Like it or not, bands view audio engineers as subject-matter experts when it comes to “the music industry.” And while you probably don’t mind providing pointers and suggestions, it’s simply not feasible to convey all of the things a new artist needs to know in a short amount of time. And to be fair to us, our time is our livelihood. We can’t devote hours staying current on every emerging trend. So I was very pleased when I picked up a copy of The Indie Band Survival Guide. Dubbed as a complete manual for the do-it-yourself musician, the book covers everything from rehearsing, to recording, to marketing, to legal issues. It also provides a balanced look at recording yourself versus going to a studio. (Although I would prefer if the mastering section made mention that many independent mastering engineers are more affordable than people might believe. Yes, I am biased.)
More than a standalone text, the book is supported by the IndieGuide.com website, that provides discussions, updated how-to guides, and a blog. Unlike some authors who present outdated experiences and tactics, Chertkow and Feehan are plugged-in to the mercurial world that is music industry. Their straightforward approach to making your own rules in a world without them is exactly what new and experienced artists need.
With a street price of around $10, there is no reason every artist out there doesn’t have a copy. And I’m going to call the publisher to inquire about a quantity discount for studios. Seriously. We should hand these out to every new client who comes in the door. ($15.99 MSRP; www.indieguide.com)
–Garrett Haines, www.treelady.com
by Mike Jasper
Shane Wilson's Guide to Mixing was produced by Chris Graffagnino, Russ Long, and Michael Valletta for Audioinstruction, LLC in Nashville, and in the interest of full disclosure, I should add that I...