Top 19 Books On Mixing Music 2023 (EQing, Compression & More)

Top 20 Books On Mixing Music (EQing, Compression & More) | integraudio.com

This article will discuss the best books to learn and improve your mixing in 2023.

Mixing music refers to adjusting and balancing the individual tracks of a recording to sound cohesive when played together. This can include adjusting levels, equalization, panning, and adding effects such as reverb or compression. The goal of mixing is to create a polished, professional-sounding final product.

However, achieving a good mix can be challenging, as it requires a combination of technical skills, artistic judgment, and experience. Overall, achieving a good mix is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Some people may find it easier than others, but it’s a difficult task requiring a lot of knowledge and experience.

To make that process easier, we have created a list of the best books on mixing music for novices and professionals so that you can learn from the experience and workflow of other successful engineers and producers. So let’s dive right into it.

Top 19 Books On Mixing Music 2023 For Beginners & Advanced (EQing, Compression & More)

1. Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio Second Edition By Mike Senior

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Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio Second Edition is a book written by Mike Senior, a professional audio engineer, and music producer.

The book provides theoretical knowledge, tips, and tricks for mixing and producing music in small homes or project studios. It covers many topics, including EQ, compression, reverb, panning, and more. The second edition is updated with new information and techniques for modern digital audio workstations, as well as new examples and illustrations.

Key Features:

  • Practical advice and techniques
    Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio Second Edition provides you with practical advice and techniques that you can use to improve your mixing skills and achieve professional-sounding results in a small studio environment.
    The author’s extensive knowledge and experience in the field allow him to provide you with valuable insights and tips that you can apply to your own productions.
  • Templates and solutions for common mixing problems
    The book provides templates and solutions for common mixing problems, such as achieving a professional-sounding mix in a small studio environment. This is extremely useful for home studio enthusiasts and producers struggling to achieve professional results due to limited resources.
  • A wide range of examples
    The work gives examples from different genres of music, including rock, pop, hip-hop, and electronic music. That helps to demonstrate how the mixing techniques discussed in the book can be applied to various styles of music.
  • Clear and concise explanations
    The text is written in a direct and to-the-point style that is easy to understand, even for those with limited mixing experience. The explanations are well structured, making it easy to follow along and apply the techniques discussed in the book to your productions.
  • A comprehensive and in-depth guide
    It is a comprehensive and in-depth guide and covers a wide range of topics, providing you with the knowledge and skills you need to produce professional-sounding mixes in a small studio environment.
  • Updated information and techniques
    The book’s second edition is updated with new information and techniques relevant to modern digital audio workstations, such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, and Ableton Live. This means that you can apply the techniques discussed in the book to your productions, regardless of the software you use.

Good For:

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio Second Edition is primarily intended for music producers, audio engineers, and home studio enthusiasts who want to improve their mixing skills and achieve professional-sounding results in a small studio environment. The book is also suitable for anyone interested in learning more about mixing and producing music, regardless of their current level of experience.

2. The Bus Compression Framework By Nathan Nyquist

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The Bus Compression Framework by Nathan Nyquist is a great book for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of mixing and mastering techniques.

It is written in an easy-to-understand way, with lots of examples and illustrations to help you understand the concepts. The book covers everything from the basics of bus compression to more advanced techniques, such as using multiple compressors on a single track. It also offers advice on EQ and gain staging and sound design tips.

Key Features:

  • Deep Dive into compression
    The book starts by introducing the basics of bus compression and the different types available. It then dives into the techniques and settings you can use to apply bus compression. Lastly, it also covers various compressors, such as the VCA, FET, and Opto-compressor.
  • Advance topics
    The content also details the different techniques you can use to control dynamics in your mix. For example, it includes tips on how to use parallel compression, multiband compression, and side-chain compression. Further, it also covers how to use different types of EQs to shape your sound.
  • Other concepts
    The book also offers helpful tips and tricks on sound design and mixing. It advises using reverb and other effects to add depth and texture to your mix. It also covers the basics of gain staging, explaining the different types of gain stages and how to use them effectively.
  • Interesting content
    The text includes interesting paradigms like Blend v/s Contrast and Front to Back mixing. That can give you a great perspective and approach. Secondly, it covers the importance of dynamic similarity, a rare topic you cannot find in online compression tutorials. Lastly, it includes the Pocket Compression trick, Mixing into Saturation, Mixing into Reverb, and more.

