5 Must-Read Books for Audio Engineers

May 26, 2020

In audio production, real-world experience is the most valuable currency. However, nothing is more powerful than experience and theory combined. Whether you wish to improve your understanding of recording, mixing, acoustics, or anything in the professional audio industry, there is a book to help you.

In this post, you’ll discover the best books for audio engineers.

Top 5 Audio Engineering Books:

1.) Best All-Around Book for Audio Production – Modern Recording Techniques by David Miles Huber

2.) Best Book for Recording Techniques – The Recording Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

3.) Best Book for Mixing Techniques – The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

4.) Best Book for Live Sound Production – Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Gary Davis & Ralph Jones

5.) Best Book for Technical Audio Concepts – Handbook for Sound Engineers by Glen Ballou

1.) Best All-Around Book for Audio Production – Modern Recording Techniques by David Miles Huber

If you are looking for a book that will give you an overview of audio production technology, start with Modern Recording Techniques by David Miles Huber.

This book is on it’s ninth edition and covers a vast range of topics. You’ll learn about analog and digital recording, MIDI and sequencing, sound basics and acoustics, as well as the subjects that are often overlooked – such as the nature of the recording business as a whole.

This book is a staple, and for good reason. It presents concepts in an easy-to-understand way with helpful illustrations.

2.) Best Book for Recording Techniques – The Recording Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

For those seeking a resource for learning about microphone placement and recording techniques, The Recording Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is a gem. 

Bobby Owsinski has a way of providing actionable advice. This book contains actual techniques for recording almost any instrument you can imagine!

After years of recording experience, you’ll probably develop your own way of doing things. This book is a valuable resource for learning common recording techniques and the reasoning behind them. Use the techniques as inspiration for developing your own methods!

3.) Best Book for Mixing Techniques – The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski

The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski is by far my favorite book on mixing! No other book I’ve read has provided such actionable advice for how to approach mixing.

This book is also written by Bobby Owsinski. He packages mixing theory in a framework consisting of six elements: Balance, Panorama, Frequency Range, Dimension, Dynamics, and Interest. He also discusses mastering and how to mix with mastering in mind. This book has had a profound effect on how I approach mixing.

The concepts in this book will likely become a foundation for you in developing your own mixing style and workflow. 

4.) Best Book for Live Sound Production – Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Gary Davis & Ralph Jones

The Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Gary Davis & Ralph Jones is one of the most classic resources in the audio production industry. I regularly pull this book off of the shelf for guidance when making a video.

In college, this was the textbook for the introductory class for audio production. The professor encouraged us to not only read the book, but to BE the book. 

Although this book approaches audio production from an angle of live sound reinforcement, the information in this book is applicable across the board. 

5.) Best Book for Technical Audio Concepts – Handbook for Sound Engineers by Glen Ballou

The final book on this list, Handbook for Sound Engineers by Glen Ballou, is a tremendous resource for anyone wishing to gain a more technical understanding of audio production. I commonly refer to this book when creating content for Audio University that requires more thorough research.

This book will improve your understanding of the more complex concepts, such as acoustical and electrical engineering, in audio production. It is a wealth of knowledge gathered from over thirty industry-leading engineers.

If you want to venture into the deeper principles of audio engineering, this book is perfect for you.

Save Money with Digital Books

While I prefer the hard copy of these books, perhaps you would like to save some money by purchasing the e-book version of the titles listed above. All of these books are available through Amazon Kindle. 

Here is a link to get a Free Trial for Amazon Kindle Unlimited!

Subscribe to Audio University!

If you got value out of this post, please share it with someone who would also find it valuable!

For more content like this, join the email list below and subscribe to Audio University on YouTube!

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links, which means that if you click them, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Mission Statement

The best way to become powerful in the professional audio industry is to learn the basics. Instead of teaching you the solution to every possible situation, Audio University will equip you with a foundational understanding of audio, giving you the power to overcome whatever obstacles you'll encounter. Learn more.

Related Articles

How To Record Acoustic Guitar – 5 Simple Steps

How To Record Acoustic Guitar – 5 Simple Steps

https://youtu.be/F2fexO6D6Gs If you want to record acoustic guitar, there are a few things you should do and a few things you should avoid. In this post, I’m going to help you get the best acoustic guitar sound possible in 5 simple steps. If you are just getting...

Microphone Only Recording To One Side? Here’s How To Fix It!

Microphone Only Recording To One Side? Here’s How To Fix It!

https://youtu.be/ZXWla3nsBN4 So the sound from your microphone is only playing out of one speaker? Well, you’re not alone. When I first started recording music, I had the same issue. In fact, this is a very common problem and in this post, I’ll show you how to fix it...

Recording Guitar Overdubs – 4 Simple Steps

Recording Guitar Overdubs – 4 Simple Steps

https://youtu.be/3mZqNrUQ3Fk In this post, I’ll show you how to overdub guitar (or any other instrument) on top of a pre-recorded track. Step 1 - Record or Import a Backing Track In order to record an overdub, you’ll need an existing recording to use as a backing...

Share This