Books for beginners

Forum Fun-raiser
Reaction score
I've said I'll try and recommend a couple of good books for getting started with music technology and making electronic-type music for a friend.

One I've found pretty handy for understanding some fairly general processes and getting to grips with the language of it all was Paul White's 'Creative Recording - pt.1 - Effects and Processors'

Any more recommendations?

Does anyone piss money away regularly on any particular overpriced magazine that they rate highly?
Frankly I don't see how buying books or magazines is necessary to learn music production.

You can find everything you need on the internet. After you learn how to set things up, the rest is just spending hours playing with knobs until you are comfortable.
That is the wonderful thing about the past 10 or so years, music technology has become affordable and the knowledge to use it available and free to the Average Joe. has a great rudimentary "Home Studio Guide" that will take you step by step through loads of different topics, for instance. There are hundreds of other websites out there that will help similarly. Edit: Click on "The guide" at the top left.
Thanks for the recommendation Flameboy. That's totally the sort of thing.

Maybe I'll mention a subscription to CM too, thanks Chris H.

Thanks for the website tips Reconstructed - the books are for a friend of mine to buy for her husband for xmas, some encouragement to get a bit deeper involved.

For sure there's a lot of current useful information on the net, but I think there's still room for having books around to dip into now and then. And of course nothing beats getting stuck in and twiddling for learning - I guess there's a learning tradition involved too. The person the books are for is an, um 'mature' gentleman, and reading books is probably the way he's used to approaching learning something new.

Once again - cheers dudes. :Smile3:
I was recommended 'Mastering Audio' by Bob Katz and still wading thru that, Basically it is on what us need for mastering, which is related to music production in general, since a mastering enigineer needs to know about all the stages that come before it and understand how what they have been sent can be 'improved'. May nt be an ideal beginners book, but I am a beginner, so y not check it out.

This is a good site also:
Hey, I am reading the same book too. Glad to see someone else thought it useful as I do. Some of my musician friends looked at me as if I were a money waster.

True, not really for beginners but not too difficult anyway. Worth a reading to me, maybe as a follow up of previous suggestions up here

i buy future music, sound on sound, music tech magazine and digital music maker every month.
£20 goddamn it... but there are usually some cool samples on the cds on some of them.

Although Ive heard peeps slag computer music etc but Ive found as a beginner its really useful to read whatever u can get ur hands on and these are always full of handy bits n pieces + pics of things droolworthy kit u can't afford + general lingo etc :Smile3:

sound-on-sound seems to be the most serious from my exp

<bob katz related remarks here>

yeah im reading katz-masta-b right now as also recommended by someone and its damn good! Theres a lot of waffle about hokey-kokey-3000-kitchen-sink-compress-o-matic's and other strange bits of specialised kit but its chok full of useful theory interwoven with bob's [we're on first name terms :Wink3:] perspective on stuff - and Ive found its really readable. Yeah as mentioned its about mastering but is pretty much all applicable further upstream/elsewhere.

Frankly I don't see how buying books or magazines is necessary to learn music production.

its not *strictly necessary* but its always nice to have some 'proper' books as against a load of pdf's/web pages - and a noice thing to give someone at the end of the day too! Anyway Ive always a thought speding hard-earned dollars on good books and music really worthwhile compared to tipping it down the drain on other useless pap quite frankly :Wink3:

I also recommend "Sound Design" by David Sonnenschein ... its more about scoring for film n stuff but theres great psychoaccoustics primer material, listening excersices and loads of interesting anecdotes like "We were workin on film x and got this crazy sound effect by sticking a hoover up a badgers bum and then broadcasting it over fm radio whilst twiddling the knobs and licking the aerial" ... well that kinda thing anyway :Wink3:

Heh - as a musician mate said to me, 'Future Music is like porno for musos'.

I try and steer clear of those kinds of mags these days - interesting to read up on the new tech, but I'm just as inclined to take notice of marketting material as I am of mag reviews. They always seem to be biased...
Yeah fair point, only really seen one review that truly cussed a product. Virsyn Cantor it was in FM i think.