The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing presented onJuly 19, its Master Recording Delivery Recommendations during theNational Association of Music Merchants Summer Session inNashville.
The recommendations were created by members of the P&E Wing’sMaster Recording Delivery Recommendations Committee, which is comprisedof producers, engineers, as well as record company executives,archivists and studio owners, among others, in conjunction with theNashville Chapter of the Audio Engineering Society.
The intention of the 12-page Master Recording DeliveryRecommendations document is to provide recommendations for securebackup, delivery and archive methodologies, both near-term and far.
“It was our objective to provide a common solution where previouslythere was none,” said Leslie Lewis, director of the P&E Wing. “TheCommittee crafted a context for communication in order to preventfuture loss. We want everyone to benefit from the shared experience andexpertise of all of those in the recording community.”
Committee co-chair George Massenburg stated, “We feel that theP&E Wing and the members of the Master Recording DeliveryRecommendations Committee––comprised of different, andsometimes contentious and opposing forces––has been thebest forum to address these critical issues and, subsequently, to reacha solid consensus.”
“Cyril Connely, a former literary critic at the London Timesonce said, ‘Art is man’s attempt to preserve imagination from time,’and I can’t think of a better reason for us to engage in thisextraordinary and complex issue,” said committee co-chair Kyle Lehning,a producer and engineer. “Ensuring the proper preservation of the artcreated in today’s music recording technology is not only a practicalconcern, but a moral obligation. We believe that the Master RecordingDelivery Recommendations are a positive step toward preserving thefoundation of the creative process, and it is in the interest of allparties involved to endeavor and make them as accessible as possiblefor as long into the future as possible.”
The Master Recording Delivery Recommendations document itself isbroken down into three specific parts: the recorded deliveryspecification, the media identification label and the recording map.The primary purpose of the recorded delivery specification is to ensurethat a digital recording can be completely and reliably recovered, bothin the short-term and in the long-term if the technology used duringthe initial recording sessions becomes unavailable. The media ID labelprovides a form of identification for each and every element that isbeing delivered. Finally, the recording Mmap is provided—with therecommendation that it be maintained throughout the project—toaccompany the physical deliverables in order to catalog and track theinformation contained in each file.
Because the recommendations were established by experts on bothsides of the issue, it is the P&E Wing’s hope that in addition togarnering a favorable response from individual artists, producers andengineers who will begin incorporating the procedures into their dailyroutine, the record companies will adopt the recommendations andimplement them as their standard for master delivery.
In order to create this document, the Master Recording DeliveryRecommendations Committee has met at the Recording Academy’s NashvilleChapter as often as every other week since September of 2001. Uponcompletion, the Master Recording Delivery Recommendations were reviewedby the P&E Wing Advisory Council and members of the P&E Wing,with a request for frequent feedback as to its relevance. In thefuture, the Committee will review the Recommendations semi-annually toincorporate the feedback received from members of the recordingcommunity and record company executives, and to ensure its continuedrelevance within commonly accepted industry standards.
The Committee is co-chaired by Lehning and Massenburg. Committeemembers include Chuck Ainley, Jeff Balding, Steve Bisher, Alison Booth,Tony Brown, Barry Cardinael, Eric Conn, Sharon Corbitt, Tom Endres,Garth Fundis, Scott Hendricks, Steve Marcantonio, Pat McMakin, BetsyMorley, Jake Nicely, Gary Paczosa, Mike Purcell, Traci Samczyk, KaySmith, John Spencer and Bil VornDick.
To read the P&E Wing’s Master Recording DeliveryRecommendations, visit www.grammy.com/recommendations.pdf. A copy of thedocument is also available on Massenburg’s professional Website at www.GeorgeMassenberg.com.