Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 24b

onion-layers

Research Study

Abstract

The aim of this Doctor of Creative Industries Research Project is to investigate both my DIY music practice and my self as a practitioner during the process of creating and producing a cultural artefact (EP).  My research study is designed to be a multi-method qualitative study: a practice-based, ethnographic study that is to include a first-person narrative of my personal journey, critical reflection and reflexive practice, highlighting the co-constituted nature of my music-making practice. As an auto-ethnographic study, I designed the project for me to be performing the dual primary roles of being both the practitioner as subject, and the researcher. Such a multi-tiered examination represents a significant departure from current discussion of music practice, developing praxis of contemporary music practice. In this Project 1 research study exegesis submission I narrate the process to date, highlighting observation around my practitioner self, and my music practice and the emergent distinctions integrated into my developing music praxis.

~DL with Gretsch + C414.20141006.P21

(Page 2015a)

Preamble

Continuing on from my previous blogs (Page 2015b) in this series….

In the beginning……

My journey in music-making commenced a number of decades ago. I made music via physical instruments without much thought of the process. I strummed chords on a guitar or piano, hummed or played a melodic phrase, developed lyrics, and over time a song emerged. I felt connected to the process; I felt connected to the music. I recall getting positive feedback when I shared my acoustic instrument-based songs with an audience. I followed this process several hundred times over several decades, and because of the relative ease these songs came to me, I did not feel a need to consider my music-making process.
As technologies developed, I transitioned into music-making using digital virtual technologies. I invested in virtual technologies, trialling a number of virtual music-making applications – digital audio workstations (DAWs). I experimented; I spoke to local pro audio retailers; I experimented some more; I bought instructional books and videos; I studied; I experimented a lot more. Over a number of years however, I found that irrespective of how much time and money I invested into my virtual music-making production practice, I never managed to achieve a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration using virtual technologies to make music grew. I enrolled into a practical tertiary course. The course assisted me greatly to develop my theory and practical skills. However, using virtual technologies to make music that I felt connected to, (largely) continued to elude me. There was one instance, a remix project where I felt a connection. That experience gave me hope that my attempts to use virtual technologies to make music I felt connected to, was not going to be in vain. I continued to experiment; I continued to read; I continued to invest; I continue to immerse my self into my virtual music-making production practice. However, I still found I wasn’t achieving a similar flow or a similar feeling – a creative high – using virtual technologies to make music as I had music-making using physical instruments. My frustration was at an all-time high. I had arrived at a juncture in my life where I felt there was now no alternative: my virtual music-making production practice needed an intervention. I needed to put my creative practice using virtual technologies to make music under scrutiny. In 2014 I applied to a formal academic research program – a professional doctorate program. I commenced the program in 2015. My formal research journey began.

My doctoral research study……

Research Study – 1st Observation:
I acknowledged that I approached my music-making practice in terms of the outcome – the finished product. I was not considering the process in which I was music-making, any more than with a cursory glance. My music-making practice was product-driven.

(Page 2017a)
I recognised that I approached my music-making with physical instruments in a different manner to my approach to music-making using virtual technologies (using my laptop to make music for example). In drilling down I determined that much of this was how I viewed both devices.
Physical instruments as I played were derived directly from nature. Pianos and guitars that I played were manufactured from woods from the forest. They are physical instruments that have natural resonant qualities. The woods expand and contract, depending upon temperature and humidity. They are large instruments that I can touch, embrace and/or feel the resonant qualities as they are played.
I viewed virtual technologies very differently. The actual device that housed the music-making application software (DAW) was a computer (a laptop for example). I saw a laptop as a device that houses many many application software that enabled me to record data and/or make transactions. I used computer technologies for administrative purposes (applications such as iNote, word, excel, etc); organisation purposes (applications such as iCal, reminders, etc); and everyday personal and business management (services such as the internet-based social media sites, banking sites, utility sites to pay bills, etc). I viewed the music-making application software (DAW) as somewhat removed from me. It was housed in a aluminium and plastic case, that I could see, but not touch. The virtual keyboards were engaged by pressing a computer keyboard letter;  or perhaps a key on a plastic physical keyboard controller. Neither devices are derived directly from nature. They are manufactured. A computer and a keyboard controller are physical devices which also have natural resonant qualities. They only minimally expand and contract in extreme conditions, with such occurrences perhaps likely to render these devices inoperable. There is also a slight delay between the time you touch the key and having the sound emitted out of the computer monitors. They are not what I consider to be large resonant devices that can be embraced and/or feel the resonant qualities as they are played, such as I experience with a piano or guitar.
Research Study – 2nd Observation:
As I attempted to scope out the parameters of my research study,  I was led to look at the industry of my practice, the field of music production, and the particular discipline of virtual technologies to make music. This process revealed gaps in my knowledge, and enabled me to form linkages across several strands within the field of contemporary music production.
I then looked in greater detail at the history of my practice, understanding for perhaps the first time the implications of how I approached my music-making practice – as product rather than process.  I also started to consider me as a practitioner, as the music-maker. Who was I? How did I arrive to be this person?
My eyes were starting to open.
(Page 2017b)
Project 1 Pilot Study – 3rd Observation:
As I progressed my initial Project 1 Pilot Study, exploring the parameters of my music-making practice, I started to highlight certain elements which I considered key to my practice. As a flow on from my music-making practice, I acknowledged that the self was an element that had to be included. What motivated me to practice?
3rd Observation.P3b.renamed
(Page 2017c)
My music praxis (v4) had six (6) elements listed: self, motive, music style, location, technology and workflow.
dlp-music-praxis-v4-large-with-lines-20151203-p1
(Page 2015b)
My initial pilot study was to be an exploratory investigation to determine the parameters of my music practice; and to investigate what – if any – relationship existed between these elements. I engaged in conscious, deliberate and systematic reflective and reflexive practice of my creative practice, and as part of this process I felt obligated to consider everything that I observed.
As I progressively immersed myself into my quite isolated pilot study, I began to focus in on what I was doing at any point in time, as both the practitioner subject and the observer/researcher. To juggle both responsibilities was not beyond challenge and limitations. How was I to do both – be the creative practitioner, and simultaneously observe my practice?
Project 1 Pilot Study – 6th Observation:
One of the first elements I noted to be part of my developing music praxis (v5) – beyond the initial six (6) elements I had observed at the time of my Project Brief submission – was listening. I noticed listening was central to agency within my practice. Listening directed my choices and decision-making within my practice in terms of music style – in my ability to critically and analytically listen to reference tracks; in terms of my selecting appropriate notes and/or sonic event samples during the creative, pre-production or production stages; in terms of hearing needed or possible options of contra-melodies, rhythms, harmonies or instrumentation during the creative, pre-production or production stages; in terms of determining the degree of adjustment of sound sources or processing that needed to occur during the production or post-production stages.

