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"Mixing with your mind" - YOUR thoughts? Condenser Microphones
Old 27th August 2007
  #1
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"Mixing with your mind" - YOUR thoughts?

Soon I have read the book. What are your thoughts about this book?

It tries to unveil mixing secrets, it does so better than most other mixing books. In my opinion the book is a bit too light on some subjects. The secrets are sometimes not fully explained and sometimes also a bit abstract to apply in practise. This book is not very technical, the author wants to separate between thinking with the left and the right brain, the book is generally targetting the right brain a bit more, therefore some of the content might sometimes feel a bit difficult to use but it engourages you to be creative with what you have and that's really good. What I don't like is when he always remind you about everything being a well kept secret. I don't really care, I want to focus on the actual topic, not the discussion around it. You could make this book 30% thinner if you would skip all the talk about how awesome it will be when you go on to the next chapter, in my opinion that would improve it a lot!

This book is not the best mixing book I've read, but it still targets important topics in a very interesting way. The price is almost 100$, that's a lot of money for a book of this size. If I compare this book to all the Sound On Sound magazines I have purchased for the same amount of money I would choose the SOS issues any day, because I have more content for the money in those magazines.

In my opinion the book "Total Recording" easily beats "Mixing with your mind". Total recording is almost 4 times deeper and deals technically with the really hard-to-grasp details about the science of sound. "Total Recording" is a book I would hate to not have around, one of the best I currently have, every time I open that book I'm amazed about how much advanced content that book really contains. That's simply plain hard work, I like that!
Old 27th August 2007
  #2
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idylldon's Avatar
 

The search engine is your friend:

Book: mixing with your mind

Cheers,
--
Don
Old 27th August 2007
  #3
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Jason Poulin's Avatar
 

The book opens up a different aspect of mixing.


It won't tell you the eq setting for a killer kick drum sound for example, but it will tell you how to listen and to think about how to get the killer kick drum sound.

It's more the pshychology behind recording and mixing which I found to be very useful and opened a whole new can of worms.


IMO, this book a must read, probably one of the first books to read as well!





(mind there are a quite a few technics as well but mostly, how to think and how to listen)



Hope this helps


J.
Old 28th August 2007
  #4
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm View Post
I would choose the SOS issues any day, because I have more content for the money in those magazines.
so, you'd pic a comic that is edited by a complete amateur over a book written by a first rate pro?

Sensible choice indeed

anyway, as already stated, search first
Old 28th August 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Poulin View Post


It won't tell you the eq setting for a killer kick drum sound for example, but it will tell you how to listen and to think about how to get the killer kick drum sound.
So, it forces you to actually think about the sound that's in front of you, instead of telling you a setting that worked once or twice for someone at some point.. somewhere..

Sounds good to me.
Old 28th August 2007
  #6
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Hey I got a novel idea: "Mixing with your ears"

Works for me. The time it took dude to write the book and the time for you to read it, you could of been practicing mixng for real.

maybe its just me, but the book idea about audio engineering is a complete waste of time and brainpower. Most great mixes are achieved through years of mixing and recording, not reading books.

Wanna read a book, go to the library, here at the studio we read music not liteature.

Old 28th August 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaudio View Post
so, you'd pic a comic that is edited by a complete amateur over a book written by a first rate pro?

Sensible choice indeed

anyway, as already stated, search first

Good one. I agree.

Reading what a hack engineer did to a particular kick drum in a particular article of "Sound On Sound" (Potentially one of the audio WORST rags out there) isn't going to help you get better sounds.

However, having a book remind you again and again: "LISTEN YOU FOOL!" just might help. That's what "Mixing With Your Mind" is good for. Inspiration. A reminder that this stuff should magic and fun, and a listening art. Not a visual art or a guessing game.

The advice on how to set a compressor is worth the price of the book alone. Is it how I go about setting a compressor? No. Is it a great exercise that beginners can use to familiarize themselves with the sound of each variable in a compressor? Definitely.

I can understand your frustration with the lack of "depth", but that "lack" itself should be an eye-opener.

Listen, or do something else for a living.
Old 28th August 2007
  #8
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I'm shocked, SHOCKED, Jerry! that my Stephen Colbert joke ("Is it better than 'Mixing with your Gut'?") was so disregarded in the other thread.

Old 28th August 2007
  #9
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

poor you!
Old 28th August 2007
  #10
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Jason Poulin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hle144 View Post
Hey I got a novel idea: "Mixing with your ears"

Works for me. The time it took dude to write the book and the time for you to read it, you could of been practicing mixng for real.

maybe its just me, but the book idea about audio engineering is a complete waste of time and brainpower. Most great mixes are achieved through years of mixing and recording, not reading books.

Wanna read a book, go to the library, here at the studio we read music not liteature.



hahaha now this is contradicting yourself bro...


why waste time here on Gearslutz "reading" when you can be mixing in the real world


Got you!

btw... how can you waste your own time while he's writting the book? Can't put my finger on that one... but needless to say, the read was a good investment.




