Event Title

The Recording Studio as an Instrument

Presenter Information

Maddy Baltor, Oberlin CollegeFollow

Location

King Building 127

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2019 9:30 AM

End Date

4-27-2019 10:50 AM

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to investigate the history and contemporary use of the recording studio as an instrument or compositional tool. This occurs when musicians, producers, and engineers utilize the effects and possibilities that come from both analog and digital gear within a studio setting. Some historians have started looking into this process, citing Brian Eno, Phil Spector, George Martin, and more as innovators. I aim to look in depth at some examples from these innovators and incorporate more contemporary studio figures, such as Tchad Blake, Mitchell Froom, and Bjork, into my research. I am concerned mostly with the musical decision making that goes on within the studio with regards to tonality, texture, timbre, instrumentation, tone, gear, rhythm, and more. How are records created within the studio setting in a way that could never happen again? What accidents, experiments, and intentions come about in that space? How do producers decide what a song really needs? What does the production of a song look like to each individual musician? What past production knowledge are they building on as they produce and how do they develop new techniques? I will be analyzing songs in depth as well as reading interviews and personal accounts of the creations of specific records. In addition, I will conclude by self recording two songs, one on an analog format (Tascam 414) and one on a digital format (Pro Tools).

Keywords:

Music, recording studio, production, engineering

Notes

Session I, Panel 3 - Music | Production
Moderator: Kathryn Metz, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology

Major

Musical Studies; Comparative American Studies

Advisor(s)

Arnie Cox, Music Theory

Renee Romano, History; Comparative American Studies; Africana Studies

Project Mentor(s)

Kathryn Metz, Musical Studies

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Apr 27th, 9:30 AM Apr 27th, 10:50 AM

The Recording Studio as an Instrument

King Building 127

The purpose of this project is to investigate the history and contemporary use of the recording studio as an instrument or compositional tool. This occurs when musicians, producers, and engineers utilize the effects and possibilities that come from both analog and digital gear within a studio setting. Some historians have started looking into this process, citing Brian Eno, Phil Spector, George Martin, and more as innovators. I aim to look in depth at some examples from these innovators and incorporate more contemporary studio figures, such as Tchad Blake, Mitchell Froom, and Bjork, into my research. I am concerned mostly with the musical decision making that goes on within the studio with regards to tonality, texture, timbre, instrumentation, tone, gear, rhythm, and more. How are records created within the studio setting in a way that could never happen again? What accidents, experiments, and intentions come about in that space? How do producers decide what a song really needs? What does the production of a song look like to each individual musician? What past production knowledge are they building on as they produce and how do they develop new techniques? I will be analyzing songs in depth as well as reading interviews and personal accounts of the creations of specific records. In addition, I will conclude by self recording two songs, one on an analog format (Tascam 414) and one on a digital format (Pro Tools).