This article will discuss the best books for learning music production in 2023.
Music production is the process of developing, creating, and refining recorded, sampled, or programmed music for public presentation. It involves choosing material to record, writing songs and musical arrangements, using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) or recording studio to create and capture the music, and further developing it using tools and effects for enhancing its quality and tone.
Books are a great way to learn about music production, as they provide comprehensive and detailed information about the topic, an in-depth look at topics, which can be difficult to find elsewhere. and a more immersive learning experience than watching YouTube videos or reading articles.
Top 12 Music Production Books For Beginners 2022
1. Audio Engineering 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Music Production By Tim Dittmar
Audio Engineering 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Music Production by Tim Dittmar is an incredibly helpful and informative book for those looking to get started in the music industry.
The book is written in an easy-to-understand language and is broken down into accessible and actionable sections. It covers topics ranging from the basics of recording equipment and studio acoustics to the principles of EQ/compression and even gives music examples to work from.
- Practical Advice
There is a section dedicated to giving practical advice on how to navigate the music industry, with insights from professionals on internships, people skills, and jobs. Hence, the book is not just written for you to become a better music producer, but also to help your career as one, as success in the music industry requires more things in addition to your skills.
- Easy to understand
The book provides an audio and video examples section to complement the text, allowing you to hear and see what is being discussed. The book also has FAQs that answer some of the most common doubts that beginner producers have.
- Teaches people skills
The music business is a people’s business as much as it is an art business and it involves networking. The book teaches you about body language, creating a good atmosphere in the studio and recordings, and more. This information will help you become a professional.
- Starts with basics
The book starts by answering what sound is and explaining its physical properties, like frequency amplitude, wavelength, velocity, harmonics, etc., and distinctions between the analog and digital worlds. This information is great for building a strong foundation for your music production journey.
- Great for a beginner
The book covers all the basics, from equipment, studio acoustics, and the principles of EQ/ compression, to music examples to work from and how to use compression. It is also filled with hands-on, step-by-step technique breakdowns and interviews with active professionals, and instruction in using digital consoles, iPads for mixing, audio apps, plug-ins, home studios, and audio for podcasts.
The book is a great guide if you are just starting out as a music producer or thinking of learning production. It’s a 250-page read that is available in Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook formats. Whether you come from a musical background or not, the book will help you get started in the audio world.
2. The Music Producer’s Ultimate Guide to FL Studio 20 By Joshua Au-Yeung
The Music Producer’s Ultimate Guide to FL Studio 20 by Joshua Au-Yeung is a specialized book for learning music production in FL Studio 20.
FL Studio 20 is a digital audio workstation (DAW) software program developed by Image-Line, which music producers commonly use to create, edit, and mix music. The text provides an in-depth look at the software’s features and functionality. It offers tips and techniques for using it to create professional-quality music and is aimed at music producers of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced users.
- Detailed explanations of the software’s features
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the software’s features, including the step sequencer, virtual instruments, mixer, effects, MIDI support, playlist window, mixer window, sampler, and automation.
- Tips and techniques for using the software
The book includes various tips and techniques for using the software to create professional-quality music. These tips cover many topics, including beat-making, sound design, mixing, and mastering. It goes into the plugins and teaches some great hacks around building a great workflow in Fruity Loops.
- Step-by-step tutorials
The book includes several step-by-step tutorials that guide you through the process of creating music using the software. These tutorials are designed to be easy to follow and include screenshots and images to help you understand the concepts.
- Explanation of the software’s advanced features
The material covers the software’s advanced features, such as the use of VST and AU plug-ins, and offers tips and techniques for using these features to create more complex and sophisticated music.
- Practical Guide
The author Joshua Au-Yeung being a Music Producer himself provides professional insight on how to use the software efficiently and gives practical guidelines. The book also includes several exercises and projects to help you practice and apply the concepts you have learned.
The Music Producer’s Ultimate Guide to FL Studio 20 by Joshua Au-Yeung is primarily aimed at music producers who want to learn how to use the FL Studio 20 software to create, edit, and mix music. The book is designed for music producers of all skill levels, from beginners new to the software to advanced users who want to learn more about its advanced features and functionality.
The book is also useful for those interested in music production in general and who want to learn more about the software and techniques used in the industry.
3. Ableton Live 101: An Introduction to Ableton Live 10 (101 Series)
Ableton Live 101: An Introduction to Ableton Live 10 (101 Series) is a book or course that introduces Ableton Live 10.