6th Observation.P6c.renamed

(Page 2017d)
I started to observe that a central aspect of this listening was also in terms of my practice overall, such as deciding when I needed to have a break. Yes, listening to an inner voice, reminding me I was in need a break from creative practice. I started to notice by paying more attention to my self – to listening to my self – there was a great deal of head chatter occurring while I was engaged in practice.
DLP DCI Praxis v5i.20160531.P1
(Page 2016a)
I had always known of my head chatter, but had accepted it by my mid-twenties as the outpouring of my inner fears as I approached a new experience. By my early-thirties I had learnt to manipulate this head-chatter, to work for me rather than against me. I used my head chatter to consciously motivate and focus my self. I have continued to develop this practice throughout my life, assisting me in preparing for any form of performance, be it: public speaking, education practice (as educator), learning practice (as learner in formal instrument or personal development), and my music practice (on stage performing). However, I had never considered, nor explored my head chatter beyond this; particularly within the context of my creative practice.
As I listened more, I recognised that this head chatter – inner speech – did not just consist of just one voice, but were in fact multiple voices; multiple voices with multiple perspectives. As I focussed in on my listening – consciously, deliberately and systematically – I realised these voices were not necessarily independent. There was often a dialogue occurring between them. As I honed my focus and developed my inner listening, I noticed that the dialogue within my head was occurring across three perspectives of time – one of now; one of past; and one of future. In effect, three voices representative of each point in time. As Wiley (2010, P17) refers to it: the I of the present; the me of the past; and the you of the future. An epiphany. A light bulb moment, an ‘aha’ moment for me. The head chatter – as I had always referred to it – that had accompanied me in so many events and stage of my life, was indeed the inner speech of my dialogic self.
As my immersion in reflective and reflexive practice of my research study deepened, I honed in on the incessant daily dialogue of my dialogical self and began to distinguish between the inner speech – the three inner voices, the triadic voices of the I, the me, and the you – for each of my three selves operating at any point in time within the site of my practice: the self, the practitioner self and the observer/researcher self. I would take time to listen to the dialogue at any point in time during my creative practice, as they considered and debated: what I was seeing or observing, what I was hearing, what I was feeling, what I was imagining, what I was recalling, what I was smelling, or even what I was tasting; in order to better understand my music praxis. I devised ways to take notes during my practice of these daily triadic conversations, in order to return to them, reflect on them, and decode them. My music praxis developed as a result of this process, to not only acknowledge significantly more stages and elements of my music-making process; but, perhaps most significantly, the non-linear form of my music praxis (v8i).

DLP DCI Praxis v8i.20161231.P1.png

(Page 2016b)
I realised my music praxis was in fact very circular, with reflective and reflexive practice occurring constantly at any point in time. ­
My practice has now developed to the point where I can engage in multiple forms of listening whilst immersed and engaged in any stage of practice. I can now distinguish between the triadic voices of my three selves: the self, the practitioner self and the observer/researcher self in the present, the past, and the future within a very short amount of time, or sometimes, almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously. Just as my critical and analytical listening has developed over many decades of practice, my ability to listen and decipher the dialogue occurring within my dialogical selves at any point in time has also developed.
I liken this developed complex skill to other forms of practice where multiple tasks are required in sequence over a very short amount of time, often times almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously. The practice of driving a car and the practice of performing are similar type complex skills that need to be learnt; and are often awkward or impossible when one first attempts them with no prior experience. The act of driving a car – accelerating, braking, looking to the side for another car, indicating, moving lanes, whilst watching cars to the side, in front and behind is an example of such a complex task. Another example of a complex task would be leading a band, singing into a microphone, engaging an audience, playing guitar, and selecting guitar floor pedals, over a very short amount of time, often times almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously. I recall when I was younger, that I would never be able to learn how to do both complex tasks. Now I reflect on how many times a year I engage in both practices without any preparation, and perform them to a very high level of practice: almost unconsciously.
Learning about, and getting to know my dialogical self has assisted my music practice exponentially. As part of the process, I have developed a greater understanding of my self which in turn informed my practitioner self. This in turn allowed me to develop my music praxis to a greater depth and level of detail than I was able to previously. I now have far greater agency of my praxis (v9k), and its twenty-one (21) interdependent elements, at each of the various eight (8) stages of my creative practice.
DLP DCI Praxis v9i.20170420.P1
(Page 2017e)
As a result, I have far greater agency of my praxis (v9k) while music-making. I am now exponentially more focussed and more deliberate in my practice, most noticeably in my music-making within virtual technologies. I have found my self now responding within my music-making micro workflow in a similar vein to that of my performing – improvising – on my long-term physical instrument of choice, the electric guitar. I observe that I now engage – almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously – in the voices of the I, the me, and the you – at any point in time, within my site/s of practice. A split second in-practice, on-practice and for-practice dialogue – in performance, in assessment of what the practitioner self just heard or performed, in consideration of what options the practitioner self now has before them, their decision as to what they want to express, and the performing of the next music-making action. Yes, a fluid practice performance that demonstrates the harmonious integration of the elements of self, listening, reflective and reflexive practice. In essence: I listen, I practice, I reflect, I analyse, I consider, I choose, I prepare to act, I act – almost instantaneously and/or simultaneously.
This Project 1 Pilot Study has been a personal journey of creative and research practice, highlighting the co-constituted nature of my music-making practice. I now engage in the process of music-making in pursuit of authentic expression of self, irrespective of the medium. My authentic music-making practice – in contrast to my practice prior to engaging in this doctoral research – now transgresses the mediums of: physical instruments and virtual technologies. I now have a sense of who I am, what I am attempting to create, why I am attempting to create it, and an affective connection in the creation of it, irrespective of the medium of my music-making practice – physical instruments or virtual technologies. Virtual technologies are now as much an extension of my music-making practitioner self’s body, as playing my physical instrument of choice, the electric guitar. Allow me now to share my finding of this Project 1 Pilot Study – Holistic model to authentic practice – my journey and development through the four (4) phases of: identity-driven practice, value-driven practice, narrative-based practice, and embodied practice.
DCI Project 1 Model Graphic_Overview.20170607.P1c1.png
(Page 2017f)
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 25 (Page 2017g). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Page, David L. 2017g. Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 25 Accessed 3rd January, 2018
Page, David L. 2017f .17th Observation image courtesy of David L Page DCI Project 1 Research Study Holistic Model of an Authentic Practitioner.  Created 9th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2017e. Praxis v9k image courtesy of David L Page. Created 20th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2017d. 6th Observation image courtesy of David L Page. Created 17th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2017c. 3rd Observation image courtesy of David L Page. Created 17th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2017b. 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page. Created 17th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2017a. 1st Observation image courtesy of David L Page. Created 17th May, 2017
Page, David L. 2016b. Praxis v8i image courtesy of David L Page.  Created 29th, November, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. Praxis v5b image courtesy of David L Page. Created 15th April, 2016
Page, David L. 2015c. Praxis 4 image courtesy of David L Page. Created 1st December, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 3 Accessed 1st December, 2015
Page, David L.2015a. image courtesy of David L Page. Created 14th September, 2015
Wiley, Norbert. 2010. “Inner speech and agency.” In Conversations about reflexivity, edited by Margaret S. Archer, 17-38. New York: Routledge
– @David L Page 27/12/2017
– updated @David L Page 03/01/2018
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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Doctoral Pilot Study – Part 17a

~DLP Pro Image 1.20141020

(Page 2014a)
This blog is a continuation of a series. See here (Page 2014b) for the previous blog.
saeq-joint-logo-201309

Reflecting on 2014 ….

My approach to practice was so different to that of my recently recruited peers. As part of the creative media studies stream, learners were now to be immersed in specific creative media lexis and theory, via tasks that guided the aspiring practitioners in the development of them selves as unique and individual creative media identities. They were to learn to critically consider what creative media is for them as practitioners; researching and investigating both concepts and areas of the creative media industry they may possibly choose to engage in via their practice. They were to then apply these concepts to develop their unique creative media practice. With a developed sense of themselves, having time to form their world views, they would be guided in their development as aspiring professional practitioners; and as academic researchers.