Good For:

The Bus Compression Framework is suitable for audio professionals (both beginners and experienced), like audio engineers, sound designers, producers, and anyone interested in learning about bus compression and mastering techniques. Compressor is a complex tool that must be used carefully, intuitively, and technically, to achieve great results. The book helps you get a good understanding of it.

3. Step By Step Mixing By Bjorgvin Benediktsson

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Step By Step Mixing by Björgvin Benediktsson is a comprehensive guide to mixing music for home studios.

In this book, Björgvin provides a detailed, step-by-step approach to mixing that covers everything from setting up a session to adding effects. He covers topics such as gain staging, bussing, EQ, compression, space and volume automation, and effects.

Key Features:

  • Easy to read
    The book is written in an easy-to-understand format and is full of visuals to help you understand the concepts. It is also filled with real-world examples and sound clips to help you better understand the concepts and techniques.
  • Content
    The book covers topics like Pre-Mixing, Mixing with NO plug-ins, using EQ, and more useful and interesting concepts. The book takes you through all essential effects like EQ, compression, Saturation, Reverb Delay, etc. Lastly, it also talks about monitoring your mix correctly and using a reference mix.
  • Great detailing
    In each chapter, the text discusses the different effects and their applications on Vocals, Drums, Guitars, and Bass. Similarly, when it comes to topics like Saturation, it discusses various styles of it, like Analoger, Kramer Tape, etc.
  • Insightful information
    It gives some great insights on mixing in mono, panning in mono, the 1 dB rule, visualizing your mix, and other such useful techniques. The author gives these practices and tips from his years of experience in the industry and his expertise in the field.

Good For:

Step By Step Mixing is an excellent guide for both beginners and experienced mixers. It provides easy-to-follow explanations and examples and is filled with helpful tips and tricks to make the most out of your mixing sessions. Whether you’re just starting out or looking for a refresher, this book is a great manual for anyone looking to learn the basics of mixing music.

4. The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook: 5th Edition By Bobby Owsinski

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“The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook” is a book that provides an in-depth understanding of the techniques and processes involved in mixing audio for music production.

It covers topics such as equalization, compression, reverb, and more and is aimed at both beginner and professional mixing engineers. The book is authored by Bobby Owsinski and is considered a great guide for anyone interested in learning more about the art and science of mixing audio.

Key Features:

  • Tips for achieving a polished, commercial sound
    The book includes tips and tricks for achieving polished commercial sound, including using reference tracks and creating a sense of cohesiveness in a mix. Achieving an industry standard mix and master that stands out yet blends in is extremely important, and that is exactly what the book helps you achieve.
  • In-depth mixing techniques
    The text is a comprehensive guide covering various mixing techniques, including equalization, compression, panning, and effects processing. It explains how to use these tools to adjust the balance of frequencies, control the dynamic range, create a sense of space and movement, and enhance the overall sound of a mix. The book also guides professional mixing workflows and advanced techniques such as EQ matching and stereo widening.
  • Real-world examples
    The book may include examples of real-world mixing sessions that demonstrate the techniques discussed in the book, and you may learn by seeing the techniques in action.
  • Room treatment and acoustics
    The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook includes information about room treatment and acoustics. Room treatment refers to modifying a room’s acoustics to improve the sound quality for recording and mixing. This can include using materials such as bass traps and diffusers to reduce unwanted reflections and standing waves, as well as adjusting the position of speakers and listening positions.
  • Starts from the basics
    The book starts with fundamental concepts like the physical nature of sound, like frequency, amplitude, decibels, etc., and then moves on to more complex concepts. That builds a great foundation for anyone looking forward to pursuing a career in music production or sound engineering.

Good For:

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook is intended for professionals and beginners in audio mixing. It provides a comprehensive overview of the tools and techniques used in audio mixing and explains how to use them in a simple way. This makes it accessible to beginners who are just starting to learn about mixing and want to gain a solid foundation in equalization, compression, panning, and effects processing.

5. The Mixing Mindset By Mike Indovina

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The Mixing Mindset gives a mental roadmap to approaching mixing and mastering. 

The idea behind the book is to provide a step-by-step guide towards mixing and a focused and scattered path instead of going after a scattered or random approach. It’s a practical book authored by Mike Indovina, and it answers questions like where to start, what order to follow, what kind of processing you need in a track, which frequencies you should treat, etc.

