Psychology in Studio Engineering Robert P. Glisson St. Pete College Psychology in Studio EngineeringInsert your Title Here Music is part of our everyday lives. We hear it ubiquitously; movies, television, video games, in our cars, in the grocery store, etc.
A Studio Engineer’s job is not simply to record music, but they also have to do the tedious tasks of setting the atmosphere for the particular song, making sure everything sits in the mix properly, setting the levels, applying specific effects for added ‘feeling’ or ‘energy’ to the music, and the final stage of mastering to ensure the recordings are on-par with the music we hear on the radio today. There are other aspects that deal with the subject of psychology that a Studio Engineer has to take into consideration . There’s many ways psychology correlates with the production of music.
Sensory stimuli, emotional response, positive interaction with the musicians, and the ever-changing bias of what people consider to be ‘good music’ are just some of the psychological aspects Studio Engineers have to incorporate into their work. Music (dictionary. com, n. d. ); “is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. ” Sound is made up of waves. Studio engineers use equalizers, compressors, limiters, and other effects in order to manipulate these waves.
Equalizers are used to cut out bad frequencies (or boost good frequencies) to make it easier for the ear to comprehend everything the mix. Compressors are used to normalize the volume of incoming sound. As we listen to music we are taking in a large amount of sensory information. Not only do we hear music, we also feel music. Hearing, feeling, and vision are used in most musical instances. Hearing is often considered the most important sense in humans (Carey, 2008). As vibrations travel from our ear to our brain the information is combined with our sense of touch, which helps our brain decipher the low frequencies.
Positive interaction with musicians is important in any field of the music industry. Studio Engineers interact with people on a daily basis. Being on good terms with clients and developing a relationship early generally bypasses a lot of issues that come up later on. (Gilder) Getting the musician as comfortable as possible is something Sound Engineers must do in order to get the paramount performance out of each individual. If a vocalist feels uncomfortable in a small vocal booth, having them record in the larger Control Room would be better suited to their needs.
Sometimes a chair may be too low/high for a guitar player and they might not realize it interferes with their ability to play until they switch to a new one. Although it isn’t (always) a direct interaction with the musician, the environment also plays a sizeable role in any musician’s aptitude to perform. A studio with a clean and creative workspace will remove distractions from the room but keeps the creative energy flowing. It’s said that natural lighting and dark purple are just some ways to help provoke creativity. Over time music and what people want to hear changes. In the 1960’s, the top selling album was Sgt.
Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, whereas in 2010, the top selling album was The Fame by Lady Gaga. (Trent, 2010) Studio Engineers have to adapt their style to better suit the new music and incorporate new technology into their mixing arsenal. When working with a band each project is treated with a fresh and inventive approach. For example, in present-day production, the conventional approach is to record instruments separately; vocals, drums, guitars, bass, etc. However, on occasion, placing the entire band in a room and hitting record is the best approach to capturing their energy.
The needs of the general public, ‘the listener’, are also a concern. Everyone has a taste in music, even if you love all styles of music there’s still a preference. Psychology has helped audio engineers adapt to the change of people’s inclinations. By studying music, we can see how people interpret certain frequencies. The microphone, the pre-amp, the recording interface: all these things have an effect on the signal being recorded. Studio engineers incorporate this kind of knowledge into their mixing as well as recording. We cultivate a relationship with music before we exit our mother’s womb.
In the womb, touch is the first sense to form; eight to twelve weeks later we begin to develop our hearing (How babie’s senses develop, 2011). The first sounds we hear are the beating of our mother’s heart and the tone of her voice. “Our bodies are a complexity of harmonizing rhythms: heartbeat, pulse, brainwaves, etc. so in a real sense we are indeed creatures of rhythm. ” (Harrison, 1999, 2000) Music has an undeniable effect on humans, plants, and animals alike. With its ability to influence our mood, it can also bring us back in time to a memory of the first time hearing a song or how the music intensified the climax to a scary movie.
When working on a project, it is important for a Studio Engineer to take breaks and listen to other music. Music has a direct connection with our growth and communication. It helps influence us to use a creative part of our mind that comes naturally to us at birth. A studio engineer is important in any industry today, making the transition of music from the mind to record. http://www. hometracked. com/2006/04/30/on-the-importance-of-checking-a-reference-while-mixing/ http://www. filmscoring. info/? tag=psychology http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Synesthesia http://books. oogle. com/books? id=A3jkobk4yMMC;amp;pg=PA2;amp;lpg=PA2;amp;dq=psychology+of+mixing+music;amp;source=bl;amp;ots=mtNyOCcg0J;amp;sig=tT1LG5upe4MwUGx2i0i_YlNKCsU;amp;hl=en;amp;sa=X;amp;ei=x0GTT62SNIWJ6AHwq82pBA;amp;ved=0CFoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage;amp;q;amp;f=false Works Cited (n. d. ). Retrieved from www. dictionary. com/ How babie’s senses develop. (2011). Retrieved from Pediatrix Medical Group: http://www. pediatrix. com/workfiles/medicalaffairs/B2_How%20babies%20senses%20develop. pdf Gilder, J. (n. d. ). The Psychology of Recording. Retrieved from Home Studio Corner: