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University of Massachusetts-Lowell - April 3, 2013

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Summary

Tonight, UML SRT Graduate Students Paul Angelli, Pat Drumm, and Mike Trapani presented research on Relient K's song "Savannah" (mixed by Andy Wallace). As a part of this massive mid-term project for the class "Recording Analysis", the group of grad students were charged with the task of using multiple graphs and timelines to analyze the song from a critical listening perspective. Using techniques found in Dr. William Moylan's text "Understanding and Crafting the Mix" , the trio worked together on graphs outlining such things as Musical Balance, Performance Intensity, Reference Dynamic Level, Program Dynamic Contour, Pitch Area Analysis, Sound Quality Evaluation, Stereo Location and Musical Structure. The trio also took time to share their thoughts on the critical listening process and how they identified and labeled each sound source.

Before diving into the graphs, the group gave a little background information on their research process, which included talking to the producer Mark Lee Townsend. Through an online conversation with Townsend, the group got firsthand insight about some of the details that went into making the recording. Specifically, how the song was recorded in discrete sections and "assembled" later in the mix process. After the listening and graph-making process, the students were able to compare what they heard from the recording with what they had heard about the recording, and their results seem to support the assembled nature of the mix.

Many thanks to these graduate students for sharing their wealth of information, and thanks to Professor Michael Testa who taught Recording Analysis this semester.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society