Key Features:

  • Quick Read
    The book is only about 100 pages long and is available in Kindle, Paperback, PDF, and Hardcover formats. It’s also available as an audiobook in a quick one-hour-long recording.
  • Covers various genres
    No matter what style of music you produce or mix, the book provides a comprehensive guide for all genres like Rock, EDM, hip-hop, pop, and more. It also takes real-life examples from these genres to explain the concepts and their applications.
  • Comprehensive content
    The book covers content like what makes a great mix and different mixing tools like EQ, compression, reverb, etc. It has individual chapters using reference tracks, mixing drums, bass, guitars, and vocals, and mixing workflow. That gives you a detailed overview of your mixing process.
  • Unique approach
    The text takes a psychological and mindset-based approach rather than a technical approach. Many books cover theoretical concepts and technical information, but it’s rare to have a book that covers a mental approach and roadmap to mixing music.

Good For:

The Mixing Mindset is an easy read that is written keeping beginners in mind. The book is great if you’re a novice music producer, mixing engineer, or are still learning audio engineering. However, it gives a unique perspective, and it doesn’t hurt, even for a professional, to go through it.

6. Mastering Multi-Band Compression By Nathan Nyquist

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“Mastering Multi-Band Compression” by Nathan Nyquist is a guide to using multi-band compression techniques in audio mastering.

Multi-band compression involves dividing the audio spectrum into separate frequency bands and then applying compression to each band individually. This allows for more precise control over the audio’s dynamics and can help enhance a mix’s overall sound and balance. The guide provides an overview of the different types of multi-band compressors available and offers tips and techniques for using them effectively in the mastering process.

Key Features:

  • Types of multi-band compressors
    The guide discusses the different types of multi-band compressors, including hardware and software options and their unique features. However, it starts with introducing the concept of multi-band compression and how it differs from traditional single-band compression.
  • Techniques for using multi-band compression
    The guide offers tips and techniques for using multi-band compression effectively in the mastering process. This includes information on how to set up and adjust the different bands and how to use the various controls and parameters.
  • Applications of multi-band compression
    The guide also covers specific applications of multi-band compressions, such as how to use them to enhance the bass, vocals, or drums in a mix.
  • Troubleshooting common issues
    The guide also includes information on troubleshooting common issues that may arise when using multi-band compressions, such as distortion or unwanted artifacts.

Good For:

The book is a guide for audio engineers, music producers, and mastering engineers. It is written for those familiar with audio compression who want to learn more about using multi-band compression techniques to enhance their mastering skills.

The book is also useful for anyone interested in understanding how audio professionals use multi-band compression in the music production process to improve the overall sound quality of a recording. It is not a beginner’s guide and assumes some level of knowledge in audio production, so it may not be the best fit for someone new to audio production and compression.

7. Sound Design, Mixing, and Mastering with Ableton Live By Jake Perrine

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“Sound Design, Mixing, and Mastering with Ableton Live” is a book by Jake Perrine that covers using Ableton Live for sound design, mixing, and mastering.

The book is intended to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the software and its various features, as well as tips and techniques for using it effectively in the music production process. It is aimed at both beginners and experienced users of Ableton Live.

Key Features:

  • Step-by-step tutorials
    The book includes a variety of tutorials that walk you through different aspects of the software, from basic navigation to advanced techniques.
  • Focus on sound design
    The book strongly emphasizes sound design and covers a wide range of topics, including synthesis, sampling, and modulation. It covers everything from oscillators to modulators to filters, effects, etc., that help you use synthesizers and do creative sound design work.
  • Mixing and mastering techniques
    The text also covers mixing and mastering techniques, providing a comprehensive understanding of balancing and refining your tracks. It starts with discussing gain staging, then moves on to talk about setting the right balance and adding the right effects to achieve professional-sounding mixes.
  • Tips and tricks
    The book includes tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Ableton Live, such as workflow optimizations, secret shortcuts, and other production techniques.
  • Suitable for all skill levels
    The work is aimed at both beginners and experienced users of Ableton Live, with explanations and examples that are easy to understand for those new to the software while still providing advanced users with new insights and techniques.
  • To-the-point information
    The book is written clearly and concisely, making it easy to follow and understand, even for those with little or no prior experience with the software.
  • Accompanying files and videos
    The text may also include files and videos that supplement the information presented in the book and help you to better understand the concepts and techniques discussed.

Good For:

“Sound Design, Mixing, and Mastering with Ableton Live” by Jake Perrine is a book aimed at both beginners and experienced users of the software, making it suitable for anyone from those who are new to music production to those who have been using Ableton Live for a while but want to take their skills to the next level.

It would be a useful reference for anyone who wants to learn more about sound design, mixing, mastering, and how to use Ableton Live to achieve professional results.

