Blog Archives

Howard Massey’s “The Great British Recording Studios “

Last week, Hal Leonard introduced Howard Massey’s book, The Great British Recording Studios, at the 139th International Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention in New York. Author Howard Massey led a panel on his book along with other recording legends such as Bill Foster, Tony Visconti, John Smith, and Jules Standen. 1030151714_resized

00333513From the time that Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph in the 1870s, music has become an integral part of everyday life.   Nine decades later, the “British Invasion” spearheaded what was inarguably one of the most important and creative periods in the development of recorded music.

In The Great British Recording Studios, Howard Massey tells the story of the iconic British facilities where many of the most important recordings of all time were made. The first comprehensive account of British recording studios ever published, it is endorsed by and was written with the cooperation of the British APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services, headed by Sir George Martin) to document the history of the major British studios of the 1960s and 1970s and to help preserve their legacy.

The Great British Recording Studios surveys the era’s most significant British studios, including Abbey Road, Olympic, and Trident, with complete descriptions of each studio’s physical facilities and layout, along with listings of equipment and key personnel, as well as details about its best-known technical innovations and a discography of the major recordings done there. Seamlessly interweaving narrative text with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from dozens of internationally renowned record producers and a wealth of photographs – many never published before – Massey brings to life the most famous British studios and the people who created magic there. His “Stories from the Studio” take readers behind the scenes of the making of some of the world’s best-loved records, including The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” and the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet.

Meticulously researched and organized, The Great British Recording Studios will inform and inspire students of the recording arts, music professionals, casual music fans, and anyone interested in the acoustically pristine facilities, groundbreaking techniques, and innovative artists and technicians that have shaped the course of modern recording.


What Is Hal Leonard up to at AES This Year?

The Audio Engineering Society conference takes place in San Francisco this year from Oct. 26 to Oct. 29. Stop by the Hal Leonard booth. Buy books, talk to authors, enter our giveaway, and more!


In the Booth

Hal Leonard’s new, innovative Quick Pro Guides series and newly revamped Power Tools line include tutorials on Ableton, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Reason, Cubase, and Studio One. Hal Leonard’s authors include Bobby Owsinski, Mixerman, Moses Avalon, Bill Gibson, Howard Massey, Alan Parsons, Dave Hampton, Chilitos Valenzuela, Steve Turnidge, and many others.


Drop your business card in the jar at the Hal Leonard booth for your chance to win a copy of Alan Parsons’ The Art and Science of Sound Recording DVD set. The winner will be contacted by email the week following AES.

MusicPro Guides YouTube Channel

MusicPro Guides is giving away prizes on our YouTube channel. To enter the drawing, subscribe to between October 26 and November 10th. If you are already a subscriber, enter the drawing by commenting on the front page video. We’ll announce the winner on November 27th on our YouTube channel. Prizes include the complete Mixerman book collection; a prize pack of books that include Quick Pro Guides, Desktop Mastering, and Electronic Musician Presents the Recording Secrets Behind 50 Great Albums; and a Skype call with Bruce Swedien.

Panels, Tutorials, and Workshops with Hal Leonard authors

Presenter: Bobby Owsinski
Session T3
Friday, Oct. 26, 4-6pm
Bobby Owsinski, author of Music 3.0, will give a presentation on social media. Facebook,  Google+, Twitter and YouTube are important elements for developing a fan base or client list, but without the proper strategy they can prove ineffective and take so much time that there’s none left for creating. This presentation shows engineers, producers, audio professionals, and musicians the best techniques and strategy to utilize social media as a promotional tool without it taking 20 hours a day.
2. Total Tracking: Get It Right at Source: Choosing and Recording Your Sound Source
Presenter: Bill Gibson
Saturday, Oct. 27 at noon in PSE2 and Sunday, Oct. 28, noon-1pm  in PSE8
The astonishing and ever-improving power and versatility of digital signal processing plug-ins for computer audio workstations has encouraged the widespread belief that everything can be “fixed in the mix”—and in many cases, of course, it can. However, this approach is always extremely time-consuming and the results aren’t always perfect. It is often much faster, and with far more satisfying results, to get the right sound from the outset by careful selection of the source and appropriate microphone selection and positioning. This workshop will explore a wide variety of examples, analysing the requirements and discussing practical techniques of optimising source recordings.
Chair: Bill Gibson
Panelists: Dave Hampton, Mixerman, Steve Turnidge, Dot Bustelo
Sunday, Oct. 28, 4pm-6pm
Music Business Panel: Show Me the Money! Finding Success in an Evolving Audio Industry includes a panel discussion about the new music business. The mission of this workshop is to provide insightful tactics and techniques for the modern audio professional—ways to make money in the current business reality. Topics include proven ways to increase profitability, nuts and bolts explanations of setting up your business to receive payments for licensing, sync fees, Internet and other new media delivery systems, and more. Panel consists of noted authors and music business experts, Dot Bustelo (author of The Power in Logic Pro), Dave Hampton (author of The Business of Audio Engineering), Mixerman (author of Zen and the Art of Producing and The Daily Adventures of Mixerman), and Steve Turnidge (author of Desktop Mastering). Bill Gibson (author of The Hal Leonard Recording Method and Q on Producing) will moderate. 
Hope to see you there!
Here we were at AES last year:

Q&A with Steve Turnidge

Steve Turnidge is the author of Desktop Mastering (Hal Leonard Books). The following is an excerpt of Mix Magazine’s interview with him. Please visit Mix online for the full interview.

