If your loved ones are asking you for stocking filler ideas for Christmas then you may have missed this list we compiled from members of the community over the years. It has some great books on their including some of our favourites. If you have read any of them then please feel free to add your favourite audio and Pro Tools book recommendations ideas in the comments, just text please and not links.
Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music - Greg Milner
From our CD collections to iPods bursting with MP3s to the hallowed vinyl of DJs, recordings are the most common way we experience music. “Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music” tells the story of recorded music, introducing us to the innovators, musicians and producers who have affected the way we hear our favourite songs, from Thomas Edison to Phil Spector. Exploring the balance that recordings strike between the real and the represented, Greg Milner asks the questions which have divided sound recorders for the past century: should a recording document reality as faithfully as possible, or should it improve upon or somehow transcend the music it records? What does the perfect record sound like? The answers he uncovers will change the way we think about music.
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio - Mike Senior
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.
Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques - Rick Snorman
What are the differences between trance and chill out? How can you create compelling, professional-sounding original or remixed dance tracks? With Dance Music Manual, you’ll get coverage of every aspect of dance music production—from designing sounds to compression, from effects to mixing and mastering—and go even further, with advice on publishing and promoting your tracks. No matter your level of experience, this book is packed with techniques and practical tips to help you achieve professional results, whether you’re an aspiring dance music producer, DJ, remixer, recording engineer, musician, or composer.
The Art of Mixing: A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering and Production - David Gibson
Get ready for an in-depth exploration of the aesthetics of what makes a great mix with The Art of Mixing: A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering and Production. David Gibson’s unique approach to mixing gives you a visual representation of the dynamics of the sounds involved in creating a musical mix. Through this three-dimensional, colourful explanation, you are introduced to a framework that will help you understand everything that an engineer does— enabling you to not only recognize what you like, but how to achieve it in your studio.
Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science - Bob Katz
Written by an award-winning, highly respected professional Bob Katz, Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science gives you a thorough introduction to the unique procedures and technical issues involved in mastering.
Suitable for all levels of students and professionals, it is ideal for anyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording, and mixing engineers.
ZEN and the Art of Mixing - Mixerman
In his first book, “Zen and the Art of Mixing: REV 2”, the author detailed the frustrating and often hilarious goings on during the process of recording a major-label band. Musicians, engineers, and producers laughed and cried at the crazy goings-on they’d never imagined - or recognized all too well. Now Mixerman turns his razor-sharp gaze to the art of mixing and gives followers and the uninitiated reason to hope - if not for logic and civility in the recording studio then at least for a good sounding record. With a firm commitment to art over technology and to maintaining a grasp of each, Mixerman outlines his own approach to recording success, based on his years mixing records in all genres of music for all kinds of artists, often under trying circumstances. As he states in his introduction to the new volume, even if you’re not a professional mixer, even if you’re a musician trying to mix your own work or a studio owner in a smaller market, you have your own set of pressures to deal with while you’re mixing’. Regardless of what those pressures are, it’s important to identify and recognize them, if for no other reason than so you can learn to completely ignore them. But how? That’s where the Zen comes in.
Behind the Glass: Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits - Howard Massey
In this prime collection of first-hand interviews, Behind the Glass: Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits. 37 of the world’s top record producers share their creative secrets and hit-making techniques from the practical to the artistic. George Martin reveals the technical and musical challenges of working with The Beatles, while Phil Ramone, producer for such artists as Billy Joel, discusses studio wall treatments. Offering real-world advice on everything from mics to mixing to coaching a nervous singer, producers interviewed include Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin), Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), Alan Parsons (Pink Floyd) and more.
Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema - David Sonnenschein
With sound becoming more important in cinema exhibition and DVD release, Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema by David Sonnenschein offers user-friendly knowledge and stimulating exercises to help compose a story, develop characters and create emotion through skillful creation of the sound track. Psychoacoustics, music theory, voice study and analysis of well-known films expand perception, imagination and the musical skills of the reader.
