Below is a lis of books I’ve found useful while trying to master different software packages, production tools, sound manipulation and much more! If you are getting started in music production and sound engineering, I recommend you check them out!
(It’s short but I’m adding them whenever I have some time…)
Producing Music with Ableton Live
(Hal Leonard / Jake Perrine)
This book is laid out as a tutorial that walks you through the basics of making music in Live. It starts with the Session View and talks about clip management and manipulation as well as playback options and controls. It then progresses via tempo / time management and other tools into the Arrangement View. Overall I think it’s a great intro to Live 8. It might be a bit shallow at some points but the pace is high and it keeps things interesting. Also, it comes with a DVD with sample projects and sound files to be used while working through the tutorial. If you are just getting started with Live 8 I highly recommend it.
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
(Focal Press / Mike Senior)
While a bit dry from time to time, this is THE book to get as a primer on how to produce good sounding mixes on budget equipment in a budget setting. Mike begins the book by explaining all the ins and outs of creating the optimal environment for ‘hearing’ your own mixes essentially walking you through the important parts of what to consider when building your bedroom / garage / spare closet studio. (I really wish I had read this book before I bought my near field monitors…). While it gets a bit technical sometimes, and perhaps not all of the tips are applicable if you are on a really tight budget, the theories and learnings gained from this walkthrough are invaluable. The rest of the book talks about the major components for building a great mixdown, Balance, Compression, EQ, mixing with effects and so on. For a primer on the building blocks of great sounding music I think this is a must read.
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio (Amazon)
Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming
(Backbeat Books / Jim Aikin)
This book now has a few years on it (published in 2004) but it’s still a great introduction to working with sound design on synthesizers. You’ll be surprised at the amount of information that is still valid, and at how little have changed in terms of workflow and actual features of modern synthesizers. True, capabilities have certainly evolved but the foundational building blocks of constructing sounds (or patches) have stayed mostly the same. This book assumes little prior knowledge and is a great starting point if you are looking for in depth but approachable introductions to the various common components that make up a synthesizer sound engine. The foreword by Allen Strange is also a nice bonus. I got mine used from a bookstore in Tokyo, but I think you can order it from the link below:
Logic Pro X – Professional Music Production
(Pearson / David Nahnmani)
This book is part of Apple’s Pro Training Series, and is certified by Apple as part of their official certification program. This is important because it means you can expect a certain level of quality and accuracy in the material, and the book certainly does not let you down.
It takes the form of a series of lessons which all work out like tutorials complete with all the necessary content. The book starts off with a tour of the UI and leads you through all the major ‘features’ and workflows (think mixing, arranging, editing, working with Midi and Audio files, setting up instruments and so on).
It’s a beautiful, full color book with a very well paced and pedagogical language that requires basically no prior knowledge of Logic, though it does assume you are familiar with the basic concepts of audio editing and production.
I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the depths and capabilities of Logic Pro X, and especially to anyone making the jump from another DAW to Logic.
The lessons are just about long enough (60 to 90 min )to check off one a day, which means you’ll work through the entire book in about 10 days.