The recording, producing and mix work can be intimately connected in popular music, making it difficult to separate these processes.

Mixing, involves putting all musical elements together to achieve an artist’s or producers vision of the music, and this vision may change during the production process. In popular music the editing and mixing process evolves around all creative aspects of music production, performance,  technical possibilities, new ideas and a search for greater “impact”.

The mix process is a subjective process between the producer and artist.

My FoU work is about taking this creative attitude and injecting it in to the stiff and static documentary classical music production approach. Turning every (or at least some) stone(s) and turn the production process into a dynamic process. It’s about looking at a musical piece from new angel s, from a performance, composition, producing and technical perspectives. And last but not at least, adapting a piece for a new listener’s perspective, the listener that’s not attending the concert.

That could mean that we may rearrange the piece.

Involving the composer in the process.

The composers will not be involved in early process. He has so far not been invited in to the studio when we have recorded, and he will not take part in the early creative process.

Depending on the piece he will be invited a bit into the process. I will try to do this in a individual way depending on the piece and the composer.

This process put a finger on, as I see it, the most conservative aspect of classical music, “The Piece” attitude, that the written music is the highest level of musical representation.  

We have already started working on this project. Most of the initial recordings are done, and some of the pieces has been edited.

The recording will be published on the Aurora label, as a SACD in stereo and in 5.1

The classical music recording process.

In the last 25 years classical music recordings has almost exclusively been recorded and produced to reflect the music being performed on a stage, in front of an audience. The classical recording has a strong documentation aspect and tries to objectively represent what happens at the concert stage.

The classical production process is a liner process in that it runs through the recording of a piece from A to Z, getting all the notes and performance as it should be, as it is conceived and rehearsed before going in to the studio.

Popular music recording and production.

The documentation aspect of popular music recordings is not dominant, even if many bands still record as a group playing together.  The process is much more personal and subjective compared to the classical music recording. The recording process is not liner, that is, recording take place at all times, even in the midst of the mixing process.

It’s common to regard the recording process as creative process, where the music is continuously evaluated and changed. It’s a dynamic process.

It’s also common that the music is composed, as a whole or in significant parts, in the recording studio or at the mixing stage, something that newer takes place in a classical recording session.

Editing and mixing.

In classical music there are seldom a creative mix process, it’s more a balancing or “beautifying” process where instruments are balance according to their physical proportions in an ensemble performing on stage.

How can music production techniques, and work processes, that are used in popular music, be creatively used in recording, producing and mixing classical contemporary music?

The scenario.

Recording, producing and mixing a solo marimba classic contemporarily music, for CD/SACD.

Most of the recorded pieces are composed for the performer, Kjell Tore Innervik, and developed in collaboration with him.

There will be produced/recorded between 9-12 numbers.

At this stage I have few preconceived ideas of how this will be taken by the composers. This may be one of the most interesting subjects to develop in this project.


I will document by videotaping the work progress and different work processes.  These video recordings will be edited in to a documentary of approximately 10-20 minutes.

I will also write a dairy or a blog that will be published on the net. The performer, Kjell Tore Innervik will publish his own dairy or blog.

I will present my research at an international conference.  Conference to be decided later.

We will present the final work and the work process at open forum at the academy (FoU forum?) .


The production will be published by the Aurora label as an SACD in stereo and 5.1 format. Aurora has an international distribution. There is possibility that the video documentary will be a part of the Aurora release.

The documentation language will be English.



Use of time.

So far we have used 10 workdays, 7 of them recording.

There will be one recording session in December, it’s stipulated to 3-5 days. This is to record the last pieces.

So far it has taken approximately 5-6 hours a piece, to do a basic “classical” documentary type editing, and there will be 9-12 pieces on the CD.

The creative process will take much longer time than editing. A very rough estimate would be 6-12 days a piece. Not all pieces will be produced in this way but my plan are that more than half will.

The rest of the pieces will be mixed using an process that isn’t based on the concert stage documentary approach.  They will however not be subjected to the “turn every stone idea” outlined above.

                                                                      Desember 2009

The SACD and the documentation of the work will be finished in early 2010.


Presentation Trondheim 2011 of the finished project