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In-depth Feature:  Tools of the Studio Trade
Albert Potts writes: .

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12. Studio reference books.

My favourites are:

"Sound Reinforcement Handbook", written for Yamaha by Gary Davis & Ralph Jones. This is probably one of the very best all purpose technical books on the nitty-gritty of audio for live sound and studio. It is thorough and clearly written, technically complete yet explained in layman's terms beautifully. I've found it to be a must-have book on audio matters, a real working man or woman's guide to everything audio.

"Wizoo Guide FX" by Thomas Adam. While some may find this book a little too basic, I feel that it is a great starting point for any synth hero who wishes to get into the mixing end of things more deeply. The book is laid out clearly, making it easy to find the specific effect you are looking for, and it comes with an audio CD of examples. The text is accompanied by numerous graphics of fx settings, laid out as if on your effects box LCD screen. Nicely done.

"The Mixing Engineer's Handbook" by Bobby Owsinski. This book is well written in a concise and clear manner, and is highlighted by many quotes and interviews with outstanding recording engineers. The book covers mix related topics like balance, soundfield panorama, EQ, effects, dynamics, monitoring, and mastering. There is also a section on mixing in surround, as well as the interviews section of the book.

"This Business of Music" by Sidney Shemel and M. William Krasilovsky. While not exactly a studio primer, this book is a wonderful guide to the ins and outs of the music business. I've used it as a reference many times and the example forms and reprinting of the US Copyright Act in the back of the book are indispensable. I believe there is an updated edition to this book now, so look for that.

13. Gig Bag. This is more of a gig thing than for the studio, but I have a special bag which is stocked just for gigs and always remains packed. The bag contains a stand light, flashlight, extra audio cables, extra midi cable, an extra power cable for synths or keyboards, a 25' heavy duty power cable with three outlets on one end, a six outlet power strip, Philips screwdriver, volume pedal, sustain pedal, pedal switch for changing patches, and headphones. I don't transfer anything back and forth between the studio and the live gig bag, as that is a great way to accidentally leave some essential item at home. If there is something I need for both the studio and gigs, I simply get two of them and leave one permanently in the bag. When I go to gigs I just grab the bag and take off, knowing it's all there.

14. In addition to the above tools I also have a couple that are not really essential but are interesting. Primary among those is my Tri-Field Meter. What a tri-field meter does is measure electromagnetic energy fields, like the kind produced by power supplies, LCD's, computer screens, electric motors, electric stoves, etc., We live in a world of electromagnetic fields, and I became curious as to how big and powerful they are. By the way, as far as I know no one has *proven* these are detrimental to our health, but then again no one has proven they aren't either! :-)

Incidentally, the tri-field meter is always a big hit at long boring rehearsals.

There are of course many other important tools which I haven't mentioned, but the above are the items that I've found most essential and don't cost a fortune. Buy them one at a time over a period of months or years and before you know it you'll have a great collection of very useful tool that will keep your studio running smoothly.

MisterPotts Music

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