Zen and the Art of Mixing

Author: 
Mixerman
Subject: 
Mixing
Summary: 

One of the axioms this book states is that: Mixing cannot be taught, it can only be learned.

Unfortunately, I agree with this statement, and this is not a hands-on "how to mix" guide. That kind of book doesn't exist because every mix is different. Instead, this book covers how to think about mixing music. And as mixing cannot be taught, learning how to think about the process is a very valuable tool for finding your own path.  It is a very good place to start for anyone who's just beginning to mix their own tracks because it helps you make sense of the very overwhelming world of mixing music. And the book itself is not overwhelmingly technical.

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Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction
Pressure
Comprehension
Steps to Enlightenment
Mixerman’s 10 Steps to Better Mixing
Communication and Compromise
Caveats and Definitions

Chapter One
The Mix and the Mixer
The Great Mix
Song,Production,and Performance
Sing It Loud!
Fullest Potential
The Production and the Mixer
Confidence Is an Attitude,Too
Your Musical Brain
Third-Party Mixers

Chapter Two
Arrangement and Focus
Function
Prosody
Mixing Is an Illusion
Planes of Space
Panning—Left to Right
Frequency—Up and Down
Equalizers (a.k.a.EQs)
Low End
Lower Midrange
Upper Midrange
High End
Contrast—Sparse to Dense and Bright to Dark
Reflectivity or Reflection—Far to Near
Balance—Front to Back, Large to Small
Forward Motion
Relativity
Visualizing Space

Chapter Three
TheMechanics
Discovery and Framing
Phase Coherency
Drums
Bass
Monitoring Levels
Bring in the Parts!
Underdubbing
Parts
Electric Guitar
Acoustic Guitar
Piano and Keyboards
Percussion
Science Experiments
Referencing Other Mixes
Rough Mixes
Makethe Mix Sing,Pop,and Gel
Automation
The Vocal
Compression
Finding Compromise
The Payoff
Refining and Enhancing
Finishing Your Mix
Mix Notes
Printing the Mix
Saying Goodbye Is Hard to Do

Chapter Four
Gear
Monitoring
Monitors
Monitor Varieties
Summing
Testing Your Summing Box
Consoles Sum, Too
Stereo Compressor
The DAW
The Brickwall Limiter
Analog Tape
Reverbs and Delays

Chapter Five
Dealing with Clients
Declining Projects
Dealing with Problem Clients
Establishing Trust
Picking and Choosing Your Battles
Communication
Mix Notes (The Reprise)
Mix Notes by Committee
“MoreMe”Syndrome
Ego
Money
It’s Their Record

Chapter Six
Mastering
How Do You Know It’s a Good Job?
Retaining Your Influence
Putting Up the Good Fight
Stems
Mastering Your Own Work

Chapter Seven

Thinking Outside the Box
Turning Weakness into Strength
Kismet!
Factory Work
Art vs.Commerce
The Price of Mixers
Creating a Reel
Mixing Can Take Time
Outsmarting the Band
Shootouts
Break Time
Mix Session Files
Drugs
Mixing Outside the Box
Invention Is the Mother of Necessity
Develop Skill, Don’t Defer
Conclusion 

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Despite the content above, this is a quick and easy read.  And while you may ultimately need  books containing a higher level of detail if you continue down the path of producing and mixing your own music, this book is very well-written and really crystallizes the foundational information needed to get your feet wet in a useful way.  As it happens, I have/had already learned some of the practical content here on my own by the time I read this book. Had I read this book first, it would have made the learning process quicker and easier.

Highly recomended as a good "first book" on mixing for any musician doing home recording.

Get it here: 
http://astore.amazon.com/dinorockguit-20/detail/1423491505
Overall Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)