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Multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths in the recording studio

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Title:
Multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths in the recording studio
Creator:
Bourgal, Ian Matthew ( author )
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
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University of Colorado Denver
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English
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1 electronic file (57 pages) : ;

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Degree:
Master's ( Master of science)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Music and Entertainment Industry Studies, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Recording arts

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Subjects / Keywords:
Sound -- Recording and reproducing ( lcsh )
Sound -- Recording and reproducing ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Review:
In this thesis, I surveyed the long history of recordings on which a single artist performed all or most of the parts. A professional audio recording portfolio is included, on which this practice is demonstrated using contemporary recording techniques. First, I explained the different terms used to describe these recording artists and provided a basic explanation of the different methods used on their recordings. Next, I surveyed well-known recordings that are the work of a single artist, examining the recording methods that were used, as well as developments in technology that arose alongside these records. I then looked at modern recording technology, noting the ways in which multi-track recording and single artist records have become commonplace. I have also included some criticisms of these techniques and concerns regarding the absence of live interaction between performers. This research will contribute to the discussion regarding the differences between live and manufactured performances, and will offer new insight to musicians, producers and engineers. The included audio portfolio was written, performed, recorded and mixed by myself, with assistance only when necessary. Together, this research and portfolio will provide an example of the techniques that have been developed by multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists and musical polymaths in the recording studio.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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System requirements: Adobe Reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ian Matthew Bourgal.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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on10131 ( NOTIS )
1013189743 ( OCLC )
on1013189743
Classification:
LD1193.A70 2017m B69 ( lcc )

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Full Text
MULTI-INSTRUMENTALISTS, ALPHASOLOISTS, AND MUSICAL POLYMATHS
IN THE RECORDING STUDIO by
IAN MATTHEW BOURGAL B.A., State University of New York at Purchase,
2004
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science Recording Arts Program 2017


This thesis for the Master of Science degree by Ian Matthew Bourgal has been approved for the Recording Arts Program by
Leslie Gaston-Bird, Chair David Bondelevitch Stan Soocher
Date: May 13, 2017
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Bourgal, Ian Matthew (M.S., Recording Arts Program)
Multi-Instrumentalists, AlphaSoloists, and Musical Polymaths in the Recording Studio
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Leslie Gaston-Bird
ABSTRACT
In this thesis, I surveyed the long history of recordings on which a single artist performed all or most of the parts. A professional audio recording portfolio is included, on which this practice is demonstrated using contemporary recording techniques. First, I explained the different terms used to describe these recording artists and provided a basic explanation of the different methods used on their recordings. Next, I surveyed well-known recordings that are the work of a single artist, examining the recording methods that were used, as well as developments in technology that arose alongside these records. I then looked at modern recording technology, noting the ways in which multi-track recording and single artist records have become commonplace. I have also included some criticisms of these techniques and concerns regarding the absence of live interaction between performers. This research will contribute to the discussion regarding the differences between live and manufactured performances, and will offer new insight to musicians, producers and engineers. The included audio portfolio was written, performed, recorded and mixed by myself, with assistance only when necessary. Together, this research and portfolio will provide an example of the techniques that have been developed by multiinstrumentalists, alphasoloists and musical polymaths in the recording studio.
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The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Leslie Gaston-Bird
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For Sean
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank Leslie Gaston-Bird for keeping me on track. I would also like to thank Conor Bourgal and Marc Benning for their work in the studio. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, John and Laura Bourgal.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION................................................9
II. HISTORY...................................................11
III. CRITICISMS OF MANUFACTURED PERFORMANCES..................24
IV. METHODS..................................................29
Pre-Production...........................................29
Programming..............................................31
Tracking.................................................32
Editing..................................................35
Mixing...................................................36
V. CONCLUSION...............................................50
BIBLIOGRAPHY..................................................52
APPENDIX......................................................55
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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure i Home Studio...................................................37
Figure 2 Hideaway Studios Control Room.................................38
Figure 3 SSL AWS924 in Studio H........................................39
Figure 4 Pre-Production in Pro Tools 7.3...............................40
Figure 5 Analog Factory................................................41
Figure 6 Kontakt.......................................................42
Figure 7 Mooger Fooger.................................................43
Figure 8 Microphone Placement for Lap Steel............................44
Figure 9 Tracking Bass.................................................45
Figure 10 Tracking Sax.................................................46
Figure 11 SSL Routing..................................................47
Figure 12 Pro Tools Edit Window........................................48
Figure 13 Pro Tools Mix Window.........................................49
Vlll


