A Digital Recording Consciousness: Analysing, Mixing and Evaluating Audio in the Mashup Community
Keywords:Mashup Practices, Recording Consciousness, Digital Technology, Skills, Learning
AbstractThis article investigates a specific musical sensibility that plays a role within the mashup community and makes it possible for participants to re-use and recombine recorded songs in new and imaginative ways. Inspired by the work of H. Stith Bennett, I call this sensibility a “digital recording consciousness”. In order to be able to participate in the community, mashup enthusiasts need to develop an in-depth understanding of digital audio files and interrelated software programs. By tinkering with existing tracks and by commenting on each other’s work, mashup enthusiasts strive to collectively explore and develop such technical knowhow further. Based on a (virtual) ethnographic investigation of mashup community Mashstix.com, this article investigates these communal processes in detail. Instead of highlighting topics such as piracy and theft, it develops a focus on community interactions, competences and skills. These aspects play a key role in the values and meanings assigned by mashup enthusiasts to their practice.
Babich, B. 2014. Adorno’s Radio Phenomenology: Technical Reproduction, Physiognomy and Music. Philosophy and Social Criticism 40(10): 967-996.
Bennett, H.S. 1980. On Becoming a Rock Musician. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Brøvig-Hanssen, R. and Harkins, P. 2012. Contextual Incongruity and Musical Congruity: The Aesthetics of Humour of Mash-Ups. Popular Music 31(1): 87-104.
Burkart, P. and McCourt T. 2006. Digital Music Wars. Ownership and Control of the Celestial Jukebox. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield.
Campbell, M. 2013. Out of the Basement. Youth Cultural Production in Practice and in Policy. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Cloonan, M. and Garofalo, R. Eds. 2003. Policing Pop. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Demers, J. 2006. Steal This Music. How Intellectual Property Law Affects Musical Creativity. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press.
Friesinger, G. and Herwig, J. Eds. 2014. The Art of Reverse Engineering. Open-Dissect-Rebuild. Bielefeld: Transcript.
Gavanas, A. and Reitsamer, R. 2013. DJ Technologies, Social Networks and Gendered Trajectories in European DJ Cultures. In B.A. Attias, A. Gavanas, and H.C. Rietveld Eds. DJ Culture in the Mix. Power, Technology, and Social Change in Electronic Dance Music. New York: Bloomsbury: 51-77.
Goodwin, A. 2004. Rationalization and Democratization in the New Technologies of Popular Music. In S. Frith Ed. Popular Music. Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies. Vol. 2: The Rock Era. London: Routledge: 147-169.
Hine, C. 2000. Virtual Ethnography. London: Sage.
Hugill, A. 2008. The Digital Musician. New York: Routledge.
Howard-Spink, S. 2005. Grey Tuesday, Online Cultural Activism and the Mash-Up of Music and Politics. First Monday 9(10): n.p.
Jansen, B. 2011. Where Credit is Due. Cultural Practices of Recorded Music. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University. PhD Thesis.
Katz, M. 2004. Capturing Sound. How Technology Has Changed Music. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Kealy, E.R. 1990. From Craft to Art. The Case of Sound Mixers and Popular Music. In S. Frith and A. Goodwin Eds. On Record. Rock, Pop, and the Written Word. London and New York: Routledge: 207-220. First edition 1979.
Kim, S.J. 2010. Imaginal Listening: A Quaternary Framework for Listening to Electroacoustic Music and Phenomena of Sound-Images. Organised Sound 15(1): 43-53.
Knobel, M. and Lankshear, C. 2007. A New Literacies Sampler. New York: Peter Lang.
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. 1991. Situated Learning. Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McGranahan, L. 2010. Mashnography: Creativity, Consumption and Copyright in the Mashup Community. Providence, RI: Brown University. PhD Thesis.
McLeod, K. 2005. Confessions of an Intellectual (Property): Danger Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Sonny Bono, and My Long and Winding Path as a Copyright Activist-Academic. Popular Music and Society 28(1): 79-93.
McLeod, K. and DiCola, P. 2011. Creative License. The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Michielse, M. 2013. Musical Chameleons: Fluency and Flexibility in Online Remix Contests. M/C Journal 16(4): n.p.
Michielse, M. 2015. Remix, Cover, Mash. Remediating Phonographic-Oral Practice Online. Maastricht: Maastricht University. PhD Thesis.
Michielse, M. and Partti, H. 2015. Producing a Meaningful Difference: The Significance of Small Creative Acts in Composing within Online Participatory Remix Practices. International Journal of Community Music 8(1): 27-40.
Middleton, R. 1990. Studying Popular Music. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Milner, G. 2009. Perfecting Sound Forever. The Story of Recorded Music. London: Granta.
Navas, E. 2010. Regressive and Reflexive Mashups in Sampling Culture. In S. Sonvilla-Weiss Ed. Mashup Culture. New York: Springer: 157-177.
Ratliff, B. 2016. Every Song Ever. Twenty Ways to Listen to Music Now. London: Allen Lane.
Reynolds, S. 2011. Retromania. Pop Culture’s Addiction to its Own Past. London: Faber and Faber.
Roseman, J. 2007. Audio Mashup Construction Kit. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing.
Rösing, H. 1984. Listening Behaviour and Musical Preference in the Age of “Transmitted Music”. Popular Music 4: 119-149.
Schloss, J.G. 2004. Making Beats. The Art of Sample Based Hip-Hop. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Shiga, J. 2007. Copy-and-Persist: The Logic of Mash-Up Culture. Critical Studies in Media Communication 24(2): 93-114.
Sinnreich, A. 2010. Mashed Up. Music, Technology, and the Rise of Configurable Culture. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.
Tapscott, D. and Williams, A.D. 2006. Wikinomics. How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. London: Portfolio.
Thomas, S., Josephs, C., Laccetti, J., Mason, B., Mills, S., Perril, S. and Pullinger, K. 2007. Transliteracy: Crossing Divides. First Monday. 12(12): n.p.
Tough, D. 2010. The Mashup Mindset: Will Pop Eat Itself? In G. Plasketes Ed. Play it Again: Cover Songs in Popular Music. Aldershot: Ashgate: 205-212.
Väkevä, L. 2010. Garage Band or GarageBand®? Remixing Musical Futures. British Journal of Music Education 27(1): 59-70.
Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chris. 2014. Skype Interview by Maarten Michielse. 24 May.
Frank. 2013. Skype Interview by Maarten Michielse. 7 October.
Guy. 2014. Skype Interview by Maarten Michielse. 4 September.
John. 2013. Skype Interview by Maarten Michielse. 21 November.
a. Skype Interview by Maarten Michielse. 3 February.
b. Skype Interview by Maarten Michielse. 20 May.
Authors retain copyright, while licensing their work under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.