies on music creation and consumption.” Nebula 6 (3): 85-99.
Martin on sound on sound image courtesy of: Kleon blog site  Access after 16th May, 2016
Martin, George and Jeremy Hornsby. 1979. All You Need Is ears: the inside personal story of the genius who created the Beatles. New York: St martin’s Press.
May pole image 2018b image courtesy of  Revels DC  Accessed 31st January, 2018
May pole image 2018b image courtesy of  Personalised Ribbons Accessed 31st January, 2018
Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The producer as composer: shaping the sounds of popular music. London: MIT Press.
Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Page, David L. 2016b  History of Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios. Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. History of Music Production Part 4a – DIY Experimental Practice Influences Large Format Console Studios  Accessed 5th March, 2016
Tamm, Eric. 1995. Brian Eno: his music and the vertical color of sound. New York, NY: Da Capo Press.
Zappa, Frank and The Mothers of Invention. 1966. Freak out. Verve. Vinyl LP.
– ©David L Page 05/03/2016
– updated ©David L Page 16/05/2016
– updated ©David L Page 01/05/2017
– updated ©David L Page 31/01/2018
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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Aesthetic Processing

This blog is a continuation of a series. See here for the previous blog (2016a).

Psychadelic Rock image_Ultimate Guitar.com

Psychedelic Rock Music

At the outset of my research study, I imagined my creative practice was to be a five (5) track EP of original compositions. The song style was to be a roots-based, a style I had been accustomed to writing over many decades. However, I wanted to ensure I was challenging my practitioner self, and therefore reflected on sub-genres I had not yet explored. Over the first few months of the pilot study, I found my self returning to my musical influences[1] to garner some inspiration. As part of this process, I investigated and developed my understanding of the history of music production[2]As described in my blog here (2016a), I had always loved psychedelic rock but had no experience in producing that style. I therefore turned my focus to learning as much about this style of music as I could.
As part of this process, I began to experiment within the digital virtual environment with processing audio to arrive at a psychedelic aesthetic. This blog is a record of one of those experiments in sound processing techniques, rather than using external hardware experimental processing as they had done in the 1950s and 1960s.

Experimentation

Sample Event 0  (click to access audio)

I commenced with a recording of a Taylor 815ce acoustic guitar, capturing the sound with both a DI (via a built piezo pickup) and several contact microphones attached to the body of the guitar. The first track is a segment of an original acoustic recording – a sample, or sound event – , with no processing applied.

20160225 Pro Tools Main Track 00_00_1

 

Sample Event 1  (click to access audio)

In the first sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event – Soundtoys’ Echoboy, with the setting Infinite Dark + Dirty.

Soundtoys_Echoboy_Infinite Dark + Dirty.P1.png

 

Sample Event 2 (click to access audio)

In the second sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event –Soundtoys’ Echoboy, with the setting Darkening Circles.

Soundtoys_Echoboy_Darkening Circles

 

Sample Event 3  (click to access audio)

In the third sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event –Soundtoys’ Echoboy, with the setting Wreck-o-plex.
Soundtoys_Echoboy_Wreck o plex

 

Sample Event 4  (click to access audio)

In the fourth sample, I applied a digital virtual spectral-based processor to the sound event -Soundtoys’ Filterfreak, with the setting Phasey Sweep.

Soundtoys_FilterFreak_Phasey Sweep

Sample Event 5  (click to access audio)

In the fifth sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic, spectral & time-based processor to the sound event –Soundtoys’ Crystalizer, with the setting Koursar.

Soundtoys_Crystalizer_Koursar

 

Sample Event 6  (click to access audio)

In the sixth sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic-based processor to the sound event –Soundtoys’ Devil-Loc, with the setting Maximum Pain at full settings.

Soundtoys_Devil-Loc_Maximm Pain.Max settings

 

Sample Event 7 (click to access audio)

In the seventh sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic-based processor to the sound event –Soundtoys’ Devil-Loc, with the setting Maximum Pain at partial settings.

Soundtoys_Devil-Loc_Maximm Pain.Backed off Max settings.png

 

Sample Event 8 (click to access audio)

In the eighth sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic & time-based processor to the sound event – UBK’s Sly-Fi Deflector.

UBK_Sly Fi_Deflector

 

Sample Event 9 (click to access audio)

In the ninth sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic & time-based processor to the sound event – UBK’s Sly-Fi Kaya, with the default setting.

UBK_Sly Fi_Kaya_default

 

Sample Event 10  (click to access audio)

In the tenth sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic & time-based processor to the sound event – UBK’s Sly-Fi Kaya, with the setting Bass 7 Tubes Down.

UBK_Sly Fi_Kaya_Bass-7TubesDown.png

 

Sample Event 11  (click to access audio)

In the eleventh sample, I applied a digital virtual dynamic & time-based processor to the sound event – UBK’s Sly-Fi Kaya, with the setting Overt ill-advised.

UBK_Sly Fi_Kaya_Overt-IllAdvised.png

 

Sample Event 12  (click to access audio)

In the twelfth sample, I applied a digital virtual spectral & time-based processor to the sound event –Eventide’s Quadravox Harmonizer.

Eventide_Quadravox_Harmoniser

 

Sample Event 13  (click to access audio)

In the thirteenth sample, I applied a digital virtual spectral & time-based processor to the sound event –Eventide’s Octavox Harmonizer.

Eventide_Octavox_Harmoniser.png

 

Sample Event 14  (click to access audio)

In the fourteenth sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event –Moogerfooger’s Ring Modulator.

Moogerfooger_Ring Modulator.png

 

Sample Event 15  (click to access audio)

In the fifteenth sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event –Zynaptiq’s Adaptiverb, with the setting Sci Fi Transition Rift.

Zynaptiq_Adaptiverb_SciFiTransitionRift

 

Sample Event 16  (click to access audio)

In the sixteenth sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event –Zynaptiq’s Adaptiverb, with the setting Sci Fi Temporal Anomaly Atmo.

Zynaptiq_Adaptiverb_SciFiTemporalAnomolyAtmo.png

 

Sample Event 17  (click to access audio)

In the seventeenth sample, I applied a digital virtual spectral-based processor to the sound event – iZotope’s Neutron I, with the setting Heavy 808 Distortion.

iZotope_Neutron1_Heavy 808 Distortion.png

 

Sample Event 18  (click to access audio)

In the eighteenth sample, I applied a digital virtual time-based processor to the sound event –iZotope’s Dynamic Digital Delay.

iZotope_Digital Delay.png

 

Sample Event 19  (click to access audio)

In the nineteenth sample, I applied a digital virtual synthesis instrument-based processor to the sound event – Native Instruments’ Absynth 5, with the setting 808 Kick.

Native Instruments_Absynth_808 Kick.png

Summary

Whilst it was a fun practice task applying a range of digital virtual processing to the sound event  sample – dynamic, spectral, time-domain and various combinations of these – , I noticed that the processing alone – the processing applied to the sound event samples – did not inspire my creativity for another production project. The processing I applied were merely colourful effects in my mind, not influential sounds to ultimately influence the direction of a composition. As I continue to delve into this style and experiment in multi-textured complex layers of music and sound that characterise that particular musical style, I will continue to investigate the various technologies and processing techniques advocates of psychedelic rock music used. I will likely explore external hardware technologies, and feel at this time I will need to be more inquisitive with less predictable processing options. I am looking forward to progressing my sonic compositions and sound designs using a range of technologies. I look forward to this next chapter in my creative practice.
[1] See Page 2015c https://davidlintonpage.com/2015/05/30/doctoral-research-study-part-2f
[2] See Page 2016b https://davidlintonpage.com/2016/02/20/history-music-production-part-4a-diy-experimental-practice-influences-large-format-console-studios; and Page 2016c https://davidlintonpage.com/2016/03/05/history-music-production-part-4b-experimental-practice-changes-the-approach-to-mainstream-music-production

onion-layers

It is intended for this series of creative practice-related blogs to continue here (Page 2016e).
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2016e. https://davidlintonpage.com/2016/02/29/doctoral-pilot-study-part-2c Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David. L 2016d. Soundcloud.  DLP Soundcloud  Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David L. 2016c. https://davidlintonpage.com/2016/03/05/history-music-production-part-4b-experimental-practice-changes-the-approach-to-mainstream-music-production Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David L. 2016b. https://davidlintonpage.com/2016/02/20/history-music-production-part-4a-diy-experimental-practice-influences-large-format-console-studios  Accessed 24th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. https://davidlintonpage.com/2016/02/17/doctoral-pilot-study-part-2b  Accessed 24th February, 2016
Page, David L. 2015c. https://davidlintonpage.com/2015/05/30/doctoral-research-study-part-2f  Accessed 24th February, 2016
Pro Tools 12 Sample Event Images courtesy of: David L Page  Accessed 25th February, 2016
Psychedelic Rock image courtesy of Ultimate Guitar.com Accessed 5th February, 2016
– ©David L Page 25/02/2016
– updated©David L Page 05/03/2016
– updated©David L Page 01/05/2017
– updated©David L Page 21/08/2018
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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History Music Production Part 4a – DIY experimental practice influences Large Format Console Studios

CH2_Les Paul_Tracking Mary

(Paul, 2016)