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The development of multi-track recording dramatically altered the process by which music could be created. No longer restricted to capturing live performances, musicians and producers could assemble new compositions one element at a time. It was now possible for a single artist to perform all or most of the parts on a recording. (Hamelman 195)
This thesis looks at recordings on which a single artist provides all or most of the writing, performing, and in some cases, the engineering and production. Also included is an audio portfolio, demonstrating many of the techniques of a single artist recording using contemporary methods and equipment.
The focus here is on artists whose work consists mainly of acoustic and electric instruments, resulting in recordings that, although performed by a single person, are mostly indistinguishable from ensemble recordings. Although some discussion of MIDI and other electronic accompaniment is necessary, this thesis is primarily concerned with recordings that utilize multi-track and overdub techniques. Concerns regarding the authenticity of these manufactured performances are also addressed.
The history of these recording artists, techniques, and recordings is well documented. However, many of the available sources cover only one aspect of the single-artist recording. While some writers have chosen to focus on the virtuosity of multi-instrumentalists, others have written about the art of constructing a musical
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performance in the studio. In this thesis, I attempt to reveal a more complete picture of the technological and creative practices that gave rise to single artist recordings.
Three terms are used here to describe artists who create recordings without traditional accompaniment or technical assistance. While these terms have much in common, the distinctions are important. Multi-Instrumentalists are musicians who can perform at a professional level on a variety of instruments. These artists naturally benefit from the ability to record several parts in the studio. AlphaSoloist is a term coined by Steve Hamelman in All By Myself: Essays on the Single Artist Rock Album. Hamelman uses the term AlphaSoloism in reference to recordings where at least ninety percent of the composition and at least ninety percent of the performance on a multitude of instruments is the work of one creator. Finally, the musical polymath is a recording artist who, in addition to performing and perhaps writing, also provides production or engineering. Hamelman describes these artists as nearing a state of pure AlphaSoloism, relying on little assistance in the studio, if any. (Hamelman 11)
In the first section, I have reviewed the history of overdubbing and multi-track recordings, paying particular attention to recordings which feature multiinstrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths. Early overdubbing techniques are explained, and several examples of well known, single artist recordings are examined. Next, I considered the question of the authenticity of studio recordings and criticisms of overdubbing, especially concerning single artist recordings. Finally, I composed, performed, recorded and mixed One Side, demonstrating many of the practices examined in the previous section.
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CHAPTER II
HISTORY
In a 2008 article for The New York Times Magazine, author John Wray wrote that, Advances in recording and performance technology now make it possible for musicians not only to fire the drummer but also if so inclined to do away with accompaniment altogether without losing the richness, or seemingly the spontaneity, of a full-size band. (Wray)
In fact, early overdubbing techniques have been around since the 1920s. In 1925, early recording engineer Harry Sooy recorded a bird whistler performing alongside six previously made recordings of himself. (Burgess 100)
In 1931, RCA Victor released a recording of Lawrence Tibbet singing both the tenor and baritone parts on the title song from the film, The Cuban Love Song. Other examples such as recordings by Nelson Eddy and Elizabeth Schumann soon followed. (Kane 22-23)
A1941 recording of multi-instrumentalist, Sidney Bechet consisted of Bechet performing The Sheik of Araby accompanied by himself. On this recording, Bechet performed clarinet, soprano, tenor, piano, bass and drum parts himself. (Piazza 207-208)
Although this was a significant accomplishment, the process of disc to disc recording resulted in a considerable reduction in fidelity. (Horning 173)
Before the introduction of multi-track recording, Overdubs for both disc and wire recorders involved playing back the original recording while performing the overdub
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and recording the mix of the two to a second machine. Each bounce raised the noise floor and degraded the quality of the successive dub. And so it was for tape until Les Paul.
Les Paul was a studio guitarist, hit songwriter, television star, recording engineer, producer, and inventor. (Burgess r88)
Les Paul created a disc to disc technique that accounted for the degradation caused by layering multiple performances. I built two disc machines, and Id bop between them while I played the first part and then added the second, third, fourth, fifth parts and so on. However, that was a rather difficult way of doing things, and the sound on sound also became a little tricky because of the degeneration that took place. After youd go 25, 30 dubs down that first part got to sound pretty bad. So, what we did was layer the parts down in the order that would best cope with the sound deterioration. Instead of putting the first part on first, we might put it on lastit was all about the importance of the part we were dealing with. If I was beating out a drum part, a rhythm, with my hands on the guitar, that could deteriorate all it wanted and it didnt matter, and the same applied if I was just laying down some organ chords with tremolo on them. (Buskin)
Later, Paul modified his Ampex 300 recorder in order to create Sound on sound recordings using only one machine. He accomplished this by installing an additional playback head before the erase, record, and playback heads that were already in place. This configuration allowed him to listen to the previously recorded take while playing along and recording both performances to the record head. As with disc-to-disc
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recording, each generation resulted in a reduction in fidelity, as well as additional noise. Furthermore, a mistake in any of the takes required starting over from the very first. Later, he bounced tracks between two Ampex 300s, which allowed him to record multiple overdubs without risking the earlier takes each time a new one was added. (Snyder 209) (Burgess r9r)
On his and Mary Fords many hits Paul played all the guitar parts and Ford sang all the vocals, he conceptualized the tracks, optimized the order of overdubs, ran the machines and had, what seems like, an instant and exhaustive understanding of sound on sound tape techniques. (Burgess r97)
Although Les Paul has become synonymous with these techniques, other artists and engineers were experimenting with overdubbing during the same period. Mitch Miller used an approach similar to Pauls to record the singer Patti Page. In r95o, Page, as well as Les Paul and Mary Ford released versions of Tennessee Waltz and Mockingbird Hill. Each of these recordings featured similar overdubbing techniques.
Paul recalled how he developed the idea to use a multi-track recorder for overdubbing, Using sound on sound was crazy. Theres a better way: Stack the heads one on top of the other, r-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, and align them so we could do self-sync, with all the heads in line. (Paul)
There is some debate as to who first conceived of the multitrack recorder. Les Paul claimed to have thought of the design himself. Ross Snyder, an Ampex employee in the r95os disputes this account. According to Snyder, he developed the first multi-track recorder and named the design Sel Sync. (Snyder 210)
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Richard Burgess wrote, in The History of Music Production that, Irrespective of the details, Les Paulthrough his numerous innovationsfurther integrated the recording studio as a creative instrument into the production process. He disengaged production from real time, teased apart its component strands, and approached it as an incremental composition in sound, conflating it with the songwriting, arranging, orchestration, performance, and technical elements. (Burgess r9r)
The first multi-track machine was delivered to Les Paul in ^57. The Model 5258 made use of 8 vertically aligned heads, across r tape. It was seven feet tall and weighed over 250 pounds. The 8-track recorder made it possible for recordings to be constructed one piece at a time, while avoiding many of the issues of disc-to-disc or sound-on-sound recording. (Burgess ^4-5)
The introduction of multi-track recording meant that studio recordings could now be assembled by layering takes. The length of the piece no longer defined the duration of the recording process. (Burgess 187- r88)
From The History of Record Production:
This was the beginning of a new era in the art of music production: editable, multitrack technology enables producers to paint artificial soundscapes and write scores to a medium that captures precise sounds and nuances of individual performances. With editing and overdubbing capability, composition, arrangement, orchestration, performance, and production could truly merge into a single continuum with no clear lines of demarcation. (Burgess r95)
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In the 1960s, popular recording artists used the recording studio as a creative tool, experimenting with new possibilities that multi-tracking introduced. A1968 article in the RCA publication, Electronic Age stated that, Recordings of electronic rock no longer purport to represent live performances. They are no longer reproductions but productions studio events, self contained and self referring. (Porterfield)
When the Beatles released Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, in 1967, they had quit touring and declared themselves a studio band. Sgt Peppers was created in the studio, and was not intended to be performed live. (Chanan 143)
Mick Jagger said in 1968 that, The recording studio, with all the things in it, is another form of art, of music. (Porterfield)
The advancements in multi-track technology, and the time spent experimenting in the studio made possible the recording of an entire composition by a single musician. One of the first was jazz pianist, Bill Evans, who overdubbed three piano performances on his 1963 album, Conversations With Myself ("Piazza 368)
On The Beatles (The White Album), Paul McCartney performed Wild Honey Pie entirely by himself. Wild Honey Pie, which was recorded in 1968, was, The first (in terms of order of appearance) of what would turn out to be a small, widely scattered group of tracks in which Paul, in spite of the relatively primitive techniques of the time, would self-produce himself as a one man band. (Pollack)
Paul also performed several instruments on Why Dont We Do It In The Road and Martha My Dear. A year later, Paul repeated the process on Come and Get It, which
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was intended for the group, Badfinger. Paul tracked piano and vocals live, followed by percussion, drums and bass. (Hamelman r6)
In r970, Paul released McCartney. The album, some of which was recorded at home using a Studer 4-track recorder, features Paul performing all the instruments. In a press release for the record, Paul describes the equipment used for basic tracking: Studer four-track machine. I only had, however, one mike, and I worked without VU meters or a mixer, which meant that everything had to be listened to first for distortion, etc., then recorded. So the answer Studer, one mike, and nerve." The only accompaniment came from his wife, Linda, who contributed backing vocals. (McCartney)
Paul later took these 4-track tapes to Morgan Studios and EMI/Abbey Road to be transferred to 8-track. He then performed further overdubs, as well as tracking additional material. (Hamelman 16)
McCartney was number one in the US and number two in the UK. (Hamelman 42) In 1971, Grateful Dead guitarist, Jerry Garcia began recording his first solo album, Garcia. He would track acoustic guitar or piano along with the Deads drummer, Bill Kreutzman. He then added bass, pedal steel, electric guitars, piano and Hammond B-3. Like McCartney, Garcia included a few instrumental interludes and sound collages.
The record sold well and several of the songs were performed regularly by the Grateful Dead. (Jackson 213-16, 227)
On his 1972 album, Something/Anything?, Todd Rundgren performed all the instruments and vocals on three of the albums four sides, some of which was recorded
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at his home using a Scully eight track-tape machine. In Paul Myers book, A Wizard, A True Star: Todd Rundgreri in the Studio, Rundgren describes his process:
Doing the drums was the logical place to start. It always starts with rhythm. Early on, I tried to play to a click track, but I wasnt very experienced, so it was always difficult for me to stay locked to it. I gave up on that idea, and in a certain sense, my drum tracks sounded a little more natural as a result. He would then add bass, guitar, synths, and layers of vocals. (Myers 66-68)
Rundgren explains the difference between solo recording and collaborative work in A Wizard, a True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio. Working alone is for the most part, additive, like sculpting with clay. Working with a band is subtractive, like sculpting with stone, where you chisel away at everyones ideas and pick out the good ones. When Im composing, by myself, its just my own sort of internal process. Ill start with something very rudimentary, a rhythm pattern or a bassline or something and, overtime, that gets layered up and evolves into something more complete sounding. (Myers 42)
Stevie Wonder released Music of My Mind in ^72. The liner notes included a statement from Motown explaining that, This album is virtually the work of one man. All the songs are composed, arranged and performed by Stevie Wonder on pianos, drums, harmonica, organ, clavichord, clavinet, and Arp and Moog Synthesizers. The sounds themselves come from inside his mind. The Man is his own instrument. The instrument is an orchestra. (Wonder)
