Who I am……

David L Page logo.20141231.v2_resize4

(Page 2017a)

Me, myself, I – the multi-facetted/multi-dimensional practitioner

As described in my blog Research Practitioner Part 16 (Page 2017b), I am a multi-facetted/multi-dimensional practitioner – a practitioner across multiple practices of education & learning, research study commitments, creative practice, professional consulting practice and family responsibilities. I concluded that:
“All of my practice informs my self; and my self informs my practice – irrespective of the industry, the field, the discipline, or the site”(Page 2017c).

~DLP Pro Image Fun 5b small.20141020

(Page 2017g)

A broad definition of me, myself, I – the creative practitioner

You will note that in terms of creative practice, I refer to my self as a creative practitioner. I consciously choose to use this broad term, not specific to any particular discipline – as I see  my self as a creative being who likes to engage in a broad range – a very broad range – of creative practice. Whilst I love to engage in what I would classify as the primary focus of my creative practice – music and sound; listening, creating and performing –  music and sound alone does not define me. Being passionate about music and sound does not mean that I am not also passionate about other forms of creative practice. I am a multi-facetted person, with many diverse dimensions to who I am as a being, and in what I love to engage in. I engage in visual arts, in design, in film and animation.

Engagement with particular creative media platforms for particular purposes

I also engage in web, but I see this as not so much as a creative process where I am creating,  I see my engagement with web as a creative process in terms of function; curation for gathering resources to use as a practitioner; curation of resources to source inspiration; resources of others practice and/or viewpoints that assist me in the reflection process; to create a sense of identity – for my self, and for others; and, to market and distribute my creative practice.
As I indicated in my blog Media Identity & Curation Part 2 (Page 2014), I apply a diverse media strategy to include my media sites of:  about.me, gravatar.com, wordpress.com, tumblr.com, twitter.com, linked-in.com, myspace.com, facebook.com, pinterest.com, you-tube.com, soundcloud.com, instagram.com, lastfm.com, slideshare.com, googlescholar.com, academia.com and google.com. I use these media sites for quite specific purposes.
  • For example, David L Page wordpress.com (Page 2017d) allows me to communicate detail of my professional practice – as a creative practitioner/subject, as a education & learner practitioner, as a reflective practitioner, as a management practitioner, and as a a researcher/observer in any or all of these areas.

    wordpress-site-20160129

    (Page 2017d)
  • I use David L Page Pinterest.com (Page 2017e) to provide a curated static visual view of my multi-facetted self. I am a professional practitioner who loves diversity. I love culture, having been blessed to live across three diverse cultures to date – European Australian, Japanese, Indian. I have experienced many more cultures in my global travels. I love all things music and sound – audio, in terms of production (tracking), post-production, live and theory. I believe in the access of education for everyone (referred to as community education). I love performance. I love fast fun things. I love the environment. .. I love… I love…. I love… I love…..
    Pinterest Board Categories.20160306.P1b
(Page 2017e)
  • I use David L Page you-tube.com (Page 2017f) to provide a curated audio-visual view of my multi-facetted self. As indicated above, I am a professional practitioner who loves diversity, culture, all things music and sound, education for everyone, performance, comedy, or fast fun things.. I love diversity…. 
David L Page You-tube channel.201706011
(Page 2017f)

Engagement with particular creative media mediums dictates what cultural productions I engage in

How I engage in media depends upon what cultural production – what cultural artifact – I will engage in at any particular time. Depending upon the medium I choose to listen to music or soundtracks will depend upon what I choose to listen to. Am I going to use the internet to stream; an iPod; a CD player – in a house, or a CD player in a car; a car radio; a portable tape player; a cheap record player; a high-end stereo system; or a high end 5.1 surround sound hi-fi system?
It is the same situation for visual arts and design. Depending upon the medium I choose to view visual arts and design will depend upon what I choose to view. on a small screen device such as an iPhone; via a static image platform such as Pinterest.com; via an audio-visual dynamic image platform such as you-tube.com; in a small art gallery with physical visual art or graphic displays; in a large National art gallery with physical visual art or graphic displays?
It is the same situation for film. Depending upon the medium I choose to watch film will depend upon what I choose to watch: on a portable small screen device such as an iPhone; a portable smallish screen device such as a laptop; on a small screen TV; on a large screen TV with a hi-fi 5.1 surround system; in a local suburban cinema; in a surround sound movie theatre equipped with dolby; or an outdoor drive in movie theatre with a window mono speaker system?
As a creative practitioner, I have listed examples below of media across four (4) disciplines and how I view them. Providing examples of four (4) different creative media disciplines I believe enables me to make my point of how engagement with particular creative media mediums very much dictates what cultural productions I actually engage in at any point in time.

~Music_staff Blue

(AE 2015a)
1. 4 different listening behaviours I exhibit:
  • eg 1: Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” for me, is best listened in the medium of an album, played on a HiFi record player system, in one sitting, in a comfortable chair, with ambient/subdued lighting (lava lamps etc), at the end of a day. Strict rule – no talking during each side… Flipping the album from side 1 to side 2 is the opportunity to have a break if one needs;

Dark Side of the Moon_Pink Floyd.1973

(Pink Floyd 1973)
  • eg 2: Tim Buckley’s “Greetings from LA” must be played as a full album, in sequence , in one go. I do not mind what medium I listen to it on (album on stereo, cassette tape, on itunes in car system, studio system, or on laptop/desktop/ipod/iphone via studio quality headphones) BUT MUST be listened to in sequence, at one time! (not negotiable);

Greetings From LA_Tim_Buckley.1972

(Buckley 1972)
  • eg 3: Where I did not buy the artist’s songs as an album, or I did, but I have never or have infrequently listened to it as a continuous complete album, I am happy to play the songs randomly in a multi-artist, multi-genre playlist via any medium (generally on itunes in car system, studio system, or on laptop/desktop/ipod/iphone via studio quality headphones);
  • eg 4: ambient music, or dance music for me is about a soundtrack to my life at that moment in time, supporting my emotional or physical state at that time, or my desired emotional or physical state at that time. I am happy to play the songs randomly in a multi-artist, signle-genre playlist via any medium (generally on itunes in car system, studio system, or on laptop/desktop/ipod/iphone via studio quality headphones).
    John Olsen_Sydney Sun [or King Sun] 1965, National Gallery of Australia © John Olsen.jpg(Olsen 2017)
2. 4 different visual arts and design viewing behaviours I exhibit:
  • eg 1: traditional art – physical paintings, etc – I do like to see in an art gallery, particularly a curated art gallery with a theme, or an artist’s works.. I like taking time to wander around in a relaxed stated;
  • eg 2: In saying that, I usually also like to have copies of my favourite works electronically (desktop pictures, pinterest, etc) to see and remind myself of that experience in the art gallery;
  • eg 3: I do view traditional art – physical paintings, etc – in coffee table books, but generally to see and remind myself of that experience in the art gallery…. eg 4: virtual design is ok on most modern mediums (laptop, desktop, etc). However in saying this, I tend not to view on smaller virtual devices such as iphones, as images gets lost/loses visual impact for me being so small, etc;
  • eg 4: Functional design, such as promotional or marketing brochures for me are best in a physical tactile state. i like to pour over them, digest them, turn the page, revisit the previous page, perhaps circle or add notes around the borders of the text that I may be attracted to, and have further questions about. I tend to want to engage physically with these mediums;
  • eg 5: virtual creative, artistic design is ok on most modern mediums (laptop, desktop, etc). However in saying this, I tend not to view on smaller virtual devices such as iphones, as images gets lost/loses visual impact for me being so small, etc.
3.4 different film viewing behaviours I exhibit:
  • eg 1: I most like watching feature movies on a movie theatre wide screen and sound system. However, I mostly watch them on my 65″ home TV with sound system – for convenience. For me, watching movies is a shared experience, watching with someone. I do not like watching animation movies on laptops or small screen for both the limited visual and audio experience, but mainly for the lack of watching in a relaxed shared experience environment. An example of a movie that i have seen in these conditions would be “Shawshank Redemption”;