Ableton is a digital audio workstation (DAW) software for music production, performance, and live DJing. The book or course is designed to teach the basics of the DAW and provide a foundation for more advanced use of the software. It may cover topics such as the interface, basic functions, tools, and techniques for recording, editing, and manipulating audio and MIDI.
- Examples and projects
The book may include examples and projects demonstrating how to use Ableton Live 10 to create different types of music and showcase different features of the software. It also includes hands-on tutorials and exercises to help users learn how to use the software and practice the skills they are learning.
- Tips and tricks
The book would likely provide tips and tricks for using Ableton Live 10 more effectively, such as how to use certain features or how to work around common problems. It includes schemes for editing, recording, sound designing, and more.
- A great guide for Ableton
The book covers everything from Audio Processing to MIDI Production, Mixing and Automation, Max for Live, Control Surfaces, the Session View, Detail View, Control Bar, and more. That helps you get the hang of the entire workflow of the software.
- Audio Engineering basics covered.
The book also covers audio fundamentals like Waveform, frequency, amplitude, etc., which makes it accessible for beginners as well. Hence, even if you have never produced music before, the book has you covered as it covers all basics in detail.
- Advanced techniques
The book covers advanced techniques for music production, such as warping, editing, arranging audio, creating loops, and more. Ableton is a great tool for sound designing and adding interesting modulations and effects and these techniques help you utilize its potential to do that to a great extent.
The book “Ableton Live 101: An Introduction to Ableton Live 10 (101 Series)” is intended for individuals new to Ableton Live 10 or those looking to improve their skills using the software. The book is suitable for electronic music producers, musicians, and DJs who want to learn how to use the DAW for music production, performance, and live DJing.
It is especially useful for those who are looking for an entry-level guide to the software and for those who prefer to learn through written instructions and hands-on exercises.
4. SOUND DESIGN FOR BEGINNERS By Screech House
“Sound Design for Beginners” by Screech House is an excellent guide to sound design.
Sound design in music production involves creating and manipulating sounds to create unique and interesting audio elements for a song or composition. This can include using synthesizers and other electronic instruments to generate new sounds and processing and existing editing sounds using effects like EQ, reverb, and compression.
The book is written in an easy-to-understand and accessible style and provides comprehensive coverage of the essential basics of synthesis.
- Deep Dive into synthesis
The book covers everything from oscillators to modulators to filters and effects in discusses synthesizers and their workflow in great detail. After reading the book, you can work with various synth plugins and understand and tweak their complex principles and controllers.
- Answers various important “How To’s”
The book answers How to use oscillators, filters, envelopes, LFOs, and other basic synth settings. In a short 180-page read, the text can give you a great introduction and insight into the world of synthesizers, whether analog or digital, hardware or virtual, additive or subtractive, that will help you greatly in your music production process and career.
- Intuitive Read
It’s easy to read and understand and provides detailed explanations of the components and how they work together. It also provides practical advice on using the components to create unique and interesting sounds.
It provides a comprehensive overview of sound design and offers practical advice on how to use the components to create unique and interesting sounds. Moreover, Cep from Screech House is an expert in sound design, and his insight is invaluable.
- Wide range of applications
Sound design is a key element in modern music production and can be used to create a wide variety of sounds, from subtle background textures to powerful and impactful lead sounds. It can also be used to create soundscapes, ambient effects, and special effects like explosions and gunfire.
The book comes with a range of helpful resources, including a series of four Synthesizer Cookbooks which provide detailed explanations of the different components of sound design. In addition, the book offers 10 book reviews from world experts and thousands of smart readers.
Overall, Sound Design for Beginners is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about sound design. After reading the book, you will better understand plugins like Nexus, Serum, Omnsiphere, etc., and can also put your hands on hardware synths.
5. Music Production For Beginners 2022+ Edition By Tommy Swindali
Music Production For Beginners 2022+ Edition by Tommy Swindali is an ideal introductory book for anyone interested in composing and producing their music and setting up a studio.
The book contains a wealth of knowledge and guidance on how to write music, create melodies, arrange songs, and construct a studio. It begins with the fundamentals of music production and then delves deeper into the more technical aspects of producing music. It also offers guidance and information on getting your music signed and making money from your work.
- Well-structured content
The book is easy to read and follows a logical format. It is broken down into sections that focus on different aspects of producing music, making it easier to understand and follow. The author also provides helpful resources to help you get your studio off the ground.
