Item Details

More than microphoning: capturing the role of the recording engineer from the 1980s to the 1990s

Issue: Vol 8 No. 1 (2013)

Journal: Popular Music History

Subject Areas: Popular Music

DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v8i1.46


A review of literature in the field of record production shows the recording engineer as being under represented and possibly, due to the enigmatic nature of the role, misunderstood. This paper examines the engineer’s role and influence in the creation of recordings from the 1980s to the 1990s through the autoethnographic approach undertaken by Steven Parker who worked as an engineer during this time. Parker’s narrative allows us to reflect not only on the roles of the engineer during a period of technological change, but the way that the engineer contributed to the creative process and in particular to what we term the sonic signature of a recording. Our suggestion is that the role of the engineer should be understood as more than microphoning (the art of capturing sound) and re-evaluated as an integral component of the creative process.

Author: Steven Parker, Robert Davis

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