Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Sound On Sound Presents...)

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Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Sound On Sound Presents...)

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Sound On Sound Presents...)

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The emphasis is very much on mastering the correct approaches and techniques, rather than how to use any specific equipment or software, and everything is described in such as way as to make it easily transferable across any DAW platform or even to a traditional console‑based mix environment. The most useful, up-to-date and comprehensive book I've read on the labyrinthine subject of mixing music. The reader is expected to have a basic level of underpinning knowledge about the fundamentals of sound, audio equipment, signal levels, production workflows and so on, although there are excellent additional resources on the dedicated web site (see below) to help if some of these aspects are unfamiliar. So, how are we supposed to get a release quality mix done, if we don’t even know where to start with the two most important effects? The book concludes with a couple of appendices detailing his quote references and providing a thorough discography.

After a few solid chapters on monitor selection and room treatment, the book deconstructs mixing into a linear process (acknowledging that in reality, no mix process is linear), that starts at a coarse level, then works its way to fine details: setting up sessions; getting basic balances; EQ and compression basics and advanced techniques; bus compression; automation and rides. If you already know everything, pick up a copy to skim, then gift it to a friend who's starting out.Usefully, every chapter concludes with a 'Cut to the Chase' section summarising the key techniques and 'secrets', along with an 'Assignment' section detailing practical exercises to hone new‑found skills. However, when the charm of long, antisocial hours in dark studios finally wore off, Mike joined the SOS team as Reviews Editor, where he was instrumental in establishing the popular Studio SOS and Mix Rescue columns. The book’s extensive accompanying on-line resource pages provide hundreds of in-depth audio demonstration files, the unrivalled 'Mixing Secrets' Free Multitrack Download Library for mixing practice, detailed budget-friendly hardware/software recommendations (including Mike’s Freeware Top Ten), and lots of links to further reading. In other words, as a result of working through this book, articles on arcane mixing techniques become easy to digest, even if they aren’t described in the book.

This is a good solid book to help a budding audio engineer understand the concepts (and some of the tricks) of mixing music. Recently, I felt like my mixing had hit a plateau, so I went looking for new ideas to consider at mix time. And if you're not already an experienced engineer, much of the advice and terminology may go over your head, particularly towards the latter chapters of the book. Part 1 of Mixing Secrets begins with a detailed discussion across four chapters on how to choose and use nearfield monitoring, including understanding and working around the limitations of budget equipment, optimising the listening environment, and 'self calibration' using commercial music reference material.There is a lot of good info in this book, but was completely taken aback by the overwhelmingly high reviews it got.

The icing on the cake, and liberally covered in cherries, is the dedicated web site, which provides a phenomenal resource of useful material and information.It's too overwhelming and the amount of information is beyond comprehension for someone who doesn't know what they're doing. If you're a tape-and- console engineer, there's still good stuff to be found, but you'll probably skip chapters like "Timing and Tuning. Regular Sound On Sound readers will already be familiar with Mike Senior's contributions to the ever‑popular Mix Rescue series, as well as his occasional (and usually lengthy! Rather, he shows various methods, explaining that not every method would work for every mix and even provides links to find out more about the different schools of thought.

In fact the book is filled with so much great stuff, it's a book that one can read again and again and that can be used as a handy manual during any mixing project. If you've been figuring out everything yourself or piecing together your workflow based on internet forum posts, this book may bump your work forward by months or years. There are, however, ways to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts, and this is the best I know when it comes to mixing. Author Mike Senior is well equipped with his experience as engineer, producer and journalist for Sound-on-Sound magazine to guide any reader, with an intermediate to advanced understanding of the studio recording and mixing process, through four main sections. The main idea behind the whole thing is to teach ways of making your final work much more professional without relying on expensive equipments.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. Although there definitely is some very good info on those subjects in this book, he gives you absolutely NO idea how to apply those effects to any individual instrument.

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