Psychoacoustics, music theory, and voice study are covered through the detailed analysis of well-known films, to expand perception, imagination and the musical skills of the reader.
Audio-Vision : Sound on Screen - Michel Chion
In Audio-Vision : Sound on Screen, French critic and composer Michel Chion reassesses audiovisual media since the revolutionary 1927 debut of recorded sound in cinema, shedding crucial light on the mutual relationship between sound and image in audiovisual perception. Chion argues that sound film qualitatively produces a new form of perception: we don’t see images and hear sounds as separate channels, we audio-view a trans-sensory whole. Expanding on arguments made in his influential books The Voice in Cinema and Sound in Cinema, Chion provides lapidary insight into the functions and aesthetics of sound in film and television. He considers the effects of such evolving technologies as widescreen, multitrack, and Dolby; the influences of sound on the perception of space and time; and the impact of such contemporary forms of audio-vision as music videos, video art, and commercial television. Chion concludes with an original and useful model for the audiovisual analysis of film.
The Great British Recording Studios - Howard Massey
The Great British Recording Studios tells the story of the iconic British facilities where many of the most important recordings of all time were made. The first comprehensive account of British recording studios ever published, it was written with the cooperation of the British APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services, headed by Sir George Martin) to document the history of the major British studios of the 1960s and 1970s and to help preserve their legacy. Each chapter focuses on a different studio (including Abbey Road, Olympic, and Trident), with complete descriptions of the studio's physical facilities and layout, along with listings of equipment and key personnel, as well as details about its best-known technical innovations and a discography of the major recordings done there. Seamlessly interweaving narrative text with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from dozens of internationally renowned record producers and a wealth of photographs (many never published before), this book brings to life the most famous British studios and the people who created magic there. Meticulously researched and organised, The Great British Recording Studios will inform and inspire students of the recording arts, music professionals, casual music fans, and anyone interested in the acoustically pristine facilities, ground-breaking techniques, and innovative artists and technicians that have shaped the course of modern recording.
Recording Unhinged Coloring Book - Sylvia Massy
Shooting pianos, miking chickens, recording bass (guitar, that is) on a submarine. These are some of the unusual recording techniques examined in Recording Unhinged Coloring Book: For Those Who Color Outside the Lines Because we all like to "draw outside the lines," this collection of Sylvia Massy's original illustrations from the book is a great way to whet your appetite for some real adventurous recording. Add your own colour and excite your imagination! Since we're all about getting a little unhinged, you might want to make it fun. Try colouring with strange materials while you're at it. Toe-nail polish and highlighter pens. Lipstick and blush. Spilled coffee. You figure it out. Enjoy! And one last tip: you'll find a few special illustrations here that aren't in Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques, including one that if you fold it a certain way (look for the arrows), Neil Peart will turn into the drummer from the Stray Cats, Slim Jim Phantom!
Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: Ken Scott and Bobby Owsinski
Turn on any classic rock station and you ll soon hear a song that Ken Scott worked on. As one of the preeminent recording engineers and producers of the 20th century, Ken has garnered Gold, Platinum, and Diamond record sales awards; multiple Grammy nominations; and even a Clio Award (for his recording of the classic Coke ad I d Like to Teach the World to Sing ). Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust: shares Ken Scott s intimate memories of working with some of the most important artists of the 20th century, while crafting a sound that influenced generations of music makers. Ken's work has left an indelible mark on hundreds of millions of fans with his skilled contributions to Magical Mystery Tour and The White Album. As producer and/or engineer of six David Bowie albums (including the groundbreaking Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars) as well as other timeless classics, the sound Ken crafted has influenced several generations of music makers that continues to this day. Ken captured the sonic signatures of a who's-who of classic rock and jazz acts, including Elton John, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed, America, Devo, Kansas, The Tubes, Missing Persons, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, Dixie Dregs, and Stanley Clarke. This is his story, complete with funny, provocative, and oh-so-honest tales of the studio, stage, and even an infamous swimming pool incident. Plus, there are never-before-seen photographs and technical details, making Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust a must for every music fan.