Shawshank Redemption_CastleRockEntertainment.1994.jpg

(Entertainment, Castle Rock. 1994)
  • eg 2: Certain movies eg (original) “Point Break”, “Star Wars” are a cinematic experience, and lose a great detail of impact for me when not watched in cinema, but on my home TV system;
  • eg 3: Where I want to view a trailer to see if I am interested in watching it in full, I am happy to watch them on alternate mediums such as a laptop or desktop
  • eg 4: Certain movies eg “Blair Witch Project” I believe benefit from being watched on alternate mediums such as a laptop or desktop as this smaller – more intimate? individual? secretive? -medium lends itself more to the intent of the narrative in my opinion.
4. 3 different animation viewing behaviours I exhibit:
  • eg 1: I most like watching feature animation movies on a movie theatre wide screen and sound system. However, I mostly watch them from the second or third time via a DVD on my 65″ home TV with sound system – for convenience. “Lion King” is a good example of this. For me – now – “Lion King” is best listened to (note, not necessairly watched) in one go. It can be in background playing as i am working. In one particular period when i was working home over a three (3) month period, I recall “Lion King” was playing in the background on repeat, all day, every day for those three (3) months;

    The Lion King_Walt Disney Pictures.1994

    (Disney 1994)
  • eg 2: I most like watching animation movies (eg Disney or Pixar) on a movie theatre wide screen and sound system. However, I mostly watch them on my 65″ home TV with sound system – for convenience. I do not like watching animation movies on laptops or small screen for both the limited visual and audio experience;
  • eg 3: Where there are short animations (3 minute Pixar), I am happy to watch them on alternate mediums such as a laptop or desktop, just to entertain myself for a short moment to lift my mood, distract me, etc.
5. x different games viewing behaviours I exhibit:
  • eg 1: No contribution possible. mes not a gameboy!!!

Conclusion

What creative media medium I engage with will dictate to a degree what cultural production – what cultural artifact – I will engage in at any particular time.  As a creative practitioner, I have provided examples across four (4) disciplines of how I may engage in particular creative media mediums, dictating what cultural productions – what cultural artifacts – I engage in at any point in time.
I love many, varied forms of creative media,  In my personal situation  have access to many, varied creative media mediums:  the internet; an iPod; a CD player – in a house, or a CD player in a car; a car radio; a portable tape player; a cheap record player; a high-end stereo system; or a high end 5.1 surround sound hi-fi system; a small screen device such as an iPhone; a laptop; a desktop; static image platform such as Pinterest.com; via an audio-visual dynamic image platform such as you-tube.com; a small art gallery with physical visual art or graphic displays; a large National art gallery with physical visual art or graphic displays; a small screen TV; a large screen TV with a hi-fi 5.1 surround system; a local suburban cinema; in a surround sound movie theatre equipped with dolby; or an outdoor drive in movie theatre with a window mono speaker system. Most of us in western countries have many, varied options and access in this era.
The mediums one chooses to access media through, could therefore dictate what media you actually engage in.
  • How do you access creative media?
  • How does this inform what cultural production – what cultural artifact – you choose to engage in at any point in time?
References
AE 2015a Music note montage in the universe image courtesy of: Angelic Exorcism (AE) Studio Projects  Accessed 11th March 2015
Buckley, Tim. 1972. Greetings from LA. Straight Records. Vinyl LP.
Disney, Walt. 1994. The lion king. Walt Disney Feature Animation. DVD.
DLP 2017a image courtesy of David L Page  Accessed 11th June, 2017
DLP 2017g image courtesy of David L Page Accessed 11th June, 2017
Entertainment, Castle Rock. 1994. The shawshank redemption. Colombia Pictures. DVD.
Olsen 2017 image courtesy of Sydney Sun [or King Sun] 1965, National Gallery of Australia © John Olsen  Accessed 11th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2017b Research Practitioner Part 16 Accessed 11th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2017c Research Practitioner Part 18 Accessed 11th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2017d  David L Page wordpress.com  Accessed 11th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2017e  David L Page Pinterest.com  Accessed 11th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2017f David L Page you-tube.com  Accessed 11th June, 2017
Page, David L. 2014 Media Identity & Curation Part 2  Accessed 11th June, 2017
Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
– ©David L Page 11/06/2017
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 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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History Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music-production

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

Maypole Dance.P1

(Maypole 2018a)

Mainstream popular music-making practitioners draw on broader lineage

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

Maypole Dance.P2.jpg

(Maypole 2018b)
[1] I will discuss Frank Zappa’s impact on mainstream music-making in a later section on experimental music-makers
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History of Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios (Page 2016b).
References
Beach Boys, The. 1966. Pet Sounds. Capitol. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1967. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
Beatles, The. 1966. Revolver. Parlophone. Vinyl LP.
Cotter, Jim. 2002. “Frank Zappa (1940-1993).” In Music of the twentieth-century Avant-Garde: a biocritical sourcebook, edited by Larry Sitsky, 593-598. London: ABC-CLIO.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer. 1970. Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian in his London studio, 2014 image courtesy of: Dark Shark Access after 1st May, 2017
Eno, Brian. 1978b. Music for films. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Eno, Brian. 1978a. Ambient 1: music for airports. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Eno, Brian. 1975b. Discreet music. EG. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian. 1975a. Another green world. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian. 1974b. Taking Tiger Mountain. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian. 1974a. Here come the warm jets. Island. Vinyl LP.
Eno, Brian and David Byrne. 1981. My life in the bush of ghosts. Sire/Warner Bros. Compact CD.
Eno, Brian & David Byrne 1980 image image courtesy of: Talking Heads session, Different Fur Studios Access after 16th May, 2016
Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
Holmes, Thom. 2012. Electronic and experimental music: technology, music, and culture. 4th ed. New York: Routledge.
Homer, Matthew. 2009. “Beyond the studio: the impact of home recording technologies on music creation and consumption.” Nebula 6 (3): 85-99.
Martin on sound on sound image courtesy of: Kleon blog site  Access after 16th May, 2016
Martin, George and Jeremy Hornsby. 1979. All You Need Is ears: the inside personal story of the genius who created the Beatles. New York: St martin’s Press.
May pole image 2018b image courtesy of  Revels DC  Accessed 31st January, 2018
May pole image 2018b image courtesy of  Personalised Ribbons Accessed 31st January, 2018
Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The producer as composer: shaping the sounds of popular music. London: MIT Press.
Floyd, Pink. 1973. Dark side of the moon. Harvest. Vinyl LP.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Page, David L. 2016b  History of Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios. Accessed 5th March, 2016
Page, David L. 2016a. History of Music Production Part 4a – DIY Experimental Practice Influences Large Format Console Studios  Accessed 5th March, 2016
Tamm, Eric. 1995. Brian Eno: his music and the vertical color of sound. New York, NY: Da Capo Press.
Zappa, Frank and The Mothers of Invention. 1966. Freak out. Verve. Vinyl LP.
– ©David L Page 05/03/2016
– updated ©David L Page 16/05/2016
– updated ©David L Page 01/05/2017
– updated ©David L Page 31/01/2018
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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History Music Production Part 4a – DIY experimental practice influences Large Format Console Studios

CH2_Les Paul_Tracking Mary

(Paul, 2016)