- Complete overview
It provides a detailed overview of studio setup, music arrangement, and production, as well as tips on marketing and promoting your music. It starts with topics like BPM, pitch, frequency, etc., goes on to reading music, teaches about scales and other music theory concepts, and more.
- Suited for modern music production
The book covers studio FX, virtual instruments, sampling, composition, and more such topics that are well-suited for modern and new-school music producers. Lastly, it also touches upon mixdown, finishing your songs, and mastering.
- Non-musical information included
The book covers practical advice about getting signed, creating and sharing demos, networking, and more. These tips and tricks will surely help you if you want to build a career in the music industry.
The book is well-suited for artists, songwriters, music producers, composers, and any industry professional who wants to get a hang of the music production process. The book is not suitable for you if you’re an experienced producer, as a lot of knowledge in the book is basically that you may already be aware of.
6. Home Recording For Dummies By Jeff Strong
“Home Recording For Dummies” is a book by Jeff Strong that provides a beginner-friendly introduction to the world of home recording.
The book covers topics such as setting up a home recording studio, choosing equipment, and recording and editing audio. It is part of the popular “For Dummies” series of books known for their easy-to-understand explanations and step-by-step instructions. The book was first published in 1999 and may not cover the latest technology and techniques in home recording.
- Step-by-step instructions
The book provides clear and easy-to-follow instructions for the topics covered in the text. It also lists the equipment and will help you clear all doubts about the recording process.
- Detailed explanations
The author explains the technical aspects of home recording in a way that is easy for beginners to understand. He covers microphone types, mixing and mastering, and digital audio workstations (DAWs).
- Teaches important skill for producers
Recording is an essential part of music production for which every producer should have the fundamental know-how. One need not be a recording engineer to know how to track good-sounding vocals or guitars. The book helps you achieve exactly that.
- Range of topics
The book covers a wide range of topics relevant to home recording, including microphone placement, signal processing, and MIDI sequencing. For example, various miking techniques, whether it is for drums, vocals, guitars, etc., are covered in the book.
- Covering the basics
The book introduces home recording basics, including the equipment, software, and techniques needed to get started. It covers concepts like dynamic mics, condenser mics, polar patterns, etc. The author provides helpful tips and tricks throughout the book that can help you improve your recording skills and achieve better results.
- Accessible language
The book is written in an easy-to-understand language that is accessible to beginners. It doesn’t have technical language like most audio and recording books. Even if it states a technical glossary, it first covers what it means.
“Home Recording For Dummies” by Jeff Strong is primarily written for beginners interested in learning about home recording, whether you are a musician, podcaster, or aspiring music producer. The book is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to the world of home recording and guide you through setting up a home recording studio, choosing equipment, and recording and editing audio.
7. The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook: 5th Edition By Bobby Owsinski
The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook is a book by Bobby Owsinski, a professional audio engineer and author.
The 5th edition of the book provides in-depth information and techniques for mixing audio recordings. It covers a wide range of topics, including EQ, compression, reverb, and panning, and includes tips and tricks from some of the industry’s top mixing engineers. The book is aimed at novice and experienced audio engineers and is great for anyone looking to improve their mixing skills.
- A great resource for music producers and sound designers
While it covers topics like EQ, compression, reverb, distortion, etc., in delay, it also covers various fundamental concepts and the physical nature of sound, which helps you greatly with arranging and producing music. Besides, every producer and sound designer must have a decent knowledge of mixing-mastering, whether they see themselves as engineers or not.
- Tips from top mixing engineers
The book includes insights and advice from some of the industry’s most successful mixing engineers. This can be especially valuable for novice engineers looking to learn from experienced professionals. The mindset and hat of a mixing engineer will surely improve your production.
- Clear explanations and diagrams
The book is written in a clear and easy-to-understand style, with diagrams and illustrations to help clarify key concepts. That helps you visualize your music, arrangement, stereo imaging, etc., and adds a unique perspective to you as a music producer.
- Focus on modern mixing techniques
The book is updated to the latest trends and technologies in mixing, including software and hardware tools that are widely used by professionals, so you can learn the most up-to-date techniques.
- Case studies and examples
The book includes real-world examples and case studies to help you apply the concepts and techniques discussed to your work. That gives you a practical guide to doing things that will greatly help your career!
This book can be a valuable resource if you are interested in mixing and post-production. However, if you are looking for a comprehensive guide to music production that covers all aspects of the process, this book may not be the best fit. But as we have addressed in the key features, mixing skills are also important for a producer, so it’s recommended that you learn them if you are an aspiring music producer.
8. Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers By Dr. J. Anthony Allen PhD
“Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers” is a book written by Dr. J. Anthony Allen, Ph.D., that provides an introduction to music theory specifically tailored for electronic music producers.
Music theory can be an important tool for electronic music producers, as it can help them understand the underlying principles of music and use them to create more complex and interesting compositions. With a basic understanding of music theory, you can create music with a greater sense of structure and coherence and have more control over the emotional impact of your compositions.
The book includes exercises and examples to help you apply the concepts to your music-making process. It is designed for beginner and intermediate-level music producers and composers who want to expand their knowledge and improve their craft.
- Tailored specifically for electronic music producers
The book is written specifically for electronic music producers and composers, with examples and exercises that are relevant to their work.
- Comprehensive coverage of key music theory concepts
The book covers every aspect of music theory, from scales, chords, time signatures, tempo, chord progressions, harmonies, etc. It thoroughly introduces these concepts, making it a useful resource for beginner and intermediate-level music producers.
- Clear explanations and examples
The book is written in a clear, easy-to-understand style, with plenty of examples and exercises to help you apply the concepts to their music-making process.
- Practical application of music theory concepts
The book provides specific examples and exercises demonstrating how music theory concepts can be applied to electronic music production. This helps you to understand how to use the theory in a practical way and improve your music-making skills.
- A focus on modern electronic music production
The book covers the latest trends and techniques in electronic music production, so it stays relevant and useful to modern electronic music producers.
Overall, “Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers” is a comprehensive resource that provides a solid introduction to music theory for electronic music producers, with clear explanations, examples, and exercises to help you apply the concepts to your music-making process, and can help you greatly if you are an electronic music producer, sound designer, or synthesists.
9. Music Theory for Computer Musicians By Michael Hewitt
“Music Theory for Computer Musicians” is a music theory and music production-based book by Michael Hewitt.
It is a comprehensive guide that covers the fundamental concepts of music theory and how they can be applied to computer-based music production. The book includes examples and exercises demonstrating how to use music theory in popular software programs like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, and Pro Tools. The book is aimed at beginner and intermediate-level computer musicians and is designed to help them understand and apply music theory to their work.
- Fundamentals of music theory
The book covers topics such as scales, chords, harmony, and rhythm, as well as more advanced concepts such as modulation, counterpoint, and orchestration., making it a great resource for those new to the subject.
- Clear explanations and diagrams
The book is written in a clear and easy-to-understand style, with helpful diagrams and illustrations that make it easy to understand the concepts covered.
- Wide range of topics covered.
The book covers a wide range of music theory topics, from basic concepts to more advanced techniques, making it a comprehensive guide for computer musicians of all levels. Secondly, the text is very precise as it covers just enough information needed by music producers and doesn’t get into any complicated music theory lessons.
- Hands-on approach
The book’s hands-on approach and software-specific examples and exercises make it an excellent resource for computer musicians who want to improve their understanding of music theory and apply it to their music production work.
The book covers a wide range of music theory concepts and their applications in computer-based music production, making it a valuable resource for anyone who wants to improve their understanding of music theory and apply it to their music production work.
It’s a great resource for those new to music theory, as it covers the basic concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand style, with helpful diagrams and illustrations.
10. Step By Step Mixing By Bjorgvin Benediktsson
Step By Step Mixing by Björgvin Benediktsson is a fantastic book for any new, aspiring, or seasoned mix engineer.
It simplifies complex audio jargon and will help you become confident in your mixing capabilities. It takes you through the full process of making sure your mixes are radio-ready, from ruff to finished product. The book is an Amazon best-seller and is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in mixing music.
- Interesting Content
The book teaches about mixing with no plugins and mixing with only five plugins. It also uses great analogies to explain concepts. For example, it says “clean dishes before you cook,” to explain to you to clean your arrangement and set it in an organized fashion before starting the mix.
- Structured content
The book starts with the concepts of critical listening and visualizing your mix, such that it considers an arrangement of three-dimensional space, in which the frequency is the height, panning is the width, and volume is the breadth. Further, it gets into a deep dive into equalization followed by compression, reverb, delay, saturation, and more.
- Practical Advice
Along with explaining the theory of the tools, the book also gets into its applications on different tracks like vocals, drums, bass, piano, synths, etc. These examples help you apply these tools and create great mixes.