2017 Update

I commenced the doctoral program in February 2015. My formal research journey had begun. On the back of the knowledge and approach in 2014 as described in the previous blog in this series, I implemented a new blog strategy at the beginning of 2015. This saw me changing my blog site from tumblr.com to wordpress.com. I did this for a number of reasons, but primarily due to:
  • wordpress.com is what we were guiding our learners to create as their primary creative practice blog site;
  • functionality of the wordpress.com site, including the use-friendly nature of the interface, the editing features, and the ability to publish multi-media within the one entry.
wordpress-site-20160129
(Page 2017a)
A selection of the 2014 journal entries were published retrospectively in wordpress.com as blog posts as soon as I opened that site. In revisiting this particular blog post- formerly named Reflecting Part 2 – now, nearing the end of my Project 1, I have chosen to rename some of those blog posts. Most noteworthy are:
  • my realisation that Reflecting Part 1 was essentially about my self , effectively situating my self in regard to my – at the time – pending  research study. I therefore renamed this Doctoral Research Study Part 1;
  • my realisation that Reflecting Part 2 (this blog post) was essentially about my practitioner self , effectively situating my practitioner self in regard to my – at the time – pending  research study. I therefore renamed this Doctoral Research Study Part 2.
Pre-DCI 2014 Journal Entries.20170430.P2.png
(Page 2017b)
Standing here today, reflecting, I now realise how my focus within this Project 1 was influenced by my experience within my HE education & learning role in 2013 and 2014.  The small sample of blogs I currently have listed on my wordpress.com site under the menu category DCI Phase 0 – Starting Point (Page 2017c) – are representative of some of the new knowledge and approach I acquired and developed during that period.  These journals/blogs were completed prior to my official commencement of my doctoral studies, the research study I was choosing to embark on to seek out answers to my long-term queries regarding my music practice. Yes, these blog entries represented 10,000 words book-ending the beginning of my research study.

My view of 2013 & 2014, looking back from 2017….

Reflecting from this point, I realise now how much I have developed over the course of the past almost four (4) years, in terms of new knowledge and approach. I have developed a new set of eyes in terms of my self, and as a practitioner. I look at my developed identity – self and practitioner selves – in 2017, differently to how I saw my self and my practitioner self in 2013, just under four (4) years ago. I am surprised with the level of detail I now see my self, my practitioner self, and my practice is detailed. After all, I have always actively engaged in reflection. However, two (2) key distinctions have emerged.
Firstly: I always knew I was complex; I always knew I was diverse. I now accept I am complex. I now accept I am diverse. I have a wonderfully varied and diverse life. In my need to ground my self during a period of failing creative practice (‘writers block’?), in order to re-connect to my muse, it was suggested I attempt to re-connect to my identity. As a result, I revisited a task that I have led hundreds of professional through in their professional development; I developed a Charter of Values and Beliefs for my self and practitioner self across my Project 1. Three (3) versions over the course of sixteen (16) months. I noted a summary of these developments in my blog last month:
“Quantifiably, the development across the three (3) versions of the Charter of Values and Beliefs over the sixteen (16) months of Project 1 has been:
v1: 26 green entries – new entries – under 8 categories
v2: 55 entries under 10 categories (112% growth in entries)
v3:  87 entries under 11 categories (58% growth in entries)” (Page 2017d)
Viewing this blog in the graphic below – where v1 is column 1, v2 is column 2, and v3 is column 3  – the level of development across the sixteen (16) months is exemplified (see Research Practitioner Part 18 Page 2017d for greater detail of this chart):.
Charter of Values development v3_v10_13.20170320.P1
(Page 2017e)
Secondly: I acknowledged early in my Project 1 journey that I realised I was a multi-disciplinary practitioner (see Research Practitioner Part 5):
“I began to recognise that I naturally took a multi-discplinary approach in not only my music practice, but in my life in general. I recall few times in my life where I was content to focus on one discipline for an extended period of time. I have accepted that my practice now covers three broad disciplines: a broad definition of music practice (Small 1998), education and learning practice, and my most recent engagement, research practice” (Page 2016).
As per my blog Research Practitioner Part 16 in January (Page 2017f), this passage of time has also provided me an opportunity to realise I am a multi-facetted, multi-dimensional practitioner. Based on evidenced practice-led data, I have documented at various point in my journey multiple instances of how my self informs my practice; and how my practice inform my self.
reflection
Reflecting thus far,  I realise how I immersed my self into this research study, a creative project opportunity that has provided me reflections of my self, and of my practitioner self. I can see with more clarity who I am as a unique and individual creative media identity.  I have critically considered how I choose to engage in creative media – what motivates me – as a practitioner. I have researched and investigated how I engaged in my unique creative media practice. In doing so, I have left no stone unturned. Having crystallised my world view, with a developed sense of my self, I was then able to guide my own development via conscious, deliberate and systematic reflective and reflexive practice of my creative practice, as a professional practitioner; and as an academic researcher.
Yes, much like Bilbo Baggins (Bros 2014) I am grateful in retrospect, for the opportunity to go on the journey into what was largely unknown territory for me – academic research. It was a self-imposed intervention process in many ways, to look at my creative practice through a very different set of eyes than I had previously. I stepped forward out of my comfort zone, and put just about every facet of my practice under the microscope. I was the subject; and I was the observer.  At points I thought I was going out of my mind, observing my practitioner self in the midst of practice, trying to conduct two roles at once. I faced large droughts of creativity, playing with session files for hours on end, and yet not connecting at all to the music I was making. When i finally did connect, i experienced quite the complete opposite situation. All of a sudden I felt I was drowning in a mass of data – electronic and paper notes, creative doodles, mindmaps, charts, textural, theoretical and methodological literature, session files, microphones, recording equipment, software updates, and an increasing list of potential blogs – my attempts to narrate my journey as I progressed. As I near the end of Project 1, and attempt to further streamline my findings, into an exegesis, i immerse my self more into the journey it has been to date.  What a journey to date. Once I submit this document, I can then embark on the next Project this research study journey. I can’t imagine what is install for that next leg.

images

 (Terry-Toons Comics 1945-1951)
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 23 (Page 2017g). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Bros, Warner. 2014. “The Hobbit.” Accessed 26th December, 2014
Learning Philosophy image courtesy of:  Learning Accessed 25th December 2014
Page, David L. 2017a. David L Page wordpress.com site Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017b. Revised DLP Blog Category Topics Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017c. DCI Phase 0 Starting Point Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L 2017d. Research Practitioner Part 18  Accessed 15th May 2017
DLP 2017e. image courtesy of Data for DLPs Project 1_Music and Sonic Collage.20170529.v39 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017f. Research Practitioner Part 16 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2017g. Research Practitioner Part 23 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2016 Research Practitioner Part 5 Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2015. A Creative Artist’s Need – Gratitude Accessed 15th May 2017
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page Linked-In site  Accessed 25th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2014b. Doctoral Research Study Part 2  Accessed 15th May 2017
Reflection image courtesy of: Reflection Accessed 15th May 2017
Terry-Toons Comics. 1945-1951. Mighty Mouse in Mighty Mouse #38-85  Accessed 8th March, 2014.
– @David L Page 15/05/2017
– update @David L Page 17/06/2017
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 2k

My journey continues….

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

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

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part k

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

Bordering my music-making practice

Over the preceding ten (10) blogs – Parts 2a through 2i –  I have developed my knowledge in the fields and disciplines of contemporary music-making, and as a result been able to border – and define – my music-making practice.

