• Research
    at the Visconti Studio

The British Analogue Music Studio: Heritage, Nostalgia, Future

is a large-scale research project partnered with the British Library and the Science Museum. The project aims to document and preserve the legacy of the analogue era. Tapping into contemporary love of retro sounds, the Visconti Studio does not just revive objects but actively revives analogue practices. The project combines questions around cultural nostalgia, heritage studies, and material culture with the concrete musical practices of composition, recording, and production.

With our students and visiting artists, Tony Visconti and the Kingston researchers will

  • reverse engineer famous analogue tracks to understand and archive past practices
  • experiment with analogue technology to find out if and why analogue sounds really are “warmer” than digital ones
  • create new compositions with analogue technology to generate a “new analogue sound”

With our partners we will host network meetings of musicians, researchers, and heritage organisations. We will discuss questions pertaining to sonic heritage studies:

  • the history of analogue recording and production
  • the place of analogue practices in a digital world
  • the twin cultures of technostalgia and retrofuturism
  • preservation and archiving of sonic practices and objects
  • material and immaterial cultures of musical memory
  • the future of analogue recording and production

The Visconti Studio aims to create a rich and diverse archive of recordings, practices, instruments, technologies, listening testimonies, and scholarly reflection. This archive will be available online, in publications, through hands-on workshops, conferences and exhibits.



Bartmanski, D., & Woodward, I. (2015). Vinyl: The Analogue Record in the Digital Age. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Bennett, S. (2012). “Endless analogue: situating vintage technologies in the contemporary recording & production workplace.” Journal on the Art of Record Production, 7.

Cartwright,A.,  P., Besson, E., & Maubisson, L. (2013). Nostalgia and technology innovation driving retro music consumption. European Journal of Innovation Management16(4), 459-494.

Christopher, R. (2014). “Nostalgia, Memory, and the Haunting of Hip Hop.” The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, 204.

Eno, Brian. “The studio as compositional tool.” Audio culture: Readings in modern music (2004): 127-130.

Greene, Paul D. and Thomas Porcello (eds) (2005) Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures. Wesleyan University Press.

Higson, A. (2014). Nostalgia is not what it used to be: heritage films, nostalgia websites and contemporary consumers. Consumption Markets & Culture, 17(2), 120-142.

Hogarty, J. (2015). “Memories of the Material/Vestiges of the Virtual: Exploring the Impact of Material and Immaterial Formats on the Memory of Popular Music.” Rock Music Studies, 2(2), 148-167.

Lizardi, R. (2014). Mediated Nostalgia: Individual Memory and Contemporary Mass Media. Lexington Books.

Kardos, L. (2015). The Sonic Vernacular: Considering Communicative Timbral Gestures in Modern Music Production. In Audio Engineering Society Convention 138. Audio Engineering Society.

Katz, M. (2004) Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

McCarthy, A. (2010) Living with Digital, Resurrecting Analog, and Our Shifting Search for Sound. Gnovis: A Journal of Communication, Culture and Technology. http://www.gnovisjournal.org/2010/04/25/living-digital-resurrecting-analog-and-our-shifting-search-sound/

Massey, H. (2015) The Great British Recording Studios. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Books.

Milner, Greg (2009) Perfecting Sound Forever: the Story of Recorded Music. Faber & Faber.

Moore, A.F. (2012) Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song. Farnham: Ashgate.

Moorefield, V. (2010) The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Niemeyer, K. (Ed.). (2014). Media and Nostalgia: Yearning for the Past, Present and Future. Palgrave Macmillan.

Pinch and Trocco (2002) Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesiser.

Porcello, Thomas (2004) ‘Speaking of Sound: Language and the Professionalization of Sound-Recording Engineers.’ Social Studies of Science 34(5): 733-758.

Reynolds, S (2012) Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to its Own Past. London: Faber & Faber

Roberts, L. (2014). “Talkin’ bout my generation: popular music and the culture of heritage.” International Journal of Heritage Studies, 20(3), 262-280.

Schmidt Horning, Susan (2013) Chasing Sound: Technology, Culture, and the Art of Studio Recording from Edison to the LP. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Tilley, C. et al., ed. (2006) The Handbook of Material Culture. London: Sage.

Watson, A. (2014). Cultural Production in and Beyond the Recording Studio. Routledge.

Weium, F. And T. Boon, ed. (2013). Material Culture and Electronic Sound. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

van Elferen, I. and C. Blake (2015) “Sonic Media And Spectral Loops.” In Justin Edwards (ed.), Technologies of the Gothic in Literature and Culture. New York: Routledge: 60-70.

Van Elferen, I. (forthcoming) Timbre: Aesthetics of Vibration.

Van Elferen, I. (2018) “Dark Timbre:  The Aesthetics of Tone Colour in Goth Music.” Popular Music 37/1

Zagorski-Thomas, S. (2014) The Musicology of Record Production. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.