TIME, PLACE, AND REFLEXIVITY: THE RECORDING SPACE AS AN INSTRUMENT
The recording engineer is an experienced actor in the studio environment that is often overlooked in academic literature in favour of the more romantic notion of the record producer. In this paper, we frame the recording engineer as a mediator that operates the recording studio as an interactive instrumentalist. In order to evaluate the engineer in their habitat, we conducted a series of recording sessions over three days in June 2019 at three different institutions in Brisbane, Australia (JMC Academy, Queensland University of Technology, and Brisbane Boys College). We documented and participated in these recording sessions and analysed how the recording engineer operates in the environment using three key themes. Interactivity of place, reflexivity between the facilities and the engineer, and the interactivity of time.
Toby Seay has a long career in the music industry as a musician, recording engineer, technical consultant and audio preservationist. As a recording engineer, Toby was based in Nashville, TN and recorded artists such as Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Delbert McClinton, Ringo Starr, David Wilcox, Kirk Whalum and many others. Toby has worked on numerous Gold and Platinum Certified recordings as well as 8 Grammy winning recordings.
Toby’s research interests include audio preservation practices and standards, specializing in multi-track audio formats and how these resources can be put to use within audio production education and research. With regards to audio production research, Toby deconstructs record production techniques within the field of musicology and sound studies, which looks at social and participant dynamics within the recording studio environment and the effects of workflow and recording techniques on musical production outcomes.
Toby is the Project Director of the Drexel University Audio Archives, which is home to the Sigma Sound Studios Collection.
Dr Dan Pratt is the course leader for BMus Performance and Recording at the University of West London. Dr Pratt has worked as a record producer, a performer, and an educator for over twenty years. He has released professionally through Sony, Universal, and Independent record labels and has recorded several highly rotated songs for radio and television. As a researcher, Dr Pratt has published papers on recording concepts, transnational recording, and sensemaking theory. As a performer, he has toured Australia, Hong Kong, The UK, the USA, played in multiple festivals as well as performing on stages such as the Whisky a Gogo (LA) and the Bowery Ballroom (NY).
Dr Lachlan Goold’s research focuses on the recording studio, music production practice, and government legislation affecting the music industry. Lachlan has an extensive career as a music producer and has won two ARIA awards for his work. Having worked with some of Australia’s finest popular music acts, Lachlan continues to engage in recording, mixing and production. Lachlan continues research in recording studio practice with a focus on remote and regional areas, the broader music industry, and the implications of alcohol related violence legislation on the music industry in Queensland.