I have looked in depth at:
a.     Historical development of the industry from the 1830’s to the current era. Recording industry – from the invention of the 1st recording, microphones, corporate studios, progressing to large format recording studios
  • Music Production
  • Digital Technology – Consoles
  • Digital Technology – Organs, Synthesisers, Samplers
  • Project Studio
  • Consoles – DAWs and, Digital Virtual Instruments – Organs, Synthesisers, Sampler
  • Portable Studio
b. Industry standards of practice – commercial
  • Industry standards of practice – technical
  • Industry standards of practice – creative, aesthetic or affective
  • Industry standards of practice – soft skills
c. Defining DIY
d. Social, Cultural and Music-making practice Related
e. Changing Face of Music Production
f. The traditional definition of Music Producer
g. A new discipline of music-making emerges
h. The contemporary music-making practice
i. The contemporary music-making practitioner
Following this historical investigation, I examined me as a practitioner, outlining:
a. My autobiography as a music-maker
b. What form my practice currently takes
c. Broadening definition of music-making practice
d. Changing motives of practice
I then outlined my specific site/s:
e. My sites: my DIY Studio Production setup/s.
I concluded the bordering – defining – my music-making practice with:
f. Defining the Music Production process
g. Defining a holistic DIY Music Production process
In the following three (3) blogs, I outlined the Aim of Research Study, listed the existing theory and research studies had already been completed within the industry, field and disciplines; and finished outlining the significance of this research study for the industry, field and discipline.

A holistic view of a higher degree research study

By the end of 2015, my research study journey was well under way. As outlined in the preceding sections, I had begun my investigations across six (6) areas (see figure I below). I had gained clarity regarding the Industry and field of my practice, and standards of practice; my autobiography and events in my life that may have influenced who I am today. I had started to examine my practice, and identify the elements of praxis. I investigated the field and discipline theory, identified the lens that I viewed the world; and developed an appropriate research methodological approach. 
 Figure I – Preparing for Research Study (Page 2015b)
In doing so, I developed my research study brief. I gained clarity as to how the research study was situated, and the scope of the project. Additionally, I was clear on the potential benefits – the significance of this research study could have – in terms of the wider industry, various fields and disciplines. I did not assume for one moment that I was an expert in any of the areas. This twelve (12) month entree had provided me enough information to understand I was a novice academic research practitioner. Such research had provided me an opportunity to start to frame my music-making practice, in ways I had not previously considered.
My eyes were starting to open re who I, David L Page was in terms of my contemporary music-making practitioner identity. I had looked at a number of events in my life that had in some way influence over my approach to music-making. I had always known I had vast musical influences, but it was only in putting them together into a mind-map, that I comprehended the vastness of these, and could begin to make additional linkages between what may have seemed to be contrasting music styles. In doing this, I could better understand the diversity of my music-making practice, and why I was perhaps so enticed to so many corners of music-making practice. In re-exploring such diversity as outlined in the previous blogs, I recognised the need for me to develop how I defined my music-making. I accept now that my definition of music-making necessarily needs to include a broader term that is inclusive of everyday music-making engagement – that of musicking.
At the end of 2015, despite my twelve (12) months of intensive investigation and discovery of new knowledge, I accepted that I was in many ways, only just beginning my formal academic journey. 
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 3 (Page 2015c). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2017 2nd Observation image courtesy of David L Page Created 10th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2015c. Doctoral Research Study – Part 3 Accessed 29th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Preparing for Research Study image courtesy of David L Page Created 19th November, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2j Accessed 15th April, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page Created 15th December, 2014
– @David L Page 20/11/2015
– updated @David L Page 01/12/2015
– 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 2j

Design of Research Study

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

Significance of this research study for the industry, field and discipline

The significance of this research can be categorised into three areas: a blended philosophical approach additional to the current academic literature; the expansion of research methodologies usually applied in this area; and the development of a new music-making praxis, inclusive of the practitioner self.
The combination of my ontological perspective, epistemological approach and multi-methods research study, will add a unique perspective to the literature on music and sound, cultural sociology, phenomenology, arts’ literacy, self and narrative. This empirical research study will be conducted through my experiential phenomenological lens (Grace and Ajjawi 2010, 198), using qualitative methodologies of: practice-led research, reflective practice, critical thinking, reflexive practice, ethnography and evocative auto-ethnography over the two projects. No current studies seek to blend these three into the one paradigm.
As mentioned, Bennett (2000) and Frith (1996) discuss music and sound, cultural sociology, and narrative for example, but from a different ontological perspective, disregarding arts’ literacy and self. Others sharing my ontological perspective such as Griffiths (2010) and Ryan (2014) tend to discuss areas of my intended phenomenology – arts’ literacy, self and narrative – but disregard music and sound, as well as the specificities of cultural sociology. Others such as Bartleet (2009) and Davidson (2015) both cover practice-based research regarding their music-making, but offer more of an insight into the auto-ethnographic research aspect of the study, rather than a specific focus on their music-making (Dogantan-Dack 2015).
There is no literature that I have found which takes a comprehensive look at music-making practice across multiple stages of practice, from an experiential phenomenological lens, as a practice-led auto-ethnographic research study. It is this differentiation that will provide my intended research study significance in its perspective.
This multi-tiered examination will represent a significant departure from current discussion of music-making practice, developing praxis of contemporary music-making practice. As outlined in the previous section, functional music production texts generally propose very narrow views of practice. My research will serve other industry practitioners by investigating the relationships of these elements of practice. I will also expand this discussion by considering music making practitioners’ motives, offering a further unique insight to the most frequently discussed motive – technical practice. Other motive orientations such as aesthetics or creativity – with the exception of Moylan (2007) – are seldom discussed. Most significantly, I will be including an examination of the self in context, to provide a greater understanding of, and develop a broader view of music praxis. . This study will innovate through refocusing success in terms of bringing the social self into the industry literature and bringing the industry into the identity literature. I had considered the completion of interviews at the beginning of Doctoral Research Study Project 2 to provide a source of empirical data about contemporary music practitioners, in terms of their view of self, their motivations and the relationship of their choices of technology, music style, workflow and creative location. The data collected throughout the two projects will illuminate a more holistic and inclusive approach to practitioner-based research, and stimulate discussion amongst fellow researchers, field and discipline practitioners and creative industry educators.
As an examination of music-making practice and self, the research methodologies not only focus on evocative auto-ethnography but also draw on critical reflection and reflexive practice principles.   As Rescher notes:
“not only is knowledge indispensably useful for our practice but the reverse is the case as well. Knowledge development is itself a practice and various practical processes and perspectives are correspondingly useful—or even necessary—to the way in which we go about constituting and validating our knowledge” (2003, xvii).
It is one of my objectives to showcase the opportunities and challenges of such a qualitative study, particularly within a creative arts’ discipline. In this way my research study will contribute to transforming existing epistemologies of practice. I would expect to contribute in terms of the extensive empirical data that will be gathered throughout my research study, in terms of music-making practice as an expression of the self, allowing a greater understanding of the self, as the creative practitioner. I would also expect to contribute an increased understanding of contemporary music-making practice in the creation of EP’s. This will include a guide for aspiring practitioners in best practice.
Lastly, I would expect my research study to contribute in terms of higher order behaviours in a taxonomy of reflective practice. As a multi-method practice-led approach, I will draw on and apply multiple approaches of reflective practice across the four-year part-time research study, in both Project 1 and 2. There will be extensive empirical data gathered as a matter of process, with commentary and reflection regarding the opportunities and challenges of such approaches including that of: Archer (2007, 2010), Ryan (2014), Griffith (2010), Brookfield (1995), and Finlay (2008), within contemporary music-making practice. Of particular note will be data elicited regarding a creative practitioner performing the dual role of both practitioner and researcher, and the implications this has on the music-making practice workflow.
The findings in this research study will also provide utility across disciplines. In a world with a developing DIY intent, of developing practice across all disciplines, I trust my research study will broaden discussion in the field of social and cultural studies by providing both data and narrative for dual primary role-based (subject and researcher) formal research studies.
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This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2k (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Archer, Margaret S. 2010. Conversations about reflexivity, Ontological Explorations. New York: Routledge.
Archer, Margaret S. 2007. Making our way through the world: human reflexivity and social mobility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bartleet, Brydie-Leigh. 2009. “Behind the baton: Exploring autoethnographic writing in a musical context.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 38 (6): 713-733.
Bennett, Andy. 2000. Popular music and youth culture: music, identity and place. New York: Palgrave.
Brookfield, Stephen D. 1995. Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Davidson, Jane W. 2015. “Practice-based music research: lessons from a researcher’s personal history.” In Artistic Practice as research in music: theory, criticism, practice, edited by Mine Dogantan-Dack, 93-106. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Dogantan-Dack, Mine (Ed). 2015. Artistic Practice as research in music: theory, criticism, practice, edited by Graham Welch, Adam Ockelford and Ian Cross, SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Finlay, Linda. 2008. Reflecting on reflective practice. Practice-based Professional Learning Centre paper 52 29 (August 12th, 2015). www.open.ac.uk/pbpl.
Frith, Simon. 1996. “Music and identity.” Questions of cultural identity: 108-27.
Grace, S and R Ajjawi. 2010. Phenomenological research: Understanding human phenomena. Researcing practice: A discussion on qualitative methodologies. Rotterdam: Sense.
Griffiths, Morweena. 2010. Research and the self. In The Routledge companion to research in the arts, edited by M Biggs and H Karlsson, 167-185. London: Routledge.
Moylan, William. 2007. The art of recording: the creative resources of music production and audio. 2nd ed. Boston: Focal Press.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2k.  Accessed 20th November, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2i  Accessed 20th October, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
QUT image courtesy of:  Queensland University of Technology   Accessed 4th September 2015
Rescher, Nicholas. 2003. Epistemology: an introduction to the theory of knowledge, edited by George R Lucas Jr, SUNY series in Philosophy. New York: SUNY Press.
Ryan, Mary Elizabeth. 2014. Reflective practice in the arts. In Literacy in the Arts, edited by G Barton, 77-90. London: Springer.
– ©David L Page 10/11/2015
– updated ©David L Page 20/11/2015
– updated ©David L Page 10/06/2016
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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2i

