Title

Malcolm Chisolm: An Evaluation of Traditional Audio Engineering

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Department

Communication Studies

School

Communication

Abstract

The career of longtime Chicago area audio engineer and notable Chess Records session recorder Malcolm Chisolm (1929-2003) serves as a window for assessing the stakes of technological and cultural developments around the birth of Rock & Roll. Chisolm stands within the traditional art-versus-commerce debate as an example of the post-World War II craftsman ethos marginalized by an incoming, corporate-determined paradigm. Contextual maps locate Chisholm's style and environment of audio production as well as his impact within the rebranding of electrified Blues music into mainstream genres like Rock music. Interviews of former students and professional associates provide first-hand accounts of core philosophies, approaches, and equipment preferences. Opposing recording techniques including isolation versus ambience, live recording versus overdubbing, and the overall tolerance of imperfection distinguish the modern and traditional approaches.

Publication Title

The MEIEA Journal

Volume

13

Issue

1

First Page

75

Last Page

96

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