Anybody that is involved in the audio production world should have good reference material like books. This is true for beginners that want to have a wealth of information readily available for them to call upon.
There are several books that are publicly available for mixing and mastering and they all have their unique elements that make them what they are.
In this post I’ll discuss the books for mixing and mastering that I’ve found to be the best and the ones that make for great resources and reference material.
There are alot of books out there but not all of them will do the best at giving you the right insight into audio production with regard to mixing and mastering, this is why I wrote this article to filter out the noise and give you good resources that can improve your skills and actually teach you things that are worth knowing and learning.
The Mastering Engineers Handbook is a book by Bobby Owsinski who is long time veteran in the music industry and has produced for various musicians.
This is a great book because it takes you through how mastering for various media can be achieved and how exactly the professionals carry out their processes to achieve the best possible master.
I’ve used this book as a reference for music production since the inception of my career and it is absolutely an incredible book that will teach the most important fundamentals that will change the way you approach your mastering.
Its basically divided into three categories which are:
1. The Mechanics of Mastering
2. Audio Delivery Formats
The mechanics of mastering gives you an overview of the history of mastering, various concepts and ideas plus great tips and tricks used by some of the best audio engineers in the world.
Secondly, the audio delivery formats section takes you into the various delivery methods like Vinyl, CD and many more to basically give you a better idea of how you professionally carry out mastering for various media.
Thirdly, this book is jam packed with interviews from some of the best mastering engineers who give you insight and let you into behind the scenes so you can capture their thought process behind their workflow and how they go about handling different scenarios to attain a good mastered and finished record.
In my opinion this book is one of the brilliant ones and is definitely one that you should have if you’re to take a deep dive into mastering.
Mixing and Mastering in the Box is a book by Steve Savage.
This is another one of all time my favourite books and can be a great start for somebody just settling into the world of audio production with regard to mixing and mastering.
With this book, you’ll get a complete guide into audio mixing and mastering and the various techniques that you need to employ in order to get the best possible record.
This is a great book because it is centred around modern day music production which is mostly carried out on computers using Digital Audio Workstations.
You’ll get a look into the various methods and techniques that are required to create a great record, using lessons that are properly laid down in this book on how to approach both mixing and mastering.
Plus you’ll also get to learn the similarities between mixing and mastering.
This is one of my reference books when it comes to mixing because Steve has taken a great approach in teaching audio production by being very descriptive and informational when explaining key concepts.
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio is a book by Mike Senior.
This book will give you lessons into how you can achieve commercially acceptable mixes on a budget by applying various tactics.
If you’re running a home studio like myself, then this book will be of great help to you because it is actually meant for mini recording studio set ups.
With this book you’ll get an insight into various gear and how you can properly utilize it to get high quality mixes. Plus this book is usable for modern music recording and audio production software like pro tools, cubase etc.. so it will be a great advantage for you to apply various techniques in a DAW that you’re comfortable working in.
Furthermore, for more hardware integrated recording studios, this book will also be of great help because it’s written for both the digital and physical audio production set up.
Mike Senior is a well endowed audio production professional with a background originating from computerless environments which makes his book a great resource for experienced insight stemming from both the digital and analog era.
This book will work best for people that have some background in audio including things like perception of sound, frequency, hertz, decibels, frequency response measurements, studio set ups etc.
These terms may seem intimidating if you’re beginner but they shouldn’t intimidate you at all because the author has given a good effort into explaining certain concepts but it is helpful to have some knowledge before hand.
The use of this book is pretty much self explanatory because it is written in a step by step format which means you can get the best results when you follow what you learn and apply it in your own work flow.
This is certainly a great book.
Mix Smart Pro Audio Tips for your multi track mix is a book by Alexander U. Case.
This can be a great resource for a beginner looking for a guide into multi track mixing. The content of this book spans over a lot of pages written to give you enough detail and context as you approach your audio production.
For a newbie looking to have a thorough understanding this is definitely the book I would point them toward. But don’t let this fool you into thinking this is an easy read.
It quite a complex book that is very descriptive utilizing a lot of diagram illustration and a heavy use of math to point the reader to the core of several concepts. It will take you through how you should go about approaching your first mix including the various mixing strategies that you can employ do you can “mix smart”.
One thing I’ve always liked about this book is the way the writer uses various non-musical examples to illustrate points further and provide the right context for you to get a good understanding of what is trying to be explained.
Definitely a great book.
Mixing Audio Concepts, Practices and Tools is a book written by Roey Izhaki.
It is a detailed book focused on audio production. One of go to favourites when I’m stuck.
With this book you’ll be taken through various lessons like a beginner which is great because you won’t have to deal with a lot of arcane stuff that will leave your head hurting.
It covers both mixing for vocals and instruments which is a great thing because you need a solid understanding of how your instruments are supposed to work hand in hand with your vocals.
Furthermore, you’ll get a wealth of information aswell as suggesting reading for you to further build on your knowledge.
These 5 books I’ve compiled here are some of the best that I’ve ever read and still read.
With a book, you’re basically looking for good quality content and less gibberish. This is why I suggest these books.
I hope you find this article useful.