Technologically Mediated Transparency in Music Production

Adrian Renzo*, Steve Collins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article argues that several recent developments in popular music make the artist’s production process more transparent to listeners. By using loop pedals, by releasing the recorded stems of songs, or by uploading performative instructional videos on YouTube, producers “reveal” techniques used during the production process. Such revelations partly deconstruct earlier concerns from rock fans regarding the (lack of) authenticity of particular musics. Furthermore, we argue that these developments have a history in earlier forms of popular music, such as the “extended version” of 12-inch singles from the 1970s and 1980s. Here, songs were frequently stripped down to their core, making specific parts (and, by extension, specific arrangement techniques) more accessible to listeners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-421
Number of pages16
JournalPopular Music and Society
Issue number4
Early online date6 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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