The mix is an essential part of the music production process, which has an important but poorly understood impact on the perception of a record. Little is known about which aspects are the most important, and how to acquire such information. In this work we collect, annotate and analyse over 1400 reviews by trained listeners on 98 mixes. We assess which instruments, types of processing and mix properties are most apparent when comparing mixes, and explore which challenges arise when interpreting these comments. The benefits of using such unstructured data are discussed and a methodology for analysing it is proposed.
Crowdsourcing, Jamming and Remixing: A Qualitative Study of Contemporary Music Production Practices in the Cloud
In 2014, music creation in the cloud is defined by access to sophisticated production tools aided by a number of social networking options. This enables interaction between global communities of musicians across transcultural and transnational spaces. Examining practices within contemporary music production enables a new perspective on remixing and studio jamming filtered though the lens of crowdsourcing. There are multiple challenges associated with this mode of work, and while acknowledging them, this paper argues that there are numerous benefits of engaging in crowdsourcing within the context of Internet-based music production. Drawing on my creative practice and work with three online systems (Audiotool, Blend, Ohm Studio), I analyse the various characteristics of production practices in the cloud engaging international collaborators in a transcultural, transnational space. By examining phases of user-instigated collaborative asynchronous project development, this paper traces how shifts away from traditional studio settings have redefined notions of remixing and jamming, and how new technologies have impacted on interaction between users of remote music collaboration software. In doing so, it makes broader points about how social networking combined with cloud-based music production technologies can lead to new and alternative approaches to music production in international contexts.