Creating A Rubato Layer Cake: performing and producing overdubs with expressive timing on a classical recording for ‘solo’ piano

The path to recording for composers of concert hall acoustic music is quite different to that of popular, media, electroacoustic or electronica composers. The common model involves the creation of the work; performance(s); only then, perhaps, recording. This paper looks at the relationships of contemporary composers to the recorded medium drawing on a series of one to one interviews. Research to date concludes composers face issues common to other genres, and most are keen to develop recordings. Barriers include finances, lack of opportunity, confidence and previous bad experience. Building composer-performer-producer-engineer networks based on mutual trust is a helpful model.

The perception and importance of drum tuning in live performance and music production

Abstract Intricate tuning of acoustic drums can have a significant impact on the quality and contextuality of the instrument when played live or in the recording studio. Indeed, many musicians and producers will spend a number of hours achieving a preferred drum sound prior to a performance. Drum tuning, however, is a rather subjective matter, […]

An audience in the studio – the effect of the Artistshare fan-funding platform on creation, performance, recording and production

Before the era of recorded music, performer and audience connected as they existed within the same space and time. The Phonogram changed this and introduced isolation between artist and audience. New technological platforms are now rebuilding the link between performer and audience. This paper looks at the effect of one such platform, Artistshare. Through research with recording artists, it examines who is using the platform and why they opted to use it. It then goes on to examine the effects of its use, before summarising how this has changed the relationships and the process of writing and recording music.

The Meaning in the Mix: Tracing a Sonic Narrative in ‘When the Levee Breaks’

This article closely examines the recorded sound of Led Zeppelin’s song, ‘When the Levee Breaks’, from the landmark album Led Zeppelin IV. Though the song has appeared in academic discussions of authenticity (Headlam: 1995), gender studies (Fast: 2001), and rhythm (Brackett: 2008), none has examined in detail the relationship between the song’s unusual production—arguably one of the most significant factors in its popularity and longevity—and its reception. Through the recorded sounds, I will outline a sonic portrayal of the levee breaking, a ‘sonic narrative’ that complements the lyrical narrative.

From LA to Lisbon: the “LA Sound” as a referential production sound in Rui Veloso’s recording career

In the 1980s, a distinctive production sound came to be associated with musicians, producers and sound engineers working in Los Angeles, including, notably, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan. The “LA Sound” became a reference for musicians and sound technicians around the world. Rui Veloso, a Portuguese singer/song-writer, tried to emulate it in his records over three decades, facing several difficulties because of the lack of studio technology and professional experience. This article regards performance in the studio and the relations involved in the construction of distinctive conceptualizations of production sound in popular music when displaced.