Zen and the Art of Recording: Mixerman
In this book, the third in the Zen and the Art Of series, Zen and the Art of Recording Mixerman distills the inescapable technical realities of recording down to understandable and practical terms. Whether musician or self-taught recordist, whether at home or in a full-blown studio complex, you'll discover a definitive blueprint for recording within the current realities of the business, without ever losing focus on the core consideration the music itself. As Mixerman writes: "The moment you start to think in musical terms, your recordings will improve a hundredfold." This enhanced multimedia e-book edition brings recordists deeper into the concepts covered in the text. It features over an hour's worth of supplemental videos in which Mixerman demonstrates various recording techniques in a number of recording spaces. The clips provide invaluable insight into what to listen for when choosing gear and placing mics, and Mixerman walks us through all of this in well over an hour of clips. This multimedia eBook is an absolute must-have for anyone who enjoys recording music and wants to get better doing it. "Mixerman has done it again! With his signature humorous and entertaining style, he imparts a world of invaluable information for the aspiring recordist and musician in an easy to absorb (not overly technical) common sense manner." Ron Saint Germain (300+ million in sales, U2, Whitney Houston, 311) " Zen and the Art of Recording describes an approach rather than a recipe. This is important because in the real world nothing works the same way every time. This is an excellent overview of the issues to be considered along with a broad variety of proven techniques for addressing them." Bob Olhsson (Stevie Wonder, Jackson Five, Marvin Gaye) "It's the videos here that really drive the narrative." Aardvark (Producer of The Daily Adventures of Mixerman Audiobook and Zen RPM ) "In the absence of an opportunity to apprentice in a major recording studio, this book is the next best thing. A way to learn from the best." William Wittman (Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx)
Music Theory for Computer Musicians - Michael Hewitt
Many DJs, gigging musicians, and electronic music producers understand how to play their instruments or make music on the computer, but they lack the basic knowledge of music theory needed to take their music-making to the next level and compose truly professional tracks. Beneath all the enormously different styles of modern electronic music lie certain fundamentals of the musical language that are exactly the same no matter what kind of music you write. It is very important to acquire an understanding of these fundamentals if you are to develop as a musician and music producer. Put simply, you need to know what you are doing with regard to the music that you are writing. Music Theory for Computer Musicians explains these music theory fundamentals in the most simple and accessible way possible. Concepts are taught using the MIDI keyboard environment and today’s computer composing and recording software. By reading this book and following the exercises contained within it, you, the aspiring music producer/computer musician, will find yourself making great progress toward understanding and using these fundamentals of the music language. The result will be a great improvement in your ability to write and produce your own original music!
Audio Post Production: For Film and Television
Learn the essential skills to enter the audio post-production industry. Audio Post Production: For Film and Television offers a broad coverage of audio post production, including the four basic elements: dialogue, music, sound effects, and Foley effects. You will learn strategies for working with composers, music supervisors, and dialogue and sound effect editors, and explore techniques on how to edit songs to fit a scene, record dialogue replacement, cue Foley effects for a scene, as well as many more. In addition, you will learn how to prepare for a pre-dub or temp mix (to group and sub-mix tracks into stems for the final dub), create the final dub, and prepare the mix for foreign distribution and final delivery. By learning the tools and strategies used by working professionals, you will have an advantage to participate effectively in this fast-paced environment, as well as applying these skills to independent projects.
Music Editing for Film and Television: The Art and the Process
Making music for the movies is a complicated, involved, and challenging process. Music Editing for Film and Television: The Art and the Process covers the practical skills needed to successfully hone your craft. Through an overview of the music editing process, this book will equip you with detailed techniques to solve musical problems encountered during editing. An abundance of interviews with well-known professionals provide a wide range of perspectives on music editing for film, while special features address an array of projects, from a low-budget documentary, to a Hollywood blockbuster, to indie projects.
