In recent years, various forces within and outside the music industry -record producers, hardware and software suppliers, and Internet service providers -have created techniques and tools that allow recording studios in remote locations to be networked in ever more complex and intimate ways. The effort behind the creation of the 'network studio' is, in part, the result of an overall progression in the historical development of the tools, architectures and practices of the contemporary recording studio. Studios do not exist in a musical or cultural vacuum, however: traditionally, music scenes, session musicians, and local aesthetics and practices have played an important role in the development of specific approaches to recording and have had an influence on the resulting sounds. But the rise of the network studio raises fundamental questions about such relationships and about the role of space and place in sound recording and, in this regard, can be considered as an expression of larger tendencies described within various theories of globalization. This paper addresses how the emergence of the network studio, with its emphasis on standardized technologies and practices and its reliance on the virtual space of network communications, may have an impact upon and/or work alongside conventional recording studio practices.

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Social Studies of Science
School for Studies in Art and Culture

Theberge, P. (2004). The network studio: Historical and technological paths to a new ideal in music making. Social Studies of Science, 34(5), 759–781. doi:10.1177/0306312704047173