'Mixing secrets for the small studio ' - Book Review
I’ve come to call this book ‘The holy grail’.
But before I get ahead of myself allow me to tell you why.
The book is just about , but not exclusively, focused on the final stage of producing a track ,that being the mixing part.
Although the book does refer to commercial tracks and their emphasis on said commercial tracks , the entire book is applied to all genres of music . The basic fundamentals are focused more here when it comes to approaching mixing , it is with this ideology that you will learn that the basic fundamentals are the most important parts when it comes to mixing/producing a track .
For example , Part 1 of this book is approximately 77 pages , which focuses solely on listening and hearing . Which I’m pretty sure we all have overlooked , that listening is the most important thing when it comes to music production .
Everything is explained with ease and in great detail . I must have read so many books and seen so many videos, tutorials and notes on compression, but this book has explained it in the best possible way that I have ever encountered, and what should/will work for you. I personally have made my own notes in the columns as well as highlighting important parts so that I can back go back and read up on these notes later.
Mike Senior ( Professional engineer who has worked with Wet Wet Wet, The Charlatans, Reef and more) the author, has written this book with such great appeal to the producer , with that , that he uses scenarios and jargon that we produces have been through and use. The book has 19 chapters in total split into 4 parts . At the end of every chapter there are ‘Cut to the chase’ sections which are basic summaries of the past chapter . You will also find assignments at the end of each chapter which is meant to help you apply exactly what we have learnt from the past chapter. For me personally when putting things into practice , I find it that this is the best possible way to learn and remember what I have studied. Chapters cover topics such as arrangements, editing, EQ, monitoring tactics and more.
It may sound overwhelming to hear that there’s 19 chapters in this book , but do not fret. As mentioned before this book focuses on basic fundamentals of mixing, so for example there is an entire chapter dedicated to just reverb. This is done in such a manner you will clearly understand how and what and when to use reverb , where other books will simply brush over such important parts of the mixing process with just 1-2 pages. You will realize how important the basics really are , that with understanding them it will make you a great producer or at the very least improve your productions and push you towards the quality you are looking for in your tracks.
Don’t let the colourless pictures fool you into thinking that this book is dull , but instead far from it . Images are used as references purely to help you grasp what is being explained in said chapter. There’s nothing worse than having a million pictures on the page with hundreds of references , which in the end will leave you confused and having not learnt much . Each picture here is used in brilliant form , explaining to the exact detail what you need to know and/or look out for.
‘.. for the small studio’
This is what my current set-up and I’m sure allot of you reading this right now are using to produce tracks. This book is focused solely for us , for those on a budget, and it will show you where NOT to spend your money and how to make your budget count. For example Mike explains to you how to use standard dynamic plugins found in your own DAW effectively and achieve the results you want in your productions without having to
I cannot express more just how amazing and important this book is for every single producer out there, regardless of what genre you are producing . I have constantly gone through this book , even if its to refresh my memory on track arrangement , everytime I work on a track. You must and should own this book .