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  • I'm Thinking About Writing A Book

    I know this isn't likely to appeal to any of the regular gang here, but more and more, I'm seeing people on audio-related or manufacturer's forums that goes something like this:



    "I'm brand new to mixers. I just bought [a mixer], [a graphic equalizer], [a compressor], [a speaker management device], and [a pair of speakers]. Can someone tell me the right way to hook this up? My band has a gig on Friday night and we need to bring the PA system."



    Really!



    I don't want to send these people to the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook or something like that, and I haven't been able to find something like a "Dummies" book that explains what outputs go to what inputs and some very basic "what you need and what you don't" information. I've written plenty of articles over the years on the subject, as have others, but the people who have a carload of gear and no knowledge can't sift through all that. They want all that they need, just what they need, and they need it right now.



    I don't want to make engineers out of those people, I just want them to get sound out of their systems so they can hear what they have and start learning how to use it.



    I've been thinking about approaching one of the technical publishers that's getting into e-books. I think that's probably what these people want rather than a physical book. Please convince me that I shouldn't call it "Sound Systems For Drummers."



    I did look at the For Dummies web page and didn't see anything there like what I'm thinking about. I'd be tempted to approach them but they work like major record labels (well, they're a major publisher) and don't solicit proposals. Either they need to come to you and as you to write a book or you need to go through a literary agent.
    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

  • #2
    Good luck with that, Mike



    I've thought about writing a book. But they say 'Write what you know'. Trouble is, I know nothing

    a selection of my songs: https://soundcloud.com/songwriter101

    my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SaulTiberiusNads

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    • #3
      @ Mike, I think its a great idea.



      @ Mark, write about nothing.

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by MikeRivers
        View Post

        I don't want to send these people to the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook




        Go for it. But what's wrong with the Yamaha book? It's one of the best reference guides out there

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        • #5
          Your avatar looks like it needs some Caig's Deoxit, Mike.

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          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by mcmike100
            View Post

            Go for it. But what's wrong with the Yamaha book? It's one of the best reference guides out there




            It is, for folks like us who know something, but these are people who want a quick answer. For them, you can't start out with principles and then explain how they apply, at least not when answering on a forum. Too many of them think you're a "know it all" and profusely thank the person who says "plug the speaker into the Main output of the mixer."



            Then a day later they'll come back and ask where to plug in their monitors, and next they'll want to know why they feed back when they're loud enough to hear.
            --
            "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
            Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

            Comment


            • #7






              Quote Originally Posted by MikeRivers
              View Post

              I know this isn't likely to appeal to any of the regular gang here, but more and more, I'm seeing people on audio-related or manufacturer's forums that goes something like this:



              "I'm brand new to mixers. I just bought [a mixer], [a graphic equalizer], [a compressor], [a speaker management device], and [a pair of speakers]. Can someone tell me the right way to hook this up? My band has a gig on Friday night and we need to bring the PA system."



              Really!



              I don't want to send these people to the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook or something like that, and I haven't been able to find something like a "Dummies" book that explains what outputs go to what inputs and some very basic "what you need and what you don't" information. I've written plenty of articles over the years on the subject, as have others, but the people who have a carload of gear and no knowledge can't sift through all that. They want all that they need, just what they need, and they need it right now.



              I don't want to make engineers out of those people, I just want them to get sound out of their systems so they can hear what they have and start learning how to use it.



              I've been thinking about approaching one of the technical publishers that's getting into e-books. I think that's probably what these people want rather than a physical book. Please convince me that I shouldn't call it "Sound Systems For Drummers."



              I did look at the For Dummies web page and didn't see anything there like what I'm thinking about. I'd be tempted to approach them but they work like major record labels (well, they're a major publisher) and don't solicit proposals. Either they need to come to you and as you to write a book or you need to go through a literary agent.






              From what I see, more and more people are turning to Youtube for short tutorial-style videos on targeted topics. ebooks - are there not issues with illustrations or photos with ebooks in general? People definitely need pictures at least, videos if possible.



              Just my top of the head thoughts - I do see the need for what you describe. I would think churches would also be a huge target audience, as every church that's not stuck in the 19th century has some sort of board, some sort of PA setup, and a revolving door of 20-30 somethings trying to learn it/run it/borrow it/expand it/experiment with it, etc.



              nat whilk ii

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              • #8
                Don't write a book with the intention of making enough money to justify the time you put into it.
                _____________________________________________
                There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

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                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by nat whilk II
                  View Post

                  From what I see, more and more people are turning to Youtube for short tutorial-style videos on targeted topics.




                  Personally, I hate those short videos. The best thing about them is that they're short so maybe you can remember what was in the video by the time you get a chance to put it into practice. But you only learn one thing from those and then you have to go looking for another one the next time you get stuck.








                  ebooks - are there not issues with illustrations or photos with ebooks in general? People definitely need pictures at least, videos if possible.



