Cool book from the author of the very funny (for anyone ever involved in any recording project anyway) "Daily Adventures of Mixerman". Food for thought in a perfect and necessary complement to tool-oriented books (like Roey Izhaki's "Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices and Tools", one of the best from my point of view) : a must-read for anyone involved in a recording-project involving a mix, be they artists, musicians, producers or engineers.
For non-mixers : learn to stop being irrationnal about the mix, what you can and what not to expect from the mix and how best to interact with your mix engineer. Plus, gain a better understanding of the mix as the endgame, and thus how to optimize your productions.
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22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Remarkably helpful look into high-level professional mixing workflow, art, and attitude.5 novembre 2010
- Publié sur Amazon.com
This is not your usual textbook-style, technique and theory book. Whereas most mixing books focus on the analytical, left-side of the brain, Zen and the Art of Mixing focuses on the "big picture".
I received this book the first day of release(pre-ordered) and I just finished it. Why did it take so long you wonder? Well, this is one of those rare books where every page is oozing with insights and wisdom! I wanted to take my time so I wouldn't miss anything. That's not to say his writing is archaic or requires you to solve puzzles to understand. In fact, it's quite the opposite! Mixerman's writing style is just as personable and enjoyable as his first book, The Daily Adventures of Mixerman. And just like the first book, Zen and the Art of Mixing continues to impart the elevating experience of making you feel as if you're actually IN it.
I started recording and mixing in 1999. My first gig, like many others, was recording my band's first album. I was the most technically savvy person in our group so I asserted myself into the position of engineer. I was immediately hooked! The group has dissolved since then, and many other groups along the way, but engineering has only grown and matured. Before I knew it, I was on the forums regularly, trying to find guidance on this elusive and all-encompassing musical path. I've read plenty of books, threads - watched countless tutorials - carefully invested in quality gear - and spent endless hours in front of my DAW.
There have been many milestones in my journey... those "ah-HA!" moments where you find yourself propelled into a higher plane of engineering art--when a concept or principle suddenly "clicks" and you're forever changed from that point forward. Zen and the Art of Mixing will set a new milestone in your craft. I whole-heartedly recommend this book to not only engineers, but also artists, producers, and the less common music listener who is interested in what lies behind the curtain of a musical production.
So much is covered in this relatively small book, it's quite astounding actually. From a Utilitarian point-of-view, it is very effective and efficient. I can easily take this book with me wherever I go. And I do.
I won't discuss every topic in the book, but I will mention one particular area of confusion that has been clarified for me.(of many)
Mixerman carefully lays out his workflow in mixing for all to see in Chapter 3 - The Mechanics. This is uncut, uncensored, and VERY eye-opening. At least it was for me as I'm very compulsive and tend to work more effectively when I have a lay of the land. Mixerman goes from the beginning of a mix, to the end, in order. Oh, and how lovely it feels to find some order in this madness we call mixing. A lot of the workflow, I'm already quite familiar with, but as fragmented pieces. After reading The Mechanics, I am no longer fragmented and there is a sense of clarity and calm in my approach to mixing. Zen indeed.
For example, the first part of a new mix, Discovery and Framing. Discovery is the initial step of purely gathering information. Framing is the following step of constructing a rough mix, keeping in mind, the fine-tuning will come later. In other words, the logic is that, in order to make detailed/specific mixing decisions, one has to at least have an foundational rough mix. How many times in our youthful engineering days have we opened up a brand new mix, and prematurely dove into nitty gritty minutia of things, only to find ourselves revisiting those fine-level mixing decisions over and over again? A great recipe for exaggerating the already deterring effect of chasing one's tail. Oh how I wish someone would have pointed out this obvious step as plainly as MM does, because it IS a step... but for some reason, I hadn't given it much thought. What I mean is, I was already doing my own discovery and framing in my workflow, but I didn't consciously recognize it. In other words, knowing the step explicitly has given me the ability to consciously maximize my own initial discovery and framing phase. Less tail chasing!
Below are the sections in The Mechanics--you can get an idea of the workflow order.
Discovery and Framing Phase Coherency Drums Bass Monitoring Levels Bring in the Parts! Underdubbing Parts Electric Guitar Acoustic Guitar Piano and Keyboards Percussion Science Experiments Referencing Other Mixes Rough Mixes Makethe Mix Sing,Pop,and Gel Automation The Vocal Compression Finding Compromise The Payoff Refining and Enhancing Finishing Your Mix Mix Notes Printing the Mix Saying Goodbye Is Hard to Do
Zen and the Art of Mixing has set a new standard for mixing books. I will proudly say, it has unlocked, organized, and affirmed my mixing potential. What I hope to communicate in this review is... there really is NO book on mixing quite like this one. I'm not referring solely to the "big picture" perspective MM takes, but more importantly, his genuine and unabashed writing style that captures his 20+ years of mixing professionally AND his "take no prisoners" attitude in regards to his mixing beliefs. In other words, where other authors may tip-toe around, dryly/technically explain, or even entirely omit certain topics, Mixerman fiercely discusses every taboo or controversial topic and actually picks a side, explains his reasons, and even invites you to join him. For example, MM discusses the benefits to summing analog(OTB), and how digital summing is essentially "broken". I fully agree with him on this from my recent experiences mixing with a summing box. I have to say, it is so refreshing to read something so "real" and "unadulterated", especially in a field that is dominated by scientific measurements/specs/numbers/data.