Development of production techniques in mainstream popular music-making

The making of mainstream popular music has developed exponentially over the past five (5) decades, in terms of musical style, site (creative location), technology and workflow (Owsinski 2013, Huber and Runstein 2013; Izhaki 2013; Gilreath, 2010). As a flow on from both globalisation and technological development, hybridity in mainstream music-making is ever increasing. Musical styles in mainstream popular music draw upon an ever-widening lineage of musical style influences (McLaughlin & McLoone 2000, 187, 190,192, 193). The trend of hybridity, innovation and adoption of technologies and workflows from other approaches to music-making however is not new to the roots-based approach to music-making.
Throughout the 1900’s there was continual experimentation and inventiveness in the industry, enabling a recording industry to develop to what it is today. However, it was in the late 1940’s that saw a noticeable change to the approach to music-making, by a musician who was motivated by trying to make his guitar-playing sound more textured that what it sounded as a single instrument. As a guitarist in the 1950’s, Les Paul experimented in his home with low-level recording devices[1], recording and over-dubbing guitar parts (Théberge 2004). Paul experimented with, adopting principles that he had observed in other music-making approaches[2], and applying them in new and innovative ways. Paul has been attributed with the mantle of the first modern recording engineer, using the recording process in the studio for creative effect. Paul’s experiments with tape players and the “placements of recording and playback heads“ enable him to multi-track his guitar parts with just one tape recording device (Moorefield 2005,4). Further experiments placing playback heads behind the recording head revealed out of sync playback, “resulting in now-standard effects such as phasing, flanging, chorus, and delay”(Moorefield 2005,5). The results enabled Paul to have his electric guitar recordings appear more layered, more complex, more textured. Paul went on to achieve considerable commercial success as both an artist (guitarist) and a recording engineer.
Phil Spector + Larry Levine_SoS.20170428
(Sound on Sound 2017)
A few years later, American Phil Spector reimagined Paul’s creative process, creating his own recording workflow. Spector progressed Paul’s legacy by using studio and musical equipment he had access to, in ways the manufacturers had originally designed for them to be used. However unlike Paul, Spector saw the potential of his role as more than just an engineer. Developing his own unique approach to production, Spector saw the role of producer as being in control of the creative process, in control of the artist. In the Spector model, the artist was a commodity in the production process, where Spector was producing them:
“By taking total artistic control of a recording, Spector in fact redefined what it meant to produce a record” (Moorefield 2005, 12).
Spectors Wall of Sound_The Wrecking Crew
(MPR News 2016)
Spector looked beyond the previous generation’s approach to production, to merely capture traditional band format instruments for inclusion on the recording. Spector immersed himself in the newly envisaged role of creative producer, exercising curiosity and adventure in every aspect of the production process. Unlike his predecessors, Spector was inventive with his approach to instrumentation, arrangement, production and post-production processes:
“He handles the control dials like an electronic maestro, tuning various instruments or sounds up, down, out, every which way, using things like two pianos, a harpsichord and three guitars on one record; then re-recording the whole thing with esoteric dubbing and over-dubbing effects—reinforcing instruments or voices—coming out with what is known throughout the industry as “the Spector sound.” (Wolfe, 43 in Moorefield 2005, 10)
Spector with console_1960's
(Guerrieri, 2016)
As one of the earliest examples of a commercially successful creative producer[3], Spector composed a musical and sonic wall of sound[4] – multi-layered, complex-textured productions – more than what had been created previously. Spector’s approach to the production process was:
not just with the overdub and mix, but also by using the studio as an acoustic space, certain microphones, and unconventional instrumentation”(Tankel 1990).
Spector approached the studio as that of a composer, using the studio and any musical and sonic equipment within, to create an extravagant music and sonic production experience for the listener[5].
“the studio was a musical instrument, to be tuned and practiced on and performed with. The degree to which he took this idea was considered excessive by some at the time” (Moorefield 2005,14).
In just a few short years, Spector had established a new legacy for the recording industry. Spector developed the definition of a record producer, and the approach to production
Spector Album_The Wall of Sound
(Spector 1981)
“Whereas the craft of the studio technician and producer had formerly been to create for the home listener a perfected version of an artist, band, or orchestra in concert, the rules of the game were now changing: the object was no longer to create a flawless “real-life” experience, but rather to use the available technological resources imaginatively in order to create sounds that were no longer functioning within the metaphor of realism which had previously been the norm. Thus, by the mid-sixties, “manipulating technology” had come to encompass a whole lot more than mic placement or fader levels (Moorefield 2005,15-16).
Turning Songs into Records: The Many Roles of Producers in Popular Music (PBS Learning Media, 2017)
Once Spector had some success in the US, he moved to the UK to and it is here where his multi-layered, complex-textured approach to production influenced British artists and the UK production scene. George Martin and the Beatles embraced the experimental approach to production, exercising curiosity and adventure in every aspect of the production process. The Beatles, Martin and his studio engineer Geoff Emerick became very inventive with instrumentation, arrangement, production and post-production processes (Emerick & Massey 2007, pp6-14). Tape recorders and creative processing was explored to full effect, inheriting the legacy and techniques from both Spector and Paul. Again in their first experimentation into psychedelic style music production with “Tomorrow Never Knows”, Lennon’s voice has a hallucinogenic quality:
“This effect was achieved by an early use of a tape recorder’s record head being used for playback as well as recording. When played back in combination with the signal from the playback head, the gap between the two heads created a delay which could be time-varied according to the speed at which the tape was played back. This is the same principle used by the once widely popular effects unit known as the Echoplex.   (Moorefield 2005, 31)
Tomorrow Never Knows_Lennon+McCartney_sheet music
(Lennon McCartney 1966)
However, Martin did innovate the workflow one step further: “a number of tape loops …. are featured prominently in the song and give it its unique character”. Martin then used each of the channels on the studio console to highlight these loops by raising the volume of each, one at a time. Much like a musician could do on an electronic organ, Martin was now using equipment within the recording studio as a musical instrument (Moorefield 2005, 30).
[1] Paul was experimenting with some of the earliest forms of domestic tape players available.
[2] I will discuss the influence other approaches to music-making had on roots-based music-makers such as Les Paul, in a later section on experimental music-makers
[3] Perhaps the best example of Spector’s production approach was with the 1963 global hit by The Ronnettes, “Be My Baby” (Moorefield 2005,12).
[4] Spector became famous for his production approach, know as the Spector ‘Wall of Sound’ (Moorefield 2005,14).
[5] Other musicians and composers were experimenting with music and sonic production experience for the listener – such as John Cage , but were not realising the same degree of commercial success.
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month with History of Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music production  (Page 2016).
References
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Guerrieri, Matthew. 2016 Via Spector and serendipity, the harpsichord invaded pop  Image courtesy of Boston Globe  Accessed 16th March, 2016
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2013. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Lennon, John & Paul McCatney. 1966 Tomorrow Never Knows. 45rpm Parlophone label. Image courtesy of Northern Songs
McLaughlin, Noel and Martin McLoone. 2000. “Hybridity and national musics: the case of Irish rock music.” Popular Music 19 (2): 181-199.
Moorefield, Virgil. 2005. The producer as composer: shaping the sounds of popular music. London: MIT Press.
MPR News, 2016. Phil Spector Wall of Sound Accessed 16th March, 2016
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 28th March, 2015
Owsinski, Bobby. 2013. The mixing engineer’s handbook. Boston: Cengage learning.
Page, David L. 2016. History of Music Production Part 4b – Experimental practice changes the approach to mainstream music production Accessed 5th March, 2016
Paul, Les. 2016. Les Paul tracking Mary Paul  Courtesy of Les Paul.com.  Accessed 20th February, 2016
PBS Learning Media, 2017. Turning Songs into Records: The Many Roles of Producers in Popular Music   Video courtesy of PBS Learning Media. Access 1st May, 2017
Sound on Sound, 2017 Classic Tracks – Ronettes – Be My Baby  Image courtesy of Sound on Sond.com magazine. Access 1st May, 2017
Spector, Phil. 1981. Wall of Sound Vinyl LP Phil Spector International label  Image courtesy of Discogs  Accessed 20th February, 2016
Tankel, J.D., 1990. The practice of recording music: Remixing as recoding. Journal of Communication, 40(3), pp.34-46.
Théberge, P., 2004. The network studio: Historical and technological paths to a new ideal in music making. Social Studies of Science, 34(5), pp.759-781.
– ©David L Page 20/02/2016
– updated ©David L Page 16/05/2016
– updated ©David L Page 01/05/2017
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

History Music Production Part 5b – DIY Culture & Music

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

(Musical Styles/Genre 2016)

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

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

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

Dandy Warhols and Tame Impala

 (Dandy-Warhols 2012)                            (Tame Impala 2012a)
Similar to a few artists since the 1950’s (Burgess 2014, 52-53; Emerick and Massey 2006, 306; Burgess 2014, 93), Dandy Warhol’s were signed to a record label, achieved commercial success, completed their record company contractual obligations, and rejected traditional production practice to self-produce. They procured physical space, carried out DIY renovations, and improvised production using assorted technology[1] (Davie 2012, 46-50; Dandy Warhols 2010). Total oversight provided flexibility, allowing choice of technology choice, how it was to be applied, and to what standards they aspired to – commercial, technical, creative, affective or social. “The rise of more affordable digital recording rigs and easier programming protocols represents a democratisation of technology, making available a process that was once accessible only through the facilities and skills provided by a recording studio” (Leyshon 2009,1309). Musician, songwriter, producer Kevin Parker {aka Tame Impala} – a contemporary DIY music production practitioner with commercial, creative and affective practice motives, has “total disregard for convention”. Similar to the Dandy Warhols, Parker prefers to experiment, producing Tame Impala’s 2012b “Lonerism” in a rented apartment with a range of technology of varying quality. Not necessarily following efficient practice, Parker’s openly disregards accepted technical processes and standards. The album received critical acclaim, described as “cosmic mangling of sound and makeshift technique”. Parker’s production and post-production skills “are sought-after by like-minded artists”: artists, who no doubt, aspire to non-convention and preparedness to deviate from accepted industry standards (Davie 2012, 44-45; Tame Impala. 2012b).