8. The Art of Equalization (The Art Of Mixing Book 3) By Thomas Juth

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“The Art of Equalization” is a book that focuses on the technique of equalization (EQ) in the mixing process of audio production.

EQ is adjusting the balance of frequency components within an audio signal. The book likely covers topics such as how to use EQ to enhance or reduce specific frequencies, how to match the EQ of multiple tracks, and common EQ techniques used in various genres of music. It is the 3rd book in “The Art of Mixing” series.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive content
    “The Art of Equalization” covers audio production’s equalization technique (EQ). It likely covers the basics of EQ, different types of EQ and their uses, EQ techniques for enhancing and reducing specific frequencies, EQ for different instruments and vocals, matching EQ of multiple tracks, genre-specific EQ techniques, advanced EQ techniques such as multi-band EQ, dynamic EQ, and linear-phase EQ, the use of EQ in mastering and how it interacts with other processing like compression and reverb.
  • Practical examples
    It also includes practical examples, exercises, and audio examples to help you better understand and apply the concepts in their productions.
  • Deep Dive into EQ
    The book takes you through everything from The Philosophy behind mixing, the art and science of it, and also some compression techniques and basic concepts. The last chapter in the book covers the Art of Creating Depth in a Mix.

Good For:

The book is for anyone who wants to explore equalization techniques, types, and practical examples in-depth. The book takes you through frequency balancing, subtractive EQ, additive EQ, and different applications of EQ. It also describes the meanings of words like muddy, boxy, harsh, etc., which are often thrown around in studios.

EQ is one of the most important aspects of mixing and producing music, and this book opens a scope for you to master, whether you are a novice or a professional.

9. The EQ and Compression Formula By Nathan Nyquist

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The EQ and Compression Formula is a step-by-step guide toward using EQ and compression. 

EQ is used in audio production for frequency balancing, boosting or cutting certain frequencies, and various other applications. On the other hand, compression reduces the dynamic range of audio by bringing the softest parts of the audio signal closer to the loudest parts or vice versa. The book by Nathan Nyquist takes you through these concepts and helps you use these tools.

Key Features:

  • Interesting EQ techniques 
    The book takes you through content like what EQ is and covers the basics of it. Further, it includes topics like the 4-Zone mix theory, front and back mixing paradigm, The Rule of 300, Broad strokes first, Slingshotting, etc. These topics will surely give you great insight into the experience and mind of the author.
  • Compression techniques
    The compression theory starts with “4 truths about compression”, then explains the controls like attack, release, threshold, ratio, etc. Then it discusses the best way to learn compression. Further, it gets into the compressor’s reality and teaches how to use it in conjunction with EQ.
  • Easy to use
    The book is only 57 pages long and is written in simple language with straightforward instructions. It’s a part of a larger mixing framework called the Audio Engineer’s Framework, a 5-book series by the same author.

Good For:

The book is great for you if you want to learn new approaches to using EQ and compressors. However, it doesn’t get deep into either of these topics and doesn’t cover multiband compressors, dynamic EQ, etc. So it’s not a one-stop-shop book for compressors and EQ and is not suitable for absolute beginners.

If you want to learn even more about EQ, you can also check out How to Mix with EQ by Evan Oxhorn.

10. Mixing with Impact: Learning to Make Musical Choices By Wessel Oltheten

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Mixing with Impact is a comprehensive one-stop shop for mixing techniques and philosophies. 

The book is more of a mindset-based book and takes some great examples. The book explains all the complex audio topics in an understandable way. For example, the heading of one of the content is “Dynamics: without soft, there is no loud,” which is a great way to explain what a compressor does. The style of explanation is quirky and fun yet informative and to the point at the same time.

Key Features:

  • Intuitive approach
    The book starts by explaining what mixing is and why it is important. Further, it explains topics like perception and human ears, which gives you a contextual philosophy behind mixing, deepens into human psychology and the brain, and listens to sound and music. It covers interesting topics like “your ear is a compressor” and “your ear is an equalizer.”
  • Lays the foundation first
    The book doesn’t dive into complex mixing topics without covering the basics like balancing, panning, gain staging, etc. The book also gives a precautionary guide to protecting your ears and equipment.
  • Systematic approach
    The text differs from other audio engineering books that throw around the technical jargon and confuse readers. Instead, it takes an organized approach to explain dynamics, space, time and phase, identity, effects, automation, etc., in the best order for you.
  • Not just technical
    The book addresses issues common in audio engineers and producers, like fear and doubt, and develops the right mindset for you. It also helps you with communication by explaining abstract terms like “muddy, harsh, etc.” commonly exchanged by artists in the audio scene.

