Books On Audio Effects & Mixing
As you know, having read our article ‘Audio Effects for Beginners’, the ability to use audio effects well – the business of ‘producing’ or sound engineering’, is not a simple one.
For every genre of music, there is a differing approach to mixing. In fact, to a great extent, the way you approach a mix, actually creates the different genre (especially in the case of dance music).
I have read many books, on the subject, over the years as part of my ‘continued professional development’ (makes it sound a chore – bit it’s not!), and, as methods, trends and equipment have changed in response to, and as a result of, creative innovation, so the learning curve continues – it always will (one of the things that makes this job great).
Here are just some of the books that have helped me to understand what the process of music production is all about and how to get the best sounds out of a mix.
Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices, and Tools, Third Edition is a vital read for anyone wanting to succeed in the field of mixing. This book covers the entire mixing process – from fundamental concepts to advanced techniques. Packed full of photos, graphs, diagrams, and audio samples, it teaches the importance of a mixing vision, how to craft and evaluate your mix, and then take it a step further. The book describes the theory, the tools used, and how these are put into practice while creating mixes.
The companion website, featuring over 2,000 audio samples as well as Pro Tools/ Multitrack Audio Sessions, is a perfect complement to the third edition.
The new edition includes:
- A new ‘Mixing and The Brain’ chapter that provides a cognitive/psychological overview of many aspects related to and affecting mixing engineers (and, to a narrow extent, listeners).
- Updated figures and text reflecting recent software updates and trends.
Mixing music —the process of combining and shaping the component parts of a song into a polished, completed recording —was once considered an unteachable art. The first edition of Bobby Owsinski’s The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook destroyed that myth forever, breaking the craft of mixing down into discrete, understandable steps and showing musicians, audio engineers, and producers exactly how to get great results in the studio. The book has since become the go-to text on mixing for recording programs in colleges and universities around the world.
Now available in a completely revised fourth edition, The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook remains the best, most up-to-date source for mastering the art and science of creating pro-quality mixes
Topics covered include:
- The six elements of a mix, from achieving balance to creating interest
- The secrets of equalization and “magic frequencies”
- Advanced techniques expected of today’s mixer, like track cleanup, adjusting track timing, pitch correction, sound replacement, and automation tricks
- Easy-to-grasp methods for adding effects, sonic layering, calculating delay times, and much more
The book also features interviews with some of the music industry’s most successful and celebrated audio engineers/producers/mixers, who share their expertise, insights, and philosophies about mixing.
Learn the art of mixing from start to finish, and pick up tips and techniques from the pros, with The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, Fourth Edition.
Behind the Glass, Volume II presents another prime collection of firsthand interviews with the world’s top record producers and engineers, sharing their creative secrets and hit-making techniques – from the practical to the artistic. In these pages you’ll find Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan) discussing the future of digital recording; T-Bone Burnett (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) sharing his unique view of creating complex low end; and Hugh Padgham (Police, Genesis) analyzing the state of the business today. For real-world advice on everything from home recording to mixing to coaching a nervous singer, check out author Howard Massey’s conversations with Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse), Tony Brown (Reba McEntire), Gus Dudgeon (Elton John), John Simon (The Band), Russ Titelman (Steve Winwood), Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson), Rodney Jerkins (Mary J. Blige), Simon Climie (Eric Clapton), Matt Serletic (Matchbox Twenty), and more.
Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques is a dare-a challenge for those who think recording music should be done a certain way. Sylvia Massy, engineer, mixer, and producer of such all-time great artists as Tool, Prince, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, R.E.M., Oingo Boingo, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more, invites you to put everything you’ve ever known or learned about recording aside and dive head-long into the unknown. You might just find the doors blown off your conception of how great music should be recorded. If you want to take your creativity and freedom to a brand new level, open your mind and hear the sermons that Sylvia Massy preaches! She lives in a world far outside the norm, working in ways that, though frightening to some, yield results that are emotionally powerful, incredibly personal, gut-wrenching, organic, and even (based on her iconic client list) extremely commercially successful. Recording Unhinged contains many full-color R. Crumb-style illustrations by Massy, herself! In addition to being an A-list engineer/producer, she is a gifted artist! Her illustrations depict real and imaginary sessions and recording situations so the images move beyond literal demonstrations into the root-level heart and soul of her passion for recording and music! Also, included are lists, recipes, schematics, quotes, and stories, plus Massy interviews countless industry icons who shake-it-up in the music world.
