Reading Material

It’s no secret that I am a fan of written reference material. A book still has a lot to offer in terms of authority and for use as a reference. I think any well-written book on a difficult subject like mixing deserves some attention, and with just a few books at home, you can expand your knowledge exponentially.

Best Studio Reads

All of the books listed below are written with novices and professionals in mind. Topics are discussed broadly but also with enough detail where it is applicable.

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Keeping reference books on hand at a home studio has some benefits. The biggest, in my opinion, is that published authors know what they are talking about – whereas YouTubers don’t always fall into the ‘expert’ category. Additionally, having a book available while having a DAW session open allows your workflow to be uninterrupted. Something important, when your creative process is in motion.

These are the Top 3 Home Studio Books for 2019:

  • Mixing Audio by Roey Izhaki - This was the first book I bought on mixing, and I have read it cover to cover more than a few times and still use it for reference. For my full review of this book, please click the link here.
  • Mixing Secrets by Mike Senior - Mike’s book covers topic areas specifically for home studio owners. The secrets alluded to in the book title are a good attention grabber, but in reality, the book is just crammed with logical common sense pragmatic content. This book is on my to-do list to review in full, but in the meantime, the reviews on Amazon really say it all. Click here for Amazon reviews.
  • Mastering Audio, The Art and the Science by Bob Katz - Bob’s book on mastering, if I am honest, is a more difficult book to digest. The subjects in the book get technical very quickly, so prepare yourself to read paragraphs and chapters a few times if you’re not that technically minded. Be assured, though, that perseverance to understand each chapter is time well spent.

More on Mastering Audio, The Art and the Science by Bob Katz

The key messages in each chapter are delivered effortlessly, and you don’t necessarily need to understand the minute details of things like 'word length' and 'dither' to get a feel for the types of processing required to make an excellent-sounding home-brewed master of your own mixes.

The themes in this book overlap a lot with mixing. For example, Chapter 15 on Monitor Setup and the K System Calibration alone. This book is a worthy addition to your home studio bookshelf.

If you are not convinced or don’t have the budget for this book, try to order it through your local library, and at least read Chapter 15, you will be glad that you did.


The last two books on my recommended list are from the same author.

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

I caught a Youtube video of Bobby and was impressed by his honest and frank reviews about his experience in the music production industry. Bobby keeps things ‘real simple’!

The book itself reminds me more of an old college textbook. It is not as professional looking as Bob Katz’s or Mike Senior’s books, but like an old college textbook, the content is first class.

The handbook focuses on the real world, with real numbers. For example, a table of magic frequencies to use as starting points for EQ settings of different instruments.

There are also many quotes from experienced professionals throughout the book, which add depth and richness to the themes in each chapter.

The Studio Builders Handbook by Bobby Owsinski and Dennis Moody

I’ve got a little less to say about this book as it’s more for someone thinking of building a proper studio. I am still stuck in a spare room in my apartment but of course, dream one day of setting up a bigger studio. It’s not an essential book, for mixing or mastering, but does have some interesting background reading material.

The chapters are fascinating and informative and cover some useful things if you are building a studio. For example, the chapters on Isolation and Acoustics provide insights and a few myth-busting gems.When I am ready to set up a larger studio in my garage, this is the book I am going to use as the primary resource.


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