Good For:

The book is a great reference guide and a unique approach to mixing music and covers everything from basics to advanced topics. It also covers room acoustics, monitoring systems, and more. It’s equally accessible and fun for producers and engineers of all skill levels.

11. Zen and the Art of MIXING By Mixerman

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Zen and the Art of Mixing 2021 is the latest edition of Mixerman’s best-selling book on mixing.

This 2021 edition of the text has been updated with a new Gear chapter, significant updates to the Mastering chapter, and other revisions throughout the book. It covers all aspects of mixing, offering you 10 steps to better mixing, five planes of space, five musical functions, and a notes process.

Key Features:

  • Experienced Author
    Mixerman shares his personal and professional experiences of navigating a successful mixing career and provides insight into the technology and processes involved in making a great mix. That gives you a great perspective if you are in the nascent or budding stages of your career in the audio world.
  • Unique style
    The book is a humorous yet informative guide to the art and science of mixing music in a professional recording studio. The book is conversational and offers practical advice and tips for achieving a high-quality mix and insight into the creative process of mixing. It is considered a must-read for aspiring music producers and engineers.
  • Practical advice and tips
    The book contains practical advice and tips for achieving a high-quality mix, including information on EQ, compression, and other mixing techniques.
  • Insight into the creative process
    The book provides insight into the creative process of mixing, including the importance of experimentation and taking risks.
  • Focus on the client-producer relationship
    The book also addresses the relationship between the producer, engineer, and client and how to handle difficult situations that may arise in the studio.
  • Addresses the psychological aspects of mixing
    The book also covers the psychological aspects of mixing, such as staying motivated and focused and dealing with the pressure of deadlines and client expectations.

Good For:

The book is suitable for readers of all levels, from beginners who are just starting out in the music production industry to experienced professionals who are looking to improve their skills. Mixerman, a respected producer and engineer in the music industry, shares his experiences and insights from his time working in the industry.

12. The Music Mixing Workbook By Bobby Owsinski

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The Music Mixing Workbook is an audio engineering-based book written by Bobby Owsinski.

The book is designed to provide a step-by-step guide to mixing music, with a focus on the technical aspects of the process. It covers equalization, compression, reverb, and more topics and includes tips and techniques for achieving a professional-sounding mix. Overall, this book is an excellent resource for anyone looking to improve their mixing skills.

Key Features:

  • Step-by-Step Guide
    The book provides a simplified step-by-step guide to the mixing process, making it easy for you to understand and follow along. For example, it starts with Mixing Basics, then gets into Monitoring, Session Setup, and Mixing Mechanics, and then starts with the actual process by covering topics like Balance, Panning, Dynamics, EQ, Reverb, etc.
  • Technical Focus
    The book focuses on the technical aspects of mixing, such as equalization, compression, and reverb. It explains how to use each technique to achieve a professional-sounding mix. For example, when it talks about Delay, it doesn’t just cover its controls like feedback and time. It also covers common effects like the Haas effect and how the Delay effect can be used on vocals, guitars, synths, etc.
  • Tips and Techniques
    The book includes numerous tips and techniques for achieving a professional-sounding mix, such as how to use panning, create space in a mix, and use effects.
  • Audio Examples and Exercises
    The book includes audio examples and exercises to help you practice and apply the concepts covered in the book. This helps you to better understand the mixing process and to improve your skills.
  • Written by a Professional
    The book is written by Bobby Owsinski, a professional music producer, engineer, and author with more than 30 years of experience in the music industry. He has worked with many major recording artists and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with you.

Good For:

The book is also suitable for those who already have some experience in mixing and want to take their skills to the next level and for music enthusiasts who want to gain a deeper understanding of how music is mixed and produced. Lastly, if you are a beginner and just starting to learn about mixing music, this book will provide a solid foundation of knowledge and techniques that you can use to improve your skills.

13. Mixing Heavy Music: Mixing Advice Tailored To Rock, Hardcore & Metal By Jordan Valeriote

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“Mixing Heavy Music: Mixing Advice Tailored To Rock, Hardcore & Metal” is a book by Jordan Valeriote.

The book provides advice and tips for mixing heavy music genres such as rock, hardcore, and metal. The book covers many topics, including EQ, compression, reverb, and more. It is intended for audio engineers and producers who want to improve their mixing skills for arrangement-heavy and dense music.

Key Features:

  • Detailed explanations and examples
    The book provides detailed explanations and examples of how to mix various elements of a heavy music mix, such as drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. Each individual element requires a different approach and attention to detail that the author covers in the book.
  • Addresses the unique challenges of heavy music
    The book addresses the unique challenges of heavy music, such as dealing with distortion, achieving clarity and punch, and creating a powerful and impactful mix. Harmonic and dynamic processing has a huge role in heavy music, so going in-depth with them is necessary.
  • Techniques and tips to enhance the listener’s experience
    The book provides techniques and tips to enhance the listener’s experience and make the mix stand out. That’s a great perspective to follow that will help you in the long term. Listeners and fans perceive music differently from audio professionals, so studying their taste is important.

Good For:

Apart from being primarily intended for audio engineers and producers who want to improve their mixing skills for heavy music genres such as rock, hardcore, and metal, this book is also useful for musicians and music producers who want to learn how to mix their own music in these genres or who want to learn more about the technical aspects of mixing heavy music. Additionally, it is great material for anyone who wants to learn more about the mixing process, specifically for heavy music, and its unique challenges.

14. The Art of Creating Depth in a Mix By Thomas Juth

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The Art of Creating Depth in a Mix by Thomas Juth is an invaluable guide for aspiring audio engineers and music producers.

The book starts by exploring the fundamentals of mixing and EQ, compression, and reverb. It explains the importance of each element and provides an uncomplicated explanation of how to use them to achieve great results. The book then details reverb and ambiance and how to create real depth in a mix. The book covers mastering, mixing for film and television, and creating surround sound mixes.

Key Features:

  • Experienced Author
    Written by a GRAMMY award-winning engineer, the book provides a unique perspective on mixing and engineering. It provides many useful tips and advice based on over 10 years of experience.
  • Diverse content
    The book also covers the different types of compressors and equalizers available and how to make the most of each. It explains the different types of mixing tools, their features, and their pros and cons. It also explains how to mix different genres of music, such as EDM, rock, jazz, and classical.
  • Easy to follow
    The book is well-written and well-structured, making it easy to follow and understand. The concepts are explained comprehensibly yet briefly, and the examples help illustrate the points. It also provides many useful tips and advice, which can be put into practice immediately.
  • Stays true to the topics
    The book dives deep into creating depth into the mix. For example, one of the standout sections of the book is Juth’s discussion of stereo width, which he explains in detail, including how to use panning, delay, and Haas effect to create a sense of space and dimensionality in a mix.
    He also provides examples of these techniques to enhance specific instruments or vocals, such as guitar solos or lead vocals.

Good For:

The Art of Creating Depth in a Mix by Thomas Juth is a comprehensive guide for music producers and engineers. The book provides practical tips and examples, which are lucidly explained and easy to understand. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced engineer, this book is sure to provide valuable insights and tips for creating a professional and polished mix.

15. Mixing Music (Idiot’s Guides) By Michael Miller

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Idiot’s Guides: Mixing Music by Michael Miller is a comprehensive and informative guide to learning the fundamentals of music mixing.

It provides you with an in-depth look at the various mixing styles, the elements of a mix and how to build one, the rules of arrangement, and the secrets of equalization, compression, and other effects. It covers all the basics of mixing, from the basic concepts to more advanced topics such as time-based effects, dynamic processors, instruments and synths layering, and more.

Key Features:

  • Starts with History
    The book’s first chapter discusses the history of recording and how its process has changed over time. As most of the virtual plugins and instruments are based on the equipment from the mechanical recordings days, these lessons give you helpful insights.
  • Step-by-step guide
    The book gets into every little detail, like defining the role of a mixing engineer, what kind of setup or hardware and software to use, etc. It discusses everything from a sound card to live mixing to answering common doubts like “Mac v/s Windows,” “Desktop v/s Laptop,” which monitor to choose from, and more.
  • Select the right DAW 
    A chapter in the book discusses all popular Digital Audio Workstations like Ableton, Studio One, Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, etc., followed by a chapter called “which software should I use?” That helps you greatly with selecting the right software.
  • Great guide for beginners
    The material starts right from the basics and answers some common beginner questions in great detail. It then creates a session, gain-staging, balancing, mixing, etc. That gives you a structured learning map that you can use to build a great foundation for your audio career.
  • Goes in-depth
    The book discusses concepts like EQ, pitch correction, dynamic processing, harmonic processing, time-based effects, etc., and the tools for implementing these processes like compressors, saturators, reverbs, etc. It also gives tips and tricks for achieving better, cleaner, deeper, and wider mixes.