In an easy-to-grasp, holistic manner Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science, Third Edition unravels the technical mysteries that regularly challenge audio engineers. Including practical tips and real world experiences, Bob Katz explains the technical detail of the subject in his informative and humorous style. Completely reorganized to focus on workflow, this third edition details mastering by providing a step-by-step approach to the process. First covering practical techniques and basic theory, this industry classic also addresses advanced theory and practice. The book’s new approach is especially suitable to accompany a one- or two-term course in audio and mastering.
Completely rewritten and organized to address changes that will continue to influence the audio world, this third edition includes several new chapters addressing the influence of loudness measurement and assessment and provides explanation of how mastering engineers must integrate loudness measurement and PLR assessment in their mastering techniques.
Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science, Third Edition also includes the newest approaches to equalization, monitor response measurement and correction, the psychoacoustics of clipping, an extended discussion of restoration and noise reduction techniques, an extended set of listening examples, and an updated chapter on surround mastering including coverage of Pure Audio BluRay.
DAVID MILES HUBER
Modern Recording Techniques is the bestselling, authoritative guide to sound and music recording. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking for a step-up in the industry, Modern Recording Techniques provides an in-depth read on the art and technologies of music production. It’s a must-have reference for all audio bookshelves. Using its familiar and accessible writing style, this ninth edition has been fully updated, presenting the latest production technologies and includes an in-depth coverage of the DAW, networked audio, MIDI, signal processing and much more. A robust companion website features video tutorials, web-links, an online glossary, flashcards, and a link to the author’s blog. Instructor resources include a test bank and an instructor’s manual. The ninth edition includes:Updated tips, tricks and insights for getting the best out of your studio; An introduction to the Apple iOS in music production; Introductions to new technologies and important retro studio techniques; The latest advancements in DAW systems, signal processing, mixing and mastering.
Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio is a down-to-earth primer for small-studio enthusiasts who want chart-ready sonics in a hurry. Drawing on the back-room strategies of more than 100 famous names, this entertaining guide leads you step-by-step through the entire mixing process. On the way, you’ll unravel the mysteries of every type of mix processing, from simple EQ and compression through to advanced spectral dynamics and ‘fairy dust’ effects. User-friendly explanations introduce technical concepts on a strictly need-to-know basis, while chapter summaries and assignments are perfect for school and college use.
- Learn the subtle editing, arrangement, and monitoring tactics which give industry insiders their competitive edge, and master the psychological tricks which protect you from all the biggest rookie mistakes.
- Find out where you don’t need to spend money, as well as how to make a limited budget really count.
- Pick up tricks and tips from leading-edge engineers working on today’s multi-platinum hits, including Michael Brauer, Serban Ghenea, the Lord-Alge brothers, Tony Maserati, Manny Marroquin, Dave ‘Hard Drive’ Pensado, Jack Joseph Puig, Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, Phil Tan, Andy Wallace, and many, many more…
Mike Senior is a professional engineer who has worked with Wet Wet Wet, The Charlatans, Reef, Therapy, and Nigel Kennedy. He specialises in adapting the techniques of top producers for those working on a budget. Since 2007 he has transformed dozens of amateur productions for Sound On Sound magazine’s popular ‘Mix Rescue’ column, proving time and again that you can achieve commercial-grade results with affordable gear — once you know how!
Learn a Proven Step By Step Mixing Process That’s Helped Thousands of Musicians Like Yourself Make Amazing Mixes in Their Home Studio, Using Only EQ, Compression, Reverb, Delay, and Saturation
“This is the NO BS guide to taking your mixes to the next level! Björgvin has been teaching and writing about recording for a decade, and really understands that stuff that we all struggle with in the home studio. Step By Step Mixing takes you through the full process of making sure your mixes rock from ruff to radio ready!”-Lij Shaw, Award winning Producer and Podcaster of Recording Studio Rockstars
Let Me Ask You This:
Do you fight to make all your instruments fit together in a busy mix?
Do you struggle to EQ each instrument to sit in their frequency range without getting in the way of everything else?
Do you tear your hair out finding the right compression setting for each track?
Do you have a hard time using reverb and delay without cluttering up your mix?
Do you get confused by saturation and how to use it to get a warmer sounding mix?
If you answered yes to one of those questions – don’t worry – you’re not alone.
If you want to make better mixes immediately in your home studio that translate to every speaker system, whether you’re working on demos for your band or mixing records for your clients, then Step By Step Mixing is for you.
This article has introduced you to some of the many books on the subject of ‘Audio Effects and Mixing’.
I cant overemphasise the need for you to keep learning new things! Whether in order to further you career in the music business or simply enjoy your creative hobby even more.
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