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.
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.
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.
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.
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.