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Wonders Innervisions was released in 1973. The album contained three tracks on which Wonder performed all the instruments, including drums, Fender Rhodes, Moog bass, clavinet, synth, handclaps and vocals. (Wonder)
Following the breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival, John Fogerty began work on The Blue Ridge Rangers (1973). He not only produced and arranged all tracks, but also played all instruments: guitars, bass, banjo, pedal steel guitar, piano, organ, fiddle, trombone, cornet, drums, and all vocals, including a choir for three gospel tracks. (Hamelman 48)
Prince released his debut album, For You, in April 1978. The record featured Prince performing a total of 25 instruments. Prince would first track drums, followed by synthesizers, bass and guitars. (Brown 37, 35)
According to the albums credits, For You was Produced, Arranged, Composed and Performed by Prince. (Burgess 335-336)
He continued this practice on Controversy. According to engineer, Bob Mockler, Prince would just go and put the drum part on the tape, and then hed put everything to the drums, playing a bass part, then a keyboard part, then a guitar part background vocals, and a rough lead vocal. Everything was in his head. (Brown 58)
Like Todd Rundgren, Prince almost never used a click track. (Brown 197)
In one session for the record, Parade: Music from the Motion Picture Under the Cherry Moon, Prince recorded the drum tracks to four songs consecutively, without stopping the tape. Recording engineer, Susan Rogers recalled that, He sat down behind the drum set and taped his lyrics up on a music stand in front of him. We
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pressed record on the tape machine and he played the entire drum track to four songs in a row. Four drum tracks, just in a row, all first takes. (Brown 109)
Sylvia Massey, another of Princes engineers, explained, The thing about Prince is that he has the final product already swimming in his head; he knows what its going to sound like. He could get it there himself he could engineer it, he could produce it, he could perform every part himself faster than anyone elsebut he prefers to have other people put it together. (Brown 196)
In a Rolling Stone review of the album, Dirty Mind, author, Ken Tucker wrote that, Though Prince is playing everything himself, the result isnt bloodless studio virtuosity. His music attains the warmth and inspiration of a group collaboration because it sounds as if hes constantly competing against himself: Prince the drummer tries to drown out Prince the balladeer, and so forth. (Tucker)
To demo songs, Prince would sometimes use a technique from the earliest days of overdubbing. He would set up two cassette recorders, beat box the drum parts, and then play that part back while performing additional parts into the second recorder. (Brown 155)
Prince was so prolific in the recording studio, that he developed several projects as outlets for additional material. Morris Day and the Time and Vanity 6 were groups that were produced by Prince. He also credited his alter egos, such as Camille, with a few of his mostly solo studio performances. (Helmreich and McMurray 139-40)
Susan Rogers, described working with Prince in a 2016 interview. Prince was, of all the artists Ive ever worked with, perhaps the most hands on. Prince would sit behind
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the console because he didnt have a producer. All he needed was an engineer. And he would EQ and move faders himself. So the engineers job was to prepare everything for him to give him as many options as possible and have them right as his fingertips. (Helmreich 138)
In the early r98os, Prince began using the Linn LM-r drum machine. Princes tech, Don Batts, modified the LM-r to include a MIDI interface, which then triggered a Memory Moog synthesizer, allowing bass and drum parts to be programmed in sync. (Brown 82)
Prince would program a pattern on the LM-r, and later punch in drum fills where they were needed. (Brown 158)
While drum machines had existed in some form for decades, the popularity of the Linn Drum and the introduction of MIDI in ^82 brought electronic accompaniment to the forefront of music production. With this new technology, artists could arrange and produce entire compositions outside of the recording studio and without the need for other musicians. (Burgess 486-489)
Also introduced in ^79 was the Tascam Teac Model 144 Portastudio. The ability to record, overdub, EQ, bounce and mixdown, squeezing four tracks out of an r/8-inch cassette tape, empowered artists all over the world to create music of groundbreaking quality in their homes for the first time. (Brown)
Tascam had actually introduced its first home recorders in ^73. Eventually, the 2340 and 3340 lines sold tens of thousands of units to a growing market of musician-
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recordists, almost single-handedly launching the home recording revolution. (1969 TEAC 1/4-Inch Simul-Sync 4-Tracks.)
Introducing the Portastudio, Bill Mohrhoff, director of sales, stated that, The major goal of the TASCAM division of TEAC is to bring professional quality recording equipment within the grasp of more people. He added, The Beatles recorded Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band in four-track. Now you can offer that same capability to everyone." (Portastudio Makes Debut.)
Bruce Springsteen recorded his album, Nebraska at home with just a r44 Portastudio and two Shure SM57S. (Keller)
Years later, Petra Haden recorded a cover version of The Who Sells Out on a Tascam 488 8-track cassette recorder. The album is made up entirely of Haden overdubbing vocals in order to reimagine the original record. Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out exemplifies the use of technology by a solo artist. By layering vocals, Haden could recreate an entire classic album, with no band, or even instrumentation. (Hamelman 169)
The introduction of digital recording simplified the multi-tracking and editing techniques that enable a single artist to record an entire performance. What makes random access important, in a creative setting, is being able to grab chunks or tiny fragments of music to copy, paste, cut, fix, tune, move, and modify. (Burgess 468)
Many of the tools that once occupied an entire recording studio, are now available within a single software program. The recording medium itself, as well as EQ, effects, and virtual instruments are all accessible within the Digital Audio Workstation. Studio
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recordings can now be created entirely in the box. Digital Audio Workstations, or DAWs, such as Pro Tools, have become the dominant format for recording music. (Burgess 498-504)
Todd Rundgrens 2004 album, Liars, was recorded entirely on a laptop, using software plug-ins to model outboard gear and guitar amps. ("Myers 3or)
Regarding the recording of Liars, Rundgren said, "In this case it meant using a MIDI master keyboard and lots of virtual sound sources. I also used an old blue and white Mac G3 with OS 9.2, which is not fast, but it's fast enough to run Reason my principal composition and performance tool on this record and it's stable. I also used Pro Tools V5.r, and the Pro Tools hardware was doing most of the work anyway. I didn't have the Rewire version of Reason, so I had to go through a fairly convoluted process of printing all instruments one at a time after I had recorded everything I wanted. But Reason is great. You can output at 24-bit, which I did, and you can get a nice, rich sound. There's a huge user community out there producing sounds, which I took advantage of. Reason has so many different ways in which you can approach a composition, and the virtualisation of instruments and effects is something I can't go back from now. My virtual instruments were for the most part Reason's take on the classics. Also, I got used to the idea of not having to own Urei 1176 compressors any more. Instead I can have 20 of them virtually, if I want." (Tingen)
Today, many artists choose to create records without the accompaniment of a traditional band. Annie Clark, of St. Vincent, says of her recording process, Computers have always really informed what I do, and I dont think thats going to change.
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On St. Vincents 2007 record, Marry Me, Clark performed most of the instrumental parts herself, with some assistance, and considerable electronic accompaniment.
That album took forever to make, mostly just me alone with my computer.
The home-recording situation having it be affordable and easy was a big part of it, too: I had so much time to try out weird ideas, then get rid of them or keep them if I wanted. I never really fantasized about joining a band, or thought, this song would be really good if I could just find a drummer, because I didnt need to think about things in those terms. It was more fun for me to try it on my own. (Wray) Multi-instrumentalists, AlphaSolists, and Musical Polymaths, such as those included here, have utilized technology, and in some cases, developed new technology to produce records that featured multiple performances by a single musician.
Electronic accompaniment, home recording equipment, and finally, Digital Audio Workstations, have made it easier than ever for artists to create entire compositions by themselves, and often at home.
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CHAPTER III
CRITICISMS OF MANUFACTURED PERFORMANCES
The record making process changed significantly with the introduction of multitrack recording. Recording artists spent more and more time in the studio, constructing performances one sound at a time, rather than using the studio to capture a live performance. On occasions when the performance was recorded live, the instruments and vocals were often isolated from one another to allow for more control over the levels when it came time to mix. Many musicians and engineers who had worked with live recording felt that records and overall musicianship declined with the introduction of overdubbing and editing. (Horning r79 r83)
These concerns are especially relevant in the work of multi-instrumentalists, who do not rely on live ensemble performances. Mike Dorrough, who worked as an engineer in the r96os, told author Susan Horning Schmidt, The more people, the better sound. You take two people and they sing a little harmony together, if you stand in front of them, the sound and the harmonic, that third dimension is there, [but] if you mike them separately, you get their amplitudes, but you didnt get the space, the harmonic between them (Horning, Interview)
In the days before multi-tracking, it was necessary for musicians to perform accurately and efficiently in the recording studio. Saxophonist Charlie Rouse recalled that when recording with Thelonious Monk, only one or two takes were needed to capture an entire song. The musicians were expected to perform the piece accurately, without the need to punch in or re-record a track. It was their responsibility to get it
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right because, If you mess up, well thats it, you know, thats your problem. You have to hear that all the rest of your life. (Horning 195)
The ability to add overdubs and punch in led many artists and producers to postpone decision making until after tracking was complete. This is one of the few points on which all recording engineers seem to agree: that delayed decisions and less precise playing began with the introduction of tape and escalated with multi-tracking. (Horning r86 r8y)
As producer, John Hammond put it, The performance had to be assembled later in the editing room, and no amount of editing, rebalancing, splicing and enhancing can make a performance great unless it was great to begin with. (Hammond 381-382)
In an interview for the journal, Twentieth Century Music, Susan Rogers, former staff engineer for Prince, explained how technological developments have altered the process of creating recordings in the studio:
What is happening is that with each advance in technology, we can push the record button earlier and earlier and earlier in our process. In the early days of mono recording, the arranger lets say its Duke Ellington would get the arrangement perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect. The engineer will get the sounds perfect the position of the one mic or however many mics hes going to use. And the very last thing you did when everything was perfect is hit record. Stereo was kind of similar.
But once we had 4-track, and once Les Paul invented multi-tracking and we could stack things, well now you dont have to have the arrangement complete, do you?
Now you can do bass and drums and just the basic track, and write the lyrics later. So
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now you can hit the record button a little earlier in the process, when you just have the basic track. With each advent of new technology, we could hit the record button earlier and earlier. Now people can hit record before they even have an idea. And kids do this. Theyll experiment with sounds and theyll be recording as a way of facilitating inspiration. This to me is one of the most grievous losses. I would like to see recording artists think in terms of the materials to the vision. Start with your materials, start with your ideas, start with your players. And wait! Dont hit that Record button until youve actually got something to say. The same thing with writing or making a painting or something. The same with cooking. Dont just start throwing stuff in the pot have a plan! Do some experimenting. And then I think you stand a better chance of success. (Helmreich and McMurray 14.6)
For multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths, the practice of assembling a performance one element at a time is essential. For these artists, the studio often serves as an instrument, allowing them to assemble new compositions piece by piece. While many of these artists have achieved success utilizing the available technology to create multi-track recordings by themselves, others have encountered the same problems that are often associated with any multi-track recordings.
Doug Yule performed almost all the instruments on the ^73 Velvet Underground album, Squeeze. In a ^95 interview, he recognized that the record suffered from the lack of live interaction in the studio. All the basic tracks were laid down with drums and me ....So [Paice] and I would lay down a track. How much interplay can you have
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when all it is, is one guitar or piano? You can hear that, its kind of dead. I think you get more when you have three or four people playing together, they feed off each other, they work together and something comes of it, its bigger. Doug Yule (Thomas) Producer and recording artist, Brian Eno views the process quite differently. In a r979 lecture titled, The Studio as Compositional Tool, Eno stated that, (The multitrack studio) gave rise to the particular area that Im involved in: in-studio composition, where you no longer come to the studio with a conception of the finished piece. Instead, you come with actually rather a bare skeleton of the piece, or perhaps with nothing at all. I often start working with no starting point. Once you become familiar with the studio facilities, or even if youre not, actually, you can begin to compose in relation to those facilities. You can begin to think in terms of putting something on, putting something else on, trying this on top of it, and so on, then taking some of the original things off, and seeing what youre left with actually constructing a piece in the studio. (Moorefield 73-74)
Todd Rundgren has made solo studio recordings since the 1970s, and continues to do so using software to record as well as to model outboard gear. "I always said that I consider the studio to be an instrument, a thing that requires techniques that you must learn, and that involves creativity in applying those techniques. That's no different than playing the guitar, or using a computer. You have to spend time learning it. In other words, in the argument as to whether it's valid or not to use virtual gear to make a record that's supposed to sound like live musicians... the only
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argument is: if you can do it, go ahead and do it! I'm still the one who figured out how to do it, and that's the same thing a musician has always had to figure out. (Tingen)
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CHAPTER IV
METHODS
Pre-Production
The composition and arrangement of One Side took place at my home studio, which consists of the following:
2007 Mac Mini 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB 667 MHz DDR2SDRAM Digidesign 003R
Focusrite Octopre 8 channel preamp
M-Audio Radium 61 Key USB MIDI Controller
Roland Td-6 V-Kit
Alesis MKII monitors
Glyph 500GB Hard Drive
LaCie Hard Drive (containing sample library)
The Mac Mini runs OS X 10.4.10 and Pro Tools 7.3.1 used several virtual instruments and software samplers including Arturia Analog Factory, Native Instruments Kontakt 3, and Propellerhead Reason Adapted for Pro Tools version 3.0.5.
I determined the tempo before I began programming, and made adjustments later when necessary. I worked in sections of 4, 8, and 16 bars, adding instruments to each section before moving on to the next. As several of the artists discussed earlier have done, I began by programming drums to get the tempo and groove just right. As the form of each song developed, I used markers to indicate the songs form and chord changes.
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A demo for Rough Time was first documented using an iPhone SE (iOS 10.2.1). I recorded a guitar loop with a Line 6 pedal, and worked out the melody. The voice memos app was used to quickly document this idea, and later to capture field recordings that could be included in the recording. Next, I elaborated on this idea in Pro Tools.
For the next track, Long Time, I created a demo using GarageBand version 2.2.1 for iOS. I sequenced an electric guitar melody accompanied by piano, drums, and a synth. I later recreated this demo in Pro Tools to complete the track.
Cinnamon Bay was written and recorded at once using Pro Tools.
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Pro gramming
Rough Time and Long Time were arranged in Pro Tools 7.3 using a combination of virtual instruments and samples. MIDI tracks were routed to the Instrument tracks when I needed more than one sound from a Virtual Instrument. These tracks were edited and quantized immediately after the initial programming.
Drums
The drums I used came from the Kontakt 3 library. I chose to use the Jazz Kit. I shortened the decay on the snare sample to minimize rattling form the snares.
I used the flatten performance function in Pro Tools to move the drum tracks to the grid. I then moved the snare forward by 5 milliseconds to give it some natural swing. Sampled hi hats and ride cymbals can sound stiff and unnatural without special attention. I adjusted the velocity of these samples in order to give it more of a human feel.
Synth
I created a synth bass part using Arturia Analog Factory. The patch I chose to use was the Modular V Taurus 2 preset.
Saxophone
I programmed the saxophone parts in Pro Tools using a tenor sax sound from the Kontakt 3 sample library. I then exported the Midi files for each part and imported them to MuseScore. I took the notation to the studio to read as I recorded.
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Tracking
I tracked much of this recording alone, at home. Guitar, lap steel, and melodica parts were all recorded in my home studio using modest home recording equipment.
Tracking for this recording was completed at Hideaway Studios in Westcreek, Colorado. Hideaway Studios is located in the mountains north of Pikes Peak. The studio is centered around a Sony/MCI MXP3000 console. The patch bay allows for convenient connection to a selection of outboard gear including classic preamps, compressors and effects units. The studio runs Pro Tools 7, using a Mac G5 along with a pair of Digidesign r92 interfaces. Three tracking rooms are connected to the patch bay.
Hideaway Studios engineer, Marc Benning was on hand to assist me with setting up and choosing the right gear for each sound. He operated Pro Tools and offered suggestions while I tracked each part.
Sessions for each song had already been prepared. The sessions included guitar and melodica, along with stem tracks created from the virtual instruments. I focused on the instruments that would benefit the most from the equipment that is available at Hideaway Studios. I tracked the saxophones and bass, knowing that I would be able to record guitars and lap steel at home.
Marc and I chose to use a Neumann M249 tube condenser microphone on both saxophones. We had used this mic before, on a session with Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds. The M249 was routed through a Brent Averill Enterprises r272 preamp, which is built to the same specifications as the original Neve design. The signal was then sent
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to a DBX160 compressor. The DBX was set to a ratio of 4a. The threshold was set to achieve between o and 3 dB of gain reduction.
I tracked the saxophones in the live room, monitoring the programmed tracks in the headphone mix through an Axiom Personal Mixing System. I first tracked the tenor parts, followed by the alto.
I later brought the sax parts to Studio H in the Recording Core for tuning. I used WavesTune to bring the saxophones into tune. I then recorded the tuned parts to new audio tracks and brought them home to be edited along with the rest of the session.
Next, I recorded bass. I chose a Fender Jazz Bass and recorded direct, while I sat in the control room. We ran the bass through a Marquette Audio V72A, followed by a Tektronix LA-2A compressor, which was set to compress the signal by 2-4dB.
The electric guitar on this recording is a Fender American Special Stratocaster. The guitars were tracked with just a single Blue Woodpecker on the amp. Several guitar pedals were in the signal path, but only the Rotovibe was used for this recording. The guitars on Long Time were recorded direct. I used Amplitube to simulate guitar amps.
The lap steel, a 1964 Airline Rocket, was recorded at home through the same Fender Hot Rod Deluxe that was used for the guitar. The amp was placed in a closet with a concrete floor and blankets hung on each side. A Shure SM57 was placed on the amp, about r away and 2 in from the edge of the speaker. The Blue Woodpecker was 44 back and r8 high. Both microphones were run through the Focusrite Octopre. A high pass filter was engaged on each channel. The lap steel was connected to a series of pedals, although for this recording only the volume pedal was active.
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The Hohner melodica was recorded at home with a Studio Projects Cr large diaphragm condenser microphone through the Focusrite Octopre. I stood about 8-ro from the mic, which was aimed at the middle of the keyboard.
I recorded the Mini Moog in Studio H, in the UCD Recording Core. This studio consists of an SSL 924 console and an Avid HDX system connected to a Mac Pro, which runs Pro Tools r2. I routed the Moog into the line in on the SSL 924, which outputs directly to Pro Tools. I created patches from Sound Charts, a manual of presets from 1974-
For Rough Time, I made several patches of the from Sound Charts, by Tom Rhea. I recreated the lead from the Emerson Lake and Palmer song, Trilogy. I ended up turning off two of the three oscillators on this patch. I used this sound to copy the melodica melody. I used WavesTune to bring the lead Moog melody in tune with the rest of the song. I also used the Jet Plane patch to create a white noise effect, adjusting the attack to fit the tempo and feel of the track.
For Long Time, I created a tuba patch from Sound Charts.
The Heart Beat patch was copied pretty much exactly as it is shown in Sound Charts. After first trying to use this patch in Rough Time, I managed to use it in Cinnamon Bay.
Cinnamon Bay was the last song to be tracked. The acoustic guitar that I used on Cinnamon Bay is a Guild M-120.1 recorded this guitar with a single Royer 121 ribbon microphone through the SSL 924. I then added samples from field recordings that I had collected using my iPhone, as well as a Tascam DR-05 Linear PCM Recorder.
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Editing
Although Pro Tools 12 is capable of reading a session created in an earlier version of the software, backwards compatibility requires saving a copy of the session from Pro Tools r2.1 chose to edit the sessions at home in Pro Tools 7.3 before importing tracks for use in Pro Tools r2. This would allow me to focus on the mix once each track had already been edited. I used the copy and paste functions to build composite tracks from the best takes of each instrument.
The Mini Moog tracks were recorded in Studio H using Pro Tools r2. So, in this case, the individual tracks needed to be imported to my Pro Tools 7.3 session. This way, I could add the Mini Moog without disrupting the plug ins and unedited tracks that had not been imported to Pro Tools r2. The tuned saxophones also needed to be imported back into the 7.3 session.
To maintain a natural groove, the drum tracks were reexamined with each part that was added. I made small adjustments to the drum parts as I went, responding to the music the way a drummer would, with cymbals or accents. For the bridge section of Rough Time, I added delay to the snare drum from within Kontakt. I bounced a new audio file with this effect, and copied it to the audio track in place of the drums that did not have this effect.
I then added crossfades between clips, as well as fade ins and fade outs at the start and end of each clip. I also bounced the virtual instrument to an audio track. My intention was to import completely edited stem tracks into Pro Tools 12 to be mixed in Studio H.
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Mixing
Mixing for this project took place at the UCD Recording Core in Studio H. As I mentioned earlier, this studio consists of an SSL 924 console and an Avid HDX system connected to a Mac Pro, which runs Pro Tools r2. The Pro Tools 7 sessions were imported for use in Pro Tools r2. Each track was individually routed to the SSL 924 console to achieve a more cohesive sound. The SSL Stereo Bus Compressor was placed across the mix bus at a ratio of r.5:r, reducing the gain by just 2dB.
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Figure 1 Home Studio
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Figure 2 Hideaway Studios Control Room
38
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Figure 3 SSL AWS924 in Studio H
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Figure 4 Pre-Production in Pro Tools 7.3
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Figure 8 Microphone Placement for Lap Steel
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Figure g Tracking Bass
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Figure 10 Tracking Sax
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Figure 11 SSL Routing
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Figure 12 Pro Tools Edit Window
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CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION
With this thesis and portfolio, I have demonstrated how multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths have utilized recording technology to create complete musical performances with little or no accompaniment. I have provided examples of artists using the technology available to them to construct artificial performances. The question of authenticity, not only in single artist recordings, but multitrack recordings overall, has been addressed. The process, from composition through mixing has been described in detail.
My own recording, One Side, was constructed piece by piece using a combination of virtual, electric and acoustic instruments. Composite tracks were created from multiple takes, and several tracks were tuned using WavesTune software. The arrangements were edited in Pro Tools. The result does not betray the fact that only one musician performed on this recording.
While I am satisfied with the results, I did experience a few of the disadvantages described in Chapter III. I believe these tracks would have benefitted from a more solid foundation, and a more structured process. Writing each song on a single instrument, rather than moving between several instruments, would have provided a more focused composition.
It would have been much more efficient for me to have recorded these tracks at a single studio, or, at least within a single version of Pro Tools. Moving between versions required saving copies of the sessions, as well as printing tracks that used plug ins
50


