Book Review: The Business of Audio Engineering


The Business of Audio Engineering
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Recommended for you if you are starting out in or considering a career in the audio industry.

Alternate title: War Stories – How NOT to get caught in the crossfire.

Length: 205 pages split into 15 bite sized chapters and an appendix

Quick review:

This book has the most appropriate title of any book ever written on the subject. Do not look here if you want a book of mixing tips from the professionals. This is a book of business tips from a successful audio pro. Actually, referring to them as tips undersells the book a bit. This is more a book of wisdom for the audio field. The book frames most of information in the form of related war stories of working with some of the biggest names in entertainment. It is not, however, a gossip book. Every piece of information is there for a reason and that reason is to guide you on your journey toward building a successful career.

What the book promises on the cover

  • How to know your value and set your rate.

Don’t look here for an itemized list of hard numbers. The author does not give you information on exactly what to charge for particular jobs. This seems like a negative at first, but is actually something that will give the book longevity instead of expiring in five years when rates have risen.

  • How to legally form your own company.

There is no substitute for getting personal advice from an accountant or lawyer if you are planning on starting your own business as a corporation. Information here will prepare you for that conversation and allow you to enter it confidently.

  • Tips for working in the real world.

I consider this to be the meat of the book. While there are certain chapters on specific topics, the whole book is about this in general. If you could sit down with a successful audio engineer and ask him how for advice, that conversation would sound a lot like reading this book.

  •  How to make a great living and create the ultimate audio engineering lifestyle.

I have a hard time believing this line was put on the cover by the author. This sounds like something the publisher tacked on to sell more books. This is not a get rich quick book for the audio recording industry and nowhere within its pages does it pretend to be so.

Summary

I found it refreshing that Business does not try to provide recipes for success or promise big bucks and instant fame. You will find a down to earth read with realistic expectations in these pages. Established audio professionals may be able to glean some extra perspective from this book but it is really geared toward younger engineers or anyone considered making the move toward an audio career. The business sense imparted by Dave Hampton is most directly applicable to the audio field, but freelancers in any industry could apply some of the business lessons contained here. Overall this was an interesting and informative read that can be enjoyed by any reader with an interest in the audio engineering field.

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