PROFESSIONAL SOUND REINFORCEMENT TECHNIQUES, by Jim Yakabuski (MixBooks, www.artistpro.com)
Dozens of technical books have been written on sound reinforcement, but this one’s different. Based on his years of touring with major acts such as Van Halen, Aerosmith, Julio Iglesias, the Gin Blossoms and many more, author/engineer Yakabuski covers the bases of live sound — pre-production, load-in, setup, room tuning, soundcheck and showtime. Like a master teaching the inside tricks to an apprentice, Yakabuski offers realistic solutions to common live sound problems, using an anecdotal, fun perspective that’s an ideal real-world complement to all those (“ho-hum”) theoretical treatises in other texts. Awesome!
— George Petersen
AUDIO RECORDING FOR PROFIT: THE SOUND OF MONEY, by Chris Stone (Focal Press)
The co-founder of the legendary Record Plant studios, former SPARS chairman, head of the World Studio Group and a longtime studio business columnist for industry magazines, Stone is well-qualified to write a book about making money in recording. Brisk and clearly written, the book offers many no-nonsense suggestions on thriving in the always fickle recording business. They range from the general — knowing how to find and manage employees — to the minutely specific. It includes examples of forms that can be found and/or computer-created to make your studio run smoothly. It also provides a cogent overview of the current state of the industry.
— Blair Jackson
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF RECORD PRODUCERS, by Paul Verna, Eric Olsen, Carlo Wolff, Eds. (Billboard Books)
There are many books on music producers, but no other can match the scope of this compendium, created by three top music writers. Each brief bio has an overview of the individual producer’s (or production team) career, with personal insights from the host of writers contracted to assemble the material. More than 500 producers are represented, across all genres, though the emphasis leans toward rock and R&B. Includes an introductory definition of the role of the producer, along with a detailed index. My only complaint? The comprehensive discographies are arranged alphabetically by artist; I’d rather they were chronological to chart the progression of each career. That said, the entries are updated and searchable at www.mojavemusic.com. Check it out.
— Tom Kenny
THE MASTERING ENGINEER’S HANDBOOK, by Bobby Owsinski (MixBooks, www.artistpro.com)
For the first time, a book delves into the mysterious art and science of mastering, filled with detailed explanations of the technologies and tips to make your next release as good as possible. No aspect is ignored, from vinyl, cassettes and CDs, to CD-R, SACD and DVD formats, and four chapters are devoted to prepping materials for surround release. Owsinski is a highly regarded writer and engineer, but he takes the book to the next level with interviews and tons of down-to-earth advice from leading practitioners of the craft, such as Greg Calbi, Bernie Grundman, Bob Ludwig, Dave Collins, Glenn Meadows, Doug Sax and others.
— George Petersen
BEHIND THE GLASS: TOP RECORD PRODUCERS TELL HOW THEY CRAFT THE HITS, by Howard Massey (Miller Freeman Books)
This collection of interviews conducted over the years by writer/engineer Massey for Musician and EQ illuminates the techniques and personalities of many of the leading engineers and producers of our time, from seasoned veterans such as Arif Mardin, George Martin, Eddie Kramer and Phil Ramone, to young(er) turks such as John Leckie, Thom Panunzio and Jack Joseph Puig. The 40 or so folks interviewed cover a broad range of methods and styles, and the book as a whole works nicely as a mini-history of mainstream recording over the past 50 years. A good — and educational — read from beginning to end.
— Blair Jackson