Development of production techniques in mainstream popular music-making

The making of mainstream popular music has developed exponentially over the past five (5) decades, in terms of musical style, site (creative location), technology and workflow (Owsinski 2013, Huber and Runstein 2013; Izhaki 2013; Gilreath, 2010). As a flow on from both globalisation and technological development, hybridity in mainstream music-making is ever increasing. Musical styles in mainstream popular music draw upon an ever-widening lineage of musical style influences (McLaughlin & McLoone 2000, 187, 190,192, 193). The trend of hybridity, innovation and adoption of technologies and workflows from other approaches to music-making however is not new to the roots-based approach to music-making.
Throughout the 1900’s there was continual experimentation and inventiveness in the industry, enabling a recording industry to develop to what it is today. However, it was in the late 1940’s that saw a noticeable change to the approach to music-making, by a musician who was motivated by trying to make his guitar-playing sound more textured that what it sounded as a single instrument. As a guitarist in the 1950’s, Les Paul experimented in his home with low-level recording devices[1], recording and over-dubbing guitar parts (Théberge 2004). Paul experimented with, adopting principles that he had observed in other music-making approaches[2], and applying them in new and innovative ways. Paul has been attributed with the mantle of the first modern recording engineer, using the recording process in the studio for creative effect. Paul’s experiments with tape players and the “placements of recording and playback heads“ enable him to multi-track his guitar parts with just one tape recording device (Moorefield 2005,4). Further experiments placing playback heads behind the recording head revealed out of sync playback, “resulting in now-standard effects such as phasing, flanging, chorus, and delay”(Moorefield 2005,5). The results enabled Paul to have his electric guitar recordings appear more layered, more complex, more textured. Paul went on to achieve considerable commercial success as both an artist (guitarist) and a recording engineer.
Phil Spector + Larry Levine_SoS.20170428
(Sound on Sound 2017)
A few years later, American Phil Spector reimagined Paul’s creative process, creating his own recording workflow. Spector progressed Paul’s legacy by using studio and musical equipment he had access to, in ways the manufacturers had originally designed for them to be used. However unlike Paul, Spector saw the potential of his role as more than just an engineer. Developing his own unique approach to production, Spector saw the role of producer as being in control of the creative process, in control of the artist. In the Spector model, the artist was a commodity in the production process, where Spector was producing them:
“By taking total artistic control of a recording, Spector in fact redefined what it meant to produce a record” (Moorefield 2005, 12).
Spectors Wall of Sound_The Wrecking Crew
(MPR News 2016)
Spector looked beyond the previous generation’s approach to production, to merely capture traditional band format instruments for inclusion on the recording. Spector immersed himself in the newly envisaged role of creative producer, exercising curiosity and adventure in every aspect of the production process. Unlike his predecessors, Spector was inventive with his approach to instrumentation, arrangement, production and post-production processes:
“He handles the control dials like an electronic maestro, tuning various instruments or sounds up, down, out, every which way, using things like two pianos, a harpsichord and three guitars on one record; then re-recording the whole thing with esoteric dubbing and over-dubbing effects—reinforcing instruments or voices—coming out with what is known throughout the industry as “the Spector sound.” (Wolfe, 43 in Moorefield 2005, 10)
Spector with console_1960's
(Guerrieri, 2016)
As one of the earliest examples of a commercially successful creative producer[3], Spector composed a musical and sonic wall of sound[4] – multi-layered, complex-textured productions – more than what had been created previously. Spector’s approach to the production process was:
not just with the overdub and mix, but also by using the studio as an acoustic space, certain microphones, and unconventional instrumentation”(Tankel 1990).
Spector approached the studio as that of a composer, using the studio and any musical and sonic equipment within, to create an extravagant music and sonic production experience for the listener[5].
“the studio was a musical instrument, to be tuned and practiced on and performed with. The degree to which he took this idea was considered excessive by some at the time” (Moorefield 2005,14).
In just a few short years, Spector had established a new legacy for the recording industry. Spector developed the definition of a record producer, and the approach to production
Spector Album_The Wall of Sound
(Spector 1981)
“Whereas the craft of the studio technician and producer had formerly been to create for the home listener a perfected version of an artist, band, or orchestra in concert, the rules of the game were now changing: the object was no longer to create a flawless “real-life” experience, but rather to use the available technological resources imaginatively in order to create sounds that were no longer functioning within the metaphor of realism which had previously been the norm. Thus, by the mid-sixties, “manipulating technology” had come to encompass a whole lot more than mic placement or fader levels (Moorefield 2005,15-16).
Turning Songs into Records: The Many Roles of Producers in Popular Music (PBS Learning Media, 2017)
Once Spector had some success in the US, he moved to the UK to and it is here where his multi-layered, complex-textured approach to production influenced British artists and the UK production scene. George Martin and the Beatles embraced the experimental approach to production, exercising curiosity and adventure in every aspect of the production process. The Beatles, Martin and his studio engineer Geoff Emerick became very inventive with instrumentation, arrangement, production and post-production processes (Emerick & Massey 2007, pp6-14). Tape recorders and creative processing was explored to full effect, inheriting the legacy and techniques from both Spector and Paul. Again in their first experimentation into psychedelic style music production with “Tomorrow Never Knows”, Lennon’s voice has a hallucinogenic quality:
“This effect was achieved by an early use of a tape recorder’s record head being used for playback as well as recording. When played back in combination with the signal from the playback head, the gap between the two heads created a delay which could be time-varied according to the speed at which the tape was played back. This is the same principle used by the once widely popular effects unit known as the Echoplex.   (Moorefield 2005, 31)
Tomorrow Never Knows_Lennon+McCartney_sheet music
(Lennon McCartney 1966)
However, Martin did innovate the workflow one step further: “a number of tape loops …. are featured prominently in the song and give it its unique character”. Martin then used each of the channels on the studio console to highlight these loops by raising the volume of each, one at a time. Much like a musician could do on an electronic organ, Martin was now using equipment within the recording studio as a musical instrument (Moorefield 2005, 30).
[1] Paul was experimenting with some of the earliest forms of domestic tape players available.
[2] I will discuss the influence other approaches to music-making had on roots-based music-makers such as Les Paul, in a later section on experimental music-makers
[3] Perhaps the best example of Spector’s production approach was with the 1963 global hit by The Ronnettes, “Be My Baby” (Moorefield 2005,12).
[4] Spector became famous for his production approach, know as the Spector ‘Wall of Sound’ (Moorefield 2005,14).
[5] Other musicians and composers were experimenting with music and sonic production experience for the listener – such as John Cage , but were not realising the same degree of commercial success.
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month with History of Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music production  (Page 2016).
References
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Guerrieri, Matthew. 2016 Via Spector and serendipity, the harpsichord invaded pop  Image courtesy of Boston Globe  Accessed 16th March, 2016
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.
Lennon, John & Paul McCatney. 1966 Tomorrow Never Knows. 45rpm Parlophone label. Image courtesy of Northern Songs
McLaughlin, Noel and Martin McLoone. 2000. “Hybridity and national musics: the case of Irish rock music.” Popular Music 19 (2): 181-199.
Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The producer as composer: shaping the sounds of popular music. London: MIT Press.
MPR News, 2016. Phil Spector Wall of Sound Accessed 16th March, 2016
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Owsinski, Bobby. 2013. The mixing engineer’s handbook. Boston: Cengage learning.
Page, David L. 2016. History of Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music production Accessed 5th March, 2016
Paul, Les. 2016. Les Paul tracking Mary Paul  Courtesy of Les Paul.com.  Accessed 20th February, 2016
PBS Learning Media, 2017. Turning Songs into Records: The Many Roles of Producers in Popular Music   Video courtesy of PBS Learning Media. Access 1st May, 2017
Sound on Sound, 2017 Classic Tracks – Ronettes – Be My Baby  Image courtesy of Sound on Sond.com magazine. Access 1st May, 2017
Spector, Phil. 1981. Wall of Sound Vinyl LP Phil Spector International label  Image courtesy of Discogs  Accessed 20th February, 2016
Tankel, J.D., 1990. The practice of recording music: Remixing as recoding. Journal of Communication, 40(3), pp.34-46.
Théberge, P., 2004. The network studio: Historical and technological paths to a new ideal in music making. Social Studies of Science, 34(5), pp.759-781.
– ©David L Page 20/02/2016
– updated ©David L Page 16/05/2016
– updated ©David L Page 01/05/2017
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.

History Music Production Part 5b – DIY Culture & Music

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

(Musical Styles/Genre 2016)

Musical styles (Genre) studies exemplifying changing practice in music production

I provide some examples of contemporary DIY music production practitioners, chosen because of the following: their presence in public mediums; are considered a source of information and influence to the wider music production field; are practitioners who have rejected traditional recording practice, in favour of DIY Music Production practice; and have exhibited characteristics of DIY culture. Due to the diversity of the contemporary DIY music production practitioner and their musical style (genre) interests, I have included examples from three contrasting musical styles (genres): indie rock, electronic music production, and hybrid musical styles.

1. Musical style (Genre) Study A: Music production practices in indie rock

Dandy Warhols and Tame Impala

 (Dandy-Warhols 2012)                            (Tame Impala 2012a)
Similar to a few artists since the 1950’s (Burgess 2014, 52-53; Emerick and Massey 2006, 306; Burgess 2014, 93), Dandy Warhol’s were signed to a record label, achieved commercial success, completed their record company contractual obligations, and rejected traditional production practice to self-produce. They procured physical space, carried out DIY renovations, and improvised production using assorted technology[1] (Davie 2012, 46-50; Dandy Warhols 2010). Total oversight provided flexibility, allowing choice of technology choice, how it was to be applied, and to what standards they aspired to – commercial, technical, creative, affective or social. “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). Musician, songwriter, producer Kevin Parker {aka Tame Impala} – a contemporary DIY music production practitioner with commercial, creative and affective practice motives, has “total disregard for convention”. Similar to the Dandy Warhols, Parker prefers to experiment, producing Tame Impala’s 2012b “Lonerism” in a rented apartment with a range of technology of varying quality. Not necessarily following efficient practice, Parker’s openly disregards accepted technical processes and standards. The album received critical acclaim, described as “cosmic mangling of sound and makeshift technique”. Parker’s production and post-production skills “are sought-after by like-minded artists”: artists, who no doubt, aspire to non-convention and preparedness to deviate from accepted industry standards (Davie 2012, 44-45; Tame Impala. 2012b).

