‘Live or Memorex?’
For musicians, producers and sound-recordists the shift from analogue to digital cultures has been a slow and incremental process. Early industry innovations and the availability of relatively cheap music and recording technology have meant that musicians can be seen as early adopters (adaptors) in the digital revolution. While purists remain most in the world of sound have taken a pragmatic stance on the use of digital technology in the live and recording arenas. It may be argued that how audio is captured, manipulated and presented in a digital context has offered a fundamental shift in our perception of sound. If this is the case has there been a consequential loss of past processes, skills and understandings of the pre-digital?
In consideration of this it is perhaps these key players, who happily co-exist in this binary audio world, can offer valued judgments on the implications of the shift to a predominantly digital ecology. This chapter builds on interviews with a number of musicians and sound-recordists to assess what it means to stay analogue or be digital.
Stephen Mallinder PhD
Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton