Dr Paul Thompson, Reader

Dr Paul Thompson

Reader

Paul has worked as a professional recording engineer for over 10 years, in and around Liverpool. His work has been played on BBC6 Music, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and on independent radio stations across Europe and the USA. Paul has worked with local, national and international artists including Ellen and the Escapades, Stephen Langstaff, Marcus Bonfanti, Lights that Change and Tammy Rochelle. His most recent work includes engineering on ‘Compañeros’, the latest studio album from Ian Prowse for Learpholl Recordings (2015).

He currently teaches music technology in the community, studio production and acoustics on the BSc Music Technology, BSc Audio Engineering and BA Music Production programmes. His doctoral research investigated creativity and collaboration inside the recording studio and his on-going research interests include popular music and audio education, informal music learning practices, creativity and cultural production in popular music. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an associate member of the Institute of Acoustics and a member of the Music Producer’s Guild.

Current Teaching

Paul currently teaches:

  • Acoustics and Critical Listening
  • Acoustics and Psychoacoustics
  • Acoustics for Music Production
  • Audio Recording Techniques
  • Studio Production Practice
  • Music Technology in the Community.

Research Interests

Paul's most recent research focuses on creativity in record production using the framework of the creative system (Csikszentmihalyi, 1988, 1997 and 1999; Kerrigan, 2013). Ethnographic methods such as participant-observation, video and sound recording were used to observe the interaction between the performing musicians, the engineer and the record producer as they collaborated during the recording process. This helped to reveal the complex interaction between the participants and the creative system’s main elements during the creative tasks of performing, engineering and producing. Importantly, it helped to show for the first time that this interaction occurred on both an individual level and a group level, and highlighted how a creative-systems approach can be used to gain a more detailed and in-depth understanding of musical creativity more generally.

Dr Paul Thompson, Reader

Selected Outputs

  • Thompson P; Miller S; Mckay B (2020) Another Take; Exploring the Sound of Cuban Dance Music Using Experimental Archeology in the Recording Studio. In: London Calling: IASPM UK & Ireland Biennial Conference, 19 May 2020 - 31 July 2020, London and online.

  • Thompson PA; Corbett I; Rakhmanova N (2019) Mix It! Are There Best Mixing Practices?. In: Audio Engineering Society, 19 March 2019 - 23 March 2019, Dublin.

  • Thompson PA; McIntyre P (2018) Creative Practice in the Recording Studio: Engineering Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall (1979). In: Joint IASPMUK&I Biennial, 13th Art of Record Production (ARP), ISMMS, and Dancecult Conference., 3 September 2018 - 5 September 2018, University of Huddersfield.

  • Thompson P; Harding P (2018) Collective Creativity: A ‘Service’ Model of Contemporary Commercial Pop Music. In: Joint IASPMUK&I Biennial, 13th Art of Record Production (ARP), ISMMS, and Dancecult Conference., 3 September 2018 - 5 September 2018, University of Huddersfield.

  • McIntyre P; Thompson P; Scott K (2017) Back to Mono: A Study of the Transition from Mono to Stereo as a Creative System in Action. In: The 12th Art of Record Production Conference, 1 December 2017 - 3 December 2017, The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden.

  • Thompson PA; Lefford N; Blier-Carruthers A; Danielson A; Porcello T (2017) Methodologies in Record Production. The 12th Art of Record Production Conference, Mono: Stereo: Multi, The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden,.

  • Thompson PA; McNally K; Seay T (2017) Another Take: Teaching Music Production Using Multitrack Recordings. In: Art of Record Production, 1 December 2017 - 3 December 2017, Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden.

  • Thompson PA; Harding P (2017) Collective Creativity: A ‘Service’ Model of Creativity in Commercial Pop Music at PWL in the 1980s. In: Innovation in Music, 6 September 2017 - 8 September 2017, University of Westminster.

  • Nicholls S; Thompson P; Lashua B; Bell S (2017) Collaboration on the UK Live Music Census in Leeds and extended project. In: Practice/Research: A Symposium, 5 July 2017, Leeds Beckett University.

  • Thompson PA; McNally K; Seay T (2017) The sound of the Masters: Using Multi-track Recordings in Popular Music Education. In: Music Production Education Conference 2017, 29 June 2017, York St John University.

  • Thompson PA; Schwabe R (2016) Let the Track Mix itself: Creativity and Intuition inside the Recording Studio. In: The 11th Art of Record Production Conference The Spaces in Between, 2 December 2016 - 4 December 2016, Aalborg University, Denmark.

  • Thompson PA; Lefford N (2016) Deciding How to Decide: The Record Producer’s Creative Decisions in the Recording Studio. In: The 11th Art of Record Production Conference The Spaces in Between, 2 December 2016 - 4 December 2016, Aalborg University, Denmark.

  • Thompson PA; Lashua B (2016) Producing, Reproducing and Exposing the Myths of Creativity Inside the Recording Studio. In: IASPM UK & Ireland Conference 2016: Creativity: Practice and Praxis, 8 September 2016 - 10 September 2016, Brighton, UK.

