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Software Design and the Cultural Politics of Music Production

Mike D'Errico

29 April 2022

ISBN: 9780190943318

344 pages

In Stock

Price: £22.99


Push: Software Design and the Cultural Politics of Music Production shows how music software has shaped the production techniques and performance practices of artists working across media, while also providing a model for understanding software as a microcosm for the increasing convergence of globalization, neoliberal capitalism, and techno-utopianism that has come to define our digital lives

  • Approaches the professional disciplines of music production and software design from a cultural studies perspective
  • Provides cross-disciplinary, cross-media, and in-depth analyses of contemporary music-making software
  • Combines theories and concepts from musicology and media studies with real-world examples of how contemporary music-making software works, and how it's used by artists across media

About the Author(s)

Mike D'Errico, Assistant Professor of Music and Computer Science, Albright College

Mike D'Errico is Director of Music Technology & Composition, Assistant Professor of Music & Computer Science, and Music Department Chair at Albright College, where he teaches courses in Music Production, Sound Design, Game Design, Songwriting, and User Experience Design. His research has appeared in Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, Journal on the Art of Record Production, and edited collections such as The Oxford Handbook of Electronic Dance Music; Electronic Cities: Music, Policies and Space in the 21st Century; Critical Issues to the Production of Music and Sound; and The Cambridge Companion to Hip-Hop. As an electronic music producer and sound designer, he makes hip-hop beats, electronic dance music tracks, and sound for video games and virtual reality applications. He is an Avid Certified Instructor in Pro Tools for Music and Game Audio, as well as an Apple Certified Pro in Logic Pro X. He earned his PhD in Musicology from UCLA, his Masters in Music from Tufts

University, and his Bachelors of Music Education from the University New Hampshire.

Table of Contents

    About the Companion Website
    Introduction: Interface Aesthetics
    PART ONE: Sonic Architectures
    1. Plugin Cultures
    2. Monopolies of Competence
    3. Terminal Aesthetics
    PART TWO: When Hardware Becomes Software
    4. Controller Cultures
    5. There's an App for That
    PART THREE: Software as Gradual Process
    6. Worlds of Sound
    7. Deep Listening
    Conclusion: Invisible Futures


"A thoughtful and comprehensive look at digital musicianship in all its many layers and contexts." - Erin Barra, Director of Popular Music and Assistant Professor, Arizona State University

"In this book, D'Errico (Albright College) examines Push technology, not just its evolution and technical background but also the gender gap among its users and the fact that a technical background is not required to produce music with it. D'Errico introduces many popular DAWs, such as FL Studio, Pro Tools, and Ableton, showing how they evolved into creative and money-making music production used in such music genres such as EDM (electronic dance music) and gaming music and by deejays in making music on dance floors around the world. The author also explores how the various DAWs split as music makers sought an easy flow system like FL Studio to produce music that was quick and profitable. The more rigid DAWs-for example, Pro Tools-were made for more technical productions and require more background in traditional recording techniques." - Choice