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

Danger Mouse and Goyte

           (Danger Mouse 2004)                         (Goyte 2011a)
Brian Burton {aka Danger Mouse[2]} experimented with the sampling process of the day[3] by fusing two well-known albums[4], and shared it with his local community. Connecting to his creative, affective and social practice motives, the community responded, shared it online with the broader community, attracting the attention of the US authorities for Danger Mouse’s breach of copyright[5] (Gunderson 2004). Much conversation and debate ensured, attracting more attention, and his ‘remix’ went ‘viral’. Danger Mouse’s name became infamous to both consumers and music industry establishment as a production talent (Johnsen et al 2007; Väkevä 2010, 61-66). Affirming the ‘possibilities’ of DIY, the ‘event’ influenced aspiring practitioners, inspiring them to similar innovative and creative acts in their attempt to gain notoriety, and “stand out in the crowd” (Hracs et al. 2013, 1144, 1149). Building on his prior releases, Danger Mouse experienced a rapid rise to fame and respect as a production practitioner (Davie 2014, 38; Duckworth 2005, 148). Similarly, DIY Wally de Backer {aka Goyte} wanted to build upon his prior releases and explore a new level of creative and affective practice for his third album by incorporating original acoustic samples into the process[6]. Recording samples in his project studio using a range of technologies[7], Goyte created a range of virtual instruments, able to be played in unique ways that the original acoustic instruments could not have[8]. By “virtualizing the instrument this way”, Goyte was able to create sonic qualities or textures not previously heard. The production received critical acclaim and awards worldwide (Goyte 2011c; Goyte 2011b). Additionally, as a prosumer Goyte used technology as he desired, choosing to record below high-fidelity standards (Davie 2015, 34): “some songs I sang into the microphone of the MacBookPro – for whatever reason it sounded really good in that room and I left it in the final mix” (Holder 2011). Today’s developed technology allows music producers “a significant degree of creative freedom”, to “produce highly accomplished soundtracks”, of a standard where “some of these tracks … can literally be sent straight to the record company for final mastering” (Hewitt 2008, xv). The portable studio has enabled a new environment for DIY production (Huber and Runstein 2014, 78).

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

Brian Eno & Trent Reznor

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

Conclusion

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

 

References
Anderson, Nate. 2008. “Reznor makes $750,000 even when the music is free.” Accessed May 20, 2015. http://arstechnica.com/uncategorized/2008/03/reznor-makes-750000-even-whenthe-music-is-free.
Antares. 2015. “Auto-tune.” Accessed 7th May, 2015. http://www.antarestech.com.
Bennett, Andy. 2005. Culture and everyday life. New York, NY: Routledge.
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Dandy Warhols, The. 2010. The Dandy Warhols: best of the capitol years 1995-2007. Capitol Records. Compact Disc.
Dandy Warhols. 2012. This Machine image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Danger Mouse. 2004. The Grey Album image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology 2015 (106): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2014. “Danger Mouse: producer of the decade.” Audio Technology (100): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
Duckworth, William. 2005. Virtual music: How the web got wired for sound. New York, NY: Routledge.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Eno, Brian. 2004. “The studio as compositional tool.” In Audio culture: readings in modern music, edited by Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner, 127-130. New York: Continuum.
Eno, Brian. 1984b. Ambient 4: on land. Editions EG. Compact Disc.
Eno, Brian. 1984a. Ambient 4: on land. image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Gotye. 2011c. “Making, making mirrors – a short documentary.” Accessed 5th May, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=64.
Goyte. 2011b. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc
Goyte. 2011a. Making Mirrors image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Gunderson, Philip A. 2004. “Danger Mouse’s “grey album”, mash-ups, and the age of composition.” Postmodern Culture 15 (1): 7.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Hodges, Donald A and David C Sebald. 2011. Music in the human experience: an introduction to music psychology. New York: Routledge
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Hracs, Brian J, Doreen Jakob and Atle Hauge. 2013. “Standing out in the crowd: the rise of exclusivity-based strategies to compete in the contemporary marketplace for music and fashion.” Environment and Planning A 45 (5): 1144-1161.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Johnsen, Andreas , Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke. 2007. “Good Copy, Bad Copy.” Copyright and Culture Documentary. Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKl5I_Q044&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=72.
Langford, Simon. 2010. Remix manual. Burlington: Focal Press.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The Software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
McIntyre, Phillip. 2012. “Rethinking creativity: record production and the systems model.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, 149-62. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Miller, Eric R. 2013. “The influence of recording technology on music performance and production.” Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Studies, Media Arts and Studies, Ohio University.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Musical Styles/Genre 2016 image courtesy of: Musical Styles Accessed 15th December, 2016
Neyfakh, Leon. 2014. “The Sadness of T-Pain.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-sadness-of-t-pain.
Nine Inch Nails. 2008b. Ghosts I-IV. Shock Records. Compact Disc.
Nine Inch Nails. 2008. Ghosts I-IV image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b  What Brought Me Here #10 – Eno  Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Page, David L. 2015a. History of Music Production Part 5a – the DIY music-making practitioner  Accessed 5th August, 2015
Sillitoe, Sue. 1999. “Recording Cher’s “Believe”.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb99/articles/tracks661.htm.
Stone, Brad. 2009. “Artists find backers as labels wane.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/technology/internet/22music.html?_r=0.
Tame Impala. 2012b. Lonerism. Modular. Compact Disc.
Tame Impala. 2012a. Lonerism image courtesy of Discogs Accessed 28th August, 2015.
Tamm, Eric. 1995. Brian Eno: his music and the vertical color of sound. New York, NY: Da Capo Press.
Tepper, Steven J. and Eszter Hargittai. 2009. “Pathways to music exploration in a digital age.” Poetics 37 (3): 227-249.
Väkevä, Lauri. 2010. “Garage band or GarageBand®? Remixing musical futures.” British Journal of Music Education 27 (01): 59-70.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Wikström, Patrik. 2013. The music industry: music in the cloud, Digital media and society series. Cambridge: Polity.
Young, Sherman and Steve Collins. 2010. “A View from the Trenches of Music 2.0.” Popular Music and Society 33 (3): 339-355.
– ©David L Page 28/08/2015
– ©David L Page 15/12/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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Effective and best practice for the contemporary music practitioner

