By the same authors

Engineering in the Digital Recording Studio

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper




ConferenceCoDE: Cultures of the Digital Economy 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom
Conference date(s)27/03/1228/03/12

Publication details

DateUnpublished - Mar 2012
Number of pages14
Original languageEnglish


The change from analogue to digital recording and mixing technology over the last thirty years has made some competencies and knowledge obsolete whilst making new demands on the skill set and understanding of the sound recordist and mixer. The use of the term ‘engineer’ to describe those who make and mix recordings is controversial to some since the work that is done in many studios can seem to have little to do with the ‘discipline of engineering’. Has the rise of digital technology made acts of engineering within the recording studio more scarce or have they become more commonplace? Has the engineer, who once designed and maintained complex analogue audio systems via the application of scientific principles and numerical analysis, been made redundant by ‘easy to use’ recording and mixing systems? Or does the abundance of general-purpose processing and the quality of conversion between the analogue and digital domains, mean that engineers of software can now create, almost as quickly as they require them, the bespoke tools that they need to continue to make the very best of the recording scenarios they find themselves in and the hardware they have to hand? As part of the wider Is Recording Engineering? project, this paper discusses examples of procedures and practices in both the analogue and digital recording studio and the extent to which they embody common notions of the discipline of engineering and the extent to which recording has been changed by digital technology from Schoenberg’s vision of trained ‘sound men’ and more traditional ideas of the ‘recording engineer’.

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