The 6 Best Mixing Books to Get a Professional Sound

Mixing music is a fine balance between theory and art. You need to understand the fundamentals to take control of your sound. Reading some books on the subject is a great way to get started.

The mix standard of commercial releases is now at a very high level. If you want tracks to compete and stand out against other music, then they need to be mixed very well.

You will not get to a professional standard over night, but continually investing in your knowledge and skills will eventually get you there.

Apply the knowledge as you learn
It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of theoretical knowledge when learning about mixing. If possible, try to understand each concept by practicing what you learn. For example, use a DAW on your computer (such as Ableton, Reaper, Logic, etc) and play around with each effect or mixing technique. That way, you will be able to quickly apply the knowledge to your own mixes.

In this article, we’re going to present to you six of the best books on audio mixing that are on the market right now.

1. Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio

A great handbook to learn the fundamentals

Coming from the author Mike Senior, we start off this list with our favorite “Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio”. In this book, you will find advice for, home mixing and working with a lower quality equipment while getting the professional results out of it. This book goes quite in depth into topics, so it's a great way to understand the fundamentals very well.

You will get a huge amount of advice and tips on how to mold your recordings into professional-sounding records, but without using pro-grade equipment.

The author is the writer on the Sound On Sound “Mix Rescue” column and you can always check his work before buying the book to be sure he’s the real deal.

All in all, a great book for anyone looking to broaden their views on mixing music.

2. The Mixing Engineer's Handbook: Fourth Edition

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is an old-school handbook for people that just started getting into music mixing. This book will provide you with some basic information on the music mixing, starting from scratch, and slowly upgrading your knowledge on a higher level. This book is primarily based on mixing rock music.

3. The Recording Engineer's Handbook 4th Edition

From the same author, another handbook, but this time on the recording. Same as the previous one, Owsinski’s Recording Engineer’s Handbook is meant for use by a complete novice, bringing you the basic concepts of recording music and what is what in the recording world.

If you’re a complete beginner, getting this handbook is a great way to get to know the basics of both music recording and mixing of the recordings you make. The knowledge from them can be applied both in a home and studio environment and there is something for both beginners and professionals in there. Owsinski as an author is famous for his audio handbooks so you can be sure you will get the right basic knowledge on which you can later build yourself.

4. Mixing and Mastering in the Box: The Guide to Making Great Mixes and Final Masters on Your Computer

The next book on our list is written by Steve Savage, a music professor on several universities and an active songwriter and producer, mostly in jazz and rock music. This handbook is meant for use by intermediate to advanced mix engineers, so if you’re just beginning to learn about mixing and mastering you should probably leave this book for later.

In the book itself, you will find concise text that is full of practical advice on mixing music, but also the art of mastering. This is especially useful because producers are more often going the DIY route when it comes to mastering, but often don't spend enough time fully understanding the process. So, if you want to be able to put out the finished product and you have some experience with music mixing, this is a book for you.

5. 56 Mix Tips for the Small Recording Studio: Practical Techniques to Take Your Mixes to the Next...

56 Mix Tips is a book written by New Zealand music producer and teacher Amos Clarke and it’s a handbook for beginners and novices in mixing business. It’s consisted of 56 tips and is really concise and simple in explaining why something is important, how to achieve it and where to use it. All of it can even be applied to the small, home studio environment.

This book is mostly made for beginners, but anyone can buy it and see if they can find something new in it and even if you know the tips mentioned in the book, the writing style and simple explanations of it all will give you a pleasant read.

6. Step By Step Mixing: How to Create Great Mixes Using Only 5 Plug-ins

The concept of this book made by Bjorgvin Benediktsson (Iceland born music producer) is to help you learn everything about the five most-used effects when mixing music: Compression, EQ, Saturation, Reverb, and Delay. In this book, he explains what’s and how’s of using each of these effects as well as how to use them together to get your track to sound clean and professional when you’re finished.

This book can be used by both total beginners (and it’s recommended because you will really learn from the ground up what you need to know about the basics of music mixing) and pros, as there is always something you might have missed and there are some pretty good pieces of advice in this book. It’s concise and there are no text fillers, but just pure advice on every page of the book.

Conclusion

We hope we helped you make your decision about which mixing books to study. Whether you’re a professional working in a studio environment or a simple beginner starting out in a home studio with low-grade equipment, there’s also room for improvement!

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