The “virtual” producer in the recording studio : media networks in long distance peripheral performances

Campelo, Isabel & Howlett, Mike (2013) The “virtual” producer in the recording studio : media networks in long distance peripheral performances. Journal on the Art of Record Production, 8.

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The producer has for many years been a central agent in recording studio sessions; the validation of this role was, in many ways, related to the producer’s physical presence in the studio, to a greater or lesser extent. However, improvements in the speed of digital networks have allowed studio sessions to be produced long-distance, in real-time, through communication programs such as Skype or REDIS. How does this impact on the role of the producer, a “nexus between the creative inspiration of the artist, the technology of the recording studio, and the commercial aspirations of the record company” (Howlett 2012)?

From observations of a studio recording session in Lisbon produced through Skype from New York, this article focuses on the role of the producer in these relatively new recording contexts involving long distance media networks. Methodology involved participant observation carried out in Estúdios Namouche in Lisbon (where the session took place), as part of doctoral research. This ethnographic approach also included a number of semi-directed ethnographic interviews of the different actors in this scenario—musicians, recording engineers, composers and producers. As a theoretical framework, the research of De Zutter and Sawyer on Distributed Creativity is used, as the recording studio sets an example of “a cognitive system where […] tasks are not accomplished by separate individuals, but rather through the interactions of those individuals” (DeZutter 2009:4). Therefore, creativity often emerges as a result of this interaction.

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ID Code: 68315
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: media networks, musical performance, music producer, performance interaction, recording studio
ISSN: 1754-9892
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > Music & Sound
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Mike Howlett and Isabel Campelo
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2014 23:20
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2014 05:46

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