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Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio [Paperback]

Mike Senior
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: £24.99
Price: £18.35 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 April 2011

Discover how to achieve release-quality mixes even in the smallest studios by applying power-user techniques from the world's most successful producers.

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!

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Frequently Bought Together

Mixing Secrets for  the Small Studio + Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science + Guerilla Home Recording: How to Get Great Sound from Any Studio - (No Matter How Weird or Cheap Your Gear Is) (Hal Leonard Music Pro Guides)
Price For All Three: £53.70

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (6 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240815807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240815800
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Mike Senior is an award-winning mix engineer who discovered his vocation while studying music at Cambridge University. Following stints at various London studios (RG Jones, West Side, Angell Sound), he became in-house engineer at Great Linford Manor, working with artists such as The Charlatans, Reef, Therapy, Nigel Kennedy, and Wet Wet Wet. For six years he was Reviews Editor for Sound On Sound, the world's best-selling music recording magazine, and now uses his regular 'Mix Rescue' columns to prove time and again that you can achieve pro results with affordable gear -- once you know how!

Check out www.cambridge-mt.com for examples of Mike's work, as well as an extensive library of free mixing resources.

Product Description


In the good old days, new engineers learned to mix by interning or assisting; that's less and less the case these days. Think of this book as a textbook alternative to a year of assisting. 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. –Scott Evans, Tape Op Magazine

The advice and guidance contained are relevant to everyone involved in music engineering and production, at all levels and regardless of the size of the studio or its facilities. Novices and grandmasters alike will find plenty of interest here. 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 book is structured in a progressive fashion, following a logical mixing workflow, and developing and building on ideas and techniques throughout. The book is very readable, in Mike's familiar, approachable and often humorous style, and with plenty of illustrations, all of which maintain the interest from cover to cover. The text also expands on Mike's own wealth of experience and knowledge with numerous relevant quotes and opinions from over 100 of the world's best-known engineers and producers. Many books have been published about mixing, but in all honesty I'd say Mixing Secrets is easily the most practical, complete and ultimately satisfying that I've read so far. It is eminently readable (even if the spellings have been 'Americanised'!), with the emphasis always on helping the reader to understand when and why to use a particular technique, before explaining how in great practical detail. Although the content is wonderfully disciplined and technically rigorous, the explanations are never intimidating to a beginner, yet remain stimulating to the more experienced reader. 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. This is a definite must-read for everyone involved in music production at any level - and at a bargain price. --Sound on Sound magazine

The most useful, up-to-date and comprehensive book I've read on the labyrinthine subject of mixing music.. 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.. Many good examples of current and popular CDs are given through this book to 'reference' each step in the mixing process. Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio is a 'must have' for me that I wil re-read from time to time and I cannot recommend it more. --Music Connection magazine

Mike shares many of his own mixing tips, supplemented by tips and advice from some of the industry's top engineers that range from Chris and Tom Lord Alge to Andy Wallace. At more than 300 pages, it's quite a read, but a highly recommended one. 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. And though there's plenty of information to soak up, Mike has made it very easy to navigate your way through the book and to find the relevant information you need quickly and easily. --GuitarWorld.com

Mixing Secrets by Mike Senior is a great book for studio production, no doubt about it. It's also a great book for extracting concepts that can be used for live audio production. And for the church audio sound tech who might get an email next week saying "we need you to record and produce our first praise music CD," well, you aren't going to find a better book on perfecting a mix. It starts as a book but you will use it as a resource. That's a win-win in my book. --BehindTheMixer.com

I FOUND AN EXCELLENT "MUST HAVE" for anyone pursuing music recording and mixing as a career and life-long hobby...[Senior's] book does not disappoint. He's a great writer and I thoroughly recommend it for newbies and oldbies! --Mavens of Media

About the Author

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!

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 1 May 2011
This book is a fantastic resource that I expect will dramatically improve my mixing abilities. What more could you ask for than that?

I've now read the book from cover to cover. I plan to read it a second time, working through each chapter's lessons, and then I'm sure it will become a fairly constant reference in my studio after that.

I don't think the book is necessarily for everyone, which works out great for people like me. I think a complete novice would probably struggle with this dense book, while a pro can write their own (though I suspect that they would still learn from this book, just as the author - and his readers - profit by his many interviews with top mixing engineers). But if you're situated somewhere in-between rookie and pro, this book is pitched perfectly for your needs. That's me, and I've read a lot of books on the subject, but none this good.

What I most appreciate about the book is that it is strategic, methodical, rigorous, and straightforward.

By strategic, I mean that the author has a vision to which all the advice of the book is oriented: producing commercial grade audio mixes. Yes, there are lots of tactical tips sprinkled throughout the text, and they're quite helpful, but these are always in service to the greater goal. This is not a 'mixing tips' book, per se - it's something much better than that, a mixing strategy book.