  • Thompson P; Mosley BJ (2015) Audio Education: Its purpose and place in formal education and the creative industries. In: 26th UK AES Conference on Audio Education, 26 August 2015 - 28 August 2015, Glasgow University, Scotland.

    http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17866

    View Repository Record

  • Davis R; Thompson PA; Parker S (2014) Preparing the Music Technology Toolbox: Addressing the Education-Industry Dilemma. In: Researching Music, Education, Technology: Critical Insights, 3 April 2014 - 4 April 2014, International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc); Institute of Education University of London.

  • Thompson PA; McIntyre P (2014) Engineering: Creativity and Collaboration in the Recording Studio. In: The 9th Art of Record Production Conference, 4 December 2014 - 6 December 2014, University of Oslo, Norway.

  • Thompson PA; McIntyre P (2013) Rethinking Creativity in Record Production Education: Addressing the field. In: The 8th Art of Record Production Conference - Rewriting The Rules Of Production, 12 July 2013 - 14 July 2013, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.

  • Thompson PA; Lashua B (2012) Get it on Record: Issues and Strategies for Contemporary Ethnographic Practice in Recording Studios. In: International Conference for Contemporary Ethnography across the Disciplines, 21 November 2012 - 23 November 2012, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

  • Thompson PA (2012) Represent not Reprazent the City: Urban Imagery and Spatial Geography in the Rap Music of Nas’. In: International Association for the Study of Popular Music (UK & Ireland) 2012 conference: 'Imagining Communities Musically: Putting Popular Music in its Place', 5 September 2012 - 7 September 2012, Media City UK, University of Salford.

  • McIntyre P; Thompson PA (2011) Performing Creativity: Paul McCartney's Practice in the Recording Studio. In: The 7th Art of Record Production Conference - 21st Century Production: Technology, Performance & the Workspace, 2 December 2011 - 4 December 2011, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, USA.

  • Thompson P (2019) Creativity in the Recording Studio: Alternative Takes. Palgrave Macmillan.

    View Repository Record

  • Mosley BJ; Thompson P (2014) Setting the tone: Considerations for educating the next generation of sound reproduction professionals. In: ‘Reproduced Sound: 30TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE 2014, 14 September 2014 - 16 September 2014, NEC, Birmingham, UK.

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  • Thompson P; Mosley B; Ward M (2013) Critical listening and acoustics as an essential part of the audio production and sound technology curriculum. In: 50th International Conference: Audio Education (July 2013), 25 July 2013 - 27 November 2013, Murfreesboro, TN, USA.

    http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=16843

  • Thompson P; Lashua B (2021) Drum Tracks: Locating the Experiences of Drummers in Recording Studios. In: Brennan M ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Drum Kit. Cambridge University Press, pp. 126-138.

  • Nicholls S; Thompson P (2021) Music:Leeds – supporting a regionalised music sector and scene. In: Hepworth-Sawyer R; Paterson J; Toulson R ed. Innovation in Music Future Opportunities. Focal Press,

  • Thompson P (2020) Sound on Sound: Considerations for the Use of Sonic Methods in Ethnographic Fieldwork inside the Recording Studio. In: Bull M; Cobussen M ed. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Sonic Methodologies. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 437-448.

    View Repository Record

  • Thompson P; Mosley B (2020) Sound Reflections: The Purpose, Perspectives, and Place of Audio Education. In: Walzer D; Lopez M ed. Audio Education: Theory, Culture, and Practice. Routledge, pp. 191-206.

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  • Thompson P; Mcintyre P (2020) Sound engineering in the recording studio as Creative Practice. In: Zagorski-Thomas S; Isakoff K; Stevance S; Lacasse S ed. The Art of Record Production Vol.2: Creative Practice in the Studio.

  • Thompson P; Harding P (2019) Collective Creativity –A Service Model of Commercial Pop Music Production at PWL in the 1980s. In: Hepworth-Sawyer R; Hodgson J; Paterson J; Toulson R ed. Innovation in Music: Performance,Production, Technology, and Business.

  • Thompson P; Harding P (2019) A 'Service' model of Creativity in Commercial Pop Music at P&E Studios in the 1990s. In: Gullö J-O ed. Proceedings of the 12th Art of Record Production Conference: Mono: Stereo: Multi. Stockholm: Royal College of Music (KMH) & Art of Record Production,

  • McNally K; Seay T; Thompson PA (2019) What the Masters Teach Us: Multitrack Audio Archives and Popular Music Education. In: Moir Z; Powell B; Smith G ed. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Popular Music Education Perspectives and Practices. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 113-126.

    View Repository Record

  • Thompson PA; Stevenson A (2017) Missing a Beat: Exploring Experiences, Perceptions and Reflections of Popular Electronic Musicians in UK Higher Education Institutions. In: Smith GD; Rambarran S; Moir Z; Brennan M; Kirkman P ed. The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Music Education. London: Routledge, pp. 203-216.

  • Thompson PA (2016) Scalability of the Creative System in the Recording Studio. In: McIntyre P; Paton E; Fulton J ed. The Creative System in Action: Understanding Cultural Production and Practice. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 74-86.