Good For:

This book is written in a plain, simple, and easy-to-follow language, which makes it easy for both beginner and experienced mixers to understand. It also provides helpful tips and tricks and gives great insight into different mixing styles, what mistakes to avoid, etc.

16. Song Mixing Secrets: How To Fix The Most Common Mistakes By John Rogers

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Song Mixing Secrets by John Rogers is an essential book for anyone looking to master the art of audio engineering and music production.

It provides a comprehensive overview of the most common mixing errors and how to fix them. It is packed with step-by-step instructions and useful tips on how to quickly identify and fix common mixing errors. Overall, Song Mixing Secrets is a great resource for any audio engineer or music producer. It is packed with step-by-step instructions and useful tips on quickly identifying and fixing common mixing errors.

Key Features:

  • Expansive information
    The book starts by introducing basic concepts such as gain structure and signal flow. It then dives deeper into compression, EQ, panning, and automation. It provides detailed explanations of each concept along with practical examples. Additionally, it contains helpful advice on how to use compression and EQ to your advantage.
  • Addresses common mixing issues
    The book addresses issues like striking the right kick/bass relationship, muddy mixes, how to make the master loud enough, how to make the vocals consistent and loud enough, thin mix, crowded mix, lead vocals being too low-mid heavy or thin, etc.
  • Wide variety of topics 
    The book offers advice on how to use plugins and virtual instruments to create more complex and dynamic mixes and also includes a variety of audio examples to help you better understand the concepts discussed. The book also provides detailed information on mastering techniques and how to use them to improve the sound of your mixes. For example,
  • Experienced Author
    John Rogers, the author of the book, is a best-selling author of several music industry books, a teacher/mentor, a music producer, a professional sound engineer, and a respectable figure in the music industry. He has written several books on music production and audio engineering, including the original Music Production Secrets Series and the best-selling Audio Mastering Secrets.

Good For:

The book is for you if you are a professional or experienced mixing engineer or practitioner who wants to improve their skills and get that last 5-10% boost in their mixes which stops you from achieving the mix in your head or professional mixes. The book is a great guide if you are stuck in some problem during your mix session, as it gives great logical answers in simple language.

It’s filled with valuable information on making your mixes sound professional and avoiding common mistakes.

17. The Art of Compression (The Art Of Mixing Book 2) Thomas Juth

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The Art of Compression (The Art Of Mixing Book 2) by Grammy Awarded Mix Engineer Thomas Juth is a comprehensive and informative book on dynamic processing.

It covers topics such as the Philosophy of Mixing, the Art of Compression, the Art of Equalization, and the Art of Creating Depth in a Mix. A compressor is a tricky tool that takes experience and theoretical knowledge to use correctly, as its controls could be confusing. However, the book takes care of that and gets into the maths and arts of using the tool carefully yet intuitively.

Key Features:

  • Well-structured content
    The book begins by discussing the importance of listening to and understanding the source material before applying any effects or processing. This is followed by a detailed explanation of compression, equalization, depth creation, and pointers for achieving the desired results. Juth also offers advice on dealing with clients, mastering and dealing with difficult mixed situations.
  • Detailed content
    Throughout the book, the author shares his experience, knowledge, and tips – from the basics of gain staging to advanced techniques like parallel compression, mid-side EQing, and vocal doubling. He also covers stereo imaging, automation, and signal flow.
  • Well-approved text
    The book also includes reviews from artists with Side Effects and Pierre Morris and a foreword by Mixerman. It also has a 4.3/5 Amazon rating by 106 reviewers, with 70%+ five-star reviews.
  • Practical examples
    The author takes great examples from his experience of working as a professional. For example, he shares how he was blown away by the drum sound of a Beatles song when he was seventeen and tried to replicate that sound in his recordings at later stages of his career. He discovered that that sound was created by a compressor used at the Abbey Road Studios, the Fairchild 660. These insights and examples can help you become a better sound/recording/mixing engineer.

Good For:

The book is a short 46-page read for professional engineers, artists, and producers who want to gain insights into the mind of an experienced engineer. However, it’s available in Kindle edition only, which makes it necessary for you to have a Kindle to read the book.

18. The Philosophy of Mixing (The Art Of Mixing Book 1) By Thomas Juth

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The Philosophy of Mixing (The Art Of Mixing Book 1) is a book for audio engineers by Grammy Awarded Mix Engineer Thomas Juth.