Design of Research Study

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

Existing theory and research studies had already been completed within the industry, field and disciplines

As part of my preparing for my research study, I investigated a broad range of literature – industry-based text-books, and academic-based peer-reviewed literature. A variety of these resources have been informative to my intended research study. These include:
Industry-based text-books focusing specifically and comprehensively on one aspect of the music-making process in detail. These resources predominantly look at the technical elements of music-making practice, such as composing within a DAW. Examples are:
  • Gilraith’s (2010) “The Guide To MIDI Orchestration“;
  • Edstrom’s (2006) “Musicianship in the digital age” ; and
  • Dodge and Jerses’ (1997) “Computer music: synthesis, composition and performance”.
There were also a range of peer-reviewed articles outlining their research studies. Whilst I found these studies useful in terms of highlighting considerations of the compositional process within a digital virtual environment (DAW), none took a holistic perspective of the music-making process. Little attempt was made in any of these to develop music-making praxis; nor to consider the self or practitioner self as worthy elements of practice.
  • Nevels’ 2012 study, as summarised in “Using Music software in the Compositional process: a case study of electronic music composition”;
  • Chen’s 2012 Hong Kong-based “A Pilot Study Mapping Students’ Composing Strategies – Implications for Teaching Computer-Assisted Composition”;
  • Folkestad et al’s 1998 study, as summarized in “Compositional strategies in computer-based music-making”; and
  • Marrington’s 2011 study as summarised in “Experiencing Musical Composition In The DAW: The Software Interface As Mediator Of The Musical Idea”.
A number of other peer-reviewed articles looked at the studio more from a holistic perspective, but had a number of limitations of perspective; namely the lack of attempt to develop music-making praxis; nor to consider the self or practitioner self as worthy elements of practice. For example:
  • Bell’s 2014 study, as summarized in “Trial-by-fire: A case study of the musician–engineer hybrid role in the home studio”;
  • a number of studies contained within Frith and Zagorski-Thomas’s 2012 “The Art of Record Production: An Introductory Reader for a New Academic Field”;
I read with interest the title of Thompson and Lashua’s “Getting it on Record: Issues and Strategies for Ethnographic Practice in Recording Studios”, only to realise in the abstract that they focussed on a very narrow view of production. Their upfront claim of “(g)iven that recording studios are, first and foremost, concerned with documenting musician’s performances” signalled to me that their view of production was only to focus on forms of musical style where this was the case. By definition, they would exclude the majority of musical styles where the recording studio was used as an instrument, with the producer acting as composer [1]. However, from a methodology point of view, Thompson and Lashua’s article – along with some of the others mentioned, do outline some useful considerations for my research study.
I continued my investigation broadening my scope. Peer-reviewed books and articles such as Bennett (2000) and Frith (1996) discuss music and sound, cultural sociology, and narrative. These were useful – interesting and informative – in terms of my research and developing understanding of specific sociological concepts. However, they have limited use in terms of my particular research study given their differing ontological perspective relative to my experiential phenomenological lens. Those studies exclude any engagement or discussion of the elements of motive and self.
Other peer-reviewed research studies such as De Carvalho’s (2012) perspective in her article “The Discourse of Home Recording” do consider the self and identity. However, they are similarly limited due to De Carvalho’s ontological lens of a radical structuralist. Viewing the home music-making in terms of power relationships (Burrell and Morgan 1992), whilst an interesting point of view in understanding the dynamics of the broader industry – and perhaps even how I as a practitioners has arrived at this point of access – , has similarly limited relevance for me trying to understand the process of my practice, and develop music-making praxis.
Webber’s (2009) study “In music and in life: confronting the self through auto-ethnography” is perhaps the closest to my proposed study. Webber is a music-making practitioner, who also drew on an auto-ethnographic methodology, and focused on self. However, that study differs – subtlety – to my proposed study, in two ways:
  • Webber was diagnosed with the condition Asperger syndrone just prior to commencing his study, and therefore was motivated to use his study to understand himself, and how specifically that condition informed his music-making practice. I have no such known condition, and am motivated by a need to examine process in order to engage with my music-making practice more effectively;
  • Webber’s music-making practice is composition for theatre, and therefore quite a specialist skill relative to my broader definition and application of music-making as previously outlined.
Irrespective of these differences, there is much I believe I can learn from his study, and as a result, I gained Dr Webber’s agreement to be an Industry Mentor on my research study.
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Footnote
[1] In later blogs I will discuss approaches to production, with includes (of many) two quite distinct approaches. As outlined in Moorefield’s 2005 “The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music”. Organic style of music such as classical, jazz and roots styles of music attempt to capture the performance as accurately as possible – as Thompson and Lashua infer – in order to maintain the integrity of the art and craft. However, others styles of music such as pop (and its many commercially motivated sub-genre derivatives), hip-hop, rap and electronic dance music styles of music are – in this era – more likely to be produced with the intention that the producer will embellish the artist’s performance, often beyond recognition of the original tracked artist’s performance. Both approaches are valid, but are prescribed by the style of music one is endeavouring to produce. Given my broad approach to production, Thompson and Lashua’s article is severely limiting, effectively excluding a number of musical styles I am likely to focus on.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2j (Page 2015b).  It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Bell, Adam Patrick. 2014. “Trial-by-fire: A case study of the musician–engineer hybrid role in the home studio.” Journal of Music, Technology & Education 7 (3): 295-312.
Bennett, Andy. 2000. Popular music and youth culture: music, identity and place. New York: Palgrave.
Burrell, Gibson and Gareth Morgan. 1992. Sociological paradigms and organisational analysis: elements of the sociology of corporate life. Aldershot, Hants: Ashgate.
Chen, Jason Chi Wai. 2012. “A pilot study mapping students’ composing strategies: Implications for teaching computer-assisted composition.” Research Studies in Music Education 34 (2): 157-171.
De Carvalho, Alice Tomaz. 2012. The discourse of home recording: authority of pros and the sovereignty of big studios. Journal of the Art of Record Production 7.
Dodge, Charles and Thomas A Jerse. 1997. Computer music: synthesis, composition and performance. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Macmillan Library Reference.
Edstrom, Brent. 2006. Musicianship in the digital age. Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Folkestad, Göran, David J Hargreaves and Berner Lindström. 1998. “Compositional strategies in computer-based music-making.” British Journal of Music Education 15 (01): 83-97.
Frith, Simon. 1996. “Music and identity.” Questions of cultural identity: 108-27.
Frith, Simon and Simon Zagorski-Thomas. 2012. The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Marrington, Mark. 2011. “Experiencing musical composition in the DAW: the software interface as mediator of the musical idea.” Journal on the Art of Record Production 1.
Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The producer as composer: shaping the sounds of popular music. London: MIT Press.
Nevels, Daniel L. 2013. “Using music software in the compositional process: a case study of electronic music composition.” Journal of Music, Technology and Education 5 (3): 257-271. doi: 10.1386/jmte.5.3.257_1.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2j.  Accessed 20th October, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2h  Accessed 5th September, 2015
Page, David L. 2014 image courtesy of David L Page  Created 15th December, 2014
QUT image courtesy of:  Queensland University of Technology   Accessed 4th September 2015
Thompson, Paul and Brett Lashua. 2014. “Getting it on record issues and strategies for ethnographic practice in recording studios.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography: 0891241614530158.
Webber, Colin. 2009. “In music and in life: confronting the self through auto-ethnography.” In Music ethnographies: making auto-ethnography sing – making music personal, edited by Brydie-Leigh Bartlett and Carolyn Ellis, 261-273. Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.
– ©David L Page 20/10/2015
– updated ©David L Page 20/11/2015
– updated ©David L Page 10/06/2016
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.
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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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Doctoral Research Study – Part 2g