Finally, I have yet to disagree outright with anything Mixerman discusses and that may or may not change down the road(as MM even said for himself) as I grow in my craft, but right now, I'm enjoying the next level of mixing that has been ignited by MM's writings. And MM encourages his readers who do disagree to engage him in the forums for some healthy debates. :)
Zen and the Art of Mixing should have a spot on every mixing engineer's bookshelf. In practical terms, no other purchase will come close to improving your mixes for under $20, so buy it NOW.
17 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Pretty good for someone who has been mixing for a while7 novembre 2010
- Publié sur Amazon.com
As the title implies this book is not so much about technique as it is about mind set. I like that but the author's point of view is not quite as open as I might like. He starts out on a fairly even keel but some of his hard personal opinions come out later in the book (i.e. in the beginning he's a bit more accepting of different approaches but as you near the end he get's rather "this is good, this is bad"). Such is the nature of opinions. I doubt there's any person on the planet that isn't the same way (strongly opinionated on certain things). It just so happens that I don't agree with many of Mixerman's strong opinions so... <shrug> I suppose Mike Stavrou's book "Mixing with your mind" better suits my personal outlook.
I don't regret spending $25 on Mixerman's book. It was fairly easy to skim the 20% of it that was of no interest to me, and I would recommend the book to people who have a modicum of experience in mixing music. If you're a complete beginner... well, you might read it now and plan to reread it in a few years to see how your point of view has changed on mixing.
Oh, and one more thing: at least a third or more of the book is really focused on how to mix *other* people's music. If your focus (like mine) is mixing your own music then you might want to skim a lot, or perhaps you'll find it interesting even if you don't aspire to become a professional mixer.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Pretentious31 décembre 2012
- Publié sur Amazon.com
As an engineer myself, I found this book to be completely full of good information, but written in such a pretentious way that it turned me way off. Although good information, it was hard to dissect through Mixerman's ego. Tone it down and write as if you're writing to help people, not stroke your own success. I found his use in the title of 'zen' almost ironic in the way that he portrays himself.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Finally!23 avril 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I have collected and devoured all sorts of books on studio recording, mixing, history and stories. Those and the thousands of magazine articles I've read have all had a level of "politeness" or an unwillingness to tell it like it really is...to commit. Well Mixerman's book does. He delves into a mixing project and tells you the goodies you might have always wanted to know if like me, you have experience in the biz but maybe not at the major-label level. He shares concepts that are both relevant to a kid mixing his one-man-band stuff on a laptop or a seasoned professional working in the best possible studio. I liked the concepts about the "headspace" you have to get yourself into to effectively work....dealing with the talent...interfacing with the mastering process...how to get good results if you are mixing "in-the-box"...and so much more. He deals realistically with the "industry" and the ways to both stand your ground artistically while still remembering that you are an employee that must serve the recording artist, the producer, the label and do so while always serving the song. If you're like me, you have some experience (in mostly the minor leagues) but like to be reassured and guided by someone who swims with the big fish. With the decline of mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities in the studio world...this is a pretty good idea of what a confident and generous mentor would teach an apprentice under his wing. I'm almost done reading it and plan to immediately start reading it again, this time with a notepad and a hi-lighter.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
The audio engineers equivalent of a motivational book9 janvier 2013
- Publié sur Amazon.com
The book is not entirely a bad read, but its a complete waste of time, the author likes to use the same abstract and "drugstore psychology" pep talk that many motivational speakers use to gather followers by talking too much without actually saying anything, for example, and I quote:
"Mixing is an attitude", "Mixing cannot be taught, it can only be learned"
If your quest for mixing knowledge is satisfied with that, and if you consider THAT to be Zen, then by all means get this book.
But in my opinion those comments are far from actually being Zen.
That combined with HIS HUGE EGO, tons of anecdotes, speaking out loud what he used to think at a certain moment, dialogue transcripts between him and artists/producers, and just plain rambling on trivial things, makes you want to close the book every 3 or 4 pages, it bores the hell out of me.
The actual content of this book could easily be summarized in less than 100 pages.
The author mentions on the first pages that he is not going to teach you how to mix, but how to think about mixing, that is certainly an eye catcher, of course that comment creates great expectation on the rest of the book, it makes you belive that he is going to open your third eye and suddenly figure out what mixing is all about, but that moment never comes.
As for the rest of the book, theres a small section in which he actually discusses in a very superficially and non technical way how to mix a song, with his very egocentric and unproffesional way of writting as if he were next to us drinking a beer while explaining (which actually is very annoying). He mentions the same old frequency cut/boost charts for instruments that you would find in any other mixing book or magazine, how to eq, how to sum in a console, etc... nothing you havent read in any other mixing book.
The last sections of the book are his take on drugs, the band, mix session files, money, dealing with clients, and similar generic topics.
Overall im disappointed with the book, and impressed that there are so many good reviews on amazon.
Honestly its not completely bad, but you wont be missing anything if you dont read it.
If you want to change your way of thinking about mixing get a REAL Zen book instead, I can assure you it will be a lot more useful.