This book covers the basics of mixing, advanced techniques, and how to develop a mixing philosophy. It begins by discussing the importance of understanding the source material before applying any effects or processing. This is followed by a detailed explanation of mixing fundamentals, such as gain staging, panning, and EQing.

Key Features:

  • Experience speaks
    The author also offers advice on dealing with clients, mastering and dealing with difficult mixing situations. Throughout the book, Juth shares his experience, knowledge, and tips – from the basics of gain staging to advanced techniques like parallel compression, mid-side EQing, and vocal doubling. He also covers stereo imaging, automation, and signal flow.
  • Personal Journey
    The book takes you through the author’s beginnings as a mixing engineer and tells his experience and story. It further covers topics like The Art of Listening, which is based on the importance of having good ears. Further, it explores the qualities of a great mix and how to approach a session or a project.
  • Mindset-based content
    The text gives you an insight into how a mixing engineer thinks, from starting with a clear vision to the importance of focus and decision-making. The book also takes you through the author’s “Four-stage mix plan,” a structured roadmap to creating high-quality mixes.

Good For:

The book is written in an intelligible and easy-to-follow style, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced mixing engineers. Additionally, it offers advice on dealing with clients, mastering, and dealing with difficult mixing situations.

19. The Art of Mixing By David Gibson

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“The Art of Mixing” is a book by David Gibson, a professional audio engineer, and educator.

The book provides a comprehensive guide to the techniques and principles of mixing music in a recording studio. It covers topics such as EQ, compression, reverb, panning, and automation and includes tips and tricks for achieving a professional-sounding mix. The book is intended for novice and experienced audio engineers and is often used as a textbook in audio engineering courses.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive content
    Starting with an overview of the recording process, the book explains the basics of ‘imaging’ your mix and visualizing the arrangement before discussing anything else. Gibson then takes you through topics such as the functions of studio equipment, musical dynamics, and 3D sound processors. He also covers stereo imaging, automation, signal flow, and various mixing processes.
  • Graphical Explanation
    The book features 250 graphics of mixes, which gives a visual explanation of the mixing process. In addition, many examples and exercises throughout the book help you apply the concepts they are learning to real-world situations.
  • Mixing for different genres of music
    The text covers different mixing genres of music and how to approach them. It shows you how to create a mix appropriate for a particular style of music and provides examples of specific mixes for different genres.
  • Critical listening
    The work emphasizes the importance of critical listening, which is the key to achieving a great mix. The author stresses the importance of listening to the mix in the studio and on different playback systems and provides tips for fine-tuning the mix to get the best sound possible.
  • Use of the latest tools and technologies
    The book also covers the latest tools and technologies used in mixings, such as using virtual instruments and plug-ins. It shows how to use these tools effectively and integrate them into the mixing process.
  • A-Z guide
    “The Art of Mixing” provides a comprehensive guide to the different stages of the mixing process, from preparing the mix to final mastering. This includes everything from setting up a mixing session to organizing and editing tracks, balancing levels, and adding effects.

Good For:

For experienced audio engineers, the book provides valuable tips and tricks for achieving a professional-sounding mix and covers advanced techniques such as parallel compression, sidechaining, and others.

On the other hand, for novice audio engineers, the book provides a solid foundation in the principles and techniques of mixing and gives them the knowledge and skills they need to start mixing music in a recording studio. The exercises and examples in the book are also a great way for novice engineers to practice and apply what they are learning.

Conclusion

Mixing involves a structured approach, technical knowledge of audio, and creative judgment and taste to make decisions that build your sound. That involves using complex tools like Equalizer, compressor, distortion plugins, saturators, dynamic processors, reverb units and plugins, delay plugins, etc.

Each tool requires different hearing abilities and perspectives, and that’s why it’s important to study all these tools in detail and also practice using them. I recommend using The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook because of the in-depth breakdown of each tool, real-world examples, and practical tips for achieving the sound you want.

Another book you can consider along similar lines is The Art of Mixing by David Gibson. Secondly, if you want to master compressors and other dynamic processors, go for The Bus Compression Framework and Mastering Multi-Band Compression by Nathan Nyquist, as they give you a specialized and detailed explanation of complex dynamic processors. 

Thirdly, Mixing with Impact and The Mixing Mindset are great books to read for studying an approach or mindset with which you should approach mixing. Lastly, the Art of Mixing by Thomas Juth is a great collection of books that give you comprehensive information on all the above topics in short and easily readable text formats. I hope the article was of help. Thank you for reading.

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