Low Budget Music: Three EPs
This exegesis sets out to investigate our production of three EPs created on low budgets in Dunedin in order to gain a deeper understanding of our activities and external influences upon them. It is accompanied by these EPs to combine both practice-led research (analysis of practice) and practice-based research (presenting the artefact) approaches to the study of record production. I worked with three musical groups of different styles in an attempt to elicit different production practices in response to their music. I predicate discussions of how the EPs were made with theoretical frameworks to explore them as contexts for our activities. Conceptions of music production are used to view how myself as a record producer apply these to low budget practices. I examine discourse on the role of the record producer for a similar reason. The impact of the “Dunedin Sound” legacy on local musicians and the practices of other local musicians creating music on low budgets frame our activities within Dunedin music to view our similarities and differences. With these discourses in mind I then take a model of music production to structure discussion of each EP under categories of writing, arranging, performing, and recording. The appendices expand on this by detailing the recording, mixing, and mastering activities of each EP as well as providing supporting information, including a diary of all musical activities and personal logs written after each of these activities. I found that the types of concerns each group faced making music on low budgets were the same, as were the types of resources they employed. We set up new recording environments in rehearsal spaces with our own, borrowed, and rented equipment. When faced with production choices our limitations to resources made decision-making processes simple and we followed through with any of their consequences. We worked around the schedules of other people and forged close relationships with each other that helped us to problem solve during our challenges. Interactions with the “Dunedin Sound” legacy showed it was unclear how much we were influenced by its impact. I attribute the sound of each EP as reflecting our engagements with our resources and working conditions.
Advisor: Egenes, John; Holland, Michael
Degree Name: Master of Music
Degree Discipline: Music
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: low budget music; record production
Research Type: Thesis