which were only available in one place or another. These steps made it more difficult to stay organized and on task.
In the liner notes to his album, Conversations With Myself, Bill Evans explained his reasons for multi-tracking in the studio. He wrote, To the person who uses music as a medium for the expression of ideas, feelings, images, or what have you; anything which facilitates this expression is properly his instrument. (Evans)
Other artists have expressed similar feelings on the subject. Paul McCartney explained, "That to make your own decisions about what you do is easy, and playing with yourself is very difficult but satisfying." (McCartney)
Lenny Kravitz sees his solo recording process as being more efficient than recording with a group. I dont have to stop, I dont have to explain, I dont have to say to somebody, Alright, look, this is what Im looking for. So I have all the instruments set up and ready to go, so that whatever vibe Im in, I can execute it. (Allen)
In his article, All Alone at the Microphone: Can One Man Make a Band?, Matthew Allen sums up the motivations of multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths in the recording studio:
One-man bands are the ultimate statement of independence, a declaration that the artist doesnt need others to create magic, that they want their message to be heard straight from the source with no filters. (Allen)
5i


BIBLIOGRAPHY
"1969 TEAC 1/4-Inch Simul-Sync 4-Tracks." Mix, 1 Sept. 2006. http://www.mixonline.com/news/news-products/1969-teac-14-inch-simul-sync-4-tracks/383600 Accessed 28 Feb. 2017.
Allen, Matthew. "Https://bklynbywaycuse.wordpress.com/20i2/o3/oi/all-alone-at-the-microphone-can-one-man-make-a-band/." Elmore Magazine Sept. 2012: n. pag. Web. iMar. 2017. .
Brown, Jake. Prince in the Studio: 1975-1995. Vol. 1. Phoenix, AZ: Colossus, 2010. Print.
Brown, Janice. "Tascam Portastudio Turns 25." Pro Sound News, vol. 26,1 Nov. 2004, pp. 18. General One File Accessed 8 Apr. 2017.
Burgess, Richard James. The History of Record Production. New York: Oxford UP, 2014. Electronic.
Buskin, Richard. "Classic Tracks: Les Paul & Mary Ford 'How High The Moon'." Sound On Sound. N.p., Jan. 2007. Web. 5 Apr. 2017.
Chanan, Michael. Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and Its Effects on Music. London, Verso, 2000.
Evans, Bill. Liner Notes. Bill Evans Conversations with Myself. Verve, 1963.
Hammond, John, and Irving Townsend. John Hammond on Record: An Autobiography. New York, Penguin Books, 1981.
Hamelman, Steven L. All by Myself: Essays on the Single-artist Rock Album. Lanham, MD: Rowman Et Littlefield, 2016. Print.
Helmreich, Stefan, and Peter McMurray. "Tape, Prince, and the Studio: Interview with Susan Rogers 23 May 2016, Cambridge, MA." Twentieth-Century Music 14.1 (2017): 135-47. Web.
Horning, Susan Schmidt. Chasing Sound: Technology, Culture, and the Art of Studio Recording from Edison to the LP. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2015. Print.
Horning, Susan Schmidt. Interview with Mike Dorrough, August 19,1996. Kentuclcyoralhistory.org, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, 2017,
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https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/oh/render.php?cachefile=20i6ohi84_chaseoi6_ohm.x ml Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.
Jackson, Blair. Garcia: An American Life. New York: Penguin, 2000. Print.
Kane, Brian. Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice. New York, NY: Oxford UP, 2or6. Web.
Keller, Daniel. Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska A PortaStudio, Two SM57S, and Inspiration. Tascam.com, 25 July 2007, tascam.com/news/display/226/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2or7.
McCartney, Paul. Liner Notes. McCartney. LP. Apple Records,r97o.
Moorefield, Virgil. The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2005. Print.
Myers, Paul. A Wizard, a True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio. London: Jawbone, 2oro. Print
Piazza, Tom. The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz. Iowa City: U Of Iowa, ^95. EBook Collection. Web. 4 Apr. 2ory.
Paul, Les. "Multitracking: It Wasn't Always This Easy..." Mix 13 May 2005: n. pag. Web. 5 Apr. 2017. http://www.mixonline.com/news/news/multitracking-it-wasnt-always-easy/423840
Pollack, Alan W. "Notes on "Wild Honey Pie"." Journal on Media Culture ^999): n. pag. Soundscapes.info. Web. 5 Apr. 2ory.
.
"Portastudio Makes Debut." Music Trades, Jan. 2005, p. 238. General Reference Center GOLD. Accessed 8 Apr. 2ory.
Porterfield, Christopher. Rewing Up The Rock Revolution. Electronic Age, 1968, pp. 7-13, www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Radio-Age/ElectronicAge-r968-Spring.pdf. Accessed 8 Apr. 2ory.
Rhea, Tom. Sound Charts: Mini Moog. Lincolnwood, IL: Norlin Music, ^74. Electronic.
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Snyder, Ross H. "Sel-Sync and the "Octopus": How Came to Be the First Recorder to Minimize Successive Copying in Overdubs." ARSC Journal 34.2 (2003): 209-13. Web. r2 Feb. 2017.
Tingen, Paul. "Todd Rundgren: Recording Liars." Sound On Sound May 2204: n. pag. Web. r4 Mar. 2017. .
Thomas, Pat. Doug Yule Interview (Part r). Perfect Sound Forever, 21 Oct. ^95, www.furious.com/perfect/yule.html. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.
Tucker, Ken. "Prince: Dirty Mind." Rolling Stone r9 Feb. r98r: n. pag. Rollingstone.com. Web. 5 Apr. 2ory.
.
Wray, John. The Return of the One-Man Band. The New York Times. The New York Times, yj May 2008. Web. 20 Feb. 2017
Wonder, Stevie. Innervisions. Universal Music, 2000. CD.
Wonder, Stevie. Music of My Mind. Audio Fidelity, 2oro. CD.
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APPENDIX
List of recordings by multi-instrumentalists, alphasoloists, and musical polymaths. Anderson, Theresa. Hummingbird, Go!, 2008.
Bechet, Sidney Shiek ofAraby, 1941.
Boston. Boston, 1976.
Buckingham, Lindsey. Law and Order. r98r Buckingham, Lindsey. Go Insane. 1984 Buckingham, Lindsey. Out of the Cradle. 1992 Cloud Nothings. Cloud Nothings. 2orr.
Collins, Phil. Both Sides, 1993.
DAngelo. Brown Sugar, 1993.
Evans, Bill. Conversations with Myself 1963.
Final Fantasy. He Poos Clouds, 2006.
Folds, Ben. Rockin the Suburbs, 20or.
Fogerty, John. Blue Ridge Rangers, 1973.
Fogerty, John. John Fogerty, 1973.
Fogerty, John. Centerfield, ^85.
Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters, 1993 Garcia, Jerry. Garcia, 1972.
Haden, Petra. Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out, 2005.
Kravitz, Lenny. Let Love Rule, ^89.
Kweller, Ben. Ben Kweller, 2006.
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LCD Soundsystem. LCD Soundsystem, 2005.
Les Paul & Mary Ford. The New Sound, 1950.
Les Paul & Mary Ford. The New Sound Vol. II, 1951.
Lynne, Shelby. Revelation Road, 2011.
McCartney, Paul. McCartney, 1970.
McCartney, Paul. McCartney II, 1980.
McFerrin, Bobby. Spontaneous Inventions, 1986.
Nine Inch Nails. Pretty Hate Machine, 1989.
Of Montreal. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, 2007. Oldfield, Mike. Tubular Bells, 1973.
Otis, Shuggie. Inspiration Information, 1974.
Panda Bear. Person Pitch, 2007.
Prince. For You, 1978.
Prince. Prince, 1979.
Prince. Dirty Mind, 1980.
Prince. Controversy, 1981.
Prince. 1999,1982.
Prince. Purple Rain, 1984.
Reatard, Jay. Blood Vision, 2006.
Rhodes, Emmitt. Emmitt Rhodes, 1970.
Rodgers, Paul. Cut Loose, 1983.
Rundgren, Todd. Something/Anything, 1972.
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Rundgren, Todd. Liars, 2004.
Smith, Elliot. Either/Or, 1997.
Spence, Skip. Oar, 1969.
Stevens, Sufjan. Illinois, 2005.
Stevens, Sufjan. Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lake Stat, 2003. St. Vincent. Marry Me, 2007.
Tame Impala. Innerspeaker, 2010.
Velvet Underground, The. Squeeze. 1973.
Winwood, Steve. Arc of a Diver, 1982.
Winwood, Steve. Taking Back the Night, 1984.
Wonder, Stevie. Music of My Mind, 1972.
Wonder, Stevie. Innervisions, 1973.
Wood, Roy. Boulders, 1973.
Wood, Roy. Mustard, 1973.
Young Legs. The Fog and the Forest, 2010.
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Full Text