The Sound Effects Bible: How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects
The Sound Effects Bible: How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects is a complete guide to recording and editing sound effects. The book covers topics such as microphone selection, field recorders, the ABCs of digital audio, understanding digital audio workstations, building your own Foley stage, and more.
Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer
Have you ever wondered exactly why adding noise to a digital recording actually makes it sound better? Do you know what a phase lock loop does, and why it's important? These questions and dozens more are answered in clear, understandable English in Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer which is written for all audio engineers at all levels. It is written about topics that have been reserved, until now, for the electronic engineers, circuit designers, mathematicians and academians. No corner of digital audio is left unturned, from the basics of digital sampling and issues regarding Nyquist to the circuit design of A/D converters, word clock generators, and PLLs.
Nika Aldrich clearly explains issues as seemingly complex as convolution reverbs, Fourier Analysis, noise-shaping and floating point processing for the person who has little exposure to advanced level mathematics. He does this with a linear, methodical approach and the aid of over 600 graphics. In his conclusion, Nika unearths many of digital audio's little secrets having to do with bit-depth, sample frequency, dither, and emerging technologies such as DSD. With the knowledge gained from this book, engineers from the novice to the advanced will make better decisions and get better sounding results from their studios.
Are We Still Rolling?: Studios, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll - One Man's Journey
From the author's first glimpse of a magical recording studio in the mid-1960s up through a busy career that continues to the present day, this rollicking story can only be told by those that were there. As the young tape operator on sessions for the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Joe Cocker at the famed Olympic Sound Studios in London, Phill learned the ropes from experienced engineers and producers such as Glyn Johns and Eddie Kramer. Phill soon worked his way up, engineering sessions for Mott the Hoople, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and many other legendary rockers. He eventually became a freelance engineer/producer and worked with Roxy Music, Go West, Talk Talk, and Robert Plant. But more than a recollection of participating in some of the most treasured music of the past 40 years, Are We Still Rolling?: Studios, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll - One Man's Journey is a journey through life as Phill struggles to balance his home and family with a job where drug abuse, chaos, rampant egos, greed, lies and the increasingly invasive record business take their toll. It's also a cautionary tale, where long workdays and what once seemed like harmless indulgences become health risks, yet eventually offer a time to reflect back on.
The Mixing Engineer's Handbook: Fourth Edition
Mixing music —the process of combining and shaping the component parts of a song into a polished, completed recording —was once considered an unteachable art. The first edition of Bobby Owsinski’s The Mixing Engineer's Handbook: Fourth Edition destroyed that myth forever, breaking the craft of mixing down into discrete, understandable steps and showing musicians, audio engineers, and producers exactly how to get great results in the studio. The book has since become the go-to text on mixing for recording programs in colleges and universities around the world.
Now available in a completely revised fourth edition, The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook remains the best, most up-to-date source for mastering the art and science of creating pro-quality mixes. Topics covered include:
- The six elements of a mix, from achieving balance to creating interest
- The secrets of equalization and “magic frequencies”
- Advanced techniques expected of today’s mixer, like track cleanup, adjusting track timing, pitch correction, sound replacement, and automation tricks
- Easy-to-grasp methods for adding effects, sonic layering, calculating delay times, and much more
The book also features interviews with some of the music industry’s most successful and celebrated audio engineers/producers/mixers, who share their expertise, insights, and philosophies about mixing.
Learn the art of mixing from start to finish, and pick up tips and techniques from the pros, with The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, Fourth Edition.
All You Need Is Ears
"George," he said, "I don't know if you'd be interested, but there's a chap who's come in with a tape of a group he runs. They haven't got a recording contract, and I wonder if you'd like to see him and listen to what he's got?"
"Certainly," I said, "I'm willing to listen to anything. Ask him to come and see me."
"O.K., I will. His name's Brian Epstein..."
