Document Type

Thesis

Publication details

Chambin, P 2019, 'Skweeel : towards a method for music production with an automated large-format analogue audio mixing console used as a sound-generating device through controlled Larsen effects', PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright P Chambin 2019

Abstract

Large-format analogue consoles such as the Neve VR, VX and 88R, or the Solid State Logic SL 4000 G and XL 9000 K, are being relegated to history in all but the orchestral recording market. In studios around the planet, they are being replaced by more affordable all-digital solutions or much smaller format analogue "front-end" consoles.

Since the early 20th century, electronic musicians and producers have been striving for new sounds which set them apart from other artists. The variety of tones that can emerge from a console within a normal recording or mixing session, due to accidental feedback loops, is promising in that regard. Producing these feedback loops deliberately and using them in a totally controlled, creative sound production and live performance, enables exploration of the nature and potential of these phenomena. The console itself acts as a multi-timbral polyphonic synthesiser, with each of its signal paths delivering one sound. Whilst the console’s automation system effectively becomes a sequencer, controlling the occurrence of the sounds, as well as their changes in timbre and pitch.

Within the practice-based research paradigm framework, the purpose of this study is to explore and assess this degree of control over pitch and timbre when using a large-format automated analogue studio console with internally generated feedback loops. Research was documented via social media blogging and a process diary. The research output includes a public performance and HD video of said performance, and a written exegesis.

The research outcomes suggest that using a large format automated analogue console to produce feedback loop-based music, has the potential to breach the confines in which No-Input-Mixer music has been constrained so far. Thus, not only would studio owners around the world potentially consider their investment in analogue music production equipment under a new light, but so would artists and producers be offered a viable tool in other genres of music production – this repurposing of large format analogue consoles, extending their life well into the 21st Century.

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