Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
This book is very well written and organized. Content presentation is no obstacle here. While most books on mixing are loath to discuss process (the last book I read stated: Mixing cannot be taught, it can only be learned), this book actually provides a semblance of a suggested, basic, mixing process sequence (gasp!), and provides the reasoning for doing things in the suggested order. That alone should make the book of some value to beginners who often feel like they’re running in the dark with scissors. Unlike other books on mixing that only deal in maddening generalities and CYA caveats, this book actually contains hands-on tips, tricks, and suggested settings to try, as well as tangible product recommendations.
Audience is everything! While this book IS targeted for small, home studio users – and covers the pitfalls of small studio environments well, it is not specifically targeted for the musician recording their own tracks. It presumes a basic level of experience behind the mixing desk that is well beyond the guitarist looking to make his first demo in his bedroom. So . . .
- If you are still overwhelmed by your DAW software
- If you’ve never sat behind the desk and worn the engineering/mixing/producer hat
- If you’ve never worked with mutli-track recorded music
- If you don’t understand some basic principles of mixing mutli-track recorded music
You are going to be in over your head here very quickly.
A musician's ears alone won’t cut it. To get the most from this book, you need to be able to hear with a mixer/engineer’s ears (or at least be on your way toward achieving that goal) to hear all the nuances of things being discussed here. I consider myself an “Advanced Beginner,” and I cannot hear half the things this book discusses.
I read this book cover-to-cover, and a lot of it (not all) made sense to me conceptually, but the details often seemed beyond what I can actually hear and perceive, and thus is also probably beyond what I personally can achieve in a mix at this point in time. But I'm learning.
There is plenty of good, practical advice in here for those who have come to grips with the beginner basics and are interested in learning more. There is more hands-on advice here than in most books on mixing/producing music. And while true hands-on info is most welcome, the downside is that many things here may seem like unfathomable minutia to the beginner. It may have the unsettling side-effect of showing that beginner how deep the rabbit hole is and how much more they have to learn before they achieve anything like pro results.
If you’re just beginning to record your own music, this may not be your best first book on mixing. If you’ve been recording and mixing music for a few of years, and you’re looking to get better at it, this is a great resource that will become more useful the more you grow as a mixer/producer.
Also: The Amazon page related to this book has some good info on it, and related audio/video media depicting before/after results. Well worth a look if you're interested.