2.Musical style (Genre) Study B: Music production practices in electronic music production

Danger Mouse and Goyte

           (Danger Mouse 2004)                         (Goyte 2011a)
Brian Burton {aka Danger Mouse[2]} experimented with the sampling process of the day[3] by fusing two well-known albums[4], and shared it with his local community. Connecting to his creative, affective and social practice motives, the community responded, shared it online with the broader community, attracting the attention of the US authorities for Danger Mouse’s breach of copyright[5] (Gunderson 2004). Much conversation and debate ensured, attracting more attention, and his ‘remix’ went ‘viral’. Danger Mouse’s name became infamous to both consumers and music industry establishment as a production talent (Johnsen et al 2007; Väkevä 2010, 61-66). Affirming the ‘possibilities’ of DIY, the ‘event’ influenced aspiring practitioners, inspiring them to similar innovative and creative acts in their attempt to gain notoriety, and “stand out in the crowd” (Hracs et al. 2013, 1144, 1149). Building on his prior releases, Danger Mouse experienced a rapid rise to fame and respect as a production practitioner (Davie 2014, 38; Duckworth 2005, 148). Similarly, DIY Wally de Backer {aka Goyte} wanted to build upon his prior releases and explore a new level of creative and affective practice for his third album by incorporating original acoustic samples into the process[6]. Recording samples in his project studio using a range of technologies[7], Goyte created a range of virtual instruments, able to be played in unique ways that the original acoustic instruments could not have[8]. By “virtualizing the instrument this way”, Goyte was able to create sonic qualities or textures not previously heard. The production received critical acclaim and awards worldwide (Goyte 2011c; Goyte 2011b). Additionally, as a prosumer Goyte used technology as he desired, choosing to record below high-fidelity standards (Davie 2015, 34): “some songs I sang into the microphone of the MacBookPro – for whatever reason it sounded really good in that room and I left it in the final mix” (Holder 2011). Today’s developed technology allows 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). The portable studio has enabled a new environment for DIY production (Huber and Runstein 2014, 78).

3. Musical style (Genre) Study C: Hybrid music production practice

Brian Eno & Trent Reznor

(Brian Eno 1984a)                            (Nine Inch Nails 2008a)
Early in his career, Eno recognized a fundamental difference between live performance and studio practice in the way music moved from a “transient and ephemeral experience, to one that could be replayed as many times as one had access to the recording” (2004, 127). Having multiple listening opportunities with recorded productions allowed the brain to hear different elements and dimensions of the composed music, each time a track is listened to. Approaching the “studio as an instrument in order to create new sonic worlds”, Eno focussed on creating multi-dimensional sonic and textural narratives, to entertain the listener and to hold the consumer’s attention each time they revisited that particular track (2004,127). Rejecting traditions of music and audio industry training and standards, Eno commenced self-producing music reflecting his creative and affective desires. Creator of the ‘ambient music’ genre (Eno 1984b; Tamm 1995), Eno likens his practice to that of a painter, “working directly with a material, working directly on a substance”. A contemporary practitioner has exponentially greater options available to them[9], without the need for compositional and instrumental skill and training as required a decade ago (Eno, 2004, 127 -129). Similarly, Reznor rejected traditional production practice early, choosing instead a hybrid approach of analogue and digital working environments to drive Nine Inch Nails’ economic, creative, affective and social practice desires. Using a range of instruments, sonic qualities and textures and workflows from diverse genres, he created ‘industrial rock’ (Nine Inch Nails 2008b; Wikström 2013; Anderson 2008; Young and Collins 2010, McIntyre 2012,149). Motivated by a rapidly decentralizing industry, Reznor embraced new opportunities, proactively engaging the consumer, inviting them to interact in the production process (Stone 2009; Väkevä 2010, 61). Reznor‘s acceptance and openness for change allowed for “new forms of artistry” (Väkevä 2010, 59; Anderson 2008). The “relationship between audience, producer, and artist fundamentally changed with the digitalization of music”. Prosumers no longer considered the elements of production and distribution of cultural productions “as separate functions or responsibilities, but as one process” (Miller 2013, 37). Technology enabled and encouraged access to music production for just about anyone. In turn, the contemporary prosumer interacted with the developing technology in creative or experimental ways, differently to their predecessors or how the manufacturers had intended (Tepper and Hargittai 2009, 233). Such misuse of technology, likely to be the result of either disregarding or not knowing what were previously accepted standards, often reveal innovative sonic textures that capture the imagination of peers or consumers, such as the use of Autotune when used by the producers of Cher, and later adopted by T-Pain as a vocal signature (Antares 2015; Neyfakh 2014; Sillitoe 1999). As both Eno and Reznor demonstrated, use of alternative technology or practice {creative, affective, social or effective practice}, derived from development or innovation, influences new genres of music to emerge (Langford 2010, 15). Such creativity and innovation is essential for the health and longevity of the discipline, and irrespective of the status of the practitioner, every one contributes to its development. Creativity and innovation “occurs in the plethora of smaller firms representing a multitude of cultures and subcultures, … where new ideas result from experimentation” (Moran 2011,63): “most of the real business of music production starts at the local level, where creativity blossoms in a myriad of different forms” (Wallis 2001, 11).

Conclusion

Contemporary DIY music production practice has been profoundly influenced with the increasing decentralisation in the audio and music industry since the 1980’s via a range of factors including: the development and adoption of digital recording technologies, and; the exponential influence of global communication networks on music production and consumption practices. Following these factors, DIY perspectives on cultural production have become particularly influential in music production, in many ways redefining the field today. Enabled by these factors, contemporary DIY music production practitioners are and rebellious practitioners with eclectic backgrounds, musical tastes and skill levels. They are likely motivated by creative, affective or social practice, rather than effective practice, making aesthetic choices over technical ‘standards’, and working in what could be considered ineffective or inefficient workflows. They are more likely to be passionate hobbyists, who want to create, express and be heard, using project or portable technology as either a studio or an instrument, probably in a way that was not originally intended by the manufacturer, and yet creating unique sonic qualities or textures, influencing new genres to emerge.
Due to the relative immaturity of the discipline, the diverse and eclectic nature of the contemporary DIY Music Production practitioner, and the shortage of detailed information describing process, an opportunity exists for a discipline endorsed research study into the practices of a range of contemporary DIY music production practitioners. This should be conducted with the goal of developing accepted standards and a model of contemporary DIY music production ‘best practice’ principles, to offer genuine guidance and support to contemporary DIY music production practitioners in the pursuit of their practice, irrespective of their motivation, or combination of motivations, for creative, affective, effective or social practice.
Footnotes
[1] The Dandy Warhols use an eclectic assortment of analogue, digital and virtual equipment, in addition to just about any device that they can see a possibility of creating new and interesting sonic qualities or textures (Davie 2012, 46-50).
[2] Danger Mouse is an example of a contemporary DIY music production practitioner, who commenced as an acoustic musician (Burton is an accomplished drummer), and then found a ‘voice’ in the DIY world of self-production within his bedroom project studio (Davie 2014, 38-43). Danger Mouse “had already released four CD mixes” prior to the ‘Grey Album’ event (Gunderson 2004; Danger Mouse 2004)
[3] Known as Remixing, this aesthetic practice commenced in an early form in the late 1970s when dance venues started to gain popularity. Initially, DJs used two turntables to play the danceable sections of different songs, omitting the less danceable parts of songs, by alternating the album and track they were playing. Artists then saw an opportunity to have their songs extended’ for the dance market, by re-recording a dance version, altering the structure of the song[3], in order for it to be more conducive to dance venues. This then led to the development of a dance genre. With the development of digital technologies and portable tape machines, DJ’s took the dance idea, and started using a selection of well-known samples from previous hit records[see footnote 3], in a very repetitive way. Known as sampling, it has continued to develop exponentially, especially as technologies developed to include virtual technologies. What was once restricted to DJ’s syncing abilities, record companies, and via tape playing devices, could now be done easily within a virtual digital audio workstation (DAW). The technology was now whatever a practitioner wanted it to be: in its original intended use as a multi-track recorder, or; as a studio; or, as an instrument. Such diversity of use enabled the proliferation of the genre: remixing. Essentially mixing, or blending two released tracks together, required little to no instrument skill, just a ‘feel’ for what sounded good to them. Access to technology now allowed practitioners to pursue ‘affective practice’, following their emotion, allowing their creativity to produce anything they could dream or imagine. Universal in moving people to engage with music is the emotional aspect (Bennett 2005, 117; Hodges and Sebald 2011, 68).
[4] Known as the “Grey album”, it was an innovative fusion of the Beatles’ “White Album” and Jay-Z’s “Black Album” (Davie 2014, 34; Danger Mouse 2004).
[5] Danger Mouse, demonstrating characteristics synonymous with DIY culture, had not sought the owners permission before he attempted his remix, and then supplied it publically. The fact that it was not sold, and Danger Mouse nor his friends stood to make no income out of the sharing of the product meant that in theory he was not breaching copyright (Gunderson 2004).
[6] Goyte had made his first two albums using samples from prepared sample libraries. For his third album, Goyte wanted to record acoustic samples to use within his digital instruments, effectively creating unique instruments (Goyte 2011c).
[7] Goyte used both a MacBookPro and a multi-track reel to reel recorder (Goyte 2011c).
[8] Goyte used innovative processing techniques to create a range of virtual instruments, played in ways that the original acoustic instruments could not have – rhythmically, harmonically and even melodically (Goyte 2011c).
[9] Greater music production options, in terms of diverse sample libraries and both digital and virtual instruments that can bend, morph, twist, transpose, delay, or reverse any original signal that is fed into it.
This blog will continue next month. It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.