Pro Tools 11screenshot

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

Historical development of practice

The Audio Engineering Society {AES} was formed in 1948 in New York as a governing body, and to offer industry expertise to the developing recording and broadcast industry (AES 2015). A significant outcome of the AES was the creation of standards for which the industry could operate, and that manufacturers of any recording and broadcast industry equipment could comply with. This was very beneficial as the development of certain equipment such as microphones were being constructed with a variety of unique fittings that meant that microphones were not universal, requiring different microphone cables for each manufacturer’s device. The AES was instrumental in influencing a universal standard over time (AES 2015; Huber and Runstein 2010, 111-179). However, the majority of standards developed, were technical or theoretical to audio engineering, not process or workflow-based for the more global discipline of music production (AES 2015). As access was limited to recording studios up until the 1980’s, such music production process or workflow remained to those in the one of the specific skilled roles previously referred to, or as an artist. Practice was aligned to the typical corporate organisational effectiveness objectives, to maximise profitability. Music production practice was controlled by the management of the commercial radio and television studios or the recording studios; the skilled scientists, technicians or manufacturers creating the technology or the processes, with the focus on ‘correct’ use and application of technology, inline with the studio management’s directives of conservatism to preserve the organisational objectives; or the music producers who had successfully produced recordings for artists, contracted to abide by management’s directives to meet the organisational objectives (Robbins et al 2009, 708-710; Burgess 2014, 38-41, 42-55, 82-97; Emerick and Massey 2007, 54).
As technology developed and music production related equipment became available to the prosumer market, user manuals provided by the manufacturer instructing the user how they were best to use the unit was one of the few mediums of effective practice being made available outside of the professional studio environment[1]. One of the first units with such a user manual was for the TASCAM series 144 model Portastudio user manual (TEAC 1979).  A decade later, the first industry functional text, sponsored by one of the major manufacturers on the sector was released. Initiated by two audio engineers, arranging sponsorship from the Yamaha Music Corporation to be able to write it, the “Yamaha-The Sound Reinforcement Handbook” was at the time the only comprehensive audio engineering textbook of its kind, and instantly became a standard reference book to the industry (Davis & Jones 1990). The text remained for more than a decade as the only text book comprehensively, outlining audio engineering theory and techniques for ‘sound reinforcement’[2]. The third service and support more recently provided for budding DIY music producers is a range of instructional courses, vocational courses such as the likes of the Australian-based SAE, the School of Audio Engineering (2015), and JMC Academy (2015). In order to teach subject content, audio engineers with studio experience had to be employed to teach the industry standard practices. Whilst it may have taken some decades for this process to become refined and consistent, Burgess confirms their relevance in the discipline: “combined with a proactive DIY approach, a good school program can fill in knowledge gaps and instill a deeper understanding of the fundamentals while increasing awareness of best practices” (Burgess 2013, 35).
The industry to date has only a few disparate best practice documents such as The Recording Producers and Engineers Wing (2008) “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production” advice but it does not comprehensively cover contemporary music production practice. The industry has progressed from the traditional music production model, where exemplars existed across the different roles and skills. However, now within the decentralized music production era, the disparate roles across the music production process tend to be fused and completed by the one person, the contemporary DIY music producer. Music production practitioners have access to a large range of ancillary services and products, such industry trade magazines, texts, forums and blogs. Audio industry magazines such as “Sound on Sound” and “Audio Technology” are recognized as reputable magazines within the audio industry and music production discipline. But do they truly reflect the contemporary music production practice, or are their roots from the traditional music production model causing a widening gap of relevance? Alternative press options such as “Computer Music” (2015) and “MusicTech Focus” magazines have their origins in the development of digital technology. But do their roots limit their relevance by not including the more creative and musical requirements of the contemporary music production practice? Other alternative press includes “Wire”, which focuses more on the cultural and aesthetic aspects of music culture and practice. There is a vast range of support for music practitioners in the form of forums and blogs, with some of these operated by recognised industry professionals[3]. However, many of these are run by hobbyists with well intentioned advice, whilst others are commercially driven, with some of their marketing tactics, products and advice is at best, questionable.

Current practice

Some scholars refer to the current field of DIY music production as being in transition (Hracs, 2012), although it can also be thought of as a fusion or hybrid of two prior developments: that of traditional large format console studio music production and computer-based sound generation. Irrespective of the definition, twenty-first century contemporary DIY music production illustrates the ways that practitioners have broken with previously accepted industry practices, with consensus about effective or best practice now difficult to identify, or indeed where the idea of best practice has been actively challenged through social and cultural changes in the practices of cultural production. As such, the discipline of contemporary DIY music production lacks the infrastructure of an established and mature industry where consensus of what effective practice is, might be found.
target
The notion of effective practice [4] originated in business centred on notions of effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity (Montana and Charnov 2000,12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996). In this way, effective practice is a quantifiable measure and assumes the ‘organisation’ or practice has commercial or technical objectives. In contrast, contemporary DIY music production practitioners may not be motivated by either commercial or technical objectives, and therefore effective practice measures may not apply to many practices within the discipline (Rogers 2013, 168). In fact, contemporary DIY music production is a discipline in which notions of effective practice may actually be actively disregarded due to the perception that other motivations such as creativity, emotional connection and free-spiritedness are more important (McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41). As a result, the term best practice is perhaps more appropriate in the discipline of contemporary DIY music production, bringing with it the idea of benchmarking, or “analysing and copying the methods of the leaders” in the field (Robbins et al 2009, 313). However, without accepted discipline standards, and consensus of what best practice is, it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to accurately and effectively benchmark amongst the discipline and its practitioners. Further, if the contemporary DIY music production practice is lacking in organisational characteristics of a mature industry such as robust management processes and procedures, sophisticated vision and strategic planning, then the contemporary DIY music production practitioner is less likely able to measure quality standards should they exist, nor consciously position their practice within the field in order to optimise the chance of success (Robbins et al 2009, 708-710, 716-717).
Note [1]: The manufacturer’s user manual described ‘effective practice’ for the user to operate that unit safely, following a technically correct process
Note [2]: Sound reinforcement is a term used to describe the live audio industry function which still remains today
Note [3]: Pensado’s Place (2015) is operated by Dave Pansado who has had a recognized audio industry career
Note [4] :The notion of effective practice originated in business and post-War Japan, centred on notions of effectiveness (“doing the right thing”), efficiency (the effort exerted in “doing the right thing”), and productivity (the relationship between input and output) (Montana and Charnov 2000, 12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996).
This blog series is planned to continue next month with Research Practitioner Part 2.
References
AES. 2015. “Audio Engineering Society (AES) History.” Accessed  May 3,2015
Audio Technology Magazine. 2015 http://www.audiotechnology.com.au Accessed August 15, 2015
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Computer Music. 2015. http://www.musicradar.com/computermusic Accessed August 15, 2015
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98.
Davis, Gary and Ralph Jones. 1990. Yamaha-The Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed May 20, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Griffin, RW. 1996. Management. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
JMC Academy. 2015 http://www.jmcacademy.edu.au/?gclid=CN636-HnmcsCFQGbvAod7GoMDQ  Accessed August 15, 2015
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
Montana, Patrick J and Bruce H Charnov. 2000. Management. 3rd ed. Vol. 333, Business Review Books. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
MusicTech. 2015. http://www.musictech.net Accessed August 15, 2015
Recording Producers and Engineers Wing, The. 2008. “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production.” Accessed May 27, 2015. https://www.grammy.org/files/pages/DAWGuidelineLong.
Robbins, Stephen, Rolf Bergman, ID Stagg and Mary Coulter. 2009. Management 5. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
Rogers, I. 2013. “The hobbyist majority and the mainstream fringe: the pathways of independent music-making in Brisbane, Australia.” In Redefining mainstream popular music, edited by Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett and Jodie Taylor, 162-173. New York: Routledge.
SAE. 2015. “SAE Institute.” https://sae.edu.au/ Accessed August 15, 2015
Sound on Sound. 2015 http://www.soundonsound.com Accessed August 15, 2015
Target image courtesy of: http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/target-skills-53658831 Accessed 15th August, 2015
TEAC. 1979. “TEAC Tascam series: model 144 Portastudio manual”, edited by TEAC Inc. www.tascam.com: TEAC Inc.
Wire. 2015. http://www.thewire.co.uk Accessed August 15, 2015
– ©David L Page 16/08/2015
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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History Music Production Part 5a – The DIY music-making practitioner

