Analog Distinction – Music Production Processes and Social Inequality

Analog audio technology has not only survived the techno-cultural turn of the late 20th century but regained a somewhat mythological strength. Nevertheless, the discourse in this field is mainly limited to technical functionalities, workflows and sonic images, while social inequality stays out of the discussion. This paper offers a status question on social inequality in music production. I develop working hypotheses from Bourdieu’s model of distinction and Boltanski/Thévenot’s argumentation in favor of practices of classification and competition through principles. I apply these perspectives on the current discourse and describe certain social aspects of the use of analog equipment as analog distinction.