Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Steven Parker
About Dr Steven Parker
Dr Steven Parker is a Principal Lecturer in Music Technology and Production at Leeds Beckett University. He joined the University after many years working in the music industry having worked on a diverse range of projects including music production, television and games audio.
Parker started his career at the Marquee Studios as a tape operator before moving on to Scorpio Sound Studios as a recording engineer. He became a freelance engineer / producer in 1983 and continued to work in the music, television and film industries, working both nationally and internationally with many respected artists, producers and composers. Working in some of the most renowned studios around the world, he gathered a wealth of experience in both traditional and modern recording and production techniques.
Parker's research interests provide a perspective of studio practices drawn from his empirical knowledge and his current practice, which allows for an examination of the creative role of the producer and engineer, and the development of the concept of a sonic signature in music production.
- Course Leader MA Music Production
- Studio Production Practice Level 6 UG
Two areas of current research are:
- An historical-ethnographic investigation into the practice of producers, engineers and studio musicians involved in the major UK studios between the late 1960s and the present day. In particular, this line of enquiry seeks to consider the important transition of studio engineer as a craft-based process to an artistic enterprise.
- The growth in popularity of music technology degree programs in the UK was paralleled by a decline in the informal apprenticeship system that had provided a gateway to employment in the recording industry. Parker's research takes a critical approach to the tensions that exist between higher education and the music industry by comparing contemporary approaches with the apprenticeship system of the past. Using interviews with industry professionals, current students and recent graduates who have achieved some success in the industry, his research explores the myths and contradictions of the apprenticeship-training model with changes in the contemporary professional environment.