Best Electronic Music Production Books

Best Electronic Music Production Books – Being a music producer is more than making cool songs. If you’re serious about a successful career in music production, you’ll need to develop the technical skills, creative strategies, and other important qualities needed to make a name for yourself in the music industry.

And learning by doing is one of the best ways to cut your teeth, and you can get a lot of useful information from reading. Book. Remember them? Something with paper in them?

Best Electronic Music Production Books

Best Electronic Music Production Books

Here, we’ve scoured our (virtual) bookshelves and come up with an essential reading list for music producers of any genre at any stage of their career. This list is partly designed for education – filling in any gaps you may have with the technical aspects of music production knowledge; But to inspire you to try new things and keep your creative workflow open.

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“Show me a family of readers and I’ll show you people who move the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Books in this category are all about the nuts and bolts of music production. How to make good music; Best practices for working with artists and bands; record process; art mixing and mastering; and the basics of music theory.

Growing up in small town PA, Owsinski learned the ropes of the music industry through trial and error. Decades of work as an engineer, producer and session musician gave him deep knowledge of music production.

He has distilled this time of learning into a series of books covering recording, mixing and mastering. The Recording Engineer’s Handbook was the first and now in its fourth edition, the book has been updated to offer a comprehensive overview of studio recording in today’s high-tech environment.

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Packed into 328 pages is everything you need to know about the art of recording, including an overview of the elements of recording, how to use a microphone, techniques for any instrument, and more.

If you like Mr. Owsinski, you might want to check out the other two books in this series:

Bobby Owsinski’s trilogy of books covers one of the art of mixing, and you’d be wise to check out Mike Senior’s manual on how to get a good mix in even the tiniest of studios.

Best Electronic Music Production Books

Packed with cutting-edge recording techniques from leading audio engineers and mixing engineers, this guide offers the reader a comprehensive lesson on how to apply a variety of approaches to achieve a radio-ready mix.

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Many music producers are well-versed in making music, how different sounds work together, and different mixing styles, but lack formal training in music theory.

While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, knowing how to make sausage can really improve your output and take your creative process to the next level. If you work with other bands and artists, you will be praised for your musical wisdom.

So whether you work in niche metal or electronic music production, if your music theory is rusty, check out Michael Hewitt’s easy-to-digest guide. All the basic theory is explained in a simple, relatable way, using piano rolls instead of sticks.

Creating great music is only part of your job as a music producer. You should put on your grown-up pants and take care of the business side. It’s not always fun, but it’s definitely important if you don’t want to be completely careless and make abhorrent professional mistakes.

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The following book will help you understand the dark underbelly of the music business, know what you’re entitled to, and give you more confidence when it’s time to enter the dotted line.

Yes, we’re back with Bobby! In this book, Owsinski completely covers everything you need to know about being a producer, including all the hats you need to wear. (Budget? Contract? Recruit session players? Now what?)

A particularly useful part of the art is being a diplomat and psychotherapist for the artists you work with – an often overlooked (or overlooked) aspect of music making.

Best Electronic Music Production Books

Plus, you’ll learn how hybrid producers make money in our brave new world of streaming, and tips for troubleshooting and fixing songs that aren’t working.

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If you’re serious about becoming a full-time producer, this book will give you all the knowledge you need.

Ari Herstand’s Road Map Through the Music Industry has been popular on music school reading lists since it was published in 2016.

Now in its third edition, this business how-to book covers every aspect of being an independent musician. While the text is geared more toward artists who want to get away from the greasy hands of major labels, there’s plenty of sage advice here for music producers who want to carve their own path.

Being a producer is as much an art as an artist, and Hurstand’s book will help you chart your path to global industry dominance (or at least figure out how to make a decent career out of it).

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Again, if you work with other artists and bands, this book will help you steer them in the right direction.

Sometimes it’s good to get into the head of another music producer and see how it works. Maybe you will pick up some useful tricks, or you will be inspired by their long and successful career.

After all, there is great value in reading biographies of legendary music producers, so here are our picks.

Best Electronic Music Production Books

Rick Rubin has worked with artists as diverse as Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jay-Z, just to name a few. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential music producers of all time.

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Jake Brown’s in-depth chronicle of Rubin’s career and unique recording scene will enlighten you to your own greatness.

Howard Massey’s ‘Behind The Glass’ series is a premium collection of in-depth interviews with top recording engineers and producers.

Inside they share time-tested techniques and creative processes in making music, as well as modern best practices.

Don’t be put off by the book’s interview format. There are many gems here that will make you think outside the box and help you create your own production style.

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Our last category of books is not specifically related to music production. But as a designer you will need to get your inspiration and run from time to time, and books in this category will definitely do that.

This best selling business strategy is in the form of a parable. You may be wondering how working in the manufacturing world can benefit from using business methods – the answer is: it’s not all about you.

Reading this book will give you new insights into how you can grow your career as a music producer by connecting with the people you work with (and for).

Best Electronic Music Production Books

As you go through your music career, there are times when you start to question your choices and wonder if you did the right thing. Sometimes your own voice can get lost in the noise of millions of other voices clamoring for your attention.

Studio For Electronic Music (wdr)

This is where Mark Manson’s approach to living your best life will help you get back on track to produce music and enjoy the journey.

Although the title of this book suggests that it is only for electronic music production, the strategies in it can be applied to any genre and any instrument.

DeSantis has compiled a large collection of problem scenarios and design techniques to overcome these obstacles. Whether you’re stuck on how to start, develop or finish a song, his suggestions will get your mouse moving again.

The hardcover edition is a little more expensive, but it’s cheaper than on Kindle or as a .pdf from the Ableton website. I’d say it’s worth the $10 investment to broaden your horizons.

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Brian Eno has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world, so he knows a thing or two about being a producer. Oblique Strategy is a fun set of cards, each a suggestion of action or thought designed to help artists create boxes and inspire their work.

No, it’s not just a book, but it’s a useful tool to keep around the studio when you’re not sure which direction to turn. Coldplay and MGMT are enough for me.

Unlike the other books on this list, The Oblique Strategy is not available on Amazon. You can get it directly from the Eno website:

Best Electronic Music Production Books

There’s a lot of reading on this list, and the prospect of digging through all the books will fill you with dread. Cheap e-books and yes, free YouTube videos.

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But there are benefits to having your own physical book and markers that you can refer back to again and again.

My advice? See what you can get from your local library. If the book resonates with you, get a physical copy and get lazy with your Sharpie highlighter.

Or to put it another way, every book on this list is cheaper than buying it

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