I've been messing around with digital audio production for something like six years on and off, and it's been a beautiful frustrating experience. I know very little if any "textbook" information and most of my knowledge has been from reading product manuals and from trying things out. (For instance, micing a 12-string acoustic guitar with two instrument microphones and a ribbon microphone and tweaking the balance.)

I'd like to dramatically increase my knowledge of mic placement, what I should be listening for in a recording, how to mix, what to focus on, etc. My problem is that I get way too OCD trying to get each part in a mix to sound perfect and thus spend 8 hours on something that ultimately I don't use. I then get frustrated, pack everything up, and then come back in 6 months. Rinse. Repeat.

Is there any book or resource which will help me learn basic to intermediate audio production with all of the subjects discussed above?

  • You may well have answered the majority of your question already - once you are proficient at getting the overall sound right, you can then revisit individual tracks to tweak them for a more 'perfect' balance, but until then try and look at the bigger picture.
    – Rory Alsop
    Mar 5, 2012 at 22:55
  • There are books and text books on audio engineering, most specializing in one thing like building speakers or sound reinforcement, or acoustics etc. I don't know of any one book that has it all, and since the technology changes all the time, there is a need for updating much of the material that is already out there. Consider also, that some of the coolest creative things done in a recording studio may not have ever been documented in an audio engineering book but an interview. Case in point, interview with Rudy Van Gelder: allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=93918
    – filzilla
    Mar 6, 2012 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


Here's a small selection of books I've found useful. This may be more than you're looking for but there's a lot to know and these will teach you a good amount to get you started.

The Sound Reinforcement Manual - General audio equipment explained, general audio terminology, very broad book that's a great reference and read.

Understanding Audio - More specific concepts, such as psycho-acoustics, analog-to-digital conversion, etc. and a much easier read than TSRM.

Modern Recording Techniques, 7th Ed. - This book details actual microphone placements for recordings, as well as every other topic you could really need to know. This book is more about the craft of recording than the other two books, and is a good starting point for you.

  • 1
    Awesome, thanks so much, I'll definitely look into getting these books!
    – Naftuli Tzvi Kay
    Mar 6, 2012 at 16:16

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