Making Western Swing: An Analysis and Reproduction of 1930’s and 40’s Production Techniques

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Gustafson, John
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
The intent of this creative project is to explore the production techniques of the 1930’s and 40’s, primarily through the lens of Western Swing music. In the written portion, I explore the impact that the era, its history, and its technology had on the musical production being implemented at the time, as well as how the genre itself influenced the production approach taken during the recording process. The creative portion includes two complete recordings of a classic Western Swing tune, both of which I oversaw as the musical producer. The former consists of my truest attempt at producing a Western Swing track as it would have been done in the 1930’s. The latter consists of producing the same song with all the resources and techniques available to a modern producer utilizing the same set of musicians. Lastly, I’ve included a reflection on the pros and cons of each era’s approach.
College of Media and Entertainment, Western swing, Country Music, Music Production, Music Producer, Record Producer, Producer, Audio Engineering, Bob Wills, Recording, Recording Technology, Production Technique