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English definition

Friday 21 January 2005, by Rob Weale

Many forms of electroacoustic music making are founded on the use of sound recording at some stage of their creation. Historically, those forms of electroacoustic music descended from the Musique Concrète comprise of studio-based investigation into recorded sound objects. The processes of sound recording and composing are frequently impossible to conceive of as entirely independent; recording is part of the musical creation rather than a documentation of the performance of an existing music or improvisation.

Recording may be monophonic, Stereophonic, multi-microphone (usually in order to capture spatial movement of sound at source rather than simulate it later) or in one of many possible surround sound formats e.g. Ambisonic. Sometimes specialist microphones such as contact mics or underwater mics will be employed in the recording of material.

In the French language much greater nuance is possible around this term (prise de son). The theorist Michel Chion has proposed the notion of ’fixing’ sounds (sono-fixation) in preference to sound recording to highlight the non-passive and creative activity which it represents. Hence the term l’Art des Sons Fixés.

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