 

References
Anderson, Nate. 2008. “Reznor makes $750,000 even when the music is free.” Accessed May 20, 2015. http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2008/03/reznor-makes-750000-even-whenthe-music-is-free.
Antares. 2015. “Auto-tune.” Accessed 7th May, 2015. http://www.antarestech.com.
Bennett, Andy. 2005. Culture and everyday life. New York, NY: Routledge.
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Dandy Warhols, The. 2010. The Dandy Warhols: best of the capitol years 1995-2007. Capitol Records. Compact Disc.
Dandy Warhols. 2012. This Machine image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Danger Mouse. 2004. The Grey Album image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology 2015 (106): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2014. “Danger Mouse: producer of the decade.” Audio Technology (100): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
Duckworth, William. 2005. Virtual music: How the web got wired for sound. New York, NY: Routledge.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Eno, Brian. 2004. “The studio as compositional tool.” In Audio culture: readings in modern music, edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner, 127-130. New York: Continuum.
Eno, Brian. 1984b. Ambient 4: on land. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Eno, Brian. 1984a. Ambient 4: on land. image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Gotye. 2011c. “Making, making mirrors – a short documentary.” Accessed 5th May, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=64.
Goyte. 2011b. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc
Goyte. 2011a. Making Mirrors image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Gunderson, Philip A. 2004. “Danger Mouse’s “grey album”, mash-ups, and the age of composition.” Postmodern Culture 15 (1): 7.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Hodges, Donald A and David C Sebald. 2011. Music in the human experience: an introduction to music psychology. New York: Routledge
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Hracs, Brian J, Doreen Jakob and Atle Hauge. 2013. “Standing out in the crowd: the rise of exclusivity-based strategies to compete in the contemporary marketplace for music and fashion.” Environment and Planning A 45 (5): 1144-1161.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Johnsen, Andreas , Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke. 2007. “Good Copy, Bad Copy.” Copyright and Culture Documentary. Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKl5I_Q044&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=72.
Langford, Simon. 2010. Remix manual. Burlington: Focal Press.
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.
McIntyre, Phillip. 2012. “Rethinking creativity: record production and the systems model.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, 149-62. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Miller, Eric R. 2013. “The influence of recording technology on music performance and production.” Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Studies, Media Arts and Studies, Ohio University.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Musical Styles/Genre 2016 image courtesy of: Musical Styles Accessed 15th December, 2016
Neyfakh, Leon. 2014. “The Sadness of T-Pain.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-sadness-of-t-pain.
Nine Inch Nails. 2008b. Ghosts I-IV. Shock Records. Compact Disc.
Nine Inch Nails. 2008. Ghosts I-IV image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b  What Brought Me Here #10 – Eno  Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Page, David L. 2015a. History of Music Production Part 5a – the DIY music-making practitioner  Accessed 5th August, 2015
Sillitoe, Sue. 1999. “Recording Cher’s “Believe”.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb99/articles/tracks661.htm.
Stone, Brad. 2009. “Artists find backers as labels wane.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/technology/internet/22music.html?_r=0.
Tame Impala. 2012b. Lonerism. Modular. Compact Disc.
Tame Impala. 2012a. Lonerism image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Tamm, Eric. 1995. Brian Eno: his music and the vertical color of sound. New York, NY: Da Capo Press.
Tepper, Steven J. and Eszter Hargittai. 2009. “Pathways to music exploration in a digital age.” Poetics 37 (3): 227-249.
Väkevä, Lauri. 2010. “Garage band or GarageBand®? Remixing musical futures.” British Journal of Music Education 27 (01): 59-70.
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.
Wikström, Patrik. 2013. The music industry: music in the cloud, Digital media and society series. Cambridge: Polity.
Young, Sherman and Steve Collins. 2010. “A View from the Trenches of Music 2.0.” Popular Music and Society 33 (3): 339-355.
– ©David L Page 28/08/2015
– ©David L Page 15/12/2016
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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Effective and best practice for the contemporary music practitioner

Pro Tools 11screenshot

Standards of effective practice have played an important part in the audio industry, even though these may be challenged by DIY culture and practices. Historically, the music and audio industry’s standards have addressed commercial and technical criteria. In commercial terms a “successful record producer is, by definition, someone who has had multiple hits” (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015), while technical standards have been formulated through industry bodies such as The Audio Engineering Society (Gibson 2006, 42) and more recently, the Recording Producers and Engineers Wing (2008).

Historical development of practice

The Audio Engineering Society {AES} was formed in 1948 in New York as a governing body, and to offer 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 2007, 54).
As technology developed and music production related equipment became available to the prosumer market, 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[1]. 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 (Davis & Jones 1990). The text remained for more than a decade as the only text book comprehensively, outlining audio engineering theory and techniques for ‘sound reinforcement’[2]. The third service and support more recently provided for budding DIY music producers is a range of instructional courses, vocational courses such as the likes of the Australian-based SAE, the School of Audio Engineering (2015), and JMC Academy (2015). In order to teach subject content, audio engineers with studio experience had to be employed to teach the industry standard practices. Whilst it may have taken some decades for this process to become refined and consistent, Burgess confirms their relevance in the discipline: “combined with a proactive DIY approach, a good school program can fill in knowledge gaps and instill a deeper understanding of the fundamentals while increasing awareness of best practices” (Burgess 2013, 35).
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” advice but 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. 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” 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[3]. 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.

Current practice

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.
target
The notion of effective practice [4] 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).
Note [1]: The manufacturer’s user manual described ‘effective practice’ for the user to operate that unit safely, following a technically correct process
Note [2]: Sound reinforcement is a term used to describe the live audio industry function which still remains today
Note [3]: Pensado’s Place (2015) is operated by Dave Pansado who has had a recognized audio industry career
Note [4] :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).
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 2.
References
AES. 2015. “Audio Engineering Society (AES) History.” Accessed  May 3,2015
Audio Technology Magazine. 2015 http://www.audiotechnology.com.au Accessed August 15, 2015
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 August 15, 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.
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 May 20, 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 August 15, 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 August 15, 2015
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 August 15, 2015
Sound on Sound. 2015 http://www.soundonsound.com Accessed August 15, 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.
Wire. 2015. http://www.thewire.co.uk Accessed August 15, 2015
– ©David L Page 16/08/2015
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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History Music Production Part 5a – The DIY music-making practitioner

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

Following substantial technological development from the late 1960s to today, music practice has diversified exponentially in a variety of social and cultural contexts (Wallis 2001; Watson and Shove 2008). Limited access to major corporate record label and broadcasting studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, and with the ever-increasing available range of technology. This enabled the process of music creation and production to exponentially develop, with musicians in the new era of project and portable studios, emerging as a new generation of music practitioners (Theberge 1997, P3; Hracs 2012). Increased access to digital recording and production technology has enabled aspiring music practitioners from diverse backgrounds and interests to participate in a do-it-yourself (DIY) capacity, resulting in a significantly more fragmented industry (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Spencer 2005; Moran 2011; Watson 2014). Wallis (2001, 13) observed that practitioners’ access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to an even broader market”. Music production technology is now accessible to most people who has any degree of interest in music practice, irrespective of their social status or professional role, their musical or sonic training or experience, or the social and cultural context. This enables a truly diverse and eclectic music practice society (Burgess 1997, 34; Rogers 2013). Practitioners now access and use broad range of music production and instrument technology, have vastly different workflows, for a broader range of music styles, and use a range of creative locations to create their EP’s. This diversity of practice now exemplifies contemporary industry (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997). As a result, recorded music is now created in ways that contrast with previous models, where cultural products resulted from established industrial hierarchies and imperatives (Burgess 1997).
AE Project Studio
(MIDAS 2014)
Multiple options to play and produce music have implications on what elements of music production are used at any point in time: the creative technologies that can be used, the music style that emerges naturally out or certain technology, the creative location that practice occurs within, and the practice workflow. Further, as practitioners tend to assume all of these creative labour roles in their home-style project studios, contemporary music practitioners continue to extend their knowledge, skill level and technology, in obvious contrast with previous models (Izhaki 2013; Théberge 1997).
(AE Project Studio 2015)
With the fragmentation of the industry, and the attracting diverse peoples in music practice, the contemporary practitioner’s motivations to practice music have also diversified. Rogers’ study highlighted varying orientations of motive amongst participants: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several non-commercial aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices. By far, the largest group was the amateur category (2013, 168). The term amateur is adopted “not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners” (Prior 2010, 401).
With DIY perspectives on cultural production being particularly influential in music practice, in many ways redefining the field today (Frith 1992; Watson and Shove 2008; Watson 2014; Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997), traditional standards of practice are now being challenged. Music industry standards (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015; Gibson 2006, 42; Recording Producers and Engineers Wing 2008) appear to be less valued by DIY music practitioners. Notions of effective practice appears to be actively disregarded due to the DIY practitioners prioritizing of motivations such as creativity, emotional connection, networking, and free-spiritedness (Hracs, 2012; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010). Burgess found contemporary music practitioners are likely to be: self-taught, and of a ‘discoverer’ learning style (2013, 29); with a preparedness to reject accepted industry practice (eg: technical or music style standards); and a willingness to borrow at will any music or sonic characteristics from other cultural approaches to fuse into their practice, leading to “unprecedented diversity” (Rogers 2013, 168; McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41).
With this diversity comes the portability of both production and performance technology. For example; producing a full EP on a beach, only needing to retreat to a location to get some electricity when my laptop battery runs empty; dance festivals in a forest where the artists arrive with as little gear as a laptop, or perhaps a USB stick and perform in front of 1,000 people for up to several hours; or, as a result of the technological developments, a new music style emerges because practitioners use the digital virtual technology as an instrument and performance tool, rather than for what it was originally designed for by the manufacturer {data management} (Hewitt 2008, xv). One of the best examples of this would be the creation of electronic music and its sub-genres of Electronic dance music, trance music and chill music.
It could also be stated that in Electronic Music Production (EMP), musicians and producers generally use portable technology, accessing synthetic or digital instruments, and compose typically in a structured process (Gunderson 2004; Johnsen et al 2007; Davie 2014, 38; Duckworth 2005, 148; Goyte 2011a; Goyte 2011b; Davie 2015, 34; Holder 2011; Huber and Runstein 2013, 78). In contrast, Indie Rock musicians and producers generally use project studios, access acoustic or electric instruments, and quite often compose in an organic process (Emerick and Massey 2006, 306; Burgess 2014, 93; Dandy Warhols 2010; Leyshon 2009, 1309; Davie 2012, 44-45; Tame Impala. 2012).
Unlike the traditional motive of commercial – volume sales – success, the new amateur’s motives are diverse, and yet highly motivated, possessing an impassioned commitment to their practice, with a high level of focus on developing their knowledge, skill level and technology.
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History Music Production Part 5b – DIY Culture & Music (Page 2015b).
References
AE Project Studio Microphone Case image courtesy of: DLP Pinterest site  Accessed 28th August, 2015
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press. 
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press. 
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press. 
Dandy Warhols, The. 2010. The Dandy Warhols: best of the capitol years 1995-2007. Capitol Records. Compact Disc. 
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology 2015 (106): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2014. “Danger Mouse: producer of the decade.” Audio Technology (100): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98. 
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 24th July, 2015
Duckworth, William. 2005. Virtual music: How the web got wired for sound. New York, NY: Routledge.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Frith, Simon. 1992. “The industrialization of popular music.” Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74. 
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology. 
Gotye. 2011 (a). “Making, making mirrors – a short documentary.” Accessed May 5, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=64. 
Goyte. 2011(b). Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed May 20, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Gunderson, Philip A. 2004. “Danger Mouse’s “grey album”, mash-ups, and the age of composition.” Postmodern Culture 15 (1): 7. 
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98. 
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.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Johnsen, Andreas , Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke. 2007. “Good Copy, Bad Copy.” Copyright and Culture Documentary. Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKl5I_Q044&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=72.
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.
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
MIDAS 2014 console image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 29th June, 2014
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. History of Music Production Part 5b DIY Culture & Music  Accessed 28th August, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. History Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become the platform for contemporary DIY music-making Accessed 24th July, 2015
Prior, Nick. 2010. “The rise of the new amateurs: Popular music, digital technology and the fate of cultural production.” Handbook of cultural sociology. London: Routledge: 398-407. 
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4). 
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.
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital prosumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1). 
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.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Tame Impala. 2012. Lonerism. Modular. Compact Disc. 
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England. 
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.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
– ©David L Page 24/07/2015
– updated ©David L Page 05/08/2015
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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History Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become the platform for contemporary DIY music-making?

