The 10 Best Books for Music Producers

Music producers require a lot of knowledge in many different areas. From simple things like recording techniques and processes to as complex as music theory, or how the music industry actually works. It’s amazing how knowledgeable music producers should be.

One way to acquire this knowledge is the obvious and sure-fire answer – Through Books! Reading books is a method that has worked for so many years and why should it be different now?

There are countless useful books and material out there that cover Mixing and processing audio, Music Theory, Improving your Creative Flow and Finishing Songs, Recording techniques, Music promotion, The Music Industry in general. You can learn it all through this selection or books for music producers.

1. Music Theory for Computer Musicians

If you're serious about music production, you should know at least the basics of music theory.

Music-making has become very easy to get started with, so you can now effectively make your bedroom a music studio for a small amount of money. However, it's easy to cut corners when doing this, and many beginner music producers don't invest the time to learn music theory.

This book is written by the composer and professor Michael Hewitt. In it, you will find all of the music theory you might need, explained concisely but thoroughly. In the book, you will find a lot of graphic explanations as well as a CD with examples.

The great thing about this book is also that it approaches music production from a computer/MIDI point of view, which is dominant in today's market.

2. Modern Recording Techniques

One of the best-known audio engineering textbooks that's being used in classes all around the world.

The best acknowledgment of the quality of this book is that this is the 9th edition of the book. Even though it's a bit long, it simply covers everything you might need to know or do in a studio booth when recording or mixing sound.

This is a comprehensive book that covers every bit of music production, with in-depth coverage of all of the modern equipment like DAW, MIDI, signal processing, and so on. At the same time, you should keep in mind that this book is written straightforwardly and understandably.

There is something for everyone here, both professional an amateur.

3. Music Habits - The Mental Game of Electronic Music Production

Music Habits by Jason Timothy is not so much of a music theory textbook as some of the books in this article but is more of a self-improvement book that concentrates more on the mental aspect of music production.

In this book, you won't find much practical advice on how to become a music producer or how to use your equipment in the studio. But, you will find much information on how to keep yourself focused on work, how to evade procrastination, and get out of a creative hole.

Written in simple language and with a good amount of humor, this book will help you view things from another perspective and hopefully make some changes in your work habits and get better as a person and as a producer.

4. Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers

This is a fantastic book for electronic music producers. It is published by Ableton, but it can be applied for use in any DAW.

It is another book meant to help struggling engineers and producers to grow and expand their views on music in general. But in this book, you will find 74 exact questions and problems that all musicians encounter and concrete solutions on how to tackle those problems.

Even though it might seem that this is an odd way of presenting things, as it doesn't cover anything that's not in the questions, you'll find that this book covers a lot of the things people encounter as obstacles on their way to success.

This book is pointed towards computer made music but you'll find a lot of general advice that can be used by both electronic musicians and classical ones. Also, if you're a composer, you'll find several different ways how to expand your views and creative process, especially if you're writing your music on the computer.

5. Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio

Mixing is one of the most important and complex parts of music production. Once you've recorded your stuff, you need to mix it all in to take it from a bunch of sounds to the world hit. And this book will help you by doing just that.

This is a comprehensive textbook on everything about mixing, from essentials and beginners' lessons to some of the most advanced techniques out there.

Written in simple language, it will be clear to anyone that reads it. Also, you will find a lot of assignments at the end of lessons, making it really easy to practice what you have learned.

This is the ultimate textbook on music mixing and everyone should have it at their library.

6. Get More Fans: The DIY Guide to the New Music Business (2019 Edition)

A book packed with great tips for independent music makers.

Apart from just having great music, it is critical that you promote it properly. Often this business side of the music industry gets neglected, as musicians and producers believe that it will all sort itself out.

The complicated world of the modern music business, especially with digital streaming services, YouTube, and similar stuff is presented simply in this textbook.

Get More Fans is especially pointed to the beginners and approaches everything from the point of a no-name musician with little to no income and gives you very good advice on how to get things going in the right direction.

7. All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Ninth Edition

This book is considered an essential textbook on the music industry in general. During its nine editions, this book got updated and is still the most comprehensive textbook on these matters.

Everything from recording, studios, lawyers, and copyrights is thoroughly explained in this book. Whether you're just a beginner or a hardened pro, there's something for everyone in this book and different ways how to expand and better your business.

8. The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory

This book takes a different look at the music industry, presenting to readers how the contemporary pop music industry works. Written in a catchy way, with lots of different examples and backroom dealings brought to the light of day, you'll read it in a second.

The approaches outlined in this book are not for everyone, but you can still learn a lot of different ways that the music industry works and pick up some useful advice whether you're a beginner or already a professional.

9. Mastering Audio, Third Edition: The Art and the Science

Mastering Audio is written by Bob Katz who is a successful sound engineer that shows you the ropes, as well as techniques and various processes to become better at your craft!

Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science is an outstanding book that covers an in-depth look into the studio process. Covering things like mixing processes and mastering as well, the technical experience and advice that it holds can help beginners, as well as professionals, bring their game up.

The book goes over daily dilemmas and problems that every music producer faces almost always. To become the master of audio, you have to learn how to master audio, and all that goes with this process. From mixing, rearranging, adding, to becoming a full-fledged audio master.

10. The Mixing Engineer's Handbook: Fourth Edition

As opposed to the previous entry (mastering), this book focuses on the carefully-crafted process that is MIXING! Bobby Owsinski focuses his knowledge on carefully expanding on the subject of mixing and how to do it properly.

The process of putting all of the song's components together and molding them into a finished recording is still to this day considered a skill that not everyone can do right. This handbook dissects this topic into careful steps and serves as a guide to propel your mixing game to a whole new level.

To only add to its credibility, this book has been used by so many popular engineers, as well as educational material at universities and colleges. Reaching masses of people only goes to show the value of this handbook and also how it can help you be a better music producer.

Summary

Music producers need to be well-rounded in many different areas to be successful. They need to have at least industry-standard skills, which takes quite a lot of dedication to achieve.

On top of this, the creative process can pose a lot of hurdles that need to be overcome. The mental game of music production can leave you in an artistic rut. Reading some great books on this subject can give you the ideas and inspiration you need to get through it.

Finally, producers often need to have good knowledge of the music industry and music promotion. If you think you lack knowledge in this area, then be sure to read some books on the subject.

Brian Clark is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer. He is passionate about practically all areas of music and he particularly enjoys writing about the music industry.

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