Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Great information for most
on December 16, 2014
Overall, this book has a lot of good information for those who record on a computer. I don’t think the intended audience was for beginners or weekend warriors, as some of the concepts are advanced, and the cost for the items suggested to improve mixes are not within the budget of most small studios. Only if you are very lucky will the wife and family consent to putting up 12 bass traps (the minimum suggested) in the house, and it may not be a possibility in a rented space. I record as a hobby with a Tascam DP-24 (a porta-studio for those who don’t know), therefore, most of the tips mentioned; high-passing, automation, aligning beats, pitch correction, downloading the flavor of the week plug-in, etc., don’t apply for me. I also felt a little insulted when the author stated that those who do not use automation are fruitcakes. Mike, I know you are kidding, but I bought your book so don’t pick on me!
It is agreed that the monitoring environment, the blend of instruments, and where you place them in the stereo field is crucial to achieve a good mix. However, in the Buss Compression Chapter, the author states it is fine to push and clip your mix as loud as commercial releases because it is common practice, and clipping is fine because Top 40 singles have them and all high-profile albums use clipping to increase subjective loudness. What? Doesn’t this destroy what we have tried to achieve… a great mix with dynamic range? Countless new releases and remasters have been ruined by this technique and it is not something that I enjoy when listening, nor do I want to emulate this when mixing. So all this work, and tips given, is wasted when you make it sound LOUD so you can compete with the current trash because it is a common practice? That is the secret to a good mix? Don’t do it, man! Give me a mix with lots of dynamics. I can turn up the volume knob.
Getting the low end right is the hardest thing to do for the small studio, so the best mixing tip I can give, that is reiterated in this book, is to walk around the room, outside of the room, down the hall, and listen to and adjust the low end of your mix when doing this. Mike, I know you sometimes post on these reviews, so could you please tell me how to remove the unwanted low end frequencies without using a high-pass filter?