                  Pictures, yes. Videos, only if there's really some action involved. I don't think someone needs a video showing a plug going into a jack or turning a knob, as long as the picture clearly identifies where that jack or knob is. I've seen manuals that describe a control or a connector in great deal and the picture is of a jack, or a knob, totally out of context.



                  Are there issues with illustrations in eBooks? I don't know. I don't like those much either. I was only think of an e-book because people want the information NOW and don't want to have to order and wait for a book. I've received a good number of requests for a PDF version of my Mackie hard disk recorder book and I've resisted that because I figure that once it's out there, it's too easy to share. I don't exactly make a killing off that, but at least a little money dribbles in each month. E-books have some sort of management system that isn't completely restrictive, but prevents them from going too far. I'm not sure how that works though. And besides, these are people who generally don't want to spend the prices of a book because "all the information is out there on the web." if they only go looking for it, or find a sucker like me who attempts to explain it.








                  Just my top of the head thoughts - I do see the need for what you describe. I would think churches would also be a huge target audience, as every church that's not stuck in the 19th century has some sort of board, some sort of PA setup, and a revolving door of 20-30 somethings trying to learn it/run it/borrow it/expand it/experiment with it, etc.



                  Yes, I do see a lot of people who just got a new mixer for their church. The churches that have half million dollar sound systems have a real engineering staff and don't need anything like this. Churches that have youth bands are the ones where there's never a real expert. But I see the same kind of requests from people with their own bands or studios, too.
                  --
                  "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                  Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                  Comment


                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
                    View Post

                    Don't write a book with the intention of making enough money to justify the time you put into it.




                    Gee, I thought you were keeping up the boat payments with royalties from your books. I figure that over the last 20 years I've put in enough time answering the same basic questions over and over again to have written a few books. That's why I wrote the Mackie book - to point people to it who had the common questions and problems so I wouldn't have to post the answers on the forum over and over again.
                    --
                    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good idea, but not for Dummies. Dummies know that you can just have the janitor to set up the sound system.
                      "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

                      My music: http://www.oranjproductions.com

                      The first website dedicated to the the baritone guitar: http://www.thebaritoneguitar.com

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                      • #12
                        Oh I dunno... I would say do what it takes to land the FOR DUMMIES aegis.
                        Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that. Wayne Thiebaud


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                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by rasputin1963
                          View Post

                          Oh I dunno... I would say do what it takes to land the FOR DUMMIES aegis.




                          That was my first thought as well. But... barring that, I think it is a dandy idea and one that will perfectly fill a gap that exists in the market. The Yamaha is fantastic, but it is long in the tooth and a bit overkill for the weekend warrior or intimidated duo singer looking to get her first gig going.



                          It sounds like a great idea to me.
                          __________
                          Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

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                          • #14
                            I see your point about videos, Lee, but for things where I'm nearly clueless, they can be a big help. Videos can show things in a way that pictures can't, for someone who isn't even quite sure what things are called, what they look like, and how they go together. I suspect you're right, though, for PA setup. Maybe that's because I know what things are and how they go together, though. A video for mounting a TV bracket is very helpful, but for setting up a PA? Not sure.



                            In any case, other than for initial orientation, I definitely prefer a good manual to a video, so I can go slow where I need to and skim where I can, and refer later and find the part I'm looking for. Videos suck for random access.



                            The biggest problem with PA is that there are so many options, considering powered mixers vs. mixer plus amp and passive speakers vs. mixer plus powered speakers, just to get started. But, that's just the area where a nice clear presentation could really help.



                            I spent a fair amount of time answering questions for newbies for computer recording, at various forums. While I always wanted to write it all up concisely, the real problem was that, even though it's very repetitive, it's a lot simpler to answer each specific question, than to start with nothing and cover all the bases, even if just limiting to the main ones.



                            What I do wish we had was a good "audio wiki" where we could collect stuff like this. I'd also like to see a good "keyboard wiki" where people could post things like, a table with the differences in all the versions of Privia pianos.
                            learjeff.net

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                            • #15
                              Just this morning, I ran across a post where someone was trying to use the latency measurement/compensation feature of Tracktion and asked how to set his USB mixer to loop back the test signal. I was thinking that if I had that mixer and a video camera, in a minute I could show him which buttons to press and where to put the patch cables.



                              But this would be one solution for one user. The person who had a different mixer and a different DAW program probably wouldn't be able to translate the video to his own mixer. If he understood the principle (which includes a refresher on where the playback comes into the mixer and where the DAW gets the signal that it's recording, he could look at his mixer and say "Oh, now I get it."



                              At least I hope so. Some will, some still won't. It's the ones that won't that I want to pay me to come to them and teach them what they need to know. So far, nobody will. Because there's always someone on the Internet or a YouTube video that will show them exactly what they want to know at the time.



                              Sure glad I don't have to make money at this.
                              --
                              "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
                              Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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