J.
Old 28th August 2007
  #11
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artnoiser's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm View Post
In my opinion the book "Total Recording" easily beats "Mixing with your mind".
Hey thanks for the tip, hadn't heard of that book yet - and haven't read Mixing with your mind yet either, but for anyone needing to open their ears/mind a bit, I highly recommend the "Golden Ears" training cds.
Old 28th August 2007
  #12
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Bierce85's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hle144 View Post
Hey I got a novel idea: "Mixing with your ears"

Works for me. The time it took dude to write the book and the time for you to read it, you could of been practicing mixng for real.

maybe its just me, but the book idea about audio engineering is a complete waste of time and brainpower. Most great mixes are achieved through years of mixing and recording, not reading books.

Wanna read a book, go to the library, here at the studio we read music not liteature.

Sure, practicing bad habits for 30 years then finally figuring out what you've been doing wrong just by chance one day (as paul stavrou, the author of the book says he did) is much better than just spending a few hours reading a book and get a seasoned perspective at a young age

I've got an idea... READ THE ****ING BOOK then spatter your (slightly less) ignorant **** across this forum.
Old 28th August 2007
  #13
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longfade's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hle144 View Post
Hey I got a novel idea: "Mixing with your ears"

Works for me. The time it took dude to write the book and the time for you to read it, you could of been practicing mixng for real.

maybe its just me, but the book idea about audio engineering is a complete waste of time and brainpower. Most great mixes are achieved through years of mixing and recording, not reading books.

Wanna read a book, go to the library, here at the studio we read music not liteature.

Oh, please. So, what, you learned your 'craft' through osmosis and divine intervention? You just woke up knowing how to place a vocal mic or set a compressor? Or did you just go to a console and start throwing around faders and dicking around with eq's and compression settings randomly until you hit upon those magic settings? Anyone who truly cares about learning something as complex and ephemeral as mixing/engineering will do so by whatever means they can. Books are a great resource, as is the internet. I don't know anything about you personally, but most people I know who think like that almost never amount to much artistically. You know, the whole "I just play what I feel" bull****. You never learn anything that way.
Old 28th August 2007
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by longfade View Post
Oh, please. So, what, you learned your 'craft' through osmosis and divine intervention?


I lol'ed.
Old 28th August 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
The advice on how to set a compressor is worth the price of the book alone. Is it how I go about setting a compressor? No. Is it a great exercise that beginners can use to familiarize themselves with the sound of each variable in a compressor? Definitely.

i agree. when i was at uni our lecturer recommended we read this book and the chapter on compression did help people get their heads around a compressor. it's not how i use a compressor now but it put me onto the right path to getting the sound i want faster.

i don't agree with everything in the book, there is always more then one way to do thing but i do believe it's worth the read. I recommend it to any beginners who are interested in audio... it's also worth the read just to see how other people do things.
Old 28th August 2007
  #16
Personally I think mixing with your mind and/or mixing with your ears is a bad idea.

The thing to mix with is your heart.

Once you figure out what that means to you in visceral terms, learning how to set a compressor or place a mic becomes far easier.

I belleive books are good adn exchanging ideas in places like here and then Tape Op Conference are some of the greateset things that you can do do develop your skills, however, that's not learning. Learning is an active process where neurons make a connection in your conscious mind that becomes a permanent pathway that you never have to think about. Then when you working music with your heart, those permanent pathways come out as instincts.

I've been teaching for 17 years and teaching people how to teach for 14, so I've spent a lot of time thinking about and wathcing how people process information. In fact, I don't believe there's even such thing as teaching, only learning and that what teachers do is set up contexts and stimulate ideas for a person to consciously make a connection, which is the learning process.


Mix with out thinking and without using your ears. Don't wonder what outher people would do. Assume that you're instinct is right and commit. Then do the careful type of A/Bing that RCM did in in the Avril ITB/OTB thread and eventually you'll either end up doing what everyone else does, or start doing the things that everyone else whishes they were doing.
Old 28th August 2007
  #17
I think I benefitted from reading the book, but I'm still not sure what a 'soft' or 'hard' mic is.
Old 28th August 2007
  #18
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Obviously mixing can NOT be learned from a book.

But if you`re at a point where you can understand some concepts, have medium trained ears... then you can benefit from Stavs book, easy as that.

What you`ll be able to make of it depends on YOU alone, be it a U47 or a guitar or a book.
Old 28th August 2007
  #19
The book will not teach you how to mix or give you the magic secret (non existant) EQ parameters for every instrument, but it will set you thinking about how to approach mixing/tracking.

You may try things from the book and sometimes it won't work for you and sometimes it's an eye-opener. The book certainly helped me a lot and improved the way I mix. And I've had some expirience before.