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

The changing field of music production

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.

Making Mirros_Goyte

(Goyte, 2011)
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). 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 (Tingen, 2014).
BraithwaiteSoS..201405(Tingen 2014)

Contemporary music-making practitioners challenging traditional industry standards?

Technology has continued to develop at an exponential rate, with increasing “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 having a prolific effect on the widespread interest of music production (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295; Wallis 2001,10). Numerous companies commenced manufacturing to fill “a tremendous need for good and affordable sound equipment”, entrenching the “prosumer or home-recording market” (Music Group 2015). Continuing technological developments influenced the increase of music production setups 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. The technological developments have afforded multiple benefits, such as decreased production costs and increased convenience. With project studios, “the hiring of expensive studios was no longer a requisite” (Izhaki 2013, xiiii). More major artists were being recorded in these evironments [1]. Other professionals[2] such as Braithwaite moved their workflow entirely within a digital audio workstation.
Live rig_20160131
(AE 2015)
As Leyshon highlighted, “the recording studio sector is not a particularly profitable or efficient part of the musical economy overall” (2009, 1315), and therefore from an industry perspective, it was positive that alternative options evolved. The development of the digital audio workstation, along with virtual instruments and sample libraries, provided resources ready to include into productions (Gilreath 2010). The project studio now had virtual technology accessible by both novice and professional producers alike. This “brought about monumental changes in the business of music and professional audio”, with music producers 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 needing to have that instrument or musician capable of playing that instrument, on hand (Huber and Runstein 2013,76). In an article on best practice within the music industry, Wallis (2001, 13) observed that access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to the emergence of the combined studio producer/ writer role. Max Martin from Sweden…is such an example”. Today, continuing technological developments have further opened the field and discipline to an even broader market. Music production technology is now accessible to anyone who has a degree of interest in the creation and production of music, irrespective of their background {social status or professional role}, their musical or professional audio training and/or experience, or the genre of music they may be interested in attempting to produce, making for a truly diverse and eclectic music production society (Burgess 1997, 34; Rogers 2013).
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[3]); with a few categories acknowledging the technical and creative expertise of the engineers and producers behind the artists[4]. “A successful record producer is, by definition, someone who has had multiple hits” (Burgess 1997, 162).  Artists such as Lorde are taking greater control of their creative careers by proactively tasking aspects of the music production process themselves. Lorde writes her own compositions, and has achieved  global success in part by engaging in informal distribution channels such as ‘Soundcloud’[5], However, Lorde remains produced by an external professional[6], and therefore does not fit entirely within the definition of contemporary DIY music production practitioner (Bockstedt et al 2005).
Different Motivation?
The limitation of such an industry standard such as the awards listed above is two-fold.  Firstly, these awards acknowledge only publically-released music through formal distribution channels. Secondly, the awards are predominantly for non-DIY artist producers, where the artists contract the professional services of an external producer.
Perhaps motivated by the power imbalance and limited access to studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s, aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, with music-makers in the new era of project and mobile studios, emerging as a new generation of prosumers – both producers and consumers (Theberge 1997, P3; Hracs, 2012). The ever increasing access to technology appears to be attracting a diverse range of aspiring practitioners to he process of music creation and production. Burgess has observed the diversity of DIY music production practitioners has expanded from the previous music producer list several decades earlier of artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multipath, to now include: DJ, self-taught/school-trained and discoverer (2013, 29). In addition, as Rogers in his 2010 study on local musicians in the Brisbane scene found, there are now varying levels of professionalism found amongst the participants: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several non-commercial aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices (Rogers 2013, 168). By far, the largest group is the amateur category. I adopt the term amateur “not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295) . The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners” (Prior 2010, 401). 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 in line with DIY ideals (Purdue et al 1997).
DIY Image
DIY perspectives are particularly influential in music production, in many ways redefining the field today (Kealy 1982; Hemphill and Leskowitz 2012; Frith 1992; Watson and Shove 2008; Watson 2014; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997), traditional standards of effective practice, which have played a central role in the music production industry, are now being challenged. Music and audio industry’s standards of commercial sales and technical criteria (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015; Gibson 2006, 42; Recording Producers and Engineers Wing 2008) appear to be less valued by contemporary DIY music production practitioners. Breaking with previously accepted industry practices (Hracs,2012), the notion of ‘effective practice’ appears to be actively disregarded due to the prioritizing of other motivations such as creativity, emotional connection, networking, and free-spiritedness. That is, creative practice, affective practice and social practice, with a preparedness to reject accepted effective practice (eg: technical or genre standards) as the contemporary DIY music production practitioner sees fit (Montana and Charnov 2000,12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996; Rogers 2013, 168; McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41).

In summary

Prior to my own research study and planned interviews, what I have discovered about the likely profile of a contemporary DIY music production practitioner is: They appear to be proactive, resourceful, tenacious and rebellious practitioners with eclectic backgrounds, musical tastes and skill levels. They most certainly possess a just do it spirit as the Nike slogan has encouraged since 1971. They are likely motivated by creative, affective or social practice, rather than effective practice, making aesthetic choices over technical standards, and working in what could be once considered, ineffective or inefficient workflows. They are more likely to be passionate hobbyists, who want to create, express and be heard, using project or portable technology as either a studio or an instrument, probably in a way that was not originally intended by the manufacturer, and yet creating unique sonic qualities or textures, influencing new genres to emerge (Wallis 2001,13; Burgess 2013, 29; Huber and Runstein 2013,76; Izhaki 2013, xiiii; Gilreath 2010; Watson 2014; Burke 2011; Doyle 2008; Wallis 2001,11; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 296; Spencer 2005, 226-273; Moran 2011, 1; Rogers 2013, 168; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295; Watson 2013, 334; Prior 2010, 401; Watson 2013, 331; Braithwaite alluded in Tingen 2014; Theberge 2012, 6; Hracs et al 2013, 1144).
Footnotes
[1] In 2005, Stuart Price used his home-based project studio, based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers to produce Madonna’s commercially successful ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album, achieving commercial success reaching the US Music charts (Doyle 2008).
[2] 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 DAW-only workflow: “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).
[3] 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)
[4] 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’ (Grammy Awards 2015).
[5] 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)
[6] Lorde’s producer of her first album was local Auckland NZ producer, Joel Little (Davie 2015)
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History of Music Production Part 5a – The DIY Music-making practitioner (Page 2015b).
References
ABC. 2015. “Triple J Unearthed.” Accessed 6th June, 2015.
AE Project Studio, 2015 external live devices image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 7th June 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. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology 2015 (106): 98.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 24th July, 2015
Doyle, Tom. 2008. “Stuart Price: producing Seal & Madonna.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/stuart_price.htm.
Frith, Simon. 1992. “The industrialization of popular music.” Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Goyte. 2011. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed 6th June, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Griffin, RW. 1996. Management. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Hemphill, David and Shari Leskowitz. 2012. “DIY activists: communities of practice, cultural dialogism, and radical knowledge sharing.” Adult Education Quarterly 63 (1): 57-77. doi: 10.11.77/0741113612442803.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Hracs, Brian J, Doreen Jakob and Atle Hauge. 2013. “Standing out in the crowd: the rise of exclusivity-based strategies to compete in the contemporary marketplace for music and fashion.” Environment and Planning A 45 (5): 1144-1161.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2013. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2010. Modern recording techniques. 7th ed. Boston: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Kealy, Edward R. 1982. “Conventions and the production of the popular music aesthetic.” The Journal of Popular Culture 16 (2): 100-115.
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.
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
MIDAS 2014 console image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 29th June, 2014
Montana, Patrick J and Bruce H Charnov. 2000. Management. 3rd ed. Vol. 333, Business Review Books. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Music Group. 2015. “Behringer : our story.” Accessed 4th June, 2015. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. History of Music Production Part 5a – The DIY music-making practitioner Accessed 24th July, 2015.
Page, David L. 2015a. History of Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios Accessed 5th March, 2016.
Prior, Nick. 2010. “The rise of the new amateurs: Popular music, digital technology and the fate of cultural production.” Handbook of cultural sociology. London: Routledge: 398-407.
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4).
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.
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1).
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.
SoundCloud. 2015. “SoundCloud.com.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. https://soundcloud.com.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Tingen, Paul. 2014. “Inside track: Happy – secrets of the mix engineers: Leslie Braithwaite.” Accessed 5th May, 2015. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may14/articles/inside-track- 0514.htm.
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.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Allan. 2013. “‘Running a studio’s a silly business’: work and employment in the contemporary recording studio sector.” Area 45 (3): 330-336.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
Watson, Allan. 2012. “The world according to iTunes: mapping urban networks of music production.” Global Networks 12 (4): 446-466.
Webb, A. 2007. “Is GarageBand top of the pops?” The Guardian Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/18/news.apple.
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 07/06/2015
– updated ©David L Page 24/07/2015
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.

History Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios

David Gilmour.Large Format Console(Meter 2014)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2016) for the previous blog.

The changing field of music production

Twenty-first century music production exists as a fragmented field of practice, in part as a result of increasing decentralisation in the audio and music industry since the 1980’s. A range of factors influenced this decentralization, including the development and adoption of digital recording technologies (Zagorski-Thomas 2005; Leyshon 2009; Huber and Runstein 2013; Izhaki 2013; Théberge 1997; Burgess 2013) and the exponential influence of global communication networks on music production and consumption practices (Spencer 2005; Moran 2011; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Watson 2012).

(TEAC/TASCAM 2015a)

Ever increasing levels of access

Throughout the 1970’s technology continued to advanced with “quality digital recording equipment more widely available” at progressively decreasing cost to the consumer (Wallis 2001, 11). Offering an alternative music production option to the large format console studio continued, all levels of the field actively engaged with the technology. Springsteen released his solo album ‘Nebraska’, made in his bedroom (Springsteen 1984a).
(Springsteen 1982b)
Intended to be a ‘demo’, it was decided the aesthetic of the DIY recording was preferred to the studio-produced album (TEAC/TASCAM 2015b; Burke 2011, 119,188). “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).
(TEAC/TASCAM 2015c)
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. Digital synthesisers and samplers, triggered by a MIDI controlled keyboard could now play a range of tones, sounds, and emulate instruments. Because a single key could trigger multiple sounds or chords, 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 or world – instruments to synthetic instruments. 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).
Over the next two decades technology continued to develop at an exponential rate, in terms of general devices, global communication network options and music-making equipment. By the late 1990’s and early 2000’s development in music-making technology had moved into the digital virtual realm.  Several digital audio workstations (such as Cubase, Pro Tools, and then eMagic’s Logic) became available for domestic consumption. A few years following this – as more refined versions became available, virtual instruments (software instruments) and sample libraries (audio libraries for software instruments) from 3rd party providers started to become available. Commercial 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). 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).
(Rhianna 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.

Making Mirros_Goyte

(Goyte, 2011)
Wallis notes five (5) primary trends in the music and audio industry, three (3) of which are related to the discussion here: 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’: “(w)idespread 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 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).

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 (Izhaki 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 [1]. 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.
Footnotes
[1] In 2005, Stuart Price used his home-based project studio, based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers to produce Madonna’s commercially successful ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album, achieving commercial success reaching the US Music charts (Doyle 2008).
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History of Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become for contemporary DIY music-making (Page 2015).
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.
Doyle, Tom. 2008. “Stuart Price: producing Seal & Madonna.” Accessed May 2, 2015. https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/stuart_price.htm.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Goyte. 2011. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
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.
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.
Meter, M . 2014. “For their last-ever album the endless river, Pink Floyd recorded on a boat” Accessed May 20, 2015  http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/pink-floyds-nick-mason-on-the-endless-river
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Music Group. 2015. “Behringer : our story.” Accessed May 2, 2015. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015.  History of Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become for contemporary DIY music-making Accessed 7th June, 2015.
Page, David L. 2016. History of Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music production Accessed 5th March, 2016.
Rhianna and feat Jay-Z. 2007. Umbrella. Def Jam. Compact Disc. Video courtesy of You-Tube. Accessed 21st May, 2015
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Springsteen, Bruce. 1982b. Nebraska. image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 21st May, 2015.
Springsteen, Bruce. 1982a. Nebraska. Columbia Records. Vinyl LP.
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015c. TEAC Tascam History. www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 24th July, 2015
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015b. TEAC Tascam series: 1979 model 144 Portastudio Manual, edited by TEAC Inc.  www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 24th July, 2015
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015a. TEAC/TASCAM 144 Portastudio advertising image courtesy of Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording Accessed 24th July, 2015
Théberge, Paul. 2012. “The end of the world as we know It: the changing role of the studio in the age of the internet.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 77-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
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.
Watson, Allan. 2012. “The world according to iTunes: mapping urban networks of music production.” Global Networks 12 (4): 446-466.
Webb, A. 2007. “Is GarageBand top of the pops?” The Guardian Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/18/news.apple.
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 21/05/2015
– updated ©David L Page 24/07/2015
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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e

My journey continues….

