KES Transactions on Innovation in Music

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 1 No. 1 Special Edition - Innovation in Music 2013
Article TitleThe Progressive Heavy Metal Guitarist's Signal Chain: Contemporary Analogue and Digital Strategies
Primary AuthorMatthew Shelvock, University of Western Ontario
Pages 126 - 138
Article ID im13bk-012
Publication Date 17-May-15
AbstractThis paper seeks to elucidate signal processing as musical communication. To do this, I start by establishing an analytically meaningful aesthetic distinction between the musical products of signal processing techniques employed by Djent/Progressive Heavy Metal guitarists and techniques employed by guitarists working in other heavy metal sub-genres.  I focus, in particular, on crucial differences in the mid-range of guitar tones characteristic of certain metal sub-genres, common practice gain staging procedures, noise management techniques, and approaches to compression. I explain how these technical procedures are, in fact, musically meaningful.  In so doing, I further an emerging research paradigm which sees recording practice as musical practice per se, rather than simply a 'technical support' for the 'true arts' of composition and performance (see Hodgson 2010).
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