What Studios Do

Eliot Bates

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This essay is focused around a seemingly simple question – what do recording studios do? First, a clarification. I am not primarily asking “what are studios” or “what do people do in studios,” two comparatively straightforward questions that are tangentially addressed in academic and trade writing. Rather, I wish to consider some of the ways in which the studio itself shapes the kinds of social and musical performances and interactions that transpire within. I contend that studios must be understood simultaneously as acoustic environments, as meeting places, as container technologies, as a system of constraints on vision, sound and mobility, and as typologies that facilitate particular interactions between humans and nonhuman objects while structuring and maintaining power relations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2199
JournalJournal on the Art of Record Production
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • acoustics
  • agency
  • architecture
  • gender
  • recording studios
  • built environment


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