- Great online reviews
The book has received praise for its ability to explain the mixing process in an easily understandable way, and its numerous tips and tricks to help make mixes sound their best.
The book is for any musician, artist, composer, producer, sound engineer, or anyone who wants to learn how plugins and other effects like EQ, compression, reverb, distortion, etc., work. The book is quite helpful to music producers and aspiring mixing engineers who want to go deep into using these effects to sonically enhance their work.
11. Music Habits By Jason Timothy
Music Habits by Jason Timothy is an excellent resource for any music producer looking to break through creative blocks, increase productivity, and create better-quality music.
The book provides an in-depth and detailed look at the mental aspects of music production, from how to beat procrastination to how to find your creative flow. It is written in an easy-to-understand and accessible way that is both informative and inspiring. It also includes practical exercises and advice to help you make the most of your music production.
- Great productivity hacks
Music Habits by Jason Timothy is a book about the mental and psychological aspects of music production. It covers topics such as building habits, fighting procrastination, achieving goals, finishing songs fast, and finding creative flow.
- Well-structured content
The book is divided into two parts: the first part is a self-improvement manual, while the second part focuses on the technical aspects of music production. It also includes interviews with successful music producers and tips from experts in the field.
- Credible and experienced Author
Jason Timothy is a professional music producer, DJ & Ableton trainer, coach & author. He is the co-founder of P.U.N.C.H.I.S. Records and the host of the Ableton & Music Habits Podcast. He has authored 20 books and he is also a Mindset Coach for creatives, and a mixing and audio engineer for music and podcasts.
- Addresses mental health issues in musicians
The book discusses how music production can be an elusive art form and explores the mental and psychological game of electronic music production. The topic is often less explored and not talked about as much but has a significant existence in the music space. For any creative professional, having a good mindset and creative routine are essential for productivity!
Music can be a mentally, creatively, emotionally, and psychologically tiring and demanding profession, that requires great creative discipline and mindset in place, in order for you to be successful. Music Habits – The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production by Jason Timothy is an excellent resource for music producers.
It covers music production from many different angles, helping you to develop your creative habits and gain more confidence in your work. It will also help you to finish songs faster, beat procrastination, and find your creative flow.
12. How to Read Music in 30 Days By Matthew Ellul
“How to Read Music in 30 Days” by Matthew Ellul is a book that aims to teach the basics of music reading in a short amount of time.
The book covers topics such as basic notation, rhythmic notation, and melody and includes exercises and practice pieces to help you improve your skills. It may be helpful for beginners interested in learning to read music quickly, but it’s important to remember that learning to read music takes practice and dedication.
It may be helpful to supplement the book with additional practice and instruction from a teacher or experienced musician.
- A step-by-step approach
The book is designed to be easy to follow and covers the basics of music reading logically and progressively. It also includes clear explanations of music notation and terminology and diagrams to help you understand the concepts being covered.
- Practice exercises and pieces
The book includes a variety of exercises and practice pieces to help you improve your skills. These exercises help you learn faster and complete the crash course with ease.
- Concise and to the point
The text is written concisely and does not go into unnecessary detail, keeping the information precise and on-point. In addition, it is suitable for complete beginners who are interested in learning to read music quickly.
“How to Read Music in 30 Days” may be particularly useful for people who have always been interested in music but have never had the opportunity to learn to read it or for those who are self-taught musicians who want to improve their music reading skills. It could also be used as supplementary material for music students looking for additional practice and resources to improve their reading skills.
We have covered various books on various aspects of music production, including sound design, mixing, recording, music theory, and more. If you are looking for good material to learn music production specific to FL Studio, go for The Music Producer’s Ultimate Guide to FL Studio 20 by Joshua Au-Yeung. A similar book for Ableton Live 10 is Ableton Live 101: An Introduction to Ableton Live 10 (101 Series).
If you are looking for a book by which you can learn the concepts of mixing-mastering, go for The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook by Bobby Owsinski, as it covers the entire process comprehensively and in great detail. On the other hand, “Music Theory for Electronic Music Producers” by Dr. J. Anthony Allen is great for learning music theory.
“Home Recording For Dummies” is great for learning to record at-home setups as it gives an expansive breakdown of recording various instruments, acoustic treatments, and recording equipment. “Sound Design for Beginners” by Screech House is great for learning sound design as it explains all the basic concepts of synthesizers. I hope the article was of help. Thank you for reading.
Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.