The book is also very methodical in its approach. The author walks you through the process from beginning to end, explaining what is important and what is less so, showing how each step needs to build on prior work, and helping readers understand why his procedural order makes more sense than whatever method (or none at all) people might be employing on their own.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mixing Gem! 31 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're like me and relatively new to audio & midi mixing, this book is invaluable. I've read several books on the subject and what I really wanted to know was the practical process of putting together a selection of audio and midi tracks to create a quality sound. I got into mixing because two friends and I occasionally play together and we thought it would be great to have some record of our sessions. So armed with a couple of Zoom R series recorders and Cubase 6.5, I decided to "get stuck in".

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio gives me all I want to know from a practical point of view and while the importance of creating a good recording and mixing environment is stated in some detail, the majority of the book focuses on getting your hands dirty and actually mixing. The chapters are presented in a logical order, similar to how you would approach a real-life mixing session and for this reason, it is recommended that the book is read through in this order but once read, it's easy to dip in and out of sections for a refresher due to the excellent index and sensible chapter and section numbering. There is a reference section at the back covering producers and mixing engineers (from whom a lot of the specifics have been gathered) and details of books and magazines which have supplied quotes from these people.

For those of us on relatively limited budgets (and who isn't these days!), the author points you in the direction of the many free plug-ins available on the Internet to supplement whatever your chosen DAW has - and he doesn't make the mistake of concentrating on any particular DAW either so the text is quite generic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing practical book, worth every penny! 23 May 2011
By Nicolas
I'm not even halfway through the book yet and I can already hear improvements to the sound quality of my studio and mixes. I believe the strongest points of this book are:

1. It explains all important issues that small studios (and even larger ones) users face and how to address them.
2. It contains a lot of practical exercises to really hear and understand the concepts described.

At the end of each chapter, there is a summary of the concepts described and a list of practical exercises. In addition, throughout his book, Mike Senior gives a lot of ideas to experiment with, songs to listen to as well as useful tips. This is complemented by audio files and additional information on his website.

Reading this book is therefore like sitting in a private course / workshop with Mike Senior! I therefore highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my new bible 28 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really do love this book. I've only just started to learn how to record and mix myself and had been muddling along looking up the odd YouTube tutorial when I got stuck, but just "having a go" without really having a structured methodology to apply. Hence my early mixes were typical of a small studio producer: too much instrumentation, very muddy, cluttered sounding and just obviously amateur in sound quality.

What I love about Mike's book is that he give you a method to follow. I read the book first cover to cover and his approach really appealed to me because it was saying: here's where you begin, next do this, then do this, etc etc, building on each layer till you get through the whole process and come out the other side with, at the very least, a well balanced mix. He spends the first few chapters giving advice on monitoring and supplementary monitoring so you can really hear what your mix sounds like. He gives you advice on acoustically treating your room etc so once you've passed through the first few chapters and followed his advice at the very least you will be equipped to "hear" your mix properly and therefore make properly informed balancing decisions.

Mike then explains the pro mindset to approaching mixing: editing first and getting everything sounding tight before you move onto balancing and using your various mix tools. He supplements every chapter with quotes from countless interviews with the world's best mix engineers and has really done an excellent job about finding the points of commonality between all these great engineers and how they approach mixes to construct an A, B, C, step by step guide that someone learning the art of mixing can take.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it...
Informative, easy to read and clear to understand. If you're after a genuinely useful and informative book on beginner level audio (and way beyond) then this is the book. Read more
Published 10 days ago by areviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes your gear sound like you spent 10 times as much
Just the free sample of the book in Kindle will help you with your music production. The book is incredible. Read more
Published 21 days ago by warfarin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by kimmy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Thanks!
Published 1 month ago by JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, informative, well laid out - nigh on perfect
Loved this book. So helpful. Thanks for giving me so much useful information. It's really going to help me make better music.
Published 2 months ago by Big Boys Studios
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of useful information. Get reference book to us when mixing
Lots of useful information. Get reference book to use when mixing. Well written and ideas and concepts clearly explained.
Published 2 months ago by Mr Muso
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative.
Published 3 months ago by Raymond Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Worth buying.
Published 3 months ago by David W Barbour
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of helpful tips and information
Great book if you're into producing your own music. I read it cover to cover but It's well structured so you can dip into the sections that interest you.
Published 3 months ago by scogs
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent reference manual as well as a step by step ...
This is an excellent reference manual as well as a step by step guide to understanding the recording process. It's very informative and well layers out. Read more
Published 3 months ago by G D
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