Blog Post #8 - Further Recording Analysis - Sonic Lineup

Following my presentation at The University Of York Music Department Postgraduate Forum this month, it was suggested to me that I download software from Sonic Visualiser in order to aid me in the process of recording analysis. This software (available at was developed in the Centre For Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London. Its aim is to help musicologists, archivists, etc in the analysis of sound recordings. After some initial reading, it would appear that the Sonic Lineup software will be the most useful in my research path. 

The primary question in my practice based research address if, and how Monk Montgomery achieved a double bass like sound on the Fender Precision Bass through the use of particular techniques, note choices, etc. This question will be addressed by producing recordings which use a variety of instruments and techniques. These recordings will then be analysed alongside a recording of the same piece made on the double bass. So far, I have made five solo recordings to aid in the process of learning how to use the software and analyse the recordings. These recordings will not play a part in the findings. 

My background is as a musician and teacher and my technological knowledge does not extend beyond some basic home recording. Therefore, this is a new world of learning for me, but one in which I am enthusiastic to step into. I have fed my test recordings into Sonic Lineup and have taken screen shots of the views which I believe may be relevant to my research. I have included these below. The order of the recordings from top to bottom are - double bass, bass guitar played with the index finger, bass guitar played with the thumb (fingers anchored on finger rest), bass guitar played with a plastic plectrum, bass guitar played with the thumb (fingers anchored underneath the body of the bass).


Waveform - Outline Waveform - Spectogram - Melodic Spectogram -

It is at this point where reading and experimentation needs to take place so that I can go from a point of observation to analysis. This will be done through reading, practical experimentation and study with experts in the area. Alongside this, I am working on the biographical chapter of the thesis and my own practice of Montgomery's lines and techniques. 


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