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The Daily Adventures of Mixerman - the best book you'll read this year

A top recording engineer diaries his sessions with a dysfunctional band, producer and label exec. And has a laugh a minute along the way.

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You might have heard of Mixerman and his diary already. This 'warts and all' story was posted day by day on the web as it happened. And riveting stuff it was too.

But now you can buy the diary in book form, which makes for a much more satisfying read. Mixerman was good enough to send me a copy. I don't generally get much time to read, and when I do it's likely to be technical stuff. But this was an exception. A very enjoyable exception.

Firstly, who exactly is Mixerman? Hiding behind a pseudonym is bound to create an interest in who the real person is. This puts me in an odd situation - if he were to tell me who he is, I would be bound by the code of journalistic ethnics not to reveal that information. If he doesn't tell me, then I am bound by the same code to find out and reveal his identity to the world!

So hey, Mixerman, I know you're reading this. What's it to be? Gonna fess up?

But I digress - back to the book.

The book tells the story of a band that is so dysfunctional it's a wonder they ever got to be a band in the first place, let alone set foot in a recording studio. The band, needless to say, isn't identified. Neither is the producer, the label exec, or the studio 'assistant' who plainly hasn't got a clue.

The sessions start off on the wrong foot with the producer not turning up. A band, a studio, an engineer and an 'assistant' do not a recording make.

Things go from bad to worse as it proves that the drummer can't play and the producer insists on recording to analog tape, on which editing is difficult.

Honestly, the story is hilarious. So much so that you have to wonder how much is made up. Perhaps the story is genuine; perhaps it is a compilation of events that happened through Mixerman's career. One thing is for sure, Mixerman drops a lot of technical detail into the story and everything regarding studio operation is absolutely spot on, proving that he is a genuine engineer, and not some hack ghost writer.

Anyone interested in working in a studio should read this book for its descriptions of studio practice. In that respect it's an education in itself.

The only criticism I could possibly make is that I'm not getting any commission for all this promotion! I'm just writing about the book because I like it. Not good business for me perhaps, but I got a free copy and had a damn good read.

Recommended. www.mixerman.net

Have you read the diaries or book? Do you have any comments?

By David Mellor Tuesday April 25, 2006
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