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

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part e

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.
Changing face of music-production
Perhaps motivated by the power imbalance and limited access to studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s, aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, the ever increasing available range of technology has enabled the process of music creation and production to exponentially develop, with musicians in the new era of project and mobile studios, emerging as a new generation of prosumers – both producers and consumers (Théberge 1997, P3). The acknowledged diversity of backgrounds of the contemporary DIY music production practitioner expanded to include: DJ, self-taught/school-trained and discoverer (Burgess 2013, 29).
Technological development provides multiple outcomes, including choices within music production practice: devices to use, work environment location, processes and procedures to use, skills to draw on and workflows, to name a few. In an article on best practice within the music industry, Wallis (2001, 13) observed that access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to the emergence of the combined studio producer/ writer role. Max Martin from Sweden, writer and producer of the majority of songs recorded by artists such as Britney Spears, is such an example”. Just 5 years later, the ongoing technological developments that influence the project and portable studios further open the discipline to a broader prosumer market (Cole 2011, 448).
This in turn has attracted a range of people and what motivates them to produce music. Music production technology is now accessible to just about anyone who has any degree of interest in the creation and production of music, irrespective of their background {social status or professional role}, their musical or professional audio training and/or experience, or the genre of music they may be interested in attempting to produce, making for a truly eclectic music production society (Burgess 2014, 34; Rogers 2013). Rogers in his 2010 study on local musicians in the Brisbane scene to be of varying levels of professionalism: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several ‘non-commercial’ aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices – in the discipline (Rogers 2013, 168). I will apply the term “amateur not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295) . The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners”. (Prior 2010, 401).
The traditional definition of Music Producer
Traditionally, Music Producers were defined as being responsible for the: “control, guidance, and communication of the musical vision of the project”, seeing the completed product prior to the project even commencing (Gibson 2006, 1). A music producer was recognised as likely to originate from a diversity of backgrounds that would provide them with a different perspective and approaches in the studio. These background types were most commonly: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multipath (Burgess 2013, 29).
A good producer was also seen to have a diversity of skills, beyond the specialist technical skills as outlined in the previous section. These skills, commonly referred to as soft skills (Page 2014b), would be:
  • understanding and proficiency of music;
  • high degree of communication skills;
  • motivational and inspirational skills to encourage greater performance and execution of roles;
  • inspirational skills to encourage a change of approach if or as required;
  • an experienced reflective practitioner;
  • project management and administrative skills to ensure the project remains viable and on target;
  • an understanding of business and have the associated skills or communication, negotiation, conflict resolution;
  • functional knowledge of the genre;
  • passion for music and all elements of the holistic music production process (Gibson 2006, 2-3; Griffin 1996, 15-19).
A new discipline of music-making emerges
Following substantial technological development from the late 1960s to today, music-making practice has diversified exponentially in a variety of social and cultural contexts (Wallis 2001; Watson and Shove 2008). Limited access to major corporate record label and broadcasting studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, and with the ever-increasing available range of technology. This enabled the process of music creation and production to exponentially develop, with musicians in the new era of project and portable studios, emerging as a new generation of music practitioners (Théberge 1997, P3; Hracs 2012). A new music discipline has emerged – contemporary DIY music-making practice (Moran 2011; Watson 2014; Spencer 2005; Rogers 2013). Increased access to digital recording and production technology has enabled aspiring music practitioners from diverse backgrounds and interests to participate in a do-it-yourself (DIY) capacity, resulting in a significantly more fragmented industry (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Spencer 2005; Moran 2011; Watson 2014). Wallis (2001, 13) observed that practitioners’ access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to an even broader market”. Music production technology is now accessible to most people who have any degree of interest in music-making practice, irrespective of their social status or professional role, their musical or sonic training or experience, or the social and cultural context. This enables a truly diverse and eclectic music-making practice society (Burgess 1997, 34; Rogers 2013).
Practitioners now access and use broad range of music production and instrument technology, have vastly different workflows, for a broader range of music styles, and use a range of creative locations to create their EP’s. This diversity of practice now exemplifies contemporary industry (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997). As a result, recorded music is now created in ways that contrast with previous models, where cultural products resulted from established industrial hierarchies and imperatives (Burgess 1997).
Multiple options to play and produce music have implications on what elements of music production are used at any point in time: the creative technologies that can be used, the music style that emerges naturally out or certain technology, the creative location that practice occurs within, and the practice workflow. Further, as practitioners tend to assume all of these creative labour roles in their home-style project studios, contemporary music practitioners continue to extend their knowledge, skill level and technology, in obvious contrast with previous models (Izhaki 2013; Théberge 1997).
With the fragmentation of the industry, and the attracting diverse peoples in music-making practice, the contemporary practitioner’s motivations to practice music have also diversified. Rogers’ study highlighted varying orientations of motive amongst participants: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several non-commercial aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices. By far, the largest group was the amateur category (2013, 168). The term amateur is adopted “not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). Not interested in the traditional music industry criteria of volume sales of commercially released tracks, these contemporary practitioners pursue music-making practice for their own motives – “their sense of identity is firmly attached to the pursuit of ‘serious leisure’” (Stebbins in Prior 2010, 401; Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners” (Prior 2010, 401).
With DIY perspectives on cultural production being particularly influential in music-making practice, in many ways redefining the field today (Frith 1992; Watson and Shove 2008; Watson 2014; Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997), traditional standards of practice are now being challenged. Music industry standards (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015; Gibson 2006, 42; Recording Producers and Engineers Wing 2008) appear to be less valued by DIY music practitioners. Notions of effective practice appears to be actively disregarded due to the DIY practitioners prioritizing of motivations such as creativity, emotional connection, networking, and free-spiritedness (Hracs, 2012; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010). Burgess found contemporary music practitioners are likely to be: self-taught, and of a ‘discoverer’ learning style (2013, 29); with a preparedness to reject accepted industry practice (eg: technical or music style standards); and a willingness to borrow at will any music or sonic characteristics from other cultural approaches to fuse into their practice, leading to “unprecedented diversity” (Rogers 2013, 168; McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41).
With this diversity comes the portability of both production and performance technology. For example; producing a full EP on a beach, only needing to retreat to a location to get some electricity when my laptop battery runs empty; dance festivals in a forest where the artists arrive with as little gear as a laptop, or perhaps a USB stick and perform in front of 1,000 people for up to several hours; or, as a result of the technological developments, a new music style emerges because practitioners use the digital virtual technology as an instrument and performance tool, rather than for what it was originally designed for by the manufacturer {data management} (Hewitt 2008, xv). One of the best examples of this would be the creation of electronic music and its sub-genres of electronic dance music, trance music and chill music.
It could also be stated that in Electronic Music Production (EMP), musicians and producers generally use portable technology, accessing synthetic or digital instruments, and compose typically in a structured process (Gunderson 2004; Johnsen et al 2007; Davie 2014, 38; Duckworth 2005, 148; Goyte 2011a; Goyte 2011b; Davie 2015, 34; Holder 2011; Huber and Runstein 2014, 78). In contrast, Indie Rock musicians and producers generally use project studios, access acoustic or electric instruments, and quite often compose in an organic process (Emerick and Massey 2006, 306; Burgess 2014, 93; Dandy Warhols 2010; Leyshon 2009, 1309; Davie 2012, 44-45; Tame Impala. 2012).
The contemporary music-making practice
I propose contemporary DIY music-making practice is now positioned in large part due to factors including, the DIY cultural focus of the past 4 decades, spurred significantly from the punk music era of the 1970’s, where independence and expression was held in greater regard than either aesthetics, musical training or performance technique [DIY cultural pursuit as continued agency of change], and; the simultaneous technological development of the equipment and tools contemporary musicians as music producers use, facilitating unrivalled levels of access to professional equipment, significantly influencing the manner in which musicians as music producers engage in their practice (Wallis 2001). [technology as agent of change]. Additionally, effective contemporary DIY music production practice potentially has the following characteristics:
  • The practitioner is a prosumer, using professionals tools, but also be a consumer of the new technologies [technology as agency of economic change];
  • The practitioner interacts with the technology as a medium for creative expression, as if it were an instrument [technology as agency for creativity and differentiation];
  • The practitioner works in varied environments, use different processes, skills and workflows in order to achieve the outcomes that the musicians and music producers would have a decade ago {and probably including a portable environment} [technology as agency of change].
  • The practitioner works across varied genres, requiring different workflows and instruments
  • The practitioner works with a variety of technologies, likely to be a combination of digital, digital virtual and analogue equipment
  • The practitioner works with a combination of acoustic, digitalised and synthetic instruments
In framing my research study, I have broadly and deeply researched the technological advancements historically in the following audio and audio-related areas of: the telephone; the telegraph; the phonograph; microphones; gramophones; the recording process; the development of radio stations and broadcasting; the development of recording and recording studios; the development of alternative electronic instruments such as synthesisers, organs and samplers; recording consoles, multi-track recording devices, popular music production, large format console studios and analogue audio processing equipment; general computers and Apple Macintosh computers; the internet; digital instruments such as digital sequencers and samplers; digital consoles and audio processing equipment; virtual soft samplers and instruments; virtual Digital Audio Workstations {‘DAWs’}, and a range of exemplar artists (commercially successful, full-time practitioners) that were innovative in some way, influenced by the technological developments, and incorporated the new technologies into their creative works for either new or unique sounds, and/or improved workflow.
The contemporary music-making practitioner
Having explored how the technological development of general devices (namely personal computers and sound cards) and music-making equipment (namely samplers and digital interfaces), has had on, and continues to have on, the music production process, lets look at a profile of the contemporary DIY music production practitioner and the technology they use, we have unearthed to date.
The contemporary DIY music production practitioner may be of any age, of any social status or professional role, but are likely to be IT conversant. They are likely to come from a range of backgrounds such as: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, DJ, self-taught/school-trained, discoverer, entrepreneur or multipath (Burgess 2013, 29). The contemporary DIY music production practitioner is likely to have at the very least a portable studio, or perhaps a project studio with a range of both outboard and in-the-box instruments and audio processing devices, or quality ranging from entry level, through to professional level. I believe that the term prosumer accurately describes the contemporary DIY music production practitioner, one who is both a purchaser and an operator of technology aimed at the level of domestic, semi-professional or professional use. This technology could be analogue, digital or virtual, procured as a DIY kit, as an assembled device via retail channels, or procured through a range of file share, shareware, or freeware, either legally or not. anti-consumerism, rebelliousness, and creativity. They most certainly possess a ‘just do it’ spirit as the Nike slogan has encouraged since 1971.
They may or may not be currently a professional or a semi-professional DIY music production practitioner, they may or may not be motivated by commercial aspirations to become a professional or a semi-professional DIY music production practitioner. They may be motivated by purely creative or social aspirations, operating on a non-commercial basis, at an amateur or hobbyist level. Kuznetsov and Paulos found the majority of DIY communities engaged “to express themselves and be inspired by new ideas”, “not to gain employment, money, or online fame” with an example being “amateur radio hobbyists in the 1920’s” (2010, 295). Operating at this amateur level does not however reflect their level of passion or commitment compared to the professional practitioners, just the reliance on alternative forms of income to fund their contemporary DIY music production practice.
If the contemporary DIY music production practitioner does have professional aspirations, they are more than likely an ‘entrepreneurial’ producer, “who must increasingly not only perform creative tasks, but also a range of business including searching for work, self-marketing and managing the finances of small studio facilities. This mirrors the increased entrepreneurialism found among independent musicians” (Watson 2013). I would argue, that in these times of tasking multiple roles in economically tight times (as Braithwaite alluded), the choice of music production environment and music production process comes down to what resources are available, how much time one has, and access to funds to support their passion (Théberge 2012). However, as the contemporary DIY music production practitioner is a resourceful species, in the new economy restraints of budget no longer guarantee there will be limitations of access as previous generations of aspiring music producers experienced. A slogan of  DIY practitioners in the new economy may be ‘where there is a will, there is way’. With access, comes choice: choice of technology, location, musical style and workflow. These elements of practice provide each practitioner many combinations of  options to apply to their practice, enabling uniqueness in process, sonics and musical style. Yes, the discipline of contemporary DIY music production is now “characterized by infinite choice” and as a result of the burgeoning numbers of practitioners, “intense competition” to have their music heard, irrespective of commercial or non-commercial motives. As a result, practitioners need to expand their focus from production to also include promotion, developing “strategies to ‘stand out in the crowd’” (Hracs et al 2010, 1,144). 
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2f (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. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Cole, S. J. 2011. “The Prosumer and the Project Studio: The Battle for Distinction in the Field of Music Recording.” Sociology 45 (3): 447–463.
Dandy Warhols, The. 2010. The Dandy Warhols: best of the capitol years 1995-2007. Capitol Records. Compact Disc.DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology2015 (106): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2014. “Danger Mouse: producer of the decade.” Audio Technology (100): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
Duckworth, William. 2005. Virtual music: How the web got wired for sound. New York, NY: Routledge.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Frith, Simon. 1992. “The industrialization of popular music.” Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74.
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.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Goyte. 2011b. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Gotye. 2011a. “Making, making mirrors – a short documentary.” Accessed May 5, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=64.
Gunderson, Philip A. 2004. “Danger Mouse’s “grey album”, mash-ups, and the age of composition.” Postmodern Culture 15 (1): 7. doi: 10.1353/pmc.2004.0040.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Johnsen, Andreas , Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke. 2007. “Good Copy, Bad Copy.” Copyright and Culture Documentary. Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKl5I_Q044&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=72.
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.
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
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 2f  Accessed 30th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study Part 2d  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014b Knowledge base & skill set required for Creative Artists today  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Prior, Nick. 2010. “The rise of the new amateurs: Popular music, digital technology and the fate of cultural production.” Handbook of cultural sociology. London: Routledge: 398-407.
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4).
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.
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1).
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.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Tame Impala. 2012b. Lonerism. Modular. Compact Disc.
Théberge, Paul. 2012. “The end of the world as we know It: the changing role of the studio in the age of the internet.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 77-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
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.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
– @David L Page 20/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 30/05/2015
– 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 2d

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 d

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.

