The study of affect in music psychology – broadly construed as emotional responses communicated to, or induced in, the listener – increasingly concludes that voice processing can provide a powerful vector for emotional communication in the music production chain. The audio engineer has the ability to create a “definitive article” in the studio that gives listeners an opportunity to engage with the recorded voice in a manner that is quite distinct from everyday speech or the effect that might be achieved in a typical live performance. This paper examines the affective potential of the voice in a number of examples from popular music where the production chain has been exploited to provide a technological mediation to the listener’s emotional response.
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