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

Following substantial technological development from the late 1960s to today, music practice has diversified exponentially in a variety of social and cultural contexts (Wallis 2001; Watson and Shove 2008). Limited access to major corporate record label and broadcasting studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, and with the ever-increasing available range of technology. This enabled the process of music creation and production to exponentially develop, with musicians in the new era of project and portable studios, emerging as a new generation of music practitioners (Theberge 1997, P3; Hracs 2012). Increased access to digital recording and production technology has enabled aspiring music practitioners from diverse backgrounds and interests to participate in a do-it-yourself (DIY) capacity, resulting in a significantly more fragmented industry (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Spencer 2005; Moran 2011; Watson 2014). Wallis (2001, 13) observed that practitioners’ access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to an even broader market”. Music production technology is now accessible to most people who has any degree of interest in music practice, irrespective of their social status or professional role, their musical or sonic training or experience, or the social and cultural context. This enables a truly diverse and eclectic music practice society (Burgess 1997, 34; Rogers 2013). Practitioners now access and use broad range of music production and instrument technology, have vastly different workflows, for a broader range of music styles, and use a range of creative locations to create their EP’s. This diversity of practice now exemplifies contemporary industry (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997). As a result, recorded music is now created in ways that contrast with previous models, where cultural products resulted from established industrial hierarchies and imperatives (Burgess 1997).
AE Project Studio
(MIDAS 2014)
Multiple options to play and produce music have implications on what elements of music production are used at any point in time: the creative technologies that can be used, the music style that emerges naturally out or certain technology, the creative location that practice occurs within, and the practice workflow. Further, as practitioners tend to assume all of these creative labour roles in their home-style project studios, contemporary music practitioners continue to extend their knowledge, skill level and technology, in obvious contrast with previous models (Izhaki 2013; Théberge 1997).
(AE Project Studio 2015)
With the fragmentation of the industry, and the attracting diverse peoples in music practice, the contemporary practitioner’s motivations to practice music have also diversified. Rogers’ study highlighted varying orientations of motive amongst participants: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several non-commercial aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices. By far, the largest group was the amateur category (2013, 168). The term amateur is adopted “not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295). The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners” (Prior 2010, 401).
With DIY perspectives on cultural production being particularly influential in music practice, in many ways redefining the field today (Frith 1992; Watson and Shove 2008; Watson 2014; Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997), traditional standards of practice are now being challenged. Music industry standards (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015; Gibson 2006, 42; Recording Producers and Engineers Wing 2008) appear to be less valued by DIY music practitioners. Notions of effective practice appears to be actively disregarded due to the DIY practitioners prioritizing of motivations such as creativity, emotional connection, networking, and free-spiritedness (Hracs, 2012; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010). Burgess found contemporary music practitioners are likely to be: self-taught, and of a ‘discoverer’ learning style (2013, 29); with a preparedness to reject accepted industry practice (eg: technical or music style standards); and a willingness to borrow at will any music or sonic characteristics from other cultural approaches to fuse into their practice, leading to “unprecedented diversity” (Rogers 2013, 168; McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41).
With this diversity comes the portability of both production and performance technology. For example; producing a full EP on a beach, only needing to retreat to a location to get some electricity when my laptop battery runs empty; dance festivals in a forest where the artists arrive with as little gear as a laptop, or perhaps a USB stick and perform in front of 1,000 people for up to several hours; or, as a result of the technological developments, a new music style emerges because practitioners use the digital virtual technology as an instrument and performance tool, rather than for what it was originally designed for by the manufacturer {data management} (Hewitt 2008, xv). One of the best examples of this would be the creation of electronic music and its sub-genres of Electronic dance music, trance music and chill music.
It could also be stated that in Electronic Music Production (EMP), musicians and producers generally use portable technology, accessing synthetic or digital instruments, and compose typically in a structured process (Gunderson 2004; Johnsen et al 2007; Davie 2014, 38; Duckworth 2005, 148; Goyte 2011a; Goyte 2011b; Davie 2015, 34; Holder 2011; Huber and Runstein 2013, 78). In contrast, Indie Rock musicians and producers generally use project studios, access acoustic or electric instruments, and quite often compose in an organic process (Emerick and Massey 2006, 306; Burgess 2014, 93; Dandy Warhols 2010; Leyshon 2009, 1309; Davie 2012, 44-45; Tame Impala. 2012).
Unlike the traditional motive of commercial – volume sales – success, the new amateur’s motives are diverse, and yet highly motivated, possessing an impassioned commitment to their practice, with a high level of focus on developing their knowledge, skill level and technology.
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History Music Production Part 5b – DIY Culture & Music (Page 2015b).
References
AE Project Studio Microphone Case image courtesy of: DLP Pinterest site  Accessed 28th August, 2015
Burgess, Richard James. 2014. The history of music production. New York: Oxford University Press. 
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press. 
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press. 
Dandy Warhols, The. 2010. The Dandy Warhols: best of the capitol years 1995-2007. Capitol Records. Compact Disc. 
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology 2015 (106): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2014. “Danger Mouse: producer of the decade.” Audio Technology (100): 98.
Davie, Mark. 2012. “The diy revolution.” Audio Technology (91): 98. 
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 24th July, 2015
Duckworth, William. 2005. Virtual music: How the web got wired for sound. New York, NY: Routledge.
Emerick, Geoff and Howard Massey. 2007. Here, there and everywhere: my life recording the music of the beatles. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Frith, Simon. 1992. “The industrialization of popular music.” Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74. 
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology. 
Gotye. 2011 (a). “Making, making mirrors – a short documentary.” Accessed May 5, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZXLyeatI0s&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=64. 
Goyte. 2011(b). Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed May 20, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Gunderson, Philip A. 2004. “Danger Mouse’s “grey album”, mash-ups, and the age of composition.” Postmodern Culture 15 (1): 7. 
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98. 
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461. 
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2014. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Johnsen, Andreas , Ralf Christensen and Henrik Moltke. 2007. “Good Copy, Bad Copy.” Copyright and Culture Documentary. Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEKl5I_Q044&list=PL2qcTIIqLo7WEHIeJ0s2Y21jgIKoQahkD&index=72.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the Expert Amateur: DIY Projects, Communities, and Cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox: ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The Software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
MIDAS 2014 console image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 29th June, 2014
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13.
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. History of Music Production Part 5b DIY Culture & Music  Accessed 28th August, 2015
Page, David L. 2015a. History Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become the platform for contemporary DIY music-making Accessed 24th July, 2015
Prior, Nick. 2010. “The rise of the new amateurs: Popular music, digital technology and the fate of cultural production.” Handbook of cultural sociology. London: Routledge: 398-407. 
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4). 
Recording Producers and Engineers Wing, The. 2008. “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production.” Accessed May 27, 2015. https://www.grammy.org/files/pages/DAWGuidelineLong.
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital prosumer.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1). 
Rogers, I. 2013. “The hobbyist majority and the mainstream fringe: the pathways of independent music-making in Brisbane, Australia.” In Redefining mainstream popular music, edited by Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett and Jodie Taylor, 162-173. New York: Routledge.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Tame Impala. 2012. Lonerism. Modular. Compact Disc. 
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England. 
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
– ©David L Page 24/07/2015
– updated ©David L Page 05/08/2015
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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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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History Music Production Part 4d – Digital Project Studios become the platform for contemporary DIY music-making?

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

The changing field of music production

Portable Studio

With the development of laptops and handheld microphones such as the Zoom H4, the project studio got smaller and more mobile. Coined as portable studios, anyone with musical aspirations could compose and produce in a studio one moment, and then move outside to into nature, or even the extreme, “on the beach of a remote seaside island under battery power” and continue to compose and produce (Huber and Runstein 2013, 78). Such flexibility of recording environments enabled the composer producer the choice of using actual instruments (acoustic or digital), virtual instruments, purchased sample libraries, or creating their own sample libraries directly from the environment they habituate using these portable studios. The laptop, particularly the Apple MacBookPro, was an integral part of this technological development enabling the portability of music production.

Making Mirros_Goyte

(Goyte, 2011)
Discussing the music production process of his 2011 Grammy Award winning “Making Mirrors” CD, Goyte reinforced choice with “some songs I sang into the mic of the MacBookPro – for whatever reason it sounded really good in that room and I left it in the final mix” (Holder 2011). Hewitt concludes that such choice and options of practice allows aspiring music producers “a significant degree of creative freedom”, to “produce highly accomplished soundtracks”, of a standard where “some of these tracks … can literally be sent straight to the record company for final mastering” (Hewitt 2008, xv). Certainly, the portable studio became a new environment for music production (Huber and Runstein 2013, 78). Specialising in the Post-Production stage of the Music Production process, Grammy award winning Mix Engineer Leslie Braithwaite mixed the Grammy Award winning song “Happy” entirely within a digital audio workstation (Tingen, 2014).
BraithwaiteSoS..201405(Tingen 2014)

Contemporary music-making practitioners challenging traditional industry standards?

Technology has continued to develop at an exponential rate, with increasing “interest and wider adoption of DIY cultures and practices through 1) easy access to and affordability of tools and 2) the emergence of new sharing mechanisms” such as the internet having a prolific effect on the widespread interest of music production (Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295; Wallis 2001,10). Numerous companies commenced manufacturing to fill “a tremendous need for good and affordable sound equipment”, entrenching the “prosumer or home-recording market” (Music Group 2015). Continuing technological developments influenced the increase of music production setups in the home, based around a personal computer, a sound card, and some form of digital audio workstation to either record or arrange the music. The technological developments have afforded multiple benefits, such as decreased production costs and increased convenience. With project studios, “the hiring of expensive studios was no longer a requisite” (Izhaki 2013, xiiii). More major artists were being recorded in these evironments [1]. Other professionals[2] such as Braithwaite moved their workflow entirely within a digital audio workstation.
Live rig_20160131
(AE 2015)
As Leyshon highlighted, “the recording studio sector is not a particularly profitable or efficient part of the musical economy overall” (2009, 1315), and therefore from an industry perspective, it was positive that alternative options evolved. The development of the digital audio workstation, along with virtual instruments and sample libraries, provided resources ready to include into productions (Gilreath 2010). The project studio now had virtual technology accessible by both novice and professional producers alike. This “brought about monumental changes in the business of music and professional audio”, with music producers able to “select from a wide range of tools and toys to generate specific sounds – or to get the particular sounds that he or she likes”, without needing to have that instrument or musician capable of playing that instrument, on hand (Huber and Runstein 2013,76). In an article on best practice within the music industry, Wallis (2001, 13) observed that access to user-friendly technology has “resulted in many creative artistic talents achieving a high degree of IT literacy, leading to the emergence of the combined studio producer/ writer role. Max Martin from Sweden…is such an example”. Today, continuing technological developments have further opened the field and discipline to an even broader market. Music production technology is now accessible to anyone who has a degree of interest in the creation and production of music, irrespective of their background {social status or professional role}, their musical or professional audio training and/or experience, or the genre of music they may be interested in attempting to produce, making for a truly diverse and eclectic music production society (Burgess 1997, 34; Rogers 2013).
Historically, the music and audio industry’s standards have addressed economic and technical criteria. Both of these criteria are included in annual industry award events, well known and usually televised events the public engages in with interest, as they make up the consumer market for such music and audio artifacts (ie songs, mp3s, CDs, albums). The Grammy Awards (The US), the British Music Awards (the UK), and the ARIA Awards (Australia) acknowledge publically released artists and their music, in terms of specific criteria such as: commercial success (song sales via record companies and formal distribution channels such as i-tunes); popularity (via radio play which may or may not transfer into song sales[3]); with a few categories acknowledging the technical and creative expertise of the engineers and producers behind the artists[4]. “A successful record producer is, by definition, someone who has had multiple hits” (Burgess 1997, 162).  Artists such as Lorde are taking greater control of their creative careers by proactively tasking aspects of the music production process themselves. Lorde writes her own compositions, and has achieved  global success in part by engaging in informal distribution channels such as ‘Soundcloud’[5], However, Lorde remains produced by an external professional[6], and therefore does not fit entirely within the definition of contemporary DIY music production practitioner (Bockstedt et al 2005).
Different Motivation?
The limitation of such an industry standard such as the awards listed above is two-fold.  Firstly, these awards acknowledge only publically-released music through formal distribution channels. Secondly, the awards are predominantly for non-DIY artist producers, where the artists contract the professional services of an external producer.
Perhaps motivated by the power imbalance and limited access to studios in the 1970’s and 1980’s, aligned with the broader social and cultural developments of DIY culture from the 1970s, with music-makers in the new era of project and mobile studios, emerging as a new generation of prosumers – both producers and consumers (Theberge 1997, P3; Hracs, 2012). The ever increasing access to technology appears to be attracting a diverse range of aspiring practitioners to he process of music creation and production. Burgess has observed the diversity of DIY music production practitioners has expanded from the previous music producer list several decades earlier of artist/musician, audio engineer, songwriter, entrepreneur and multipath, to now include: DJ, self-taught/school-trained and discoverer (2013, 29). In addition, as Rogers in his 2010 study on local musicians in the Brisbane scene found, there are now varying levels of professionalism found amongst the participants: professional, semi-professional, emerging and several non-commercial aspirational levels – including amateur or hobbyist practices (Rogers 2013, 168). By far, the largest group is the amateur category. I adopt the term amateur “not as a reflection on a hobbyists’ skills, which are often quite advanced, but rather, to emphasise that most of DIY culture is not motivated by commercial purposes” (Kuznetson and Paulos 2010, 295) . The “status and position of the amateur have been redeemed and a new, less aristocratic, breed of amateur has emerged .. (who) .. are technologically literate, seriously engaged, and committed practitioners” (Prior 2010, 401). A contemporary DIY music production practitioner is not likely to be motivated by economic motivations, and less likely to release their music through formal distribution channels. In fact, they are likely to deliberately choose to release their music through alternative informal independent DIY music channels in line with DIY ideals (Purdue et al 1997).
DIY Image
DIY perspectives are particularly influential in music production, in many ways redefining the field today (Kealy 1982; Hemphill and Leskowitz 2012; Frith 1992; Watson and Shove 2008; Watson 2014; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010; Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Purdue et al. 1997), traditional standards of effective practice, which have played a central role in the music production industry, are now being challenged. Music and audio industry’s standards of commercial sales and technical criteria (Burgess 1997, 162; Grammy Awards 2015; Gibson 2006, 42; Recording Producers and Engineers Wing 2008) appear to be less valued by contemporary DIY music production practitioners. Breaking with previously accepted industry practices (Hracs,2012), the notion of ‘effective practice’ appears to be actively disregarded due to the prioritizing of other motivations such as creativity, emotional connection, networking, and free-spiritedness. That is, creative practice, affective practice and social practice, with a preparedness to reject accepted effective practice (eg: technical or genre standards) as the contemporary DIY music production practitioner sees fit (Montana and Charnov 2000,12; Robbins et al 2009, 313; Griffin 1996; Rogers 2013, 168; McWilliam 2008, 38; Davie 2012, 41).

In summary

Prior to my own research study and planned interviews, what I have discovered about the likely profile of a contemporary DIY music production practitioner is: They appear to be proactive, resourceful, tenacious and rebellious practitioners with eclectic backgrounds, musical tastes and skill levels. They most certainly possess a just do it spirit as the Nike slogan has encouraged since 1971. They are likely motivated by creative, affective or social practice, rather than effective practice, making aesthetic choices over technical standards, and working in what could be once considered, ineffective or inefficient workflows. They are more likely to be passionate hobbyists, who want to create, express and be heard, using project or portable technology as either a studio or an instrument, probably in a way that was not originally intended by the manufacturer, and yet creating unique sonic qualities or textures, influencing new genres to emerge (Wallis 2001,13; Burgess 2013, 29; Huber and Runstein 2013,76; Izhaki 2013, xiiii; Gilreath 2010; Watson 2014; Burke 2011; Doyle 2008; Wallis 2001,11; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 296; Spencer 2005, 226-273; Moran 2011, 1; Rogers 2013, 168; Kuznetsov and Paulos 2010, 295; Watson 2013, 334; Prior 2010, 401; Watson 2013, 331; Braithwaite alluded in Tingen 2014; Theberge 2012, 6; Hracs et al 2013, 1144).
Footnotes
[1] In 2005, Stuart Price used his home-based project studio, based around an Apple computer with a range of analogue outboard hardware and synthesizers to produce Madonna’s commercially successful ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album, achieving commercial success reaching the US Music charts (Doyle 2008).
[2] Grammy award winning Mix Engineer Leslie Braithwaite mixed the Grammy Award winning song “Happy” entirely within a digital audio workstation. He explains his recent change of workflow to a DAW-only workflow: “With my workload increasing and me also trying to meet the demands for smaller budget projects, going into the box made total sense” (Tingen 2014).
[3] Radio play which may or may not translate into album sales such as Australia’s Triple ZZZ ‘Unearthed series’, acknowledging emerging artists, and by default, their productions (ABC 2015)
[4] Within these music and sound awards, there are numerous categories, in which the artist, the producers and the recording engineers are acknowledged. These categories cover predominantly the economic criteria (album or song sales), but there are some categories that acknowledge the technical and creative of music production. For example: ‘68. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical’, ’69 Producer of the year, Non-Classical’, ’70 Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical’, ‘72 Best Engineered Album, Classical’ (Grammy Awards 2015).
[5] Soundcloud.com is an informal hosting site for musicians, producers and artists. Soundcloud is not a sales based distribution site, and therefore I am classifying it an informal distribution site, as it is possible to generate interest to a potential consumer market (Souncloud 2015)
[6] Lorde’s producer of her first album was local Auckland NZ producer, Joel Little (Davie 2015)
onion-layers
This blog will continue next month History of Music Production Part 5a – The DIY Music-making practitioner (Page 2015b).
References
ABC. 2015. “Triple J Unearthed.” Accessed 6th June, 2015.
AE Project Studio, 2015 external live devices image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 7th June 2015
Bockstedt, Jesse, Robert J Kauffman and Frederick J Riggins. 2005. “The move to artist-led online music distribution: Explaining structural changes in the digital music market.” In System Sciences, 2005. HICSS’05. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on, Hawaii, USA, edited, 1-10: IEEE.
Burgess, Richard James. 2013. The art of music production: the theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
Burgess, Richard James. 1997. The art of record production. London: Omnibus Press.
Davie, Mark. 2015. “DIY: don’t be a tool.” Audio Technology 2015 (106): 98.
DIY image courtesy of: DIY Accessed 24th July, 2015
Doyle, Tom. 2008. “Stuart Price: producing Seal & Madonna.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. https://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb08/articles/stuart_price.htm.
Frith, Simon. 1992. “The industrialization of popular music.” Popular Music and Communication 2: 49-74.
Gibson, Bill. 2006. The s.m.a.r.t. guide to becoming a successful producer/engineer Boston: Thompson Course Technology.
Gilreath, Paul. 2010. The guide to midi orchestration. 4th ed. Oxford: Focal.
Goyte. 2011. Making Mirrors. Eleven May 5, 2015. Compact Disc.
Grammy Awards. 2015. “The 2015 Grammy Awards.” Accessed 6th June, 2015. https://www.grammy.com/nominees.
Griffin, RW. 1996. Management. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Hemphill, David and Shari Leskowitz. 2012. “DIY activists: communities of practice, cultural dialogism, and radical knowledge sharing.” Adult Education Quarterly 63 (1): 57-77. doi: 10.11.77/0741113612442803.
Hewitt, Michael. 2008. Music theory for computer musicians. Boston: Cengage Learning Course Technology.
Holder, Christopher. 2011. “Goyte.” Audio Technology (84): 98.
Hracs, Brian J. 2012. “A creative industry in transition: the rise of digitally driven independent music production.” Growth and Change 43 (3): 442-461.
Hracs, Brian J, Doreen Jakob and Atle Hauge. 2013. “Standing out in the crowd: the rise of exclusivity-based strategies to compete in the contemporary marketplace for music and fashion.” Environment and Planning A 45 (5): 1144-1161.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2013. Modern recording techniques. 8th ed. Burlington: Focal Press.
Huber, David Miles and Robert E Runstein. 2010. Modern recording techniques. 7th ed. Boston: Focal Press.
Izhaki, Roey. 2013. Mixing audio: concepts, practices and tools. 3rd ed. Oxford: Focal.
Kealy, Edward R. 1982. “Conventions and the production of the popular music aesthetic.” The Journal of Popular Culture 16 (2): 100-115.
Kuznetsov, Stacey and Eric Paulos. 2010. “Rise of the expert amateur: DIY projects, communities, and cultures.” In Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Extending Boundaries, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 16-20, 2010, edited, 295-304. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1868914&picked=prox: ACM.
Leyshon, Andrew. 2009. “The software slump?: digital music, the democratisation of technology, and the decline of the recording studio sector within the musical economy.” Environment and Planning 41 (6): 1309.
McWilliam, Erica. 2008. The creative workforce: how to launch young people into high-flying futures. Sydney: UNSW press.
MIDAS 2014 console image courtesy of AE Project Studio. Accessed 29th June, 2014
Montana, Patrick J and Bruce H Charnov. 2000. Management. 3rd ed. Vol. 333, Business Review Books. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
Moran, Ian P. 2011. “Punk: the do-it-yourself subculture.” Social Sciences Journal 10 (1): 13. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Music Group. 2015. “Behringer : our story.” Accessed 4th June, 2015. http://www.behringer.com/EN/Our-Story/index.aspx
Onion image courtesy of: Onion Layers Accessed 15th December, 2014
Page, David L. 2015b. History of Music Production Part 5a – The DIY music-making practitioner Accessed 24th July, 2015.
Page, David L. 2015a. History of Music Production Part 4c – Large Format Console Studios to Digital Project Studios Accessed 5th March, 2016.
Prior, Nick. 2010. “The rise of the new amateurs: Popular music, digital technology and the fate of cultural production.” Handbook of cultural sociology. London: Routledge: 398-407.
Purdue, Derrick, Jörg Dürrschmidt, Peter Jowers and Richard O’Doherty. 1997. “DIY culture and extended milieux: LETS, veggie boxes and festivals.” The Sociological Review 45 (4).
Recording Producers and Engineers Wing, The. 2008. “Digital Audio Workstation Guidelines for Music Production.” Accessed May 27, 2015. https://www.grammy.org/files/pages/DAWGuidelineLong.
Ritzer, George and Nathan Jurgenson. 2010. “Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’.” Journal of Consumer Culture 10 (1).
Robbins, Stephen, Rolf Bergman, ID Stagg and Mary Coulter. 2009. Management 5. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
Rogers, I. 2013. “The hobbyist majority and the mainstream fringe: the pathways of independent music-making in Brisbane, Australia.” In Redefining mainstream popular music, edited by Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett and Jodie Taylor, 162-173. New York: Routledge.
SoundCloud. 2015. “SoundCloud.com.” Accessed 7th June, 2015. https://soundcloud.com.
Spencer, Amy. 2005. DIY: The rise of lo-fi culture: Marion Boyars London.
Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any sound you can make: making music/consuming technology. Hanover: University Press of New England.
Tingen, Paul. 2014. “Inside track: Happy – secrets of the mix engineers: Leslie Braithwaite.” Accessed 5th May, 2015. http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/may14/articles/inside-track- 0514.htm.
Wallis, R Dr. 2001. “Best practice cases in the music industry and their relevance for government policies in developing countries.” Paper presented at the United Conference on Trade and Development, Brussels, Belgium, May 14-20, 2001.
Watson, Allan. 2014. Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. New York, NY: Routledge.
Watson, Allan. 2013. “‘Running a studio’s a silly business’: work and employment in the contemporary recording studio sector.” Area 45 (3): 330-336.
Watson, Matthew and Elizabeth Shove. 2008. “Product, Competence, Project and Practice DIY and the dynamics of craft consumption.” Journal of Consumer Culture 8 (1): 69,74.
Watson, Allan. 2012. “The world according to iTunes: mapping urban networks of music production.” Global Networks 12 (4): 446-466.
Webb, A. 2007. “Is GarageBand top of the pops?” The Guardian Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/oct/18/news.apple.
Zagorski-Thomas, Simon. 2005. “The US vs the UK sound: meaning in music production in the 1970s.” In The art of record production: an introductory reader for a new academic field, edited by Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 57-90. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
– ©David L Page 07/06/2015
– updated ©David L Page 24/07/2015
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.

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.

    (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 30th May, 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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