31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Paperback)
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.
The author's approach is rigorous as well. Mike Senior clearly takes the art and science of mixing seriously, and he encourages his readers to do the same. He doesn't pull punches in telling us the scale of effort required to mix at the level to which he's trying to get his readers. I appreciated those benchmarks. They help give me a sense of what is required, and inspire me to go the extra distance in order to get there.
Finally, the book is straightforward in the sense that Mr. Senior seems to be free of faddish biases or particular hardware/software fetishes. He's not selling anything other than better mixes. He is simply devoted to telling his readers what works.
And, as an extra added bonus, he does so with humor. And some days, when it's just you and that recalcitrant song mix punching each other silly in the arena, you need that!
But here's the most amazing thing of all. Mike includes his email address in the book. So I thought, what the heck, and I emailed him some questions. He responded promptly and thoroughly. That's really amazing. It's like having a company provide great customer support for their complicated product - only it's not hardware or software, it's a book! His willingness to support those of us in the field (see his website, Cambridge Music Technology) demonstrates a real love for the art itself combined with a rare generosity of spirit. Massive kudos for that!
In short, here's the bottom line: If much improved mixing is your aspiration, and if you're serious about it, buy this book pronto.