Man, the fonts are small on this book!
Those were the exact thoughts I had when I finally started reading Chris Schlarb’s 4″ x 6″, 52- page book, On Recording – A Manifesto.
But as I went through the book, you almost can smell the combination of mics, studio, coffee and experience that Chris has filtered into this compact book.
You have compressors for audio? Well, how about compressing experience, wisdom and geeky insights? That’s what this book has.
In addition to the book (which is really beautifully designed by D.Norsen by the way), you also get a minute audio book version that Chris says is “Probably the only audiobook recorded onto a cassette tape with a little Roland Space Echo in the mix?!”
So what is the gist of the book?
Well, to simplify it all, it’s a guide to a practical no B.S. life to making music (or any kind of art really).
In my oversimplification of it, Chris shares his take on being an audio engineer & studio owner, to which I would say boils down to:
Do good work, use what you have, make the most of things, do more work, live a good life doing good work.
(My words to summarize it, not his).
There are so many quotable quotes in the whole book and it’s one of those books that is worth reading again and again.
Also, it was a treat to see mentions of some of my musical heroes like Nels Cline (who I last saw perform years ago at Scott Amendola’s birthday show in San Francisco) and Ronan Chris Murphy (who mixed my friend/mentor singer-songwriter Pete Teo’s album).
The writing itself… it’s part Seth Godin, part Derek Sivers, part Chris Do… if they were all mixed to two-track into a creative soul by the name of Chris Schlarb.
I love the book & recommend it highly for all creatives. Especially if you’re an engineer or musician, you probably would dig it.
Pros: Good book, real talk, great stories, wonderful anecdotes.
Cons: Man, the fonts are small on this book (I wonder whether Chris would consider adding a PDF version to the release?)
[9 MARCH 2023 UPDATE: There is a PDF included in the download! I forgot to check that because I was streaming the audiobook on the Bandcamp app.]
TLDR: If you like pretty books with honest thoughts and good food for thought, this might be your jam.
You can get the book & audio book directly from Chris here: https://schlarb.bandcamp.com/album/on-recording-a-manifesto
[Submissions for Review Consideration]
- Are you an author who wrote a jazz, guitar or music book?
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Please send me a message at azsamad3 at gmail.com with:
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I cannot guarantee a review for every submission & if I’m not too into it, I may opt not to review it. I mean, it’s better to get a good review that for me to write a bad review just because it’s not a match for the kind of stuff I dig right? :p
NOTE: All reviews reflect my honest personal opinion so be aware that I will point out both cool Pros and Cons that I see in the work. You dig?