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Book Review: Professional Microphone Techniques

Posted on the 25 April 2014 by Dbenson117 @dbenson117
professional microphone techniques book review stereo mic mixing vocals david miles huber phillip williams
If you are like me, you don’t always have time to sit down and read a book.  However, regardless if you are an armature, hobbyist, or a pro in the recording industry, it never hurts to read a little something every now and then they may give you some good insight.  I know, I know.  Who reads books anymore?  If it’s worth it, you should. 
The book Professional Microphone Techniques by David Miles Huber and Philip Williams really gives some good insight about recording just about any instrument that you can think of.  It is well illustrated, well written, and includes a CD so you can actually hear the different microphone placements.
The book is broken up into well laid out and chronological sections (AKA chapters).  It starts out with an introduction to microphones followed by the basics of them.  To the pros, this may be common knowledge, but to the amateur, or weekend recording warrior, they may now realize why directional microphones work they way they do, or why 48 volts of phantom power should be used on condenser mics.  After you cover the concepts of basic placement, then you get into the good stuff: miking instruments.
The chapter on this is very lengthy, but for good reason.  It covers so many freaking instruments.  The more prominent, or more “versatile” instruments in terms of miking, have illustrations showing the different placement of microphones around the instrument.  Some of the instruments I have never heard of, but then again I will defend myself by saying that I’m a sound effect guy by passion, not so much music.  Regardless, I learned a lot.  The descriptions of each instrument and its best miking techniques are kept short and to the point.  However, that does not take away from the quality of the content.  It just tells you what you need to know, and that is something I like.
professional microphone techniques book review stereo mic mixing vocals david miles huber phillip williams
Once you are past all those instruments, you move on to vocals.  The book really does good job by coving everything from sibilance, to pops, to the proximity effect.  After reading this, you’ll get a much better understanding about how to mic a lead/solo singer, versus mixing background tracks.  Again, after pointing out the basics, it just goes back to telling you what you need to know.
When you near the end of the book, it goes into stereo miking techniques, and finishes up with effects and outboard gear.  This section is more or less cut and dry like the others.  It sticks to the information, and cuts out the fluff.  Again, I will say that I sticks to the basics, which makes this book a good refresher, or into to the world of mikig and techniques.  You could write a whole book on just EQs, but this book keeps it to a short section.  Again, that’s what makes it a good refresher, or intro.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who may be newer to the industry.  Even if you have been in the industry for a while, you may feel as if you get stuck in a rut by making the same sound over and over again.  This book will also help you.  It covers the basics and facts in most sections, but gives many great tips and no fluff in the microphone placement section.  If you want an easy, yet very informative read about the world of microphones, then this is the book for you.
Get the book here on Amazon!

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