PAGE 1

MULTI INSTRUMENTALISTS, ALPHASOLOISTS, AND MUSICAL POLYMATHS IN THE RECORDING STUDIO by IAN MATTHEW BOURGAL B.A. State Uni versity of New York at Purchase, 2004 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science Recording Arts Program 2017

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ii This thesis for the Master of Science degree by Ian Matthew Bourgal has been approved for the Recording Arts Program by Leslie Gaston Bird, Chair David Bondelevitc h Stan Soocher Date : May 13, 2017

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iii Bourgal Ian Matthew (M.S., Recording Arts Program ) Multi Instrumentalists, AlphaSoloists, and Musical Polymaths in the Recording Studio Thesis directed by Associa te Professor Leslie Gaston Bird ABSTRACT In this thesis, I surveyed the long history of recordings on which a single artist performed all or most of the parts. A professional audio recording portfolio is included, on which this practice is demonstrated using contemporary recording techniques. First, I explained the different terms used to describe these recording artists and provided a b asic explanation of the different methods used on their recordings. Next, I surveyed well known recordings that are the work of a single artist, examining the recording methods that were used, as well as developments in technology that arose alongside thes e records. I then looked at modern recording technology, noting the ways in which multi track recording and single artist records have become commonplace. I have also included some criticisms of these techniques and concerns regarding the absence of live i nteraction between performers. This research will contribute to the discussion regarding the differences between live and manufactured performances, and will offer new insight to musicians, producers and engineers The included audio portfolio was written, performed, recorded and mixed by myself, with assistance only when necessary. Together, this research and portfolio will provide an example of the techniques that have been developed b y multi instrumentalists, alpha soloists and musical poly maths in the re cording studio.

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iv The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Leslie Gaston Bird

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v For Sean

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vi ACK N OWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Leslie Gaston Bird for keeping me on track. I would also like to thank Conor Bourgal and Marc Benning for their work in the studio. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, John and Laura Bourgal.