My journey continues….

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

Year 2015: 2nd Observation Part g

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. Following exploring the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century in the previous five (5) blogs, I continue to examine an aspect of my practice – me as a practitioner – outlining:
d. Changing motives of practice
and then outline my specific site/s:
e. My sites: my DIY Studio Production setup/s.
I will then conclude with:
f. Defining the Music Production process
g. Defining a holistic DIY Music Production process

Changing motives of practice

Given my current motives for practice are very much exploratory – research and investigation – not volume sales-based, I do not feel it is appropriate for me to categorise my music-making practice as per the industry definition of professional practice. In looking for an alternative classification to define my music-making practice, I considered the classifications for my practice of: professional, semi-professional, amateur or hobbyist (Rogers 2013). Could it be semi-professional, as I earn multiple small income streams from various forms of music-making practice? Or is it amateur, referring to my current status as a music producer where I am earning minimal income at present because of my current pursuits of creative industry education, and full-time doctoral studies? Referencing Kuznetson and Paulos’s article, I am reluctant to assume the title of expert for my music-making practice, as I consider myself a generalist across a breadth of skills and experiences. (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). However, I daresay my clients, the Institute that employs me as a Senior Lecturer, and my students may see that differently. What I do however accept is who I am: highly motivated, possessing an impassioned commitment to my practice, with a very high level of focus on developing my knowledge, skill level and technology. After four decades of music-making practice, I seek to learn on a daily basis: newly released creative technologies, applying them in a variety of creative locations; familiarising my self with new music styles; developing new practice workflows; better understanding my motives, and my self. I engaged in this doctoral research study to investigate my practice, in order to develop greater understanding and workflows. I therefore am of the opinion I exhibit qualities and attributes that reflect an attitude of professionalism. For these reasons, not with standing my experience, knowledge and skills accumulated and developed to date, both within the field and discipline of music and sound, and all other experiences in life, I also classify my self as an aspiring music practitioner.
As I continued my investigations, I began to recognise I approached my music-making with physical instruments in a different manner to my approach to music-making using virtual technologies (using my laptop to make music for example). In drilling down I determined that much of this was how I viewed both devices. I commenced my music-making practice with acoustic and analogue technology, developing a workflow that reinforced my musical literacy, instrumental skills and personal taste in music. However, as technology developed in the mid to late 1980’s, and alternative music-making devices became available, I moved from acoustic to digital technologies. In the early 2000’s my development of alternative devices included digital virtual technologies.
I viewed virtual technologies very differently. The actual device that housed the music-making application software (DAW) was a computer (a laptop for example). I saw a laptop as a device that houses many many application software that enabled me to record data and/or make transactions. I used computer technologies for administrative purposes (applications such as i-Note, word, excel, etc); organisation purposes (applications such as iCal, reminders, etc); and everyday personal and business management (services such as the internet-based social media sites, banking sites, utility sites to pay bills, etc). I viewed the music-making application software (DAW) as somewhat removed from me. It was housed in a aluminium and plastic case, that I could see, but not touch. The virtual keyboards were   engaged by pressing a computer keyboard letter; or perhaps a key on a plastic physical keyboard controller. Neither devices are derived directly from nature. They are manufactured. A computer and a keyboard controller are physical devices which also have natural resonant qualities. They only minimally expand and contract in extreme conditions, with such occurrences perhaps likely to render these devices inoperable. There is also a slight delay between the time you touch the key and having the sound emitted out of the computer monitors. They are not what I consider to be large resonant devices that can be embraced and/or feel the resonant qualities as they are played, such as I experience with a piano or guitar.
Moving from acoustic to digital and digital virtual technologies in recent decades, I observed the vastly different technologies and associated workflows that lend themselves to creative locations and music styles. This transition impacted my music-making practice, hindering the realisation of my creative productions: my EPs. I am compelled to learn more about my practice, and my practitioner self. I continue to practice a variety of music styles across multiple sites, motivated by multiple motives, developing my knowledge, skill level and technology. Whilst I have found my self at various times asking a number of questions in isolation, I now find myself seeing them as connected issues within a more global problem as I proposed for this doctoral research investigation.
Despite my four decades of practice, I have my eyes very much on the future. I still have a lifetime of music goals still to realise: songs to write and arrange; sonic textures to explore; creative productions to develop; and engage with both my peers and the public to a far greater degree than I have to date. I am hopeful of continuing my journey with music as an integral part of my life, core to my being, accompanying me wherever I am – wherever I choose to go.

