Musician's Survival Guide to a Killer Record
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From the Inside Flap
- This Musician's Survival Guide explains recording music, producing your own music, record production, musical arrangement, mixing music, mixing records, home recording, performance, performing music, songs, songwriting, DAWs, hit records, the recording studio, recording musician.
- This book is for musical Artists, singers, songwriters, singer-songwriters, musician's, recordists, producers, arrangers, mixers, instrumentalists who play guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keyboards, synthesizers, electronic keyboards, drums, percussion.
- For any genre, including pop, rock music, hard rock, yacht rock, rock and roll, rock n roll, dub step, electronica, EDM, Electric Dance Music, folk, roots, roots rock, R&B, country music, Adult contemporary, commercial music, bluegrass, mariachi, pulse, hip-hop, hip hop, instrumental music, pop rock, reggae, ska, Latin, salsa, polka, jungle, dance, disco, punk, power pop, pseudo punk, Indie rock, and Indie.
- Item Weight : 1.01 pounds
- Paperback : 308 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0692194398
- ISBN-13 : 978-0692194393
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.77 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Mixerman Publishes (October 10, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #248,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have read countless books on recording. Went to school for engineering for a year way back when. As they say life gets in the way and here I am 30 years later still trying to record and write in my new and improved home studio. I will simply say this:
I wish I had Eric as a teacher at the school I attended. And I wish we had the home recording capabilities back then as we do now.
This book breaks down the recording process to it's simplest and most important aspect, the music. This is not an overly technical book that is going to sometimes put you to sleep. No mind numbing, coma inducing lectures here.
It's truly a manual on how to record damn near every instrument, including tried and true methods, the authors personal preferences, and alternate ways that he might not always agree with, pitfalls to watch (listen for) and why you're doing what you're doing. Laid out in a way that keeps you totally engaged. There is even a section where he sits you down in front of your DAW to identify phase issues and other things so you know what to listen for.
It's a very practical, realistic way to try to create the best recordings with what you have to work with.
So far I have bought 4 of this author's books and have finished two of them, the other being "Zen and the Art of Recording". Next up is "Zen and the Art of Mixing" and the Zen and the Art of Producing."
This book is a roadmap created by someone who's been there. And your final destination, if you chose to follow it, is a great deal of applicable recording knowledge and a really fun journey.
Time is; ask any dying billionaire.
So, then, what is the most important object in your home studio?
This book, Mixerman's "Musician's Survival Guide to a Killer Record" is, and for less than the price of a good microphone cable.
The internet is an amazing source of information but usually at least half of it falls into the categories of misinformation and search engine noise. And many people get so involved in the process that they lose sight of the essence of what they hope to accomplish, which is a really good capture and presentation of the music itself. You may think you need one of those really expensive studio microphones to record your vocal track when what you really need is a foolproof method of capturing an inspired performance.
This book can help you make a record in record time and it can give you that spark of an idea that makes all the difference.
In my case, it helped me to blast through a vexing obstacle before I was even done reading it. A track (in this case meaning a would-be final production of a song) was about 90% of where it should be but there was something that was bothering me about it, something wasn't quite good enough. And I had spent hours trying to fix it, both through conventional means such as compression and EQ and using exotic and expensive software plugins, to limited effect.
Is that how you want to feel about your record, that it's almost good enough to release?
Sounds to me like it's still a demo. A demo is a track you don't want to release yet; a Killer Record is something you want the world to hear. If you do a really good job and things go your way, you could even have a Record of Note. If you can't get your demo to sound like a Killer Record, it's unlikely that you and others are going to be able to gin up and sustain the level of enthusiasm required to get a buzz going, a prerequisite for having a Record of Note.
So after having spent hours of painstaking effort, on more than one occasion, trying to fix this problem with limited results, I read something in the book that gave me an idea. After about 20 minutes of tweaking a few parameters, the improvement was nothing short of shocking. I was bowled over, almost literally falling backwards. I had to do an a/b comparison because I still couldn't quite believe it. Then I jumped to my feet, yelling and pumping my fist in the air in triumph because it had gone, just like that, from sounding like a demo to sounding like a Killer Record.
As with Mixerman's other books on recording, mixing and producing, the detailed index is extremely helpful in zeroing in on any problem area. I would recommend reading the book from beginning to end first, but if the book arrives at the same time your band arrives at the makeshift studio you have set up in your basement or garage, you can skip right to the place in the book that shows you how to get an effective capture of your vocals, drums, guitars, etc. Mixerman even shows you a method with which you can do a good job of recording instruments you've never seen before and possibly can't even identify.
How foolish do you have to be to hope you stumble across some effective method to use when you can just read a book? It's all right here.
Mixerman's other books on recording, mixing and production get into granular detail and I recommend those for people who don't have decades of experience and would not like to spend an eternity learning these arts and sciences the hard way, the time consuming way.
But this book has the essence of what you need and connects the dots in such a way that you can make a Killer Record in a timely manner. I wish I had it years ago to keep the frustrating, time wasting tail chasing, rabbit hole surfing and trial and error flailing to a bare minimum. Don't do as I have done. Mothers, tell your children. Read this book instead of wasting time, the very essence of life, senselessly.
The book’s relentless focus on making and recording music, rather than “producing sound,” is what makes it a must-have for the musician who wants to do some recording. Sure, there’s well-explained info on how to record the best sound possible, but it’s all in the context of being first and foremost a musician, as opposed to a sound engineer.
The book is well-written, clear, a bit chatty (which is nice), and for me, did a great job of explaining the fundamentals of how to simply and easily record a great sound (e.g., only use ONE mic to record your acoustic guitar!!). Buy this book.
It's nearly impossible to make an absolute statement about music tech (his one comment .... the assertion that you must buy more computer ram to get low latency... Is an example of that), so it's good he stayed away from hardcore tech discussion.
I am deeply involved in this industry and have never found a book that resonated more with me. I wish this book had existed 25 years ago.
Top reviews from other countries
What the Musician's Survival Guide to a Killer Record gives the reader is a solid, informative and helpful insight born of Mixerman's years of experience. It's really just like hanging out with the guy and picking his brains and because it feels personal in that way what he says pertains to you, the reader, not some generalised hypothetical everywoman but actually you in your own personal situation. The premise is that you are musician who has written a song that you want to capture and thus turn out a 'killer record' he doesn't tell you how to write a song, that is your job, he does give some guidance and tips on how songs work and things that have been proven to work by songwriters down the years but it is not strictly a 'how to' book. There are sections of technical info on recording, types and placement of mics for different instruments and situations, etc etc the whole record making process in fact but it is not a dry text book. It is a 'how to think' book, a 'how to approach making a record' book. What constitutes your killer record is dependant on where you are at as an individual and that is where this book is coming from, where you are. Engaging, entertaining and enlightening just about sums it up and it is a book to keep handy and refer back to as you go about your life as a musician getting what you have in your mind's ear out into the world as a killer record.
I learned very little from the third of the book I managed to make it through before selling it. The practical and technical advice is thin, lacks detail, is condescending and self-satisfied.
Unlike other books, such as those by Mike Senior, Bob Katz, TapeOp, or basically anyone else, there is more self-aggrandizing than useful information. Also, unlike those other books I only managed to get a third of the way through before I realised I had learned only two things: 1) there is a useful passage of information regarding clashing bass frequencies and monitoring, and 2) Mixerman thinks a hell of a lot of himself.
And fun to read too!