Reviews & Testimonials

Read what people are saying about Recording Secrets For The Small Studio by following the links below. If you’ve read it yourself and have any feedback about the book (or its on-line resources), then do please get in touch!

Sound On Sound magazine logo

“A perfectly targeted and very readable mine of technical information, practical advice and real-world home-studio experience… Mike covers both the technical concepts and practical techniques necessary for capturing musical performances of all kinds – including the all-important interpersonal skills that are key to helping an artist deliver their full potential. The narrative arc makes it refreshingly different from most books of this kind, though, with a very pragmatic and home-studio-orientated emphasis. Each chapter builds on the concepts, techniques and skills developed in the preceding ones, with a very logical and easy-to-follow progression. As is Mike’s custom, the book is crammed full of tipsand tricks gleaned from celebrated engineers and producers acrossmost musical genres, too – people including Elliott Scheiner, Steve Albini, Bruce Swedien, Tony Visconti, Joe Chiccarelli, and many more besides… Every chapter concludes with a recap of all the salient points and a list of dedicated web-resources including relevant audio examples and web links. Several chapters also offer well-thought-out practical assignments to help consolidate the learning, too. I enjoyed reading Recording Secrets very much, and not least because of its very logical progression of knowledge, techniques and skills, and the refreshingly original approach to many topics. The practical insights and tips from the industry illuminati help to underline salient points, and the emphasis throughout on communication skills is most welcome… Recording Secrets is structured to be read from front to back, but its index makes it fairly easy to dip back in subsequently to check out andreview specific advice, and the assignments are very helpful inputting the text into a practical context… An excellent follow–up to Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio, and it’s a book that I’d be very happy to recommend unreservedly to enthusiasts, students and experienced practitioners alike.” Read more…

Amazon website logo

“Stellar… a ton of great ideas and concepts that should open up your eyes (errr, ears) in awe and amazement.” Amazon Five-star Review

“I just received Recording Secrets For The Small Studio and, like it’s predecessor, the information contained within its 450 or so pages is stellar… Recording Secrets will answer all of the questions below except for the last one: Which type of microphone should be used? Why is that? What are the differences? How many mic’s are needed? Where should the microphone(s) be placed? Do I need to adjust the levels? Should some sort of processing be applied? What type of cables or other gizmos are needed? Where is that hum/distortion coming from and how do I get rid of it? Are things in phase? How do I improve my rooms acoustics? Do I need to build a vocal booth? How do I get a great sounding vocal? How do I ask the singer nicely to try it one more time without them freaking out on me? What type of microphone should I use for this particular instrument? Should I record direct, maybe? How do I record in stereo? Should I record this in mono, instead? Where did I put that fluffy bed quilt???! Seriously, Mike Senior covers a lot of ground inhis new book. It is cleary and plainly written, well illustrated, with just the right dose of humour where it’s needed. Mike draws upon his years of experience as an engineer and journalist to get key concepts across to the reader. Mike also shares the golden nuggets of wisdom from top recording engineers from both sides of the ocean. Sure, you may have heard some of this stuff before, but believe me there’s a ton of great ideas and concepts that should open up your eyes (errr, ears) in awe and amazement!” Read more…

“Another winner! Should be required reading for anyone trying to get better results from their home studio.” Amazon Five-star Review

“I purchased this after I had purchased and read Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio. Recording Secrets is another winner! Both of Mike Seniors’ books should be required reading for anyone trying to get better results from their home studio recording work. Clear explanations of the technology and practical, useful advice make both of Mike’s books great value. In addition to great hands-on recording information, I especially enjoyed and benefited from the numerous useful tips on working with singers and players. I have already applied a number of ideas from this book, which has definitely improved my workflow and the quality of my recordings.” Read more…

“Loved the book… it will save you much time and frustration, not to mention money.” Amazon Five-star Review

“This book is perfect for the budding producer/mix and recording engineer, the three hats that everyone recording in a small studio inevitably wears. These three jobs rely heavily on each other, and this should be the first book to read in the process. It will save much time and frustration, not to mention money wasted on unnecessary audio gear.” Read more…

“Practical. Well-written. Drills deep.” Amazon Five-star Review

“If you read Sound On Sound or have Mike Senior’s other excellent book Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio you’ll find the tone here familiar. Senior begins with an unorthodox and intriguing project: recording a music-playing machine as a sound source. By removing the ‘distractions’ of microphones and capturing an actual ‘moving’ performance, the author introduces quite a lot of material about basic workflow and the signal chain in both analogue and digital contexts… Successive projects progress logically and I think holistically in terms of the complexity of the source sounds as well as the subtlety and sophistication of the recording techniques – ‘sophisticated’ not in the ‘glossy overproduced’ sense, but in the sense of understanding the possibilities of the gear and the overriding importance of what Senior calls ’the human element’. Projects include recording vocals, single-mic and multiple-mic configurations for various instruments, all with a degree of depth not found in other books that try to be too encyclopedic in approach. That’s the real strength of the book in my view – by limiting his boundaries wisely Senior does more with less and provides a greater amount of relevant information that an enterprising reader will teach himself to apply in other contexts… It’s not about gear-fetishism or how to capture/recreate trendy (or for that matter, classic) sounds. It’s about being involved deeply and intelligently in the recording process and finding that to be a reward in itself, whether you’re working in a small professional or semi-professional studio or whether your ‘Own Private Abbey Road’ is little more than a tiny, misshapen spare room somewhere and your only client is yourself.” Read more…

“A wise investment! This book contains serious training.” Amazon Five-star Review

“I’m a songwriter who decided to become my own recording engineer due to the high costs of studio time for demo sessions. But setting up my own studio presented a real challenge. This book contains serious training for achieving superb vocal tracks as well as cool mic techniques for capturing the rich tones of an acoustic guitar. Concepts like comb-filtering, at first glance, can be a bit scary to a songwriter, but Mike demystifies these concepts. He even talks about using compression in a way that makes perfect sense to a non-gearhead. And the diagrams are terrific tools.” Read more…

Recording Secrets For The Small Studio book cover image
Published by Focal Press, a division of Taylor & Francis
352 pages, ISBN 978-0-240-81580-0, Hi-res cover image

Available from:

Recording Secrets For The Small Studio at Recording Secrets For The Small Studio at Recording Secrets For The Small Studio at Recording Secrets For The Small Studio at Recording Secrets For The Small Studio at Recording Secrets For The Small Studio at