Review | Tape Op Magazine

Subtitled “Learning to Make Musical Choices,” Wessel Oltheten’s book is one of the most comprehensive guides to mixing music I have ever come across. As Peter Katis [Tape Op #31] is quoted on the back, “Mixing is an intensely instinctual endeavor that can’t really be taught in a book. But Wessel, an engineer, mixer, and educator, lays out and explores an impressive number of the things that go into making this very complicated process make sense.” I agree.

The usual topics of effects, compression, and EQ are covered but in more realistic, hands-on detail than most vague mixing guides
usually are fluffed up with. Special attention is given early on to the importance of phase, space, and time and how all these interrelate. One of the best features of this book is that Wessel doesn’t generally hand out specific names of hardware or plug-ins to use but instead educates the user about actual techniques, what type of gear will achieve the desired goals, and why it works. These are the fundamental building blocks of quality mixing; not some whiz-bang plug-in template that claims to always deliver “perfect vocals” or some such lie.

Other topics include the practical realities of maintaining objectivity, working with others, and even serving the clients’ needs as opposed to your own ego. Mixing with Impact is a perfect handbook for the mix engineer, and I find myself thumbing through it and nodding my head at all the truth within its pages.

Larry Crane, editor and founder of Tape Op Magazine, Recording Engineer (Elliott Smith, The Decemberists, Death Cab For Cutie)

Read the original review at Tape Op.