How do Digital Audio Workstations influence the way musicians make and record music?
AffiliationFine Arts and Music Collected Works
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Thomas Rando
Digital technology in music is evolving at an accelerating pace. Musicians are increasingly relying on software instruments and digital audio workstations (DAWs) to create popular music. This research examines the hypothesis that digital technology has changed the way musicians make music and explores concepts of digital music making, asking: How is technology changing the process of creating, performing and recording music? To explore this question, I acted as the recording engineer and producer (defined here as planning the work with a technical understanding, to record, mix and master for a final release) for two artists: semi-professional singer-songwriter Emily Soon, and amateur band Professor Walk. The process of production from start to finish involved the use of two different DAWs: Logic for Emily Soon and Pro Tools for Professor Walk. Examining the strengths and weaknesses of each of these DAWs relative to the creative process, with particular focus on signal processing, portability, sound palates, cloud-based storage solutions, ease of recording and editing, automation and telemetric collaboration, gave insight into the relationship between creation, performance, and recording in a modern popular-music context.
Keywordsdigital music making; digital technology; creating, performing and recording music
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