Zen and the Art of Producing by Mixerman
About Zen and the Art of Producing

Available in Paperback and Kindle.

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1458402886
  • ISBN-13: 978-1458402882
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces

Zen and the Art of Producing

All of the Zen and the Art of books are available as a Multimedia Edition eBook on Kindle, iBooks, and Nook, This enhanced multimedia e-book edition brings recordists deeper into the concepts covered in the text. The eBook features over an hour’s worth of supplemental videos in which Mixerman discuses with Aardvark the kinds of things he thinks about when producing an album. The full hour of clips provide invaluable insights into producing music and handling artists. This multimedia eBook is an absolute must-have for anyone who enjoys recording music and wants to get better doing it.

BOOK REVIEWS

  • Zen and the Art of Producing - "Mixerman is a fearless, erudite and witty writer and thinker. Buy this book. Buy all of Eric Sarafin's books. NOW." 

    Dave Pensado (Christina Aguillera, Beyoncé, Pink)
  • Zen and the Art of Producing - "Producing a record, and doing it well, is crucially important, insanely difficult, maddeningly subtle and exquisitely complex. And all of that is to be found in this book."

    --William Wittman (Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx)
  • Zen and the Art of Producing - "The production equivalent of a Kama Sutra for the double-jointed."

    Aardvark (Johnny Reed, Ren and Stimpy, Byron)
  • Zen and the Art of Mixing - "Without belaboring the technical, he encompasses the creative, spiritual, practical, and business aspects in a simple and entertaining read. This will surely be a huge help to budding mixers and interested music consumers alike!"

    Ron Saint Germain (U2, Mick Jagger, 311, Whitney Houston)

Zen and the Art of Producing Intro

Please Note: You must purchase the digital version of the book in order to view the clips. 

In this companion book to Zen and the Art of Mixing–Mixerman discusses with us the art of producing records. Mixerman lays out the many organizational and creative roles of an effective producer as budget manager, time manager, personnel manager, product manager, arranger, visionary and leader, and without ever foregoing the politics involved in the process. As Mixerman points out, “Producing is an art in which reading and understanding people nearly always trumps any theoretical knowledge – whether musical or technical in nature.” Whether you’re currently positioned as musician, engineer, songwriter, DJ, studio owner, or just avid music fan, Mixerman delivers a seemingly one-on-one, personal lesson on effective producing.

Mixerman not only describes in detail the many important roles of an effective producer whether as product, manager, time, or personnel manager; organizer in chief; tour guide; psychologist; visionary; or fearless leader but also provides you with tangible strategies for fulfilling these roles within the context of the greater goal: the music itself. Once again, showing a firm commitment for art over technology, Mixerman outlines the thinking necessary to successfully produce records. As Mixerman points out, “Producing is an art in which reading and understanding people nearly always trumps any theoretical knowledge whether musical or technical in nature.” Be you a musician, engineer, songwriter, DJ, studio owner, or nothing more than an avid music fan, Mixerman delivers a personal, seemingly one-on-one lesson of all that goes into effective producing. Really, what could be more Zen than that?

INTRODUCTION

Some History
The New Electronic Instrument
Recording Technology
Additive Technology
The Requirements of Producing
The Musical Rules

Chapter One – THE PRODUCER

Positioning

The Musician Producer
The Engineer Producer
The Music Fan Producer
The Songwriter Producer
The Default Producer
The Studio Owner Producer
The Gridiron Producer
The Luddite Producer
The Hip-Hop Producer
The Absentee Producer
The Hands-on Producer
The Self-Producer
The Armchair Producer
The Band Member Producer
The Hybrid Producer
Speculation

The Many Roles of a Producer

Budget Manager in Chief
Record More than You Need
Making a Budget
Sidemen
Sustenance
Rentals
Beg, Borrow, and Steal

Time Manager in Chief

Be Flexible (Just Not Too Flexible)

Personnel Manager in Chief

Assistants and/or Interns
Engineers
Musicians
Recording Sidemen
Union Musicians
Editors
Mixers
Mastering Engineers

Product Manager in Chief
Arranger in Chief

Function
Planes of Space

Panning—Left to Right
Frequency—Up to Down
Contrast—Sparse to Dense and Bright to Dark
Reflectivity or Reflection—Far to Near
Balance—Front to Back, Large to Small

Leader
Conflict Resolution
Honesty
The Struggle
The Big Superfluous Change

Visionary

Sonic Landscape
Eclectic Albums
Market Considerations
Sweating What’s Important

Chapter Two – THE MECHANICS

Choosing a Winner
Evaluating Demos
The Interview
Give Me Everything You’ve Got
Rehearsals
Preproduction

Tempo
Key
Song Form
Preparing for Basic Tracks
Song Selection

The Contract

How Producers Are Paid
The Production Contract

Preparing the Budget
Renting Studios
Preparing and Organizing Your Session

The Whiteboard

Setup
Tracking

Recording Takes
Judging Takes
Drums
Bass
Electric Guitars
Commitment
Acoustic Guitars
Piano and Keyboards
Horns and Strings
Orchestra
Percussion
Vocals

Compiling and Punching
Vocal Mic
Background Vocals and Harmonies

Didgeridoo, Dulcimer, and Bagpipes

Overdubs
The Mix
Mastering
Wrapping Up the Project

Chapter Three – THE POLITICS

Sharing Credit
How to Rule
Deferring Decisions
The Power of Veto
Setting the Mood
Prioritization
The Art of Presentation

Chapter Four – THE BUSINESS

How We Got Here
Ending on a Positive Note Is Good to Do

 

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