List Of Top Music Production and Audio Mixing Books

The question a lot of people frequently ask me is – “Where can I find some good music production and audio mixing books…?”

And instead of sending people tons of links to good content, I created this post of the books I believe will help any producer improve their production and mixing skills.

Here are the top books that have helped me understand what production is all about and how to get the best sound. Back then I thought if I go to a music production school all my problems will be solved but I was wrong, I was still producing bad mixes even after I graduated.

Don’t get me wrong though, I did learn a lot of stuff and I don’t think most of the info in these books would have made any sense if I didn’t go to school.

So thanks to both these books and the production school I can now create a mix I’m happy to share with anyone. Do check these out and you wont be disappointed.

Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio

This one is a physical book it’s not a pdf file but there’s a kindle edition as well. It is written by award winning engineer, Mike Senior from London. Mike did reviews for Sound on Sound magazine for 6 years and now he writes the ‘Mix Rescue’ columns on the magazine to show producers how to get pro results using affordable gear.

If you do your production using a computer then you need to get yourself a copy of Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio. Mike helps you capitalize on what you have. This guide will give you a deeper understanding of using a reverb, eq and compression.

Mike will also help you get the best gear for your production and no need to go around posting in forums asking which is the best audio interface. This is a great read for all home studio producers to learn more about audio mixing and how sound works.

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook

This one is written by Bobby Owsinski, a long time music industry veteran from Los Angeles. He’s one of the most in-demand engineers and one of the 1st people to get into surround sound mixing.

Bobby is now one of the best selling authors in the whole music recording industry and has written 19 books at the moment I’m writing this blog post. The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook is on it’s 3rd edition.

What I like about Bobby’s books is that he takes the mixing process in a step by step process, it’s like a journey. He put it in a way that is easy to follow and implement in your productions. One other great thing is that he also includes some history in some parts.

This is really good reference material and also includes great interviews from other top audio engineers. This is one of the most popular books and it’s a must read.

Music Theory for Computer Musicians

This one is written by Dr. Michael Hewitt, Yes that’s Dr. for you 🙂 He has a bachelor of music degree at the London University and a master’s degree as well as doctorate at the University of North Wales, Bangor, that’s where Dr. Michael specialized in musical composition.

He’s a classically trained composer, musician, author and lectures on musical subjects.

As we all know, there’s not a lot of producers who can consider themselves as musicians and say they know how to play musical instruments. Most producers don’t know how to play any instrument and they don’t know music theory.

For you to make dope beats, obviously you don’t need a doctorate but some basic music theory will help you make your production workflow a lot faster and you’ll make real music.

In Music Theory For Computer Musicians, Dr. Michael explains music theory in a simple way to understand without using the traditional way of teaching music, instead he uses a DAW and midi with a piano roll/software keyboard.

This is a must read for all those who want to learn some basic music theory without all the technical stuff.

Modern Recording Techniques

Modern Recording Techniques is a great read written by David Miles Huber, a 3 times Grammy Awards nominee in the electronic dance scene and surround sound.

If you want a modern and up to date book about recording audio then you need to check out this one. This is the 8th edition and includes information about tablets, connectivity options like Thunderbolt and touch technology.

I also found some good info about room acoustics as well as designing a pro studio. You’ll also get techniques for mic placement and how to run a smooth recording session with less flaws.

There’s everything you need to know about modern recording in this book, it’s a good reference and I highly recommend it for all those who want to get a professional sound.

Home Recording Studio: Build It Like the Pros

If you’re looking for something that will teach you how to understand and design your room then you must read Rod Gervais’ book. His Home Recording Studio book is a cost effective plan for building a pro studio in no time while saving a lot of cash.

You’ll learn a lot of stuff like how you can treat your room, wire it and condition it using easy to find material. Rod illustrates underlying concepts, professional tips and examples from actual studios using visual aids in each step.

Everything is available in this book. Things such as room design to electrical considerations, special needs, room treatments to codes, permits and a whole lot more.

I don’t know why but a lot of people confuse this book to be a guide on how to operate a studio. No, it’s all about building a pro recording studio.

It’s a must read, don’t buy any recording equipment without getting a copy of this guide.

Sound Design, Mixing, and Mastering with Ableton Live

If you’re using Ableton Live but don’t know anything about mixing music then you need to read Jake Perrine’s book. Sound Design, Mixing, and Mastering with Ableton is strictly for someone who’s just starting out, it has some good exercises and tips for producing a pro sounds.

I found the sound design and midi section of the book really useful. He talks about the beauty of routing in ableton using the power of racks and how to save this as a preset to use it on other material.

I like the way Jake wrote the book, it’s really easy to read and understand. He also covers things such as gain staging as well as automation.

