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The impact of producers’ comments and musicians’ self-evaluation on perceived recording quality

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The choice of recording technologies always transforms musicians’ perception of their performance when playing in the studio. In many cases, during recording sessions, musicians repeat the same musical composition over and over again without the presence of an audience. We hypothesize that comments from an external record producer and/or self-evaluation after listening to the takes in the control room address the challenges of studio recording by helping musicians improve from one recorded take to another. We conduct a field experiment with 25 jazz players, grouped into five ensembles, participating in recording sessions with four record producers. The musicians are invited to record four compositions, one in each of four experimental conditions. To create these conditions, we independently manipulate two types of feedback between takes: with or without comments from the record producer and with or without musicians’ self-evaluation (after listening to the takes in the control room). Our results show that both external comments and self-evaluation provide objectivity by giving the ensemble a common ground. Specifically, listening to the first take enhances creativity while external comments positively impact a takes’ evolution throughout the session
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Keywords: artistic direction; music performance; record producer; self-evaluation; sound engineering; studio practices

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Music, Media and Technology (CIRMMT) and McGill University, School of Information Studies

Publication date: 2013-04-01

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  • The Journal of Music, Technology and Education (JMTE) explores the issues concerning the use of technology in music education. It examines pedagogy at all levels and across genres such as composition, musicology, performance and music production. It is the only journal specifically dedicated to the educational aspects of music technology and the technological aspects of music. Peer-reviewed, with an international editorial board, JMTE aims to draw its contributions from a broad community of educators, researchers and practitioners who are working closely with new technologies in the fields of music education and music technology education.
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