A Digital Recording Consciousness: Analysing, Mixing and Evaluating Audio in the Mashup Community


  • Maarten Michielse Maastricht University


Mashup Practices, Recording Consciousness, Digital Technology, Skills, Learning


This 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.

Author Biography

Maarten Michielse, Maastricht University

Lecturer and Researcher Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Department of Literature and Art



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