Jake also covers a lot of stuff about mixing and mastering your material with ableton live. It will help you if you can’t pay someone thousands of dollars to do the mixing and mastering for you.

The Art of Mixing: A Visual Guide to Recording, Engineering, and Production

This one is an old book but it’s a must read. Written by legendary, multi genre engineer and lecture David Gibson who I don’t think needs an introduction. In this guide you’ll learn what makes a great mix.

If you’re a visual learner then you’ll find this book really useful. David explains the art of mixing using a colorful three-dimensional diagram to show you how genres of music are mixed differently.

The Art of Mixing: A Visual Guide To Recording, Engineering, and Production is one of the best resources I’ve ever read because it is easy to understand and helps you learn how to visually assemble your mixes. I like the graphical representation of sound placement David used in the book.

It is a good read for beginner and intermediate producers and maybe for some pro engineers. But it is one of those books that will give you that “Aha…” moment.

David fully explains how to place sounds upfront or at the back of the mix using volume and effects, placing sounds left and right with panning and how to place sounds up(high frequencies) and down(low frequencies) using an equalizer.

Fully understand how sound works in the stereo image and be able to control your mix to sound however you want it to sound like. It’s really a must read!

Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys and Techniques

Here’s another great book by Rick Snoman from Manchester, UK. Rick has been in the electronic dance music scene since the late 80s. He has done remix work for big names such as Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Madonna.

This is those types of books you can read while putting what you’re reading into practice. Dancing Music Manual: Tools, Toys and Techniques is the 3rd edition of the book with 536 pages packed with great content.

If you’re into dance music then get this guide to learn how to make different styles of dance music. Get some great info about how to create original professional productions and remixes.

Learn everything from sound design, compression, effects, mixing, mastering there’s some advice on publishing and promoting your finished songs. I believe this is a must read for all dance music producers whether beginner, intermediate or even if you consider yourself as a pro.

Pro Tools 11: Music Production, Recording, Editing, and Mixing

Another complain I get from people is that they can’t find good tutorials about how to do production, recording and mixing with Pro Tools. Mike Collins has been writing great books about how to get the best results using Pro Tools.

This book also has great visuals that will guide you. It’s a good read for anyone who wants to use Pro Tools whether you’re producing a dance track or recording a live band. This is not just about the menus and how the software operates, it’s also about the real world of music production.

Pro Tools 11: Music Production, Recording, Editing and Mixing is a guide for every producer in any level. Mike has been using Pro Tools since 1991 and made this very easy to follow and understand even for someone who’s new to Pro Tools.

Digital Mixing Ultimate Guide

After gaining a lot of knowledge about music production and audio engineering from school, books, video tutorials, magazines, blogs/websites and also working together with great engineers. I was also inspired to share all my knowledge and contribute to the audio community.

I also get messages from people asking me who does my mixing, even from some people who I look up to. Those are the main 2 reasons I wrote my 1st book about mixing and looking forward to write even more.

Basically my book is all about digital mixing, which is mostly called in-the-box mixing. I broke everything down into 5 simple steps that you can follow to get a pro sounding mix.

I also have some great bonuses as well so make sure you get your copy and Thnx to everyone who has downloaded their copy, your support is much appreciated.

Download Digital Mixing Guide

Making Sound

Making Sound

Another great book that I highly recommend is Making Sound by Cristofer Odqvist who’s a great audio engineer, sound designer and music producer.

Inside you’ll find 15 chapters that are filled with practical techniques for sound design, music production, mixing and more.

Quickly gain new perspectives that will increase your inspiration and spark your creativity.

There’s also 75 additional tips to add new sparkle, polish and professionalism to your mixing and music production skills.

Change the Way You Think About Music Production. Get your copy by clicking the orange button below.

Download Making Sound

What’s Your Favorite Music Production Book?

I would like to know from you guys. Which books are you reading and which ones would you recommend we buy as music producers?

That’s it from me, speak again soon.

7 comments

  1. Thanks for the mention, Gugulethu. All of the books you outlined are excellent and worth having on your bookshelf.

  2. Thanks for the great article. i really appreciate it. I have been making research on the internet for a very long time and now come up with something useful.

  3. Thank you for a great detailed outline to help users (like myself) get familiar on what book(s) to look into. This was very informative to help guide me toward the right books to gain more knowledge.

    Thank you!

  4. Awesome books! One that I’d like to mention is “‘Q’ on Producing” one of the most inspiring books ever.

    • That’s a good book for someone who’s looking for inspiration/motivation. It’s not something that you can take to the studio like the books mentioned above because there’s no insight on his process or information about how he makes his hits. It is a good read especially if you’re a Quincy Jones fan.

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