All You Need Is Ears is the story of George Martin, the man who spotted the Beatles' talent, who recorded and produced them from the start, and who brought their musical ideas to life. In this witty and charming autobiography, he describes exactly what it was like to work in the studio with the Beatles, from the first audition (and his decision to scrap Pete Best on drums) to the wild experimentation of Sgt. Pepper (complete with sound effects, animal noises and full orchestras in evening dress at the direct request of Paul McCartney).
This is a singular look at the most important musical group of all time, and how they made the music that changed the world: No other book can provide George Martin's inside look at their creative process, at the play of genius and practical improvisation that gave them their sound; it is an indispensable read for Beatles lovers and anyone interested in the music world.
Recording Studio Design
Using straight-forward language and practical examples, Philip Newell covers the key principles of making a successful studio construction. In this third edition of Recording Studio Design, he gives you the skills you need to avoid disaster and create an efficient and effective acoustical environment to record and produce the fineset audio. Learn from Newell's years of experience as he provides great detail on the practical recording application in various acoustic environments, and explores complex issues, providing real-world solutions.
This new edition expands and develops on the topics from the previous editions, updating it for the digital age, so you have all the current information you need to build, adapt or update your recording studio.
Intended for recording professionals, this guide to the design of state of the art recording facilities provides detailed technical instruction on the creation and optimization of all facets of the modern studio. Beginning with a discussion of general acoustics and sound principles, the work covers topics such as neutral room design, variable acoustics, control rooms, studio monitoring, power conditions and main supplies, and analogue audio interfacing. Chapters include numerous technical illustrations and photographs, and this third edition is fully updated to reflect current technologies in use in the recording industry.
Philip Newell is an international consultant on acoustic design and former technical director of Virgin Records. Has over 30 years experience in the recording industry and has been involved in the design of over 200 studios, including the famous Manor and Townhouse Studios. He is also author of Project Studios, Recording Spaces and Studio Monitoring Design, all published by Focal Press.
Pro Tools First Graphically Enhanced Manual
When Russ and I were researching for this story, we both noticed that there were no books around on Pro Tools 12 and in Podcast 298 we discussed how the book world had changed and how expensive it is to produce books and we speculated that there simply wasn't a return on investment. There is one self-publisher who is trying to buck this trend and that is Edgar Rothermich with his Graphically Enhanced Manuals (GEM) that you can get as ebooks or print versions from Ding Dong Music and there are 13 titles are available covering Logic Pro X, GarageBand, Final Cut Pro X as well as Pro Tools First.
One of this series is Pro Tools | First 12 - How it Works, it is the 1st manual for the free version of Pro Tools, but don't write it off if you use the full version of Pro Tools, as the book's depth and wealth of graphics and diagrams, there is a lot of resources in this book to help any Pro Tools user to get a better understanding of Pro Tools.
The Visual Approach
Unlike the usual manuals, which can be mainly text-based with the occasional screenshots, Edgar Rothermich creates unique diagrams and graphics in his books to help explain and reinforce the concept and functionality of the application in question, in this case, Pro Tools. The adage that a picture paints 1000 words applies here and many audio engineers will appreciate that it is often easier to understand a mixing console, for example, by following a signal flow diagram than 100 pages of explanations outlining where the signal goes to.
In this book, there are not only signal flow diagrams for Pro Tools, but also graphics that explain concepts like MIDI Real-Time Properties (which we discussed recently on podcast 238), Preset handling, the concept of the Workspace Browser, how Elastic Audio works, to name but a few. Edgar has taken a lot of time and care to explain every topic in great detail with his unique diagrams and illustrations designed to help users understand how it works.
You can read and see more about Edgar's Graphically Enhanced Manuals (GEM) and his Pro tools First manual in our new story Graphically Enhanced Manuals Release Pro Tools First Manual
Edgar has also shared some of his content for free with Pro Tools Expert community and so you can see inside his book and more of his unique style in his Pro Tools First Graphically Enhanced Manual.