From reading SOS you just learn some tricks that you can't put into context.

Coen Thomas
Old 28th August 2007
  #20
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agreed on the setting the compressor section, and also, i did not know before reading this book that compression values multiply every time you compress something (i.e if you compress a vocal during tracking by 2 db, then by 10 db during mixdown, you've compressed the vocal by a total of 20 db, not 12 db as most people believe)

I dont think would have figured that out by dicking around with knobs either.
Old 28th August 2007
  #21
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AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Obviously mixing can NOT be learned from a book.
Our word of the day
Old 28th August 2007
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Obviously mixing can NOT be learned from a book.
Constructively focused experimentation and conceptually guided experience beats the Hell out of foundering randomly, however.
Old 28th August 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwhitney View Post
I think I benefitted from reading the book, but I'm still not sure what a 'soft' or 'hard' mic is.
Stav's theory on matching sources to mics based on the Hardness/Softness of each has been my best take-away from the book.

I have my own theory on what makes a source hard/soft, but I am still coming to terms with a general theory on mic hardness...so I'm right there with you Ross.
Old 28th August 2007
  #24
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Hey longfade,

I agree with most of you post, except for this part:

Quote:
Originally Posted by longfade View Post
Or did you just go to a console and start throwing around faders and dicking around with eq's and compression settings randomly until you hit upon those magic settings?

Well..... that's kind of the idea, isn't it? (especially if you take out the word "randomly", but I stand by my argument nonethless.)
Old 28th August 2007
  #25
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I haven't read it, just skimmed through it. But I've spent some time debunking the skyskraper analogy that some friends caught on to. That is where he tries to explain that the upper bits are more important than the lower ones, which is plain wrong. A correct analogy would be a crystal clear picture of the scyscraper down to the dithering noise at the least significant bits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
In fact, I don't believe there's even such thing as teaching, only learning and that what teachers do is set up contexts and stimulate ideas for a person to consciously make a connection, which is the learning process.
That's very nicely thought and phrased!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bierce85 View Post
agreed on the setting the compressor section, and also, i did not know before reading this book that compression values multiply every time you compress something (i.e if you compress a vocal during tracking by 2 db, then by 10 db during mixdown, you've compressed the vocal by a total of 20 db, not 12 db as most people believe)
Are you thinking about ratios? The sum of a 1:2 ratio and then another 1:10 is a total of 1:20. (like halving 100 to get 50 and taking one tenth, gives five. compared to 100, that's a 1:20 ratio). How you'd make that work in conjunction with the threshold knob, I'll leave to you.. ;-) If you take a limiter(an extreme compressor) and shave 2dB's and then another 10dB's, it's 12dB's, not 20dB's.


Andreas
Old 28th August 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaudio View Post
so, you'd pic a comic that is edited by a complete amateur over a book written by a first rate pro?

Sensible choice indeed

anyway, as already stated, search first
Hugh Robjohns complete amateur? I dont think so !!!!

I'd HR's reviews very highly - he is a VERY knowledgable man with experience in stereophonic classical recording up there with Katz and Reece (spelling?). Not all recording is about rock music guys and SOS (despite being aimed at hobbyists) has some great interviews.
Old 28th August 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
Hey longfade,

I agree with most of you post, except for this part:




Well..... that's kind of the idea, isn't it? (especially if you take out the word "randomly", but I stand by my argument nonethless.)
Not for me, it isn't. But I think that's because I am still learning and have practically no professional experience as an ME. I've been a musician for the last 20 years, and I think my attitude as a musician is similar to attitude about learning mixing/engineering. That is, learn all the theory you can, build a strong foundation and understanding of what's happening, then you can act with a sense of purpose instead of doing stuff randomly, which is exactly what I'm doing now. I hate that. That's just me, and to be honest it's probably because I don't have enough confidence in my ears or ability to trust my judgment. Nonetheless what's going to work for me is studying books like this initially. I think for many of you who have been doing this for years, just jumping in and throwing stuff around works great. I also think without the years of experience that you guys have, that kind of attitude is totally self-defeating. I absolutely believe that you can never know too much about something like this.
Old 28th August 2007
  #28
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I often think about buying that book. Bottom line for me is ....for those of you who bought it...do you feel like you got $100 worth of SOMETHING from it that has been useful in conjunction with the skills you already have?
Old 28th August 2007
  #29
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PhilE's Avatar
I find myself ignoring many of his methods and many others were already how I worked but it reminds me to listen rather than JUST rely on past experience.
Old 28th August 2007
  #30
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
he is a VERY knowledgable man
standard BBC training, no more, no less

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
with experience in stereophonic classical recording up there with Katz and Reece (spelling?)
utter bollocks - have you actually heard his work? If you honestly think his 'experience' translates into listening pleasure you have cloth ears

however, he is the comic's only saving grace, but that doesn't change the fact that PW is a clueless hack
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