Mix: What advice about mastering would you give to students that they can put to use immediately?

Steve: First, make a distinction between hearing and listening. We hear all the time, but listening is a conscious event. Bring attention to your listening.

Second, work to get an accurate listening environment. Investigate speaker placement, especially, and work toward accurate frequency response from your system. Tuning your listening position sweet spot with a Real Time Analyzer and room EQ is a great start. You wouldn’t operate on someone without an X-Ray to see where the internal organs are, and you shouldn’t make critical changes to audio without knowing that what you are hearing out of your system is closely equivalent to what went in to it.

Third, work at a consistent level. You can check things softer or louder, but find a position for your volume control and only work there. Train your ear for a given output, and your decision making process will receive a consistent input.

Lastly, I’d make sure that the students have a clear view of the stage of music production they are working on at any given moment. There are generally four stages of production: Tracking, Mixing, Mastering and Distribution. These stages closely reflect the stages of baking a pie.

Tracking is like getting the ingredients together: the fresher and cleaner the source material is, the better the pie will be.

Mixing is like, well, mixing. This is where all the components are blended together and placed in the pan. It is important to realize that the freshly mixed and prepared pie is not yet ready to eat: it still needs baking.

Mastering is the baking phase. Among the most common errors mastering engineers see are half-baked pies. This is when compression, limiting, and high levels make the mastering job more about restoration than enhancement. If the mixed file sounds like it is ready to go on the radio, it is probably not in an appropriate pre-mastered state.

The last stage, distribution, is like the hot pie on the windowsill, drawing the audience and fans from far and wide.

It is important to know and work appropriately on the stage you are in.

Keep reading this interview on Mix’s website!

Desktop Mastering is a conceptual guide, intertwining a broad range of knowledge regarding audio engineering principles and practical applications for those wishing to enhance their own as well as their clients’ work. In addition to providing a step-by-step in-depth survey of a successful mastering plug-in chain, Desktop Mastering covers real-world practical applications, the fundamentals of audio and electronics. Also included is a personal guide to the business of mastering, leveraging emerging social networks for positive personal and business results.

Hal Leonard at AES 2011

Thank you for everyone who stopped by the Hal Leonard booth at the Audio Engineering Society convention over the weekend in New York City. It was great seeing you all, and we hope you enjoy any books you may have purchased. Here are a few highlights from our booth this year…

We were thrilled with the number of our authors who stopped by the booth during the show, old friends of Hal Leonard and brand new authors alike. Moses Avalon, Steve Gordon, and Bobby Owsinski all had book signings in the booth. More photos can be found in our Facebook album.


As it appeared in the AES Daily


On Friday, Alan Parsons came to the booth to sign copies of Alan Parson’s Art & Science of Sound Recording for fans. The AES Daily took this photo, which appeared in the Daily the next day.





Congratulations to Noemi, who won the raffle for the complete set of the Hal Leonard Recording Method!

We also ran a drawing for free books on our Youtube channel. If you subscribe by Oct. 26th, you’ll be entered into the drawing.



We demo-ed on the television in our booth. Watch for this brand new video tutorial site in January 2012!

YouTube Giveaway

Hal Leonard to give away $600 worth of books to YouTube subscribers

With almost 1.4 million upload views and 2,800 subscribers, Hal Leonard’s MusicPro Guides channel on YouTube has become an indispensible resource on the web for musicians, songwriters, music engineers, producers, and other music industry professionals. Named after Hal Leonard Books’ highly respected series MusicPro Guides, this YouTube channel brings together the most experienced and highly regarded authors to teach you everything you need to know about audio engineering, recording, software, songwriting, equipment, and more. These tutorials will help you see, hear, and easily understand the concepts, tools, and procedures you need to master.

Many music industry books from Hal Leonard Books include accompanying DVDs. The MusicPro Guides YouTube channel gives you free access to excerpts of DVDs, as well as web originals.

In celebration of the Audio Engineering Society conference this year, MusicPro Guides will be hosting a giveaway on YouTube. All new subscribers between October 18th and October 26th 2011 will be entered into the drawing. Previous subscribers can enter by making comments on two videos between those dates. Winners will be announced in a video following the end date. Prizes include bundles of books such as a producer pack, an engineer pack, and a music business pack. Winners will receive four books of their choice (up to a $200 value per winner).

EarDaddy Video Site Set for January 2012 Launch

Subscription video site will offer exclusive training in Audio, Music, and Sound

Hal Leonard Corporation and BCI Media, LLC, are joining forces to create EarDaddy, a subscription video training site aimed directly at the audio, video, and music communities.  EarDaddy will offer hundreds of professional video training programs on topics ranging from Music Business, Songwriting, and Instrument Training to Studio Production, Acoustics, and Sound Reinforcement, along with many others.

