"The Producerâ€™s Manual is the follow-up book to the excellent Secrets of House Music Production, which received a glowing review back in Issue 84. This time round, Sample Magic have teamed up with veteran music writer Paul White, whose numerous books and articles for Sound On Sound have helped thousands of producers and engineers over the years.
Whereas the previous book focused squarely on production techniques for various forms of house music, here we see a much broader approach that takes in a wide range of studio engineering tips and tricks. The bulk of the 327 pages comes in the form of sections on recording and mixing, with additional chapters covering recording history, classic kit, studio tools, microphones, acoustics and a glossary and index. Although some may be tempted to skip the initial chapters, theyâ€™re jam-packed with information and offer an excellent grounding in essential tools and studio knowledge. From setting up your own studio to wiring techniques and mic polar patterns, these are things that all aspiring producers should be aware of.
Moving onto recording, White looks at capturing vocals, electric guitar and bass, acoustic instruments, drums and even entire bands in detail, pointing out potential problems and explaining how to solve them. The largest section of the book is reserved for mixing techniques, with chapters on dynamics, reverb, pitch correction, vocals, guitar and drum production, arrangement, mixdown and mastering. Although initially focused on band-based music, White is careful to follow up any tips with contradictions often found in more extreme dance music production techniques.
Itâ€™s clear to see that a lot of effort has gone into the layout and visual style of this book. Despite the huge amount of information, the large number of colour images, diagrams and walkthroughs make it a pleasure to read. This deserves to become the book of choice for any music production student or aspiring engineer wanting to flesh out their studio knowledge.
VERDICT: Stacks of information, top tips, problems and solutions make this book a joy to read. [10/10]."