Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240815800
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/11/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 94,598
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet 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!

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part 1: Hearing & Listening

Chapter 1: Using Nearfield Monitors
Chapter 2: Supplementary Monitoring
Chapter 3: Low-End Damage Limitation
Chapter 4: From Subjective Impressions To Objective Results

Part 2: Mix Preparation

Chapter 5: Essential Groundwork
Chapter 6: Timing & Tuning Adjustments
Chapter 7: Comping & Arrangement

Part 3: Balance

Chapter 8: Building The Raw Balance
Chapter 9: Compressing For A Reason
Chapter 10: Beyond Compression
Chapter 11: Equalizing For A Reason
Chapter 12: Beyond EQ
Chapter 13: Frequency-Selective Dynamics
Chapter 14: The Power Of Side Chains
Chapter 15: Towards Fluent Balancing

Part 4: Sweetening To Taste

Chapter 16: Mixing With Reverb
Chapter 17: Mixing With Delays
Chapter 18: Stereo Enhancements
Chapter 19: Buss Compression, Automation & Endgame

Conclusion

Appendix 1: Who's Who: Selected Discography
Appendix 2: Quote References
Appendix 3: Picture Credits

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Moone

    Hehe. I feel like I'm the only one reading these. But keep going! Please!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Mixel Misadventures Episode 2: Flying Lessons

    ((Sorry I didn't post what the Murp from "The Dress" looked like. Couldn't think of anything.))<p>(Flain is seen relaxing against a Pipe Tree. Flurr, covered in bandages, limps as Dargea follows him.)<p>Dargea: Wait a minute! You told me you would teach me how to fly!<p>Flurr: (Angrily) You're impossible to teach. (Limps away)<p>Flain: Hey, what's going on?<p>Dargea: Flurr tried to teach me how to fly, but he could not. None of the winged Mixels were able to.<p>Flain: I can teach you!<p>Dargea: Really?<p>Flain: Yeah.<p>Dargea: I do not see a pair wings on you.<p>Flain: I'm still going to.<p>Dargea: Very well, then.<p>***<p>(Flain and Dargea stand next to a ledge.)<p>Flain: You know the basics, right?<p>Dargea: Yes I do, though I never went beyond that.<p>Flain: There's this ledge. Try to fly off of it. If you fall, it's a six-foot drop, so there's no major in<_>jury.<p>Dargea: (Jumps off ledge, flapping his wings, and faceplants. Repeats this over and over again.)<p>Flain: (Getting a little frustrated) Okay, let's try a different approach.<p>***<p>(They now are standing on top of a mountain in the Electroid Kingdom.)<p>Dargea: Are you sure the Electroids agreed that you and I can be here?<p>Flain: They're cool with it. Anyway, you're gonna jump off this mountain. I think the ledge was too safe. This will probably get you to feel like you NEED to fly.<p>Dargea: Okay...<p>(After a moment's hesitation, he jumps off. The camera stays focused on Flain as he watched. You hear cries of pain coming from Dargea, and Flain's expression changes to where it states "Ouch >_<".)<p>Dargea: AH! OW! OUCH! WHAT THE NIXELS LAND IS DYNAMI- (Explosion) AAAAAHHHHH!<p>***<p>(Dargea crawls back up, coughing. He was covered in ashes, thorns, and sc<_>ars.)<p>Dargea: Ouch...what is next?<p>Flain: (Thinks for a moment) How about we mix? It's a theory, but if I fly for you when we mix, then you would know how to fly, too!<p>Dargea: "A theory"? That is reassuring.<p>(Flain pulls out a red and gold cubit, and he and Dargea touch it.)<p>MIX!<p>(The Mix that resulted looked like Flain stood, but it was dark purple with red eyes and a silver head flame and beak. It also had Dargea's wings. The dominant Mixel was Flain.)<p>Flain/Dargea Mix: (Jumps off the mountain and attempts to fly.) Wha- I can't fly! I CAN'T FLY!<p>***<p>(The Mix crashes onto the ground, making Flain and Dargea de-mix.)<p>Dargea: Anything else?<p>Flain: I give up...

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  • Posted July 2, 2014

    As a project studio operator, Mixing Secrets has been the single

    As a project studio operator, Mixing Secrets has been the single resource I can point to that got me over the hump and into the territory where I can begin seriously competing with established professionals - all while remaining on a humble budget. Mike Senior gives the novice the fundamental information necessary to understand and execute all basic mixing tasks as well as many advanced mixing ones. Where an advanced technique is not included the fundamental knowledge to understand it has nonetheless been provided. 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.  

    More importantly, his pedagogy is extremely sound. He takes a complicated, non-intuitive, subjective, and non-linear process and gets the student through it as if it were simple, obvious, linear, and objective, all the while providing the student with the necessary caveats to understand where the process has been simplified to make it easier to learn.  Therefore the student, as he gains experience, can incorporate a more fluid approach as necessary, skipping between various mixing tasks instead of doing them in the preset order that Mike lays out for beginners.

    The book has immense re-readability. The “Cut To The Chase” pages at the end of each chapter highlight the section’s important points. I recommend tabbing them with post-it notes for quick review. Additionally, reexamination of any chapter reveals situation specific tips that become increasingly relevant as the student gains experience.

    For a person with a limited budget who is willing to put in the time to work through Mike’s lesson plan, Mixing Secrets is an invaluable resource. It is a book designed to scale with your budget. As you become successful enough to justify more expensive equipment, Mixing Secrets will be there to help you make the most out of your time and effort. Additional value is derived by providing a firm and comprehensive foundation of mixing fundamentals. After reading Mixing Secrets, books and articles on more advanced topics become easier to grasp, even if they are written poorly.

    I recommend this book all the time to audio professionals who are looking for a good resource for their students, and I recommend it to any hearty bootstrapping project studio operator who wants to make the best use of his time and money while laying a strong foundation for his future development. It takes time to meticulously work through Mike’s lesson plan, but I can’t call that a downside since there are no shortcuts in the pursuit of excellence.

    There are, however, ways to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts, and this is the best I know when it comes to mixing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    One of the best instructional books about any subject

    The title of this review says it all. This is one of the best, most enjoyable and concise instructional books I've ever read about any subject. To be honest, mixing is a pretty dry subject. This book actually makes it fun! But more importantly, it covers very minute and important details regarding frequencies, compression, reverberation, parallel compression....etc..etc in a very easy to understand AND in depth manner. I'll be honest, I hated mixing and really didnt have a natural aptitude for it. After reading this book, I look foreward to it and have a lot more confidence in my ability to tackle a lot of problems and issues that would have completely stumped me before. Buy this book, it is, in every sense of the expression, a no brainier if you want to learn more about mixing your own recordings.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book, though a little bit too much focus on preparation

    Mike Senior's work for SoS magazine is really sharp, and having a full-length book really showcases his thought process. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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