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vii TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION 9 ................................. 11 24 29 Pre 29 31 32 35 Mixin V. CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX

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viii LIST OF FIGURES F IGURE 1 H OME S TUDIO ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 37 F IGURE 2 H IDEAWAY S TUDIOS C ONTROL R OOM ................................ ................................ ..... 38 F IGURE 3 SSL AWS924 IN S TUDIO H ................................ ................................ ...................... 39 F IGURE 4 P RE P RODUCTION IN P RO T OOLS 7.3 ................................ ................................ ....... 40 F IGURE 5 A NALOG F ACTORY ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 41 F IGURE 6 K ONTAKT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 42 F IGURE 7 M OOGER F OOGER ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 43 F IGURE 8 M ICROPHONE P LACEMENT FOR L AP S TEEL ................................ ............................... 44 F IGURE 9 T RACKING B ASS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 45 F IGURE 10 T RACKING S AX ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 46 F IGURE 11 SSL R OUTING ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 47 F IGURE 12 P RO T OOLS E DIT W INDOW ................................ ................................ ..................... 48 F IGURE 13 P RO T OOLS M IX W INDOW ................................ ................................ ...................... 49

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9 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The development of multi track recording dramatically altered the process by which music could be created. No longer restricted to capturing live performances, musicians and producers could assemble new compositions one element at a time. It was now possible f or a single artist to perform all or most of the parts on a recording. (Hamelman 195) This thesis looks at recordings on which a single artist provides all or most of the writing, performing, and in some cases, the engineering and production. Also included is an audio portfolio, demonstrating many of the techniques of a single artist record ing using contemporary methods and equipment. The focus here is on artists whose work consists mainly of acoustic and electric instruments, resulting in recordings that, although performed by a single person, are mostly indistinguishable from ensemble rec ordings. Although some discussion of MIDI and other electronic accompaniment is necessary, this thesis is primarily concerned with recordings that utilize multi track and overdub techniques. Concerns regarding the authenticity of these manufactured perform ances are also addressed. The history of these recording artists, techniques, and recordings is well documented. However, many of the available sources cover only one aspect of the single artist recording. While some writers have chosen to focus on the v irtuosity of multi instrumentalists, others have written about the art of constructing a musical

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10 performance in the studio. In t his thesis, I attempt to reveal a more complete picture of the technological and creative practices that gave rise to single art ist recordings. Three terms are used here to describe artists who create recordings without traditional accompaniment or technical assistance. While these terms have much in common, the distinctions are important. ninety percent of the composition and at least ninety percent of the performance on a multitude of instruments is the work of on (Hamelman 12) In the first section, I have reviewed the history of overdubbing and multi track recordings, paying particular attention to recordings which featur e multi instrumentalists, alpha soloists, and musical polymaths. Ea rly overdubbing techniques are explained, and several examples of well known, single artist recordings are examined. Next, I considered the question of the authenticity of studio recordings and criticisms of overdubbing, especially concerning single artist recordings.

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11 CHAPTER II musicians not only to fire the drummer but also if so inclined to do away with accompaniment altogether without losing the richness, or seemingly the spontaneity, of a full size In 1925, early recording engineer Harry Sooy recorded a bird whistler performing alongside six previously made recordings of himself. (Burgess 100) In 1931, RCA Victo r released a recording of Lawrence Tibbet singing both the tenor and baritone parts on the title song from the film, The Cuban Love Song. Other examples such as recordings by Nelson Eddy and Elizabeth Schumann soon followed. (Kane 22 23) A 1941 recording o f multi instrumentalist, Sidney Bechet consisted of Bechet Although this was a signi f recording resulted in a considerable reduction in fidelity. (Horning 173)

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16 four track machine. I only had, however, one mike, and I worked without VU meters or a mixer, which meant that everything had to be listened to first for distortion, etc. then recorded. So the answe r Studer, one mike, and nerve."

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17 Todd Rundgren in the Studio A Wizard, a True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio tually the work of one man. All the songs are composed, arranged and performed by Stevie Wonder on pianos, drums, harmonica, organ, clavichord, clavinet, and Arp and Moog Synthesizers. The sounds themselves come from inside his mind. The Man is his own instrumen t. The

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19 Prince was so prolific in the recording studio, that he developed several projects as outlets for additional material. Morris Day and the Time and Vanity 6 were groups that were produced by Prince. He also credited his alter egos, such as Camille, with a few of his mostly solo studio performances. ( Helm reich and McMurray 139 40)

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20 ed was an engineer. And he (Helmreich 138) While drum machines had existed in some form for decades, the popularity of the Linn Drum and the introduction of MIDI in 1982 brought electronic accompaniment to the forefront of music prod uction. With this new technology, artists could arrange and produce entire compositions outside of the recording studio and without the need for other musicians. (Burgess 486 489) The abi lity to record, overdub, EQ, bounce and mixdown, squeezing four tracks out of an 1/8 inch cassette tape, empowered artists all over the world to create music of groundbreaking Tascam had actually introduc Eventually, the 2340 and 3340 lines sold tens of thousands of units to a growing market of musician

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21 recordists, almost single ( TEAC 1/4 Inch Simul Sync 4 Introducing the Portastudio, Bill Mohrhoff, director of sales, major goal of the TASCAM division of TEAC is to bring professional quality recording rgent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band in four track. Now you can offer that same capability Bruce Springsteen recorded his album, Nebraska at home with just a 144 Portastudio and two Shure SM57s. (Keller)

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22 "In this case it meant using a MIDI master keyboard and lots of virtual sound sources. I also used an old blue and white Mac G3 with OS 9.2, which is not fast, but it's fast enough to run Reason my principal composition and performance tool on this recor d and it's stable. I also used Pro Tools v5.1, and the Pro Tools hardware was doing most of the work anyway. I didn't have the Rewire version of Reason, so I had to go through a fairly convoluted process of printing all instruments one at a time after I had recorded everything I wanted. But Reason is great. You can output at 24 bit, which I did, and you can get a nice, rich sound. There's a huge user community out there producing sounds, which I took advantage of. Reason has so many different ways in whic h you can approach a composition, and the virtualisation of instruments and effects is something I can't go back from now. My virtual instruments were for the most part Reason's take on the classics. Also, I got used to the idea of not having to own Urei 1 176 compressors any more. Instead I can have 20 of them virtually, if I want." (Tingen) hav

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23 2007 record, Marry Me Clark performed most of the instrumental parts herself, with some assistance, and considerable electronic accompaniment. recording situation having it be affordable and easy was a big part of it, too: I had so much time to try out weird ideas, then get rid of them or keep them if I wanted. I never reall y fantasized about joining a band, or thought, this song

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24 CRITICISMS OF MANUFACTURED PERFORMANCE S

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25 What is happening is that with each advance in technology, w e can push the record button earlier and earlier and earlier in our process. In the early days of mono recording, the arranger would get the arrangement perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect. The engineer will get the sounds perfect the thing you did when everything was perfect is hit record. Stereo was kind of similar. But once we had 4 track, and once Les Paul invented multi tracking and we c ould Now you can do bass and drums and just the basic track, and write the lyrics later. So

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26 now you can hit the record button a little earlier in the process, when you just hav e the basic track. With each advent of new technology, we could hit the record button earlier and earlier. Now people can hit record before they even have an idea. And kids tating inspiration. This to me is one of the most grievous losses. I would like to see recording artists think in terms of the materials to the vision. Start with your materials, start pot have a plan! Do some experimenting. And then I think you stand a bett er chance Fo r multi instrumentalists, alpha soloists, and musical polymaths, the practice of assembling a performance one element at a time is essential. For these artists, the studio often serves as an instrument, allowing them to assemble new compositions piece by piece. While many of these artists have achieved success utilizing the available technology to create multi track recordings by themselves, others have encountered the same problems that are often associa ted with any multi track recordings. Doug Yule performed almost all the instruments on the 1973 Velvet Underground album, Squeeze In a 1995 interview, he recognized that the record suffered from the lack of live interaction in the studio. tracks were laid down with drums

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27 get more when you have three or four people playin g together, they feed off each Producer and recording artist, Brian Eno views the process quite differently. In a studio composition, where you no longer come to the studio with a conception of the finished piece. Instead, you come with actually rather a bare skeleton of the piece, or perhaps with nothing at all. I often start working with no starting point. Once you to compose in relation to those facilities. You can begin to th ink in terms of putting something on, putting something else on, trying this on top of it, and so on, then actually 74) Todd Run do so using software to record as well as to model outboard gear. "I always said that I consider the studio to be an instrument, a thing that requires techniques that you must learn, and that involves creativity in applying those techniques. That's no different than playing the guitar, or using a computer. You have to spend time learning it. In other words, in the argument as to whether it's valid or not to use virtual gear to make a r ecord that's supposed to sound like live musicians... the only

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28 argument is: if you can do it, go ahead and do it! I'm still the one who figured out how ( Tingen)

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29 CHAPTER IV METHODS Pre Production M Audio Radium 61 Key USB MIDI Controller Roland Td 6 V Kit

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30

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31 Programming the grid. I then moved the snare forward by 5 milliseconds to give i t some natural special attention. I adjusted the velocity of these samples in order to give it more of a human feel.