My DIY Music Production setup

I have two music-making setups: a portable studio setup; and a project studio setup.
My portable setup includes:
An Apple MacBookPro 17” laptop[1] sits before me as a multi-dimensional tool for music production. It is portable, with me using it daily in a range of sites, from my project studio, the staffroom, a classroom, the waiting room of a professional service provider such as a doctor, on a train station while waiting for a commuter train, on a bus, on an airplane, in a park, or on the beach during my recreational time. The device includes a 2.5 Ghz intel processor, 16 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM) operating at 1,333 Megahertz, 1.75 terrabytes of storage, with an Intel high definition 512 megabytes graphics card. It has in excess of 170 applications installed on it {and to name but a few applications}, allowing me to use the device as a word processor, a multi-media player for both movies and music, a recording device, a multi-track recorder, or an instrument. And not just one instrument, but just about any instrument you can imagine, from an acoustic – European[2] or world[3] – instrument to a synthetic instrument[4]. In addition, I carry a two terabyte external hard drive with my laptop shoulder bag which stores my numerous and varied sample libraries[5] that allows me to have numerous instrumentation options wherever I am. Irrespective of the size, material, weight or value of that instrument, the need for electricity or batteries to operate it, or the technique and skill level required to play it, I have these instruments with me anytime I choose to travel to any location, and can choose to integrate any one of them into my music productions, as my creativity desires.
But such choices were not always available. I could not even begin to imagine in 1987 when I purchased my first digital recording console[6], with relative limited options, flexibility, speed, and quality that such a device with its enabled process and workflow would be possible. Several decades later, in 2004 when I purchased my first digital virtual audio recording workstation (DAW)[7], I did not imagine that I would be able to procure a device, the equivalent of a large note pad, and with it hanging lightly over my shoulder, be able to board a plane with such a powerful music production tool, with exponential more options, flexibility, speed, and quality in just another 8 years. My mind now ponders what I will be able to do in another 8 years time?
My project studio setup:
a 27” iMac has five (5) TB of internal hard drive with many TBs of samples. It runs a the industry standard DAW operation software (Pro Tools 11), and is supported by a 32 channel console with multiple monitors and a number of external analogue and digital audio processing devices. This setup allows extreme flexibility to be able to record and produce just about any style of acoustic or synthetic-based music possible.
I have practiced as a musician and a music producer in a number of locations globally for the greater part of my life. Irrespective of my geographical base, I approached these roles quite independently in my formative years. However, over the past decade I observe I am increasingly being drawn to attempt to fuse these two roles into what I would refer to as a singular, interdependent practice – musician as music producer. How I do this, and how I can do it more effectively is to be the basis on my Doctoral Research Study topic: “Holistic DIY Music Production: The effective integration of acoustic instruments with synthetic instruments during DIY Music Production in the digital environment[8].”

Defining the Music Production process

In order to explore these changes and new relationships, and what the implications have been on the process of music creation and production, we need to define the stages.
Raimond et al differentiates the music creation process (the musician composing) with that of the performance and recording process, whilst labeling them both under the ‘Music Production workflow’ (Raimond et al. 2007). Within the audio engineering industry, via anecdotal conversations with my audio engineering colleagues over many years, it is generally accepted that the Music Production process is divided into 3 main stages: Pre-Production, being prior to Production where the recording session is planned, and all logistics and all equipment confirmed; Production, being the actual recording process; and Post-Production, being the process following recording, up to having a ‘completed audio product’ in hand. This definition of the Music Production process is confirmed in such industry recognised texts as the “Art of Music Production”(Burgess 2013, 60-75), but I was unable to find such a suitable audio industry-based graphic, I am drawing on a similar practice described in a film industry document. Apple’s film digital workstation Final Cut Pro 7’s manual describes the process in terms of 5 stages {see graphic below}, with the two additional stages being ‘Scripting’ {what could be argued as the film equivalent of the music creation process with the film scriptwriter composing the film’s narrative – storyline and dialogue}, and Distribution {that which comes after the completed film product/artifact is in hand} (Apple 2010).

Production process.20150729.png

(Apple 2010)
It was common to have multiple roles for the various specialist technical skills along the music and audio industry production chain. Some of the specialist roles were: songwriters/composers, artists, arrangers, recording engineers, tape operators, console operators, mixing engineers, mastering engineers, and producers (Leach 2011).

Defining a Holistic DIY Music Production’ process

I will therefore refer to these five (5) stages both the Music Creation and Production stages, as the Holistic DIY Music Production process, including:
  1. the music creation stage (musician composing, lyrics and orchestrating the musical piece);
  • the three stages of the audio engineering process of,
  1. Pre-Production – pre-meetings to the actual performance and recording of that performance, planning the logistics of the production session, organising the ‘event’ including studio and equipment bookings, staffing, coaching people, setting up the session;
  2. Production – the actual performance and recording of that performance, control room and live room management, tracking, overdubbing, discussing the arrangement, creating an environment or space that will elicit the best out of the musicians
  3. Post-Production – following the completion of the actual performance and recording of that performance, an process that may include: arrangement, orchestration, decision to re-track, re-overdub, editing, mixing, embellishing all elements of the mix (including FX and interest), mastering, etc up to having a ‘completed audio product’ in hand;
    • and the final stage,
  4. Distribution – with the ‘completed audio product’ in hand, how this product will be released or distributed to the consumers or marketplace (irrespective of whether it is a commercially-motivated product, or not) 
onion-layers
Footnotes
[1] I purchased this in February 2012. The system came with a 250 gigabyte hard drive and cost my the equivalent of AUD$4,000 at the time. I currently have a 1.75 terrabyte hard drive capacity installed within it.
[2] Such as a double bass which I have seen many times in both European music orchestras and contemporary Jazz bands, but never played one
[3] Such as a Kenyan instrument – the Nyatiti – which I have only ever seen in Kenya during one of my trips in the early 1980s.
[4] Such as a Jupiter-8 synthesiser which I saw being played live in Japan in the late 1980s
[5] Sample libraries such a ‘symphonic orchestras’, ‘marching bands’, and ‘kitchen pot’ sets. I have compiled my sample libraries via purchases (about $10,000, including multiple instruments or play engines), creating samples from my recorded stock, and also trading via my peer network. I currently have approximately 2 Terrabyte of samples available for my use in music production at this time
[6] A TEAC Tascam Porta-4 Studio digital console. It cost me the equivalent of AUD$200 at the time.
[7] Referred to as a DAW, I purchased Pro Tools 6 and shortly after Logic Pro 7 multi-track software in August 2004, installed on a Mac Tower with a Digidesgn 002 interface. The system came with a 150 gigabyte hard drive, and cost me the equivalent of AUD$5,500 at the time
[8] As part of that KK59 Doctoral Research Study, I will necessarily need to define the ‘musician as music producer’ process, and intend to include both the Songwriting/Composition stage, and the Distribution stage in what I currently refer to as a Holistic DIY Music Production process. However, for the purposes of this KKP623 Essay “Assignment #2 Contextual Review of currents and trends that are shaping Effective Practice”, I will use the more common industry definition of Music Production as discussed by Burgess (1997, 64) in the “Art of Music Production”, excluding any extensive discussion of these two ‘additional’ stages of Songwriting/Composition and Distribution
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2h (Page 2015b). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
Apple. 2010. “Final cut pro 7 manual. Accessed 10th May, 2015.
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.
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.
Leach, Joel. 2011. A concise guide to music industry terms. Missouri: Mel Bay Publications.
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 2h  Accessed 5th September, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2f  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014. image courtesy of David L Page.  Created 15th December, 2014
Raimond, Yves, Samer A Abdallah, Mark B Sandler and Frederick Giasson. 2007. “The music ontology.” In ISMIR, edited, 417-422: Citeseer.
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.
– @David L Page 29/07/2015
– updated @David L Page 05/09/2015
– 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 2f

