Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes

So you’ve been meaning to better your music production skills for ages, you’ve promised yourself 2020 is the year you finally get round to it! After the hectic frivolity of Christmas it’s time to use the few days remaining before the new year begins in earnest. Here are six books full of tips on music production, studio technology, mixing and mastering!

The Systematic Mixing Guide

Published in 2015, the concepts and techniques outlined by production obsessive Ermin Hamidovic (Systematic Productions) still stand strong. One of the most in-depth guides to mixing out there, full of practical and systemic advice on getting killer tones and gluing them together into a jumps-out-the-speakers whole. Good for pop, rock, and metal producers, the book is the outcome of mixing insight gained through years of laborous experience. Ermin gives away the shop that turned him from an ambitious newbie into one of the most prominent mix and mastering engineers of the modern metal scene. If all goes well, mr Hamidovic will bring about the Systematic Recording Guide as soon as next year, which is a guaranteed must-read. So feel free to pick this up in anticipation!

Zen and the Art of Mixing: REV 2

In his revised Zen and the Art of Mixing, production mastermind Eric ‘Mixerman’ Sarafin turns his razor-sharp gaze to the art of mixing and outlines his own approach to recording success in 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.” Mixerman’s literature is worth the man’s weight in gold!

Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers

Ableton, the Berlin-based maker of Live, published an illuminating book that never fails to entertain, inform and enlighten. Although many of the techniques discussed in it are explained using Live, they are applicable to almost all DAWs. Reading it will help you make more varied tracks and develop whole pieces starting from simple loops. Everything in the book is explained in a practical, straightforward fashion.

Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices and Tools

Not cheap, but worth every penny! In 560 pages, author Roey Izhaki explains in a very practical way how the mixing process works – regardless of whether it is about the basics or advanced techniques. In addition to the very clearly written texts, there are also many photos, graphics and diagrams. On the companion website, you will find accompanying audio samples and even multitrack files.

Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science

In 413 pages, mastering guru Bob Katz reveals the most important tenets of mastering. Mastering Audio unravels the technical mysteries that challenge audio engineers day in and out in an easy to grasp manner. The equipment, training and artistic techniques involved in the process are covered, as well as stereo and surround sound. A recording classic from a well-respected, Grammy-winning engineer.

Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques

Engineer Sylvia Massy has worked with Johnny Cash, Prince, REM, Tool, System of a Down and many other well-known people. As a studio owner, producer and sound engineer with a lot of experience, she certainly has a lot to tell. Her book, Recording Unhinged, shows that there are rules in the studio meant for breakin. In addition to many tips and tricks, you will also read anecdotes from people like Hans Zimmer, Bruce Swedien or Al Schmitt. There are also photos, diagrams, exercises and many pictures drawn by the author.

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This is it for now. If you have any suggestions or a good tip, we look forward to your comments as always!

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