(Edit - Ermin has mailed me to say that he's happy for the images to be used. Good man!)
And just why have I done this? Simply because this book is really, really good! I enjoy a monthly delve into SOS and I still re-read Mike Senior's and Bob Katz' books every now and again, but I don't tend to read new books about mixing too much these days; not because I think I know it all but rather because I think I've read enough and it eventually all gets to be just a bit more of the same.
I was however tempted by Ermz' book after I saw a thread about it on the Ultimate Metal site. Ermz is a regular contributor there and has made some most excellent and very informative posts, and OK, I was a bit bored at the time....., and the book is only $20. That's $20 Australian dollars, about 2/3rds of nothing in real money. The download gets you an 88 page PDF version with pictures (nice but really not essential) plus both mobi and epub versions for those of us who've noticed the arrival of the 21st century. I loaded-up the Kindle and off I went.
What's so good about it? Most books about mixing end-up being either an annoyingly shallow beginners' treatise on the theory of mixing, a list of raw frequency and timing data or else (and probably most frustratingly) a few thousand words paraphrasing Joe Meeks' "if it sounds good it IS good". The line between cold data and well intentioned fluff is a thin one and Ermin Hamidovic walks it well. Never mind Dancing like Jagger, Ermz Foxtrotts like Blondel (so Google it!).
The Systematic Mixing Guide is a short read - it's 88 pages of gold-dust. It isn't is a guide for raw beginners, it isn't a textbook, and it isn't just a list of stuff and things. It is a distillation of well organised and well presented tips (I won't say tricks) and best practices for producing a slammin' mix. It gives you the numbers that you know you want, and it explains why you want them. You need to just add art and effort.
Do not be put-off by the Ultimate Metal connection, this material crosses-over into metal, rock and pop mostly seamlessly and where techniques are genre specific he flags that and explains why.
I'm going to say this for stress, "this book is absolutely bloody brilliant" and I wish that everyone who I ever master tracks for would give a copy to their mixer. And I wish I'd had it 5 years ago!
Ever wonder about the gear reviews you read? Take a look here
All original content copyright The Dustbowl Audio 2019