Review: The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook
Title: [amazon_link id=”1598632515″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook[/amazon_link][amazon_link id=”1598632515″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link]
Subtitle: Second Edition
Author: Bobby Owsinski
Publisher: Thomson Course Technology
Content: The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook is written as a guide to the professional sounding mix. It starts out with a brief history of mixing. Thereafter, seven chapters are dedicated to the six main element of a balanced stereo mix including balance, panorama, frequency range, dimension, dynamic and interest. Furthermore, the topics monitor setups, surround mixing and data compression are covered. The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook ends with a collection of 11 interviews of established mixing engineers who openly share their experience and expertise.
Target Audience: The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook is valuable for the absolute mixing beginner, who wants to get a better grip on what mixing is about, as well as for the professional, who likes to get some insights into the work of other experts in his field including Bobby Owsinski.
My Opinion: I bought and studied this book as part of my preparation for the music technology school I currently attend (2013). Reading the book had more of a psychological effect to me than that I actually used the knowledge in my admission exam.
The part of the book I internalized the most was a table about the frequency ranges of attack, bottom, presence, body and so on of different instruments. It really helped me understanding the process of equalizing. This passage also inspired me to write the post: Train Your Ears to Recognize Frequencies in Equalization. I later had to learn that equalization is not always that easy, as changing one frequency range can have an influence on the sound of another.
The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook does not go deeper into the matter as necessary for the very basic understanding. The tips in the book are practical but do not provide the beginner with the understanding of why. In my point of view, I see the Mixing Engineer’s Handbook as worth reading but for the reason mentioned before I don’t give it the status of a reference book for mixing engineers.
The collection of interviews are really nice though, as they allow you to analyze and emulate the way of thinking of professional mixing engineers.
Conclusion: The [amazon_link id=”1598632515″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mixing Engineer’s Handbook [/amazon_link]open doors to the understanding of what mixing is all about. It is rather practical than theoretical and therefore lacks to provide the necessary material for a beginner to understand the mechanisms of mixing. Nonetheless, it comprises many twists, tricks and insight to help the mediocre and professional mixing engineer to create a better sounding mix.