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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Art of Digital Audio Recording: A Practical Guide for Home and Studio
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have been working with digital audio, on and off, for quite a few years in my home studio. I've read some books and magazine articles about recording digital audio, and done a fair amount of hands on experimentation. So far I've managed to get mediocre-to-decent results. On the whole, I've been a little disappointed. Though I have some understanding of the process, I have always felt that I didn't have a real solid grip on it, and that there were gray areas in my understanding that were holding back the quality of the results I could achieve.

I was hoping that Steve Savage's new book on digital audio recording could help me fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge and help me improve my results. The pleasant surprise is that I have found so much more than that in this book. Sure, this book is filled with details about what is undoubtedly a complex process, and I got some great insights right away into areas where I was fuzzy such as dynamic processing like compression and limiting. And while I thought I had a decent grip on EQ, I quickly discovered from Steve Savage's ultra-clear exposition that I was missing some crucial subtle points.

But the biggest benefit I have received so far from this book is a much better grasp of the digital audio recording process as an integrated whole. What this book makes clear is the flow of the recording process from before microphone placement to after final mastering. Suddenly a bunch of seemingly disparate procedures make sense in the context of the whole recording process. I understand with much greater clarity how each procedure relates to all the others, and how each step in the recording process logically proceeds from what has come before and flows into what comes next. With a better understanding of tracking, for example, I can now more clearly see the logic of the editing process,

I think Steve Savage's great accomplishment with this book is to make a complex process comprehensible and accessible. I won't say simple - this book does not oversimplify. Instead it delves deeply into complex subjects such as editing and mixing. But it never loses sight of the flow of the whole process. I was already quite impressed with how clearly and logically this book flows when I noticed Elvin Bishop's comment on the back cover that "with Steve there are no technical problems to interrupt the flow of the music making". While Elvin Bishop was talking about working with Steve Savage in the studio, the same applies to the book - the flow of the recording process is never interrupted or made obscure by the need to expound in depth on the technical aspects of the process.

One feature that seems a little "cute" at first, but ends up being very substantive, are frequent little tips on "What not to do". These little sections, along with many other insights strewn liberally throughout the book, lift the highly technical process of digital audio recording out of the realm of theory into solving the real world challenges of getting the best possible recorded sound. In being made mindful of potential pitfalls, my attention was drawn to critical aspects of the recording process that had never before occurred to me.

One thing that is clearly noted in the book should probably be mentioned here too - that this book does not cover MIDI. As the title of the book states, the subject of this book is digital audio recording.

This book is thorough and detailed enough to get a beginner launched and off on the right track, and deep enough to add something to the arsenal of the most seasoned pro. Your DAW (digital audio workstation) manual will tell you how to operate the software. This book will tell you how to make great-sounding recordings with it. Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Steve Savage's "The Art of Digital Audio Recording" is a godsend, bringing the fundamentals--mic placement, routing, monitoring--together with current concepts of editing and micro editing, plug ins, and mixing in the box. The book is ecumenical about platform, so don't worry about ProTools vs. Logic vs. Cubase, etc.

Above and beyond the operational aspects of recording, Steve gives wisdom having to do with managing a day in the studio: how to run a session, how to communicate, how to move forward. The teaching he lends in these sections is very personal and very valuable. The appendix sections continue in this mode, giving advice on how to carry yourself and interface with other technical people as well as how to think about what to buy, and in what order.

Having been in the studio with Steve on several occasions, I see this book as an extension of his personality and his ethic: he wants to hear some great music from you and he wants to help you do it. Get this book, read it once carefully, and keep it close at hand while you get down to business!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
While not exactly a complete Luddite on the topics covered in this extraordinarily lucid description of digital audio recording that is both down-to-earth practical and over-archingly macrocosmic, I was surprised at how easily the information covered in this volume stuck with me. A great contribution to the literature of sound technology for an audience of both digital audio novices and advanced studio techies. [In the spirit of full disclosure: Steve is a co-founder and President of Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco [...] where I am the current Executive Director...but this is no suck-up blurb! I happened to see an early copy of the book and was truly impressed with the finessing of technical language for the average non-technical reader and the comprehensiveness of the topics.]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Very easy to understand and accessible to anyone at any level, amateur or veteran, all can learn something from this book.

The author does a great job taking complex technical information, compressing it down, then making it very easy to understand.

This is a must for anyone even the experienced, it makes for a great reference guide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Very well written, extremely clear, and maintains a lightness to it which is an accomplishment with anything technical and potentially esoteric. I especially found interesting (and demystifying) the section on How to Walk into a Commercial Studio and Be the Engineer--something I look forward to doing someday! There's also lots of material in there that helps me "fill in the cracks" with my grasp on digital recording--since most everything I know is via forums, help menus, manuals or working with other engineers over the years on my own stuff. Best practices for Virtual Tracks (especially when comping together an entire arrangement), Panning Spectrum, and Auto-Input sections are some favorites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was struggling with Pro Tool and about ready to give up on it when I purchased Steve Savage's "The Art of Digital Audio Recording." The book turned out to be exactly what I needed to understand what Pro Tools could do for me and how to get the most from my recordings. There is also a wealth of practical information about the required gear and environmental requirements for getting the best recordings. For a new recordist like me, the recommendations regarding where to invest in equipment were invaluable. The emphasis on the recording process as a combination of many factors-all of them important-has changed my understanding of what is required to get me the best possible results.

The clarity of Mr. Savage's presentation was much appreciated. I keep his book close at hand when I am editing and mixing. I highly recommend it for anyone working within the digital audio medium.
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on May 7, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been recording for about a year and found the book to be a great help. It is well organized, easy to read and understand, and provided a lot of information for DAW recording. The concepts presented are helpful regardless of the DAW platform you use. The only drawback is that illustrations and pictures could have been of a better quality.
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on March 26, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book helped shed light on multiple strategies used to produce professional quality music. From the simplistic to the advanced,
It was written with an easy to follow flow. I would recommend it to anyone looking to start or build a home studio.
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on October 24, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I got this book out of our library and after renewing it to the limit decided I couldn't live without it.
Dealing with the basic things I needed to know without being tempted into the labyrinth of detail that would make the book 10 times the size, and much harder to navigate.

The obvious practical experience and years of actually doing the stuff really shine out of the pages of this book, and Steve has the ability to communicate his knowledge to the reader.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is interesting, but I was a little disappointed. For the price, I expected a little more detail. I thought the author would give more suggestions for getting started (using an eight track, module, protools, etc). In the other areas, some of his suggestions were helpful, but most of the book seems like a vague, general intro to topics within recording arts. Most areas ended with some kind of suggestion for further research.

Just for the price, I expected more guidelines
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