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How Mixing with Your Mind Can Boost Your Creativity and Skills in Music Production

Mixing with Your Mind: A Book Review

If you are looking for a book that will teach you how to mix music in a practical and technical way, Mixing with Your Mind by Michael Stavrou might not be the best choice for you. However, if you are looking for a book that will inspire you to mix music in a creative and artistic way, Mixing with Your Mind might be exactly what you need.


Mixing with Your Mind is a book that reveals the closely guarded secrets of sound balance engineering, as the subtitle suggests. It was written by Michael Stavrou, a sound engineer who has worked with artists such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Kate Bush, Sting and many others. The book was first published in 2003 and has since become a cult classic among audio enthusiasts.

In this book review, we will explore the main concepts of the book, the benefits and drawbacks of reading it, and some frequently asked questions about it. Let's get started!

The main concepts of the book

The book is divided into four parts: The Art of Mixing, The Science of Mixing, The Philosophy of Mixing and The Business of Mixing. Each part contains several chapters that cover different topics related to mixing music. Some of the topics include:

  • The three levels of listening: physical, emotional and intellectual

  • The four elements of sound: frequency, amplitude, time and space

  • The six rules of mixing: balance, blend, panorama, depth, dimension and dynamics

  • The importance of polarity, phase and delay

  • The use of compression, equalization and reverb

  • The role of monitors, headphones and acoustics

  • The psychology of mixing and communication

  • The ethics and etiquette of mixing

The book is not a typical manual or guide that tells you exactly what to do or how to do it. Rather, it is a collection of insights, tips and anecdotes that aim to stimulate your imagination and intuition. The author uses metaphors, analogies and examples to explain complex concepts in simple terms. He also encourages you to experiment with different techniques and approaches to find your own style and voice.

The benefits of reading the book

There are many benefits that you can get from reading this book. Some of them are:

  • You can improve your mixing skills and creativity by learning from a seasoned professional who has worked with some of the most successful artists in the industry.

  • You can discover new ways of thinking about sound and music that can help you create more original and expressive mixes.

  • You can challenge yourself to go beyond the conventional rules and methods of mixing and explore your own potential and preferences.

The book is not only informative but also entertaining and engaging. The author writes with humor, passion and honesty, sharing his personal stories and opinions. The book is also easy to read and understand, thanks to the clear and concise language and the use of illustrations and diagrams.

The drawbacks of reading the book

Of course, the book is not perfect and it has some drawbacks that you should be aware of. Some of them are:

  • The book can be too subjective and personal for some readers who might not agree with the author's views or tastes.

  • The book can be too vague and abstract for some topics that might require more detailed and specific explanations or examples.

  • The book can be outdated and irrelevant for some aspects of modern mixing that have changed or evolved since the book was written.

The book is not meant to be a comprehensive or authoritative source of information on mixing. It is more like a personal memoir or a philosophical essay that reflects the author's experience and perspective. Therefore, you should not take everything in the book as gospel or dogma, but rather as inspiration or guidance.

In conclusion, Mixing with Your Mind is a book that can help you develop your mixing skills and creativity in a unique and unconventional way. It is not a book for everyone, but it is definitely a book for those who want to mix music with their mind, not just with their ears or their tools. If you are interested in reading this book, you can buy it from the author's website or download it from various online sources. Happy mixing!


  • Where can I buy or download the book?

You can buy the book from the author's website at You can also download the PDF version of the book from various online sources, such as Anna's Archive or Library Genesis.

  • Who is Michael Stavrou and what is his background?

Michael Stavrou is a sound engineer who has worked with some of the most famous artists in the world, such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Kate Bush, Sting, George Martin, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and many others. He has also written articles for audio magazines and taught courses on sound engineering. He is based in Australia and runs his own studio called Flux Research.

  • What are some examples of songs or albums that use the techniques from the book?

Some of the songs or albums that the author mentions in the book as examples of his techniques are:

  • "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings

  • "Rocket Man" by Elton John

  • "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush

  • "Englishman in New York" by Sting

  • "The Nightfly" by Donald Fagen

  • "The Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd

  • How long does it take to read the book?

The book has 272 pages and is divided into 36 chapters. Depending on your reading speed and interest, it might take you anywhere from a few hours to a few days to read the book.

  • What are some other books or resources on mixing that you recommend?

Some of the other books or resources on mixing that you might find useful are:

  • "Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio" by Mike Senior

  • "The Mixing Engineer's Handbook" by Bobby Owsinski

  • "Zen and the Art of Mixing" by Mixerman

  • "Mixing Audio: Concepts, Practices and Tools" by Roey Izhaki

  • Sound on Sound: Techniques

  • Pensado's Place: YouTube Channel

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