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Recording: Book Reviews Including… The Daily Adventures of MIXERMAN, and More

Review by Raul Amador

Everything I have reviewed so far has been pretty well directly Bass related with the exception of the Les Paul Book. So, today I am leaving the beaten path to pursue books that deal with the topic of recording… First and foremost, we have “The Daily Adventures of MIXERMAN!”

One of my friends once told me, ” The way you look at things and speak of them is in a kind of sarcastic, cynically witty manner… I like that in you!”… I could pass on the same compliment to MIXERMAN.

‘”MIXERMAN” is the alias the author used as he kept an online diary of a recording session/project with the band from hell. This book is the hard copy of these daily entries.

All the names were very cleverly changed to protect the innocent starting with the bands name…. “Bitch Slap.” My favorite is his name for the drummer, “Dumb Ass…” I really wish I knew whom he was talking about but I imagine that the risk of litigation precludes this.

If you are easily offended by profanity and a generally low opinion of musicians, then this is not a book you want to read. MIXERMAN describes this particular band as “talentless, petty, generally unlikable imbeciles.” (And I am sure that he does not have this opinion of all bands… otherwise why be in the biz at all?)

Ok….. so I smirk even when I write this down. We all know players like this.

Anyway, once you get past the language and don’t take offense to the digs, this book is really entertaining; I laughed out loud every time I picked it up.

Just under the surface you will also find a lot of sad truths about the biz, specifically:

  • Commercial appeal is more valued than actual talent.
  • Performers shortcomings can be “Fixed” by applying recording technology (off key, off beat etc… no problem).
  • A major label can spend $3.5 million and end up with an unfinished record and only a handful of demos.

This is just a few on the list…. Is this crazy or what?

In summation, I enjoyed this book and you might too, Check it out!

MIXERMAN might have not had the material to write his book if “Bitch Slap” had read any of the following Books…

“The Drum Recording Handbook” by Bobby Owsinski and our very own Dennis Moody. Here you have all the details you need to know to record drums! The instructional DVD makes it even better.

Areas covered include:

  • The Drum Kit
  • The Recording Environment
  • The Drummer’s Headphone Mix
  • Phase Cancellation- The Drum Sound Destroyer
  • Miking the Bass Drum, the Snare, the Hi Hat, the Tom-Toms
  • Overhead Mics, Room Mics, and Alternative techniques
  • Mixing
  • Finally, the Appendix with interviews with renowned drummers including one of my favorites Dave Weckl completes the package.

“Dumb Ass ” really should have read this one before he went in to record!

“How to Make Your Band Sound Great” by Bobby Owsinski would have been a good book for “Bitch Slap” to have read!

This book is a good reference loaded with useful information concerning “Your instrument and Playing” and “How do I make my band sound great?” A 60-minute DVD complements the wealth of knowledge you will find here.

There is just too much here to cover so give it a read if you are taking your Band to the next level!

Next, Lets address “The Studio Musician’s Handbook” by Bobby Owsisski and Paul Ill.

In MIXERMANs’ book, they had to bring in additional musicians to supplement “Bitch Slap”s lack of talent. If this appeals to you as a job then you should read this book!

No, seriously, working as a studio musician is a vital part of many bass players and other musician’s daily routine. This handbook and DVD can help if you want to be successful at this.

You will discover:

  • How to become a studio musician
  • Who hires you and how much do you get paid
  • What kind of musical skills you need and what kind of gear you must have
  • Proper session etiquette
  • How to apply the necessary skills to make any recording session successful

Lets wrap this up by looking at a couple of books that MIXERMAN might like to read and could use as a sound engineer.

“Mixing the Hits of Country” by Dave Martin and “The Desktop Studio” by Emile D. Menasche. The first book focuses on what works for Country music and has an interactive approach where you can work with two DVDs. Lots of fun with mixing!

Many musicians produce recordings with out ever stepping into a studio thanks to home computers and the wealth of software that is currently available.

Emile teaches us about:

  • Optimizing your computer for audio production
  • Recording and editing multitrack audio and MIDI data
  • Understanding computer-based synthesis, sampling and effects
  • Mixing, mastering and CD burning
  • Creating audio for video
  • Preparing audio for the Internet

Well, this was a fun detour away from the usual books I get to enjoy. Hopefully there is something that will be of some benefit to you Bass Musicians…… Have fun!

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