“EarDaddy will fill an online void for a comprehensive, one-stop, reasonably priced video training platform for audio, music, and sound,” says John Cerullo, Group Publisher of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group.

Although there are currently several online sites providing pay-as-you-go training for the latest music technology titles, purchasers of MIDI and audio software may also be performers, musicians, DJs, songwriters, producers, studio owners, engineers, or teachers. Each of these areas offers opportunities for video training.

“You may come to EarDaddy to learn how to use the latest DAW software, but you’ll come back when you see the variety of training that extends to all of the other interests you may have in the areas of audio, music, and sound,” says EarDaddy founder, Brad Smiley, owner of BCI Media.

EarDaddy will offer 24/7 accessibility to the site’s content through a low monthly or yearly subscription fee.

For more information about EarDaddy, visit the Hal Leonard booth (#364) at the Audio Engineering Society Convention at the Javits Center in New York, Oct. 21-23.

Updates to The Hal Leonard Recording Method

The six-volume Hal Leonard Recording Method, the world’s first and best-selling recording method that takes the aspiring professional from the beginning of the signal path to the final master mix, has been revised and updated with the release of the second editions. The series provides easy-to-understand explanations of the entire recording process, addressing both standard equipment and the latest software and technology; hundreds of photographs and illustrations; and much more.

These new editions feature free downloads of dozens of audio and video examples that amplify the material taught in the books. “This will fast become the norm with all of our products that traditionally come with CD or DVD content, making access to them easy and downloadable directly to your preferred media player,” says Bill Gibson, author and Music Pro Guide series editor for Hal Leonard.

The entire Hal Leonard Recording Method will be available at the Hal Leonard booth (#364) at the Audio Engineering Society Convention to be held Oct. 21-23 at the Javits Center in New York. The updated Book 2 will also be available. Visitors to the Hal Leonard booth will be able to enter a drawing for a chance to win the complete six-book set.  The drawing will take place Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m.

In the update to Book 1, Microphone & Mixers, 2nd Edition ($39.99), Gibson helps readers take their first steps in a truly organized path through the entire recording process.  Topics include:

  •  How professional microphones work, which to choose and why
  • Understanding the signal path from microphones to mixers and how to operate these critical tools to capture critical recordings
  • Explanations of the most up-to-date tools and techniques involved in using dynamics and effects processors.

Book 2, Instrument & Vocal Recording, 2nd Edition ($39.99), addresses new equipment and software concerns that affect the way excellent recordings are made.  Updated text, illustrations, photos, and video examples add to the power of the earlier edition, and new techniques and considerations are presented as they pertain to additional recording scenarios.

Readers will learn what they will need to know about capturing the best vocal and instrumental tracks possible, no matter the studio or equipment in it.

The other books in the Hal Leonard Recording Method also are being updated and revised and will be released in this order over the next six months:  Book 3 Recording Software & Plug-Ins, Book 6 Mixing and Mastering, Book 4 Sequencing Samples & Loops, and Book 5 Engineering and Producing.

Available for purchase here from Hal Leonard Books.

Alan Parsons to Appear at Hal Leonard Booth at AES Convention

MILWAUKEE – Recording engineer, producer, composer, and artist Alan Parsons will appear at the Hal Leonard booth (#364) at the Audio Engineering Society Convention at the Javits Center in New York.  He will sign copies of his three-DVD boxed set Alan Parsons’ The Art & Science of Sound Recording on Friday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m.

Parsons’s illustrious career acts as both backdrop and inspiration for this groundbreaking series.  He worked with The Beatles on the albums Abbey Road and Let It Be, engineered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, and produced a string of multi-platinum hits for The Hollies, Pilot, Ambrosia, Al Stewart, and other artists, as well as for The Alan Parsons Project.

Filmed in HD, this is the most powerful instructional series ever created for music production.  The Art & Science of Sound Recording looks at everything from soundproofing to mixing, and from recording guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and vocals to recording a choir. Fellow professional engineers and producers join Alan Parsons in this top-quality, practical, and cutting-edge guide, including Jack Joseph Puig, John Fields, Elliot Scheiner, Jack Douglas, Tony Brown, and Chuck Ainlay. Artists and musicians interviewed include Michael McDonald, Taylor Hawkins, Nathan East, Rami Jaffe, Carol Kaye, and Erykah Badu.

This invaluable instructional DVD set applies classic, old-school recording experience to the modern recording scene and is certain to be a standard work on the subject for years to come. Alongside its fully interactive website,, The Art & Science of Sound Recording is a complete course in modern recording.

Alan Parsons’ The Art & Science of Sound Recording
Publisher: KeyFax New Media Inc.
Artist : Alan Parsons

Nearly three years in the making, Alan Parsons’ monumental ten-hour video series, The Art & Science of Sound Recording, is now available in a three-DVD boxed set! Narrated by actor and musician Billy Bob Thornton, the DVDs are divided into 24 sections, starting with a brief history of recording.

Watch exclusive video excerpts here.
Buy the DVD here.