From Tinfoil to Stereo:  The Acoustic Years of the Recording Industry 1877-1929  Authors:  Welch & Burt.  The name sort of says it all.  Sort of heavy on the business aspect, but still a good read.

The Master Handbook of Acoustics  Author:  Everest.  At first look, this will seem a lot more complicated than it actually is.  (I flunked Algebra three times and still dig this book.)  Does a good job of explaining how sound reacts in different environments and on different surfaces.  A good one to consult if you're building a studio.

The Record Producers  Authors:  Tobler & Grundy.  This coffee table style book is worth getting for the picture of Johnny Ramone and Phil Spector alone.  Contains histories of some big shots like Chris Thomas, George Martin, Glyn Johns, etc.

How to Set up a Home Recording Studio  Author:  Mellor.  The sections on wiring are really helpful and straightforward.

In the Groove  Author:  Fox.  A book of interviews with 12 historic pop producers like Jerry Wexler, John Hammond, Phil Ramone, etc.  Alfred Lion's interview contains some of the only words I've ever seen printed on Rudy Van Gelder, the coolest recordist of all time.

Mercury Living Presence:  You Are There!  This tiny book/CD combination is a good way to get introduced to some of the best classical music recordings around.  C. Robert Fine's one-microphone approach to recording an orchestra is one of the ballsiest moves in the history of recording, though I think all the selections on the CD are recorded using his stereo, three-microphone approach.  Recording Director Wilma Cozart Fine is a true pioneer for women in a business still dominated by humans with protruding genitals.

Edison, Musicians, and the Phonograph:  A Century in Retrospect  Authors/editors:  Harvith and Harvith.  This book of interviews should be required reading for anyone who picks up a microphone.  The questions focus on the nature of recording and the whole slant of the book is quite musician-centric.  Most of the people are figures in classical music, (musicians, conductors, producers), but even if you don't know who they are, what they say is fascinating, especially for recordists.  Go get this book.

-Mike McDonald

MORE SOURCES FOR GEAR

The Carvin factory direct music equipment catalog contains, well, a lot of factory direct musical equipment.  Carvin's a weird company who seems to only sell their stuff through direct marketing.  Really.  If you've never checked out some of their guitar and bass amps you really should.  They build good, solid work-horse type of gear; the kind of stuff you can take on the road and drop a few times and it still sounds good.  I'm not saying they build an amp that'll replace your Fender Twin if you know what I mean.  The real bonus here is the prices.  They now carry a mixer with 8 channels of mic inputs, 4 more stereo inputs, and 3 band EQ for only $299.  There's a power amp for $229.  There's a 24 channel 4 buss for $899.  Even the prices on mic cables, guitar cables, and mic stands are way better than any other mail order catalogs.  They also make guitars and basses, but I've yet to have the nerve to purchase an instrument before playing it!  Call Carvin up at 1-800-854-2235 and ask for a free catalog.  Even if you just need to buy a bunch of odds and ends you'll save some money!

8-TRACK MIND

No, it's not a zine aimed at those of you with 8 track reel to reels, instead it focuses on the nearly-lost 8 track cartridge format and other fading technological 'advances' in audio.  With a manifesto that sports lines like, "State of the art is in the eye of the beholder" and "In less than optimum circumstances, creativity becomes all the more important" you know they're on the same wavelength.  Always a good read and it gets you thinking.  Also of note is So Wrong They're Right, a documentary that publisher Russ Forster made about the 8 track culture and the people that inhabit it.  ($2 (cash) for a current issue to 8-Track Mind, PO Box 14402, Chicago, IL 60614)

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