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32

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33

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34

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35 Editing

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36 Mixing

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37 Figure 1 Home Studio

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38 Figure 2 Hideaway Studios Control Room

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39 Figure 3 SSL AWS924 in Studio H

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40 Figure 4 Pre Production in Pro Tools 7.3

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41 Figure 5 Analog Factory

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42 Figure 6 Kontakt

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43 Figure 7 Mooger Fooger

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44 Figure 8 Microphone Placement for Lap Steel

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45 Figure 9 Tracking Bass

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46 Figure 10 Tracking Sax

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47 Figure 11 SSL Routing

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48 Figure 12 Pro Tools Edit Window

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49 Figure 13 Pro Tools Mix Window

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50 CONCLUSION

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51 In the liner notes to his album, Conversations With Myself Bill Evans explained his reasons for multi medium for the expression of ideas, feelings, images, or what have you; anything Other artists have expressed similar feelings on the subject. explained, "That to make your own decisions about what you do i s easy, and playing with yourself is very difficult but satisfying." (McCartney) Lenny Kravitz see s his solo recording process as being more efficient than say to someb (Allen) One man bands are the ultimate statement of independence, a declaration that age to be

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52 BIBLIOGRAPHY 1969 TEAC 1/4 Inch Simul Sync 4 Tracks." Mix, 1 Sept. 2006. http://www.mixonline.com/news/news products/1969 teac 14 inch simul sync 4 tracks/383600 Accessed 28 Feb. 2017. Allen, Matthew. "Https://bklynbywaycuse.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/all alone at the microphone can one man make a band/." Elmore Magazine Sept. 2 012: n. pag. Web. 1 Mar. 2017. . Brown, Jake. Prince in the Studio: 1975 1995 Vol. 1. Phoenix, AZ: Colossus, 2010. Print. Brown, Janice. "Tascam Portastudio Turns 25." Pro Sound News vol. 26, 1 Nov. 2004, p p. 18 General One File Accessed 8 Apr. 2017. Burgess, Richard James. The History of Record Production New York: Oxford UP, 2014. Electronic. Buskin, Richard. "Classic Tracks: Les Paul & Mary Ford 'How High The Moon'." Sound On Sound N.p., Jan. 2007. Web. 5 Apr. 2017. Chanan, Michael. Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and Its Effects on Music London, Verso, 2000. Hammond, John, and Irving Townsend. John Hammo nd on Record: An Autobiography. New York, Penguin Books, 1981. Hamelman, Steven L. All by Myself: Essays on the Single artist Rock Album. Lanham, MD: Rowman Et Littlefield, 2016. Print. Helmreich Stefan, and Peter McMurray. "Tape, Prince, and the Studio: Interview with Susan Rogers 23 May 2016, Cambridge, MA." Twentieth Century Music 14.1 (2017): 135 47. Web. Horning, Susan Schmidt. Chasing Sound: Technology, Culture, and the Art of Studio Recor ding from Edison to the LP. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2015. Print. Kentuckyoralhistory.org Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, 2017,

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53 https:// kentuckyoralhistory.org/oh/render.php?cachefile=2016oh184_chase016_ohm.x ml Accessed 5 Apr. 2017. Jackson, Blair. Garcia: An American Life New York: Penguin, 2000. Print. Kane, Brian. Sound Unseen: Acousmatic Sound in Theory and Practice. New York, NY: Ox ford UP, 2016. Web. A PortaStudio, Two SM57's, and Tascam.com 25 July 2007, tascam.com/news/display/226/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2017. McCartney, Paul. Liner Notes. McCartney. LP. Apple Records,19 70. Moorefield, Virgil. The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2005. Print. Myers, Paul. A Wizard, a True Star: Todd Rundgren in the Studio. London: Jawbone, 2010. Print Piazza, Tom. The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz Iowa City: U Of Iowa, 1995. EBook Collection Web. 4 Apr. 2017. Paul, Les. "Multitracking: It Wasn't Always This Easy..." Mix 13 May 2005: n. pag. Web. 5 Apr. 2017. http://www.mixonline.com/news/news/multitracking it wasnt always easy/423840 Pollack, Alan W. "Notes on "Wild Honey Pie"." Journal on Media Culture (1999): n. pag. Soundscapes.info. Web. 5 Apr. 2017. . "Portastudio Makes Debut." Music Trades Jan. 2005, p. 238. General Reference Center GOLD. Accessed 8 Apr. 2017. Electronic Age 1968, pp. 7 13, www.americanradiohistor y.com/Archive Radio Age/ElectronicAge 1968 Spring.pdf. Accessed 8 Apr. 2017. Rhea, Tom. Sound Charts: Mini Moog Lincolnwood, IL: Norlin Music, 1974. Electronic.

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54 Snyder, Ross H. "Sel Sync and the "Octopus": How Came to Be the First Recorder to Minimize Successive Copying in Overdubs." ARSC Journal 34.2 (2003): 209 13. Web. 12 Feb. 2017. Tingen, Paul. "Todd Rundgren: Recording Liars." Sound On Sound May 2204: n. pag. Web. 14 Mar. 2017. . Perfect Sound Forever 21 Oct. 1995, www.furious.com/perfect/yule.html. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017. Tucker, Ken. "Prince: Dirty Mind." Rolling Stone 19 Feb. 1981: n. pag. Rollingstone.com Web. 5 Apr. 2017. . York Times, 17 May 2008. Web. 20 Feb. 2017 Wonder, Stevie. Innervisions Universal Music, 2000. CD. Wonder, Stevie. Mus ic of My Mind Audio Fidelity, 2010. CD.

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55 APPENDIX Anderson Theresa. Hummingbird, Go!, 2008. Shiek of Araby 1941. Law and Order Go Insane Out of the Cradle Cloud Nothings. Cloud Nothings 2011 Collins Phil. Both Sides 1993 Evans Bill Conversations with Myself 1963 Folds Ben 2001. Fogerty Joh n. Blue Ridge Rangers 1973 Fogerty John. John Fogerty, 1975. Fogerty John. Centerfield, 1985. Foo Fighters. Foo Fighters 1995 Garcia Jerry. Garcia 1972 Haden, Petra. Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out 2005.

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56 Lynne Shelby. Revelation Road, 2011. McCartney, Paul. McCartney 1970. McCartney, Paul. McCartney II 1980. Of Montreal. Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, 2007 Oldfield Mike. Tubular Bells 1973. Otis Shuggie. Inspiration Information, 1974. Prince For You 1978. Prince. Prince 1979. Prince. Dirty Mind 1980. Prince. Controversy 1981. Prince. 1999 1982. Prince Purple Rain 1984. Reatard Jay Blood Vision 2006 Rhodes Emmitt. Emmitt Rhodes, 1970. Rundgren Todd. Something/Anything, 1972.

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57 Rundgren Todd. Liars 2004. Smith Elliot Either/Or 1997 Spence Skip. Oar, 1969. Stevens, Sufjan Illinois 2005. Stevens, Sufjan Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lake Stat 2003 S t. Vincent Marry Me 2007 Winwood Steve. Arc of a Diver, 1982. Winwood Steve. Taking Back the Night 1984 Wonder Stevie Music of My Mind, 1972 Wonder Stevie Innervisions 1973 Wood Roy. Boulders, 1973. Wood Roy. Mustard, 1975. Young Legs. The Fog and the Forest 2010.