MUSKA & LIPMAN PUBLISHING Chris Middleton's Complete Guide to Digital Audio ($39.99) is probably the most attractive softbound coffee-table book on studio


Chris Middleton's Complete Guide to Digital Audio ($39.99) is probably the most attractive softbound coffee-table book on studio technology ever published. Subtitled A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Sound and Music-Making, the lavishly illustrated 192-page book introduces dozens of subjects concerning electronic musicians, from the history and basics of acoustics, sound production, and recording to computers, digital instruments, and studio setup.

Scattered throughout are quotes from Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel, and others. Color photos and screen shots take up at least as much space as the text. I suspect this book will find its way into many recording studio lounges, if only to provide eye candy for waiting clients. Muska & Lipman Publishing (a division of Course Technology); tel. (800) 354-9706; email; Web


Among the most recent books in the Apple Pro Training Series is Mary Plummer's Soundtrack: Create Original Scores for Video, DVD, and the Web ($39.99). Most of Soundtrack provides hands-on instruction using materials from the included DVD-ROM. Plummer introduces Soundtrack's user interface, then progresses to arranging, editing, and mixing songs. She explains how to create temporary scores, sync to video, prepare music for various media, and use the Soundtrack Loop Utility.

When you've completed this 458-page guide, you'll qualify to take a Soundtrack certification exam at an Apple Authorized Training Center. Soundtrack is suitable for classroom use or self-instruction, and each of the nine lessons takes from 30 to 90 minutes to complete. If you don't already have Apple's loop-oriented composition software, a downloadable 30-day demo should soon be available on Peachpit's Web site. Peachpit Press; tel. (800) 283-9444 or (510) 524-2178; Web


Whether you've been using Pro Tools for a while or you're trying to decide which version is right for you, The Complete Pro Tools Handbook ($49.95) has plenty to offer. A tutorial guide, José “Chilitos” Valenzuela's massive 518-page book covers the fine points of Pro Tools LE, Pro Tools|24 Mix, and Pro Tools|HD. It describes the various TDM versions and their associated hardware, and it gives a similar overview of the native versions. It moves on to illustrated exercises that use audio clips from the included CD-ROM.

Most of the book focuses on recording, editing, and mastering techniques. It even devotes 67 pages to MIDI. Backbeat Books; tel. (866) 222-5232 or (408) 848-8294; email; Web


No matter how long you've been playing music, good advice on advancing your career is always welcome. That's just what you'll find in The Musician's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Music Business ($19.95). Written by Berklee graduate Bobby Borg, a working drummer who has taught music business at UCLA and the Musician's Institute, the book explains how to set and attain goals by approaching your career as a business.

Heavy on text and light on graphics, The Musician's Handbook details how to define your target audience, find a market for your talents, and establish career-building relationships. Borg clarifies the roles of business and personal managers, attorneys, talent agents, and record producers. He writes about working solo or in a band, performing live, publishing and promoting your music, and other aspects of surviving and thriving as a professional musician. Billboard Books; Web