9 Mix Engineering Books To Read This Christmas

mix engineering books to read this christmas

Here’s a list of 9 mix engineering books to consider reading this Christmas season, perfect for some highly valuable off-screen reading time. Several are available in multiple formats: for Kindle, as paperback and/or hardcover or even as an audiobook. Happy reading, and ultimately: Happy Mixing!

9 Mix Engineering Books To Read This Christmas

If you’ve found a good mix engineering book yourself, drop a line in the comments.

Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science – Third Edition

Rated nearly 5 stars. Written by award-winning engineer Bob Katz.

Available as paperback.

“Mastering Audio discusses audio philosophy and art: sequencing, levelling, processing; how to make a record album radio-ready; and mixing as it relates to mastering. Divided into five parts, the book begins with the basics–monitoring, mastering techniques, useful tutorials, and the fundamentals of dithering and decibels–then moves on to more advanced concepts, such as jitter and clocking, monitor calibration, and multi channel audio, miking, and acoustics. Leading-edge audio concepts are explained in an easy-to-grasp style.”

 

Perfecting Sound Forever: The Story of Recorded Music

Rated 4 stars from 30 reviews. Written by Greg Milner.

Available for Kindle, as paperback, hardcover and Audible audiobook.

“Perfecting Sound Forever” 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

Rated 5 stars from 85 reviews. Written by award-winning mix engineer and Sound on Sound editor Mike Senior, who also wrote Recording Secrets for the Small Studio.

Available for Kindle and as paperback.

“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.”

 

The Beatles Recording Sessions

Rated 5 stars from 100+ reviews. Written by Mark Lewisohn.

Available as paperback and hardcover.

“Mark Lewisohn’s definitive guide covers every recording session done by the Beatles at EMI’s famed Abbey Road recording studio. It includes the number of takes for each song; who contributed what; previously unpublished studio documents and interviews with many of the key recording personnel; and facsimile reproductions of Abbey Road recording sheets, tape boxes, album sleeve roughs, memos, contracts, press releases and more. Lavishly illustrated with over 350 photographs.”

The Art of Mixing

Rated nearly 5 stars from 50+ reviews. Written by David Gibson.

Available as paperback and hardcover.

“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, colorful 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. Expand your recording techniques by learning what your recording equipment does and how it all works together in a simple, visual manner. From bluegrass to big band, new age to heavy metal, classical to hip-hop, jazz to rap, and alternative rock to techno, Gibson has mapped out everything that can be done to create various effects in all standard mixes.”

 

Behind the Glass – Volume I – Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits

Rated nearly 5 stars. Written by Howard Massey.

Available as paperback.

“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.”

 

Behind the Glass – Volume II – Top Record Producers Tell How They Craft the Hits

Rated 5 stars. Written by Howard Massey.

Available as paperback.

“Volume II presents another prime collection of firsthand interviews with the world’s top record producers and engineers, sharing their creative secrets and hit-making techniques from the practical to the artistic. In these pages you’ll find Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan) discussing the future of digital recording; T-Bone Burnett (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) sharing his unique view of creating complex low end; and Hugh Padgham (Police, Genesis) analyzing the state of the business today. For real-world advice on everything from home recording to mixing to coaching a nervous singer, check out author Howard Massey’s conversations with Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse), Tony Brown (Reba McEntire), Gus Dudgeon (Elton John), John Simon (The Band), Russ Titelman (Steve Winwood), Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson), Rodney Jerkins (Mary J. Blige), Simon Climie (Eric Clapton), Matt Serletic (Matchbox Twenty), and more.”

This Is Your Brain On Music – The Science of a Human Obsession

Rated 4 stars from 300+ reviews. Written by Daniel J. Levitin.

Available for Kindle and as paperback.

“In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin (The World in Six Songs and The Organized Mind) explores the connection between music – its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it – and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, Levitin reveals: How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world, why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre, that practice rather than talent is the driving force behind musical expertiseand how those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head.”

Zen and the Art of Mixing: REV2

Rated nearly 5 stars from 80+ reviews. Written by Mixerman, who also wrote The Daily Adventures of Mixerman.

Available for Kindle and as paperback.

“in his REV 2, fully updated edition of Zen and the Art of Mixing, 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.”

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