March 12, 2006

LAST NIGHT’S POST on books about music produced some email. Reader Tom Spauding writes:

The Sound Reinforcement Handbook is great for /live/ sound engineers, but it’s tough to beat Bobby Owsinski’s “The Recording Engineer’s Handbook” and “The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook” for studio tips and techniques.

I’d also second Ed’s mention of Rikky Rooksby’s “How To Write Songs on Guitar”, and add that his “Songwriting Sourcebook” goes it one better.

BTW……I am John Fogerty’s guitar tech, and of course, I have a blog Caught Up In The Fable.

I asked him if he was the keeper of the legendary Kustom amp, and he responded:

No, that amp has been tucked (and rolled…heh) away for now. He did use it on previous tours, with the Rickenbacker, but these days he uses Cornford amps for Dirt and Solo sounds, and Mesa-Boogie for clean. I did hook him up with the new Kustom folks and he is getting a combo amp from them for his studio. Apparently, the tremolo circuit in the new amps does a great job of getting that classic Creedence swamp wobble.

Cool. (My brother gets a great tremolo out of a hotrodded Super Reverb and a Swedish Hagstrom Les Paul copy; I recorded one song where it was so luscious you just wanted to scoop it out and put it in an ice cream cone.) And good suggestions on recording books. (There’s also Owsinski’s Mastering Engineer’s Handbook, to complete the series). I would stress, though, that although the Sound Reinforcement Handbook is about live sound, most of its content is equally applicable to recording.

Meanwhile, reader Ron McCabe recommends this quick-and-dirty guide for musicians. And reader Scott Foster writes:

You might be geeky enough to find the following interesting.

The next big thing for little Davids doing home brew music production is small room acoustics. You just can’t have a critical listening environment without dealing with acoustic treatment [or a stellar home theater for that matter]. Folks are figuring this out and activity in the internet community on this topic is exploding.

Like so many others fields of interest this is a fundamental science that heretofore was simply not available for the purposes of the little guys – but because of the communication efficiencies of the net [particularly forums in case of acoustics] this field of interest is fast switching from being a resource for only the most sophisticated of enterprises to one attainable by everyman.

The old standard layman’s reference on small room acoustics / home studio building is still quit popular – it is called: “The Master Handbook of Acoustics” and is on its 4th edition.

But there is a new boy in town… Rod Gervais – well known acoustic construction expert – OK well known in the internet acoustics community anyway – he just built a re-make of Studio “A” [where the chairman of the board used to record] has got a new book out.

Sure to be a smash hit! Well us acoustics geeks are excited, anyway.

Yeah, the acoustics in my home studio are pretty good, but I’m working on a few small flutter echoes with some Auralex wedge patches. There’s also a lot of cool computerized room-analysis equipment out there that didn’t used to be available.

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