Felt pens, duct tape, band-aids, screwdrivers, aspirin and vitamins. According to Tim Crich's Recording Tips for Engineers (Black Ink $39.95), these are essential tools of the trade when engineering music for the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, KISS, Billy Joel, U2, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Cher and Bryan Adams, all clients of his. He credits Ron "Obvious" Vermeulin, head tech at Bryan Adams' Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, for giving him a leg up in the business.

As a sequel to Crich's Assistant Engineers Handbook-required reading in audio schools across North America-Recording Tips has 1000 hints for recording engineers and musicians starting with a crash-course in physics-breaking-down wavelength, amplitude and frequency into digestible explanations and illustrations. Advice ranges from eliminating guitar hum to charting frequency clusters.

•Common sense: "I have seen engineers lose gigs because they got wasted and became an idiot. Do what I do. Wait until your day off to start drinking at 7 a.m.";
•How to be a recording engineer: "The studio is just a tool. Often so is the studio manager, but that's another story.";
•Movie soundtracks: "To fit in [with movie people], put your hair in a pony tail, wear shoes with no socks, and call everyone 'babe.'";

Tim Crich's Assistant Engineers Handbook and the novel With hair like this, who needs talent? are also from Black Ink Publishing in Vancouver. 0-969-82231-6

[BCBW 2003] "Music"