Abstraction and Activity in Computer-Mediated Music Production



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Source A


Duignan, Matthew, James Noble, and Robert Biddle. "Abstraction and Activity in Computer-Mediated Music Production." Computer Music Journal 34.4 (2010): 12. Print.

  1. Music by definition is structure: time, air pressure waves, and arrangement. Music exists in time, and so I can at least rewind the tape, and go back—because you are always striving for some form of structure.



  1. Producers perfecting a rhythmic groove must work at two conflicting levels simultaneously: placing musical events on the metric grid of strong and weak beats that constitute the musical pulse, and microscopic tweaking of timings that lead to the perception of a rhythmic feel that can create distinct qualities such as “swing” or a “lazy” feel.



  1. It is critical for producers to have access to powerful abstraction mechanisms that provide ways to manipulate multi-level timed musical variations.



  1. Producers need to deal with extreme levels of complexity when manipulating the multitude of time-based parameters for synthesis and effects processing of musical material.

Note Page 2

Source B


"Recording Connection Audio Institute - Learn One on One in a Real Recording Studio." Defining What A Music Producer Does. The Recording Connection Institute, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. .

How to become a music producer and what do they do?



  1. One can learn to be a music producer by attending recording or music school. However recording school is not for everyone. It can be cost-prohibitive for some and too academic for others.



  1. A music producer's job can be as passive as sitting on the couch listening and nodding approval and as active as running a soundboard and helping to place microphones in drum sets.



  1. Good music producers understand every aspect of studio production. They also have a very good ear and a well-rounded knowledge of how voices and instruments produce recordable sound.

Note Page 3

Source C


"Allcrunchy.com." Electronic Music How-To and Creation Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. .

Methods & Aspects of Music Production:



  1. One thing virtually all electronic music has in common is the use of samples. Samples are sound bytes, anywhere from inconceivably small transient ticks to long and drawn out ambient noises, stretching the entire length of a song. The triggering of samples in an interesting way is what creates the mood and feel of the song. Most electronic drum beats consist entirely of triggered samples.



  1. A software sampler is a program or device which is used to record and trigger sound samples. These devices are the heart of electronic music; they are the engines which produce the actual sounds you hear.



  1. Effects have always played a major role in not just electronic music, but across all genres. The difference, however, is that with electronic music the listener will usually accept higher levels of effects as the norm than as with other types of music. Effects are used to take average sounds, and manipulate them in an interesting and sonically enhancing way. Common effects include reverb, echo, flange, chorus, and distortion.



  1. When you first start making music, or even if you have been making music for years, you will find that it is difficult to turn your ideas directly into music. The final product will almost never sound the way you originally intended for a lot of reasons.

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Source D


"How To Make Electronic Music With Computer? Where To Start?" How To Make Electronic Music. N.p., 2 Dec. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. .

How Electronic Music is Made:



  1. Computer is naturally a must have hardware if you want to make electronic music. You can actually produce good music with any kind of modern computer. You also have a choice: PC or Mac. Both systems are widely used in many professional and home studios.



  1. Get the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The DAW is a software environment where you actually create and compose the music and it is one of the most important components in your electronic music studio. To put it simply, it’s a music making software.



  1. VST synthesizers and effects are MUST if you’re going to start making music digitally with computer. VSTi’s (VST instruments) are virtual synthesizers that produce different kind of sounds. You can use them just like you would use real hardware synths – only difference is that they’re software and you install them as plugins (some work as stand-alone too) to your DAW which acts like a host to these synths and you then use them to compose melodies and make music. There are a lot of VST effect units as well such as reverb, EQ, compressor, delay, chorus, phaser, some special effects, etc.



  1. Usually samples are used for drums, percussions, effects, etc. There are thousands of commercial sample packs which are usually high quality and cost anywhere from $10-$200 or more. Sample packs are mostly genre specific meaning they contain samples that are suitable for a certain musical genre, but you can use whatever samples in whatever genre you wan’t – it’s up to you and your imagination

Note Page 5

Source E


"Contents." EMusicTips RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2013. .

  1. The most common thing that prevents amateurs from getting a full sound is not filling the “box” that is volume, panning, and frequency. The typical dilemma is this: as more sounds are layered together, the audio may start to clip. (Clipping is a form of waveform distortion that occurs when an amplifier is overdriven and attempts to deliver an output voltage or current beyond its maximum capability) And so, you turn the gain down on the each channel of the mixer so it doesn’t clip. But then, it sounds quiet. In order to fix this, you need to learn about compression and mixing.



  1. When too many frequencies are overlapping in a mix, the result is “muddy”. To prevent mud, you must consciously keep in mind what range of frequencies you are adding with each new part. Inevitably, frequencies will overlap, no matter what instruments you choose. For example, two bass sounds on top of each other will interfere, resulting in weird phasing issues. If you want to use two instruments that use up the same frequency spectrum, you’ll want to carve out the highs on one and carve out the lows on the other (through the use of EQ, you will eliminate too many overlapping frequencies and clear up your mix) The end result should be consist of many different parts that all cover different ranges of frequencies, which all add up to a full, clear sound.



  1. A lot of VST instrument plugins have presets that sound very good on their own, but when thrown together with other presets, they clash. A lot of these presets are full sounding, filling up a lot of low and high end. Unless you carve out the clashing frequencies using EQ, you will get a muffled, muddy sound when throwing presets together.

  2. Unless you are producing minimal techno or something, the repetitive overuse of loops in your tracks can lead to a stale, uninteresting track. Another common abuse is taking one sample and using it throughout the track, over, and over, and over again



  1. If you don’t have enough money to purchase a really high end artificial reverb, just don’t use much reverb. If you do, tone it down so you can’t really notice when it’s there. The key to knowing if you’ve got it right is when your average listener will notice when you take the reverb away, but they won’t notice it when it’s there, because it doesn’t stick out at you. Tracks that are drenched in cheap reverb almost always sound amateur.


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