The evolution of music recording technologies in Zimbabwe
Keywords:analogue, digital, home studio, musician, pro-studio, MIDI, record industry
Music recording technology has undergone a paradigm shift in the Zimbabwe record industry. There has been a transition from the use of analogue to digital recording technology. The study borrows the Technological Determinism theory to explore the evolution from analogue to digital of the record industry. Analogue technology was used from 1956 to the 1990s and songs were recorded on a reel and stored on vinyl discs. Later the compact disc (CD) storage was introduced. After the CD files began to be shared as soft copies from recording studios to consumers. Recording studios in Zimbabwe have embraced digital technology as music is created and distributed in the digital realm. We deployed a qualitative methodology to purposively gather data from record producers, studio owners and musicians to analyse changes in the Zimbabwe record industry. Technological complexity, sophistication dexterity, innovativeness and knowledgeability of producers now determines the quality of music productions. In this article, we explore the shifting of recording processes from analogue to digital in Zimbabwean studios. The study reveals that technological developments directly impact the modus operandi and determine the relevance and business viability of the Zimbabwean music recording landscape.