Practical Recording Techniques : The Step-by-Step Approach to Professional Audio Recording book cover
7th Edition

Practical Recording Techniques
The Step-by-Step Approach to Professional Audio Recording

ISBN 9781138904422
Published August 4, 2016 by Routledge
538 Pages

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Book Description

Practical Recording Techniques covers all aspects of recording, perfect for beginning and intermediate recording engineers, producers, musicians, and audio enthusiasts. Filled with tips and shortcuts, this hands-on, practical guide gives advice on equipping a home studio (whether low-budget or advanced) and suggestions for set-up, acoustics, effects, choosing mics and monitor speakers, and preventing hum. This best-selling guide also instructs how to mike instruments and vocals, judge recordings and improve them, work with MIDI and loops, do mastering, and put your music on the web. Two chapters cover live recording of classical and popular music.  

New in the seventh edition:

  • Complete update of all types of recording equipment, plug-ins, and recording software
  • Increased focus on current industry and classroom trends like DAW signal flow and operation (during recording and mixdown), while still covering analog fundamentals
  • Updated organization to focus and break up topics
  • Updated tips on optimizing your computer for multitrack recording – for both Windows and Mac
  • New sections on streaming audio, mobile-device recording, live recording with digital consoles, and psychoacoustics
  • Listen Online boxes highlight where audio samples on the website relate to chapter discussions
  • Updated companion website with audio examples, articles, and suggested activities, plus expanded and more user-friendly links to the best sites for videos and articles, recording techniques, equipment, and other learning resources. Instructors can download figures from the book, the audio files, and a test bank

Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1: A Basic Overview of the Recording Process

CHAPTER 2: Sound and Psychoacoustics

CHAPTER 3: Studio Acoustics

CHAPTER 4: Signal Characteristics of Audio Devices

CHAPTER 5: Equipping Your Studio

CHAPTER 6: Monitoring

CHAPTER 7: Microphones

CHAPTER 8: Microphone Technique Basics

CHAPTER 9: Microphone Techniques for Instruments and Vocals

CHAPTER 10: Equalization (EQ)

CHAPTER 11: Effects and Signal Processors

CHAPTER 12: Mixers and Mixing Consoles

CHAPTER 13: Digital Audio

CHAPTER 14: Computer Recording

CHAPTER 15: DAW Signal Flow

CHAPTER 16: DAW Operation

CHAPTER 17: Judging Sound Quality with Critical Listening

CHAPTER 18: MIDI and Loops

CHAPTER 19: Session Procedures

CHAPTER 20: Mastering and CD Burning

CHAPTER 21: On-Location Recording of Popular Music

CHAPTER 22: On-Location Recording of Classical Music

CHAPTER 23: Web Audio, Streaming, and Online Collaboration

APPENDIX A: dB or Not dB

APPENDIX B: Optimizing Your Computer for Multitrack Recording

APPENDIX C: Impedance

APPENDIX D: Phantom Power Explained

APPENDIX E: Legacy Recording Devices



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Bruce Bartlett has been a recording engineer, audio journalist, and microphone engineer ( for over 30 years. He has written more than 1000 articles on audio topics for magazines and websites including ProSoundWeb, Live Sound International, L2Pnet, Recording, and the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, as well as 9 books, including Recording Music on Location, 2nd edition (Focal Press). A member of the Audio Engineering Society and SynAudCon, he holds a degree in physics and several patents on microphone design. He is also a musician and runs a commercial computer-based recording studio. 

Jenny Bartlett is a freelance technical writer.


"[This] is a comprehensive text, written clearly so concepts are easy to understand and apply. It is a good resource for my students both for the class and afterward, as they pursue their careers. Although I hadn't used the companion website before, now that I've looked at it more closely, I already plan to incorporate it into my classes.” -- Tom Wolfe, University of Alabama School of Music

"Bartlett's book covers all the major areas for my Recording 1 students with simplicity and just enough depth, taking a logical approach to everyday recording applications. It's a solid stepping-stone and excellent guide to start your recording career." -- Jeremiah Slovarp, Faculty & Technical Director, School of Music at Montana State University and Emmy Award Winning Sound & Recording Engineer

"Bartlett’s 7th edition carries on its reputation of handling the fundamentals of sound recording with reader-friendly writing, helpful illustrations, and the expertise that’s made it a classic in audio education for so many years." – Stanley R. Alten, Syracuse University

"I have used this text (and previous editions of this text) as I find it well written, easy to understand/accessible to new learners and is available at a moderate cost to the learner.Great Job!" -- David Haggadone, Lansing Community College

"I like that the language is accessible to beginners, and I think the breadth of topics is great for an intro course. The companion website also makes my job as an instructor easier" -- Colleen M. Clark, Salisbury University

"I’ve been teaching with Bartlett’s Practical Recording Techniques since the 4th edition because it is accessible to all of my students, who really run the gamut when it comes to prior knowledge and/or experience. It also covers both studio and concert hall approaches -- both of which I deal with in various classes throughout the year. The 7th edition not only taught me some new things but also gave me fresh ideas and perspectives for further utilizing it in my classes.” -- Kevin Harbison, recording engineer, Technical Director of Grusin Music Hall, University of Colorado Boulder

"Whether you are recording others or capturing your own muse, this book can help you find your way. Bartlett combines an expert's knowledge and an aficionado’s love of music, and he's produced a book and accompanying online materials that both seasoned professionals and absolute newbies can learn a lot from." -- Flawn Williams, Georgetown University Department of Performing Arts