Mixing With Your Mind - highly recommended, but it's not as straightforward as Senior's book in terms of instruction.
Stavrou deals with a lot of concepts, some of which require a certain amount of experience to understand fully. For example, he talks about judging the hardness of sounds and microphones. The idea is that you listen to your mics (talk into them using numbers) and judge the hardness of their sound on a scale of 1 to 10. Also, do the same for instruments. The idea is that you want to go in opposites for contrast. A soft mic on a soft sound will give you mush, whereas a hard mic on a soft sound will provide contrast and therefore definition for the sound. So, if you you have an instrument with a hardness factor of H3, you match it with a mic that has a hardness factor of H7; or an H6 sound with an H4 mic and so on. The trick is realizing what he means by "hardness." It's not about brightness. A mallet hitting a glockenspiel is a hard sound, while a finger plucking a low E string on a double bass is a soft sound, or has low hardness factor. Further, a U87 is harder than a U47; an SM57 is harder than an MD421, which is harder than a U87. As you can probably see, this isn't something that you can just read and apply. You have to do it until you get it, or as Stav says, "the penny drops for you."
Stav does not discuss equipment in terms of favorite mics or outboard. Nor does he talk about plug-ins or settings. However, there are a lot of secrets of upper echelon engineers given that are never really discussed - the kind of concepts that separate the pros from the aspirants. And that's mainly what the book is about. Perspective. Of course, there are many practical tips, but again, it's mainly concepts that you will have to learn to apply to the equipment you have.
Also, he tends to use colloquial expressions (like "penny drops") that sometimes obscure the meaning of what he's saying. Overall, you can mine this book for a lot of gold, but you have to be prepared to read and re-read.
The book is fairly pricey - $78 if you order it from his site and around $120 on Amazon, but, and this is a very big but - the chapter on setting compressors alone is worth the price of the book, even at Amazon prices. If you've ever had a problem with setting compressors, once you read that chapter, setting a compressor will never be hit and miss again.
Hope this is helpful
- This reply was modified 7 years ago by soundsuite.