Home Recording for Musicians Review
Home Recording For Musicians by Craig Anderton
Published by Guitar Player Books (Music Sales Ltd.)
Although this book is written with home recording musicians in mind, it does not preclude the home recording engineer. It is partly for this reason that this review is included here since anybody who has any kind of recording studio in their home, would benefit by reading this book. In the front section of the book is a pull-out black flexible disc, which contains a very good demonstration of just what can be done in a 4 track studio.
Craig Anderton is well known for his articles in American publications. It appears, that when the book was first released in America, there was some difficulty in obtaining the publication in this country. That, fortunately, is no longer the case.
So much of the information contained here, stems from the author's own practical experience, as he struggled, like so many of us, with the problems of recording in an attic, garage or the corner of a room.
The first chapter covers the basic principles of sound and deals with the most difficult but necessary part of recording — theory. This is explained simply, but accurately, in order for you to gain a working knowledge of technical terms. Details of the various 4 track machines available are also given in this chapter. The book was first published in 1978 and hence the details of the 4 track machines are a little out of date, nevertheless, the relevant guidelines to follow when purchasing a 4 track machine still apply.
'Creating the Home Studio Environment' is dealt with in chapter 2 and gives suggestions on studio layout, from something as small as a closet, to a large room. Chapter 3 describes the mixing desk, what facilities you may require and the alternative ways of signal path routing. Effects processors are also covered within this chapter whilst microphones, impedance matching, and different microphone types, are discussed in a very easy to understand way in chapter 4.
The section to which you will probably refer most of all is chapter 5. It deals with things like recording techniques and general running of your studio. It takes you through recording step by step, giving tips on microphone technique, arranging baffles, bouncing tracks, creating special effects with tape and mixing desks, and finally covers noise reduction methods.
Mixing, which is a subject that could fill a whole book in its own right, is well covered in chapter 6. Craig discusses most of the aspects likely to be encountered by the home recordist, such as balance, fading of channels, signal send/returns to name just a couple of points.
Chapter 7 follows on, dealing with hints on de-magnetising, cleaning the heads of the tape machine and general machine maintenance.
The book is very easy going being written in Craig's humorous style, and there are many illustrations to punctuate the text. The enthusiasm which Craig has for the subject is obvious. He probably would have wished that he'd had a book like this when he first started recording.
The last chapter may be of interest to many constructors, as it gives details of the design and construction of a mixing desk, but the mainstay of the book is the detailed information on recording techniques and equipment. Anyone interested in recording in their home, at any level, will certainly find the book full of useful information. A good investment, a good read and most certainly recommended.
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