Defining DIY

‘Do-it-yourself’ {D-I-Y, DIY} is now a broadly used term. I found numerous academic articles, publications and commercial organisations to use the term in varied ways and meanings. DIY has been linked from the core of human survival to the early settlers who needed to be resourceful due to either economic or geographical reasons, relying on themselves, or their network of family or friends to provide any required services and repairs outside of their skillset. For hundreds of years people have been doing tasks themselves, irrespective of their skillset, “without the aid of paid professionals” (Washburn 2013; Ryan et al. 1996; Skordas and Trader 1968; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 1)[1]. The Oxford Dictionary defines DIY specifically to home improvement as an activity engaged for economic motive (Hornby 2005). Watson and Shove agree, but expand the definition to include a social aspect of such practice “personal networks of family, friends and neighbours are crucial for individual experiences of DIY” (2008, 69,74). Ritzer and Jurgenson similarly suggest there is an economic motive in the phenomenon of DIY, with examples from the 1970’s of corporations “putting consumers to work”[2] in order to reduce both the expense to the organisation, and the cost to the consumer. The American fast-food restaurant[3], the self-serve petrol station and banking ATMs are examples of the customer ‘volunteering’ to be a more active player in the consumption transaction process with the understanding that this should provide a level of agreeable service, whilst reducing the cost of the good being purchased (2010, 18).
Kuznetsov and Paulos offers an alternative perspective that the rise of DIY culture is motivated by creativity. They found the majority of DIY communities engaged “to express themselves and be inspired by new ideas”, “not to gain employment, money, or online fame” with an example being “amateur radio hobbyists in the 1920’s” (2010, 295), making their analogue radio devices, and then engaging in social groups to use them. Such a trait aligns to Purdue et al’s definition of DIY culture as: “self-organising networks, with overlapping memberships and values”, “challenging the symbolic codes of mainstream” (Purdue et al 1997, 647). This theme was developed in the 1960’s with the retailing of electronic parts and kits for DIY construction. The products were very popular (Saee 2010, 1081) with high school students having get-togethers to discuss projects, and meeting once they had individually completed the projects to compare what they had done. It is interesting that the oxforddictionairies.com definition of prosumer, unlike Ritzer and Jurgenson’s above, is very specific to electronic goods consumers:
Prosumers are those defined as: “who buys electronic goods … of a standard between those aimed at consumers and professionals”, and “who becomes involved with designing or customizing products for their own needs” (Oxford 2015).
A generation of prosumers were being developed, and similar to the amateur radio hobbyist, the assembler could then become the technical operator of the analogue equipment. With scarcity of relatively priced professional pieces of analogue audio equipment, these operators used their customized DIY built analogue equipment in varied audio situations, from hobbyist, semi-professional or professional applications. Still today, DIY electronic kits of specialist analogue audio processing equipment are available and used in today’s project studios (Cole 2011). The motivations to engage in this activity seem to be creative, social, economic and anti-main stream consumerism. As technology advanced, “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 continued. The first digital portable console[4] was introduced in 1979 using tape technology. Three years later, Springsteen released his widely acclaimed and large selling solo album ‘Nebraska’[5] made on this digital portable console, in his bedroom. Originally intended to be a ‘demo’, Springsteen decided the quality and aesthetic of the DIY recording was preferred to the studio-produced album developed (TEAC/TASCAM 2015a; Burke 2011, 119,188). “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).
Defining DIY Social, Cultural & Music-making practice-related
Examples of DIY in the practice of music have been present for centuries, with the combining of genres together to create a unique style of music, often using specific instrumentation. ‘Skiffle’ music[6], including ‘spasm bands’, ‘jug bands’ and ‘rent party bands’ with the common elements of “simple yet rhythmic style of music using home-made or improvised instruments”[7]. The motivation was for impromptu entertainment (unrehearsed at least), with the choice of instruments more than likely economic, given the prevalence of these bands in communities and an era experiencing harsh economic times (Spencer 2005, 219-226).
By the early 1970’s and 1980’s, expensive and large format analogue consoles[8], commercial record label studios became the norm, and small independent studios became less prevalent (Zagorski-Thomas 2005, 70; Watson 2014, 150). A diversity of music production backgrounds were common, being: artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multipath (Burgess 2013, 29). However, a culture of preserving limited access, scarcity of information and skills knowledge was very prevalent in large format console commercial studios by those who were fortunate enough to gain employment within the scarce but highly sought after roles within these studios (Morawetz 1974, 3,4; Leyshon 2009, 1316).
By the 1980’s, economic hardship and British government policy helped to mobilise a culture of rebellion, protest and anti-establishment[9]. The punk movement, with limited capital, resources and access, drew on the DIY social and cultural ethos, creating music, fanzines, record labels, press, and venues. At the core of the cultural movement was independence and expression, with the anti-establishment aesthetic held in greater regard than the formal arts institutions’ interpretation of aesthetic and value of disciplined training and technique. Many believe the DIY aspect is what “kept the punk subculture alive since the late 1970s”, allowing “individuals who seek an alternative lifestyle to thrive. The DIY record labels and independent pressing system created social networks that allowed punk music and ideologies to be distributed” (Moran 2011, 1).
With the birth of the internet[10], people under the age of 33 years old today have not experienced life without the global communication network phenomena. What is unique about the internet is that it is there are virtually no rules and no governing body to regulate it. Therefore this generation, and all generations after them, have experienced life without rules and regulations on for most people is atleast a daily interaction (if not exponentially more). So it is no wonder that Kuznetsov and Paulos (2010, 296) [11] believe DIY cultures reflect the anti-consumerism, rebelliousness, and creativity of earlier DIY initiatives, supporting the ideology that people can create rather than buy the things they want”.  I would add to this list for DIY music production culture, procure at any cost.
onion-layers
 Footnotes
[1] Of course such a geographical necessity may also include a motive of economic necessity, where the consumer cannot afford the extra service charge that may be due given the extra distance required for the professional to travel.
[2] Referred to as ‘prosumers’ (Ritzer & Jurgenson, 2010; Cole, 2011).
[3] McDonald’s restaurant as a systemized approach to a fast-food restaurant, where service is reliant on the customer ‘helping themselves’ to the table, to get utensils, condiments, etc.
[4] 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/TASCAM 2015b) .
[5] 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) .
[6] “‘Skiffle’ refers to the form of grass roots music produced in the first half of the 20th century” (Spencer 2005, 220)
[7] Instruments range from tea-chests, washboards, and kitchen utensils – any resource imaginable that could be used to participate and improvise within the music at that moment (Spencer 2005, 219-226).
[8] In the 1970s the first large format analogue mixing consoles were released including API, Neve, Solid State Logic. 32 channel consoles were the first large format incarnation.
[9] British Parliament Margaret Thatcher is often cited as being a primary motive of the British punk rebellion movement
[10] 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 2014, 119).
[11] The success of file sharing, shareware, freeware internet sites such as piratebay.se, utorrent.com etc are testament of the proactiveness, motivation, resourcefulness and tenaciousness of the youth of today to get what they desire outside of the traditional and legal retain channels
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e (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. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burke, David. 2011. “Heart of Darkness : Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska”. London: Cherry Red Books.
Cole, S. J. 2011. “The Prosumer and the Project Studio: The Battle for Distinction in the Field of Music Recording.” Sociology 45 (3): 447–463.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 5th May, 2015
George-Warren, Holly and Patricia Romanowski. 2001. The Rolling Stone encyclopedia of rock & roll, edited by Jon Pareles: Touchstone.
Hornby, Albert Sydney. 2005. Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary. 7 ed. New York: Oxford University Press.
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.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Morawetz, David. 1974. “Employment implications of industrialisation in developing countries: a survey.” The Economic Journal: 491-542.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Oxford. 2015. “Oxford dictionary.com.” Accessed 20th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2017 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page  Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2c  Accessed 10th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4).
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1).
Ryan, DG, JE Ryan, BJ Starr and Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Committee. 1996. “The Australian landscape: observations of explorers and early settlers.
SAE. 2015. “SAE Institute.” https://sae.edu.au/ Accessed 20th April, 2015
Saee, John. 2010. “Foreign Direct Investment as a Catalyst for Economic Development.” In The 6th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management’2010, edited, 1080-1085.
Skordas, Gust and Arthur Trader. 1968. The early settlers of Maryland: an index to names of immigrants compiled from records of land patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Com.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015b. TEAC Tascam History. www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 10th May, 2015
TEAC/TASCAM. 2015a. TEAC Tascam series: 1979 model 144 Portastudio Manual, edited by TEAC Inc.  www.teac.com: TEAC Inc. Accessed 24th July, 2015
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.
Washburn, Sherwood Larned. 2013. Social life of early man. New York: Routledge.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
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 10/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 20/05/2015
– 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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