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 f

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. Following exploring the breadth and rapid exponential growth of the music-making industry over the past century in the previous five (5) blogs, I will now examine the remaining two (2) aspects of my practice:
  • the site of practice
  • and me as a practitioner
I will commence with me as a practitioner, outlining:
a. My autobiography as a music-maker
b. What form my practice currently takes
c. Broadening definition of music-making practice
d. Changing motives of practice
and then outline my specific site/s:
e. My sites: my DIY Studio Production setup/s.
I will then conclude with:
f. Defining the Music Production process
g. Defining a holistic DIY Music Production process

 

My autobiography as a music-maker
In the field of contemporary music production my eyes were starting to open to who I, David L Page was in terms of my music-making. In terms of my musical identity, I felt a compulsion to explore the diversity of my musical influences.
 I have listened to music across many mediums in my life, such as: TV, radio, gramophones, pianolas, movie theatres, record players, tape players, HIFI systems, car radios, car playback systems such a tape, CD and more recently via ipod and iphones; aeroplane inflight systems; ipods; desktops, iphones, and live performance.
I played physical instruments derived directly from nature. The pianos and guitars I played in my formative years were manufactured from woods from the forest. They were physical instruments with natural resonant qualities. The woods expand and contract, depending upon temperature and humidity. They are large instruments that I can touch, embrace and/or feel the resonant qualities as they are played. When I listen to music I generally experience a physical or emotional response. Often I felt the hairs stand up on my arms, or down the back of my neck. Often I would feel a calmness come over me, dissipating my worries or concerns. Sometimes, I would feel a swell of emotion, to the point of tears.
I had started to consider who I was as a music-maker – my autobiography – and what had influenced me to arrive to be at this point, prior to commencing my doctorate. As evidenced in my 2014 blogs Music Practitioner Part 1 (Page 2014b) and Part 2 (Page 2014c) I was brought up within a household of illness and not a lot of engagement during the first seven (7) years of my life. I therefore learnt to spend time within my self.
Music has been the one constant in my life, central to my being, accompanying me wherever I am, irrespective of whether I am physically playing, listening or internally listening via memory. Irrespective of the location, circumstance or event, music was within me. I had for many years accepted I had diverse musical influences. My mother filled our house with European classical music and opera on a daily basis from the age of eight (8) years old. I was also being influenced by the likes of my brother in blues rock, country rock, psychedelic rock, and political-driven folk music. I my self was naturally gravitating towards the experimental pop music of the day, along with more confessional singer –songwriter folk music. On the back of the historical investigation I had undertaken as described above, I considered the next step: to develop my music genealogy chart. I had led my HE creative media students through such an exercise within their chosen disciplines. I therefore was intrigued to delve into such an exercise for my self; developing a chart that contained the vastness of my musical influences. I understood music had always been, and continues to be an integral part of my life. However, it was not until I had completed this exercise, and in looking over the detail of this chart, did I acknowledge how diverse and influential music had been. For perhaps the first time in my life, I had a chart that visually depicted the breath of my musical influences, and in doing so, inferred many significant periods of my life.

DLPs Musical Influences.20141027.P2.Complete

    (Page 2015b)
Music had always been an integral part of my life. However, such a statement I believe still understates the importance of it for me.
What form does my practice currently take?
“Music-making practice is not a choice for me; it is a necessity” (Page 2015c).
I have practiced music for over four decades in multiple social and cultural contexts, and in significantly contrasting creative locations, such as a church choir singer, musician, songwriter, band member, teacher, project manager, engineer, solo artist, musician for hire, producer, and most recently an electronic music producer and educator. Over this time, I have engaged a (vast) range of technologies, using countless variations of workflow. Having commenced my music-making practice with acoustic and analogue technology, I then progressed to digital technologies, finally to digital virtual technologies. I found moving to digital and digital virtual technologies in recent decades, difficult. The vastly different technologies and associated workflows that lend themselves to creative locations and music styles impacted my music-making practice, hindering the realisation of my creative productions, my EPs. I observed this phenomenon had an effect on the concept of my self, which then in turn had an effect on my motive to practice music (DeNora 1999; MacDonald et al 2002; DeNora 2005; Peraino 2006; Taylor 2012). Despite lapses in motive, I continued to practice music on a daily basis, engaging physical instruments and also digital virtual technologies.
Broadening definition of music-making practice
However, over the course of my first year on my doctoral studies, I became familiar with, and subsequently embraced a broader definition of music-making practice – musicking (Small 1998; DeNora 2000; Wallis 2001; DeNora 2005; Hesmondhalgh 2013). In spending so much time away from what I had always known as music-making practice, I realised I was still in some way researching, analysing music, or in some way considering my music-making practice. I noticed that my music-making practice was not only occurring within the sites I had always associated with my music-making practice – a stage or a studio. The term musicking acknowledged the many other times and locations that I engaged in music-making practice, outside of what a professional music practitioner would potentially consider to be music-making practice, or music-making practice sites. These are the times when one is listening to music, considering music, or possibly recalling music in their memory. As my investigation progressed, I realised I engaged in this other form of music-making practice – musicking – often. I observed my practice music occurred across a range of sites, including my home music studio, my home performance space, at colleague’s houses, in rehearsal sheds, commercial practice rooms, and tertiary institution studios. [Note: I am not currently practicing music-making in pubs, clubs and public festival stages]. However, I now recognize that my music-making practice also included the sites of: my lounge room, the bathroom, the toilet, in my car, in my bed, on my bed, at my office desk, and even, outdoors. Yes, any location I can hear, listen or recall music.
onion-layers
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Doctoral Research Study – Part 2g (Page 2015d). It is intended for this blog series to continue on a regular basis as I progress through my doctoral research project.
References
DeNora, Tia. 2005. “The pebble in the pond: Musicing, therapy, community.” Nordic Journal of Music Therapy 14 (1): 57-66.
DeNora, Tia. 2000. Music in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
DeNora, Tia. 1999. “Music as a technology of the self.” Poetics 27 (1): 31-56.
Hesmondhalgh, David. 2013. Why music matters. Vol. 1. West Sussex, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
MacDonald, Raymond A. R., David J. Hargreaves and Dorothy Miell. 2002. Musical identities. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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. 2015d. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2g  Accessed 29th July, 2015
Page, David L. 2015c. Quote courtesy of David L Page.  Created 30th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2015b. Music Practitioner – Part 4. Accessed 26th February, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. Doctoral Research Study – Part 2e  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014c. Music Practitioner – Part 2  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014b. Music Practitioner – Part 1  Accessed 20th May, 2015
Page, David L. 2014a image courtesy of David L Page.  Created 15th December, 2014
Peraino, Judith Ann. 2006. Listening to the sirens: musical technologies of queer identity from Homer to Hedwig. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Small, Christopher. 1998. Musicking: the meanings of performing and listening. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Taylor, Jodie. 2012. Playing it queer: popular music, identity and queer world-making. Bern: Peter Lang.
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.
– @David L Page 30/05/2015
– updated @David L Page 29/07/2015
– 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 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.
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 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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