Music Production Books – Suggested Reading from The Recording Workshop

While it is very important to learn the practical aspects of music production and sound engineering, it is also necessary to understand the technical theory and business elements of the recording industry. With that in mind, the following music production books are recommended as supplemental reading to the courses held at the Recording Workshop.

Click the image for more information on each of the Music Production Books.

The Art of Music Production – Music Production books

Music Production Books - The Art of Music ProductionThe Art of Music Production book is a great asset to those serious about becoming a music producer and will complement the Sound Engineer Diploma course. It guides you through the pitfalls you can encounter when embarking on a career in the recording industry and provides a very comprehensive insight into the profession..

It outlines potential shortcomings that this career journey can present, and offers constructive advice which is often illustrated with real-life examples.

Other aspects include handling ego-centric artists, or the all important legal aspects of the trade as well as  getting a great session recorded, this book will answer those business questions.

This book is not about the glamor of the industry, but a practical guide that will help you understand exactly what is involved in the music business and get you prepared for your future vocation.

Music Production Books – Audio Engineering 101

Audio Engineering 101

The Audio Engineering 101 guide is for the complete newcomer to the world of music production and sound engineering. This book perfectly complements the Music Production Foundation course, especially if you are attending the Saturday sessions where there is a two week break between each session, you could read this book and put the theory into practice during the following session.

This guide covers the entire recording process, including the basic principles of sound, use of microphones, the difference between analog and digital recording,  studio equipment, studio acoustics, equalization (EQ) principals, and audio compression. There are music examples for you to use and suggestions on when and how to use compression. Frequently asked questions from professionals in the industry provide you with a real insight into how the industry really works.

The book is easy to understand with no prior experience required, and is a great asset to beginners wishing to get involved in music production either as a career or a hobby.


Music Production Books – Dance Music Manual

Dance Music Manual

The Dance Music Manual is a comprehensive guide which complements our Dance Music Production course. Topics covered are the principle of synthesis – a key element to dance music production, compression, effects and processing, programing theory, digital audio, sampling – creating, editing and manipulating sampled sounds, how to record vocals, how to record real instruments, music sequencers and even some music theory.

The book then goes into different dance genres, discussing House, Trance, UK Garage, Techno, Hip-Hop and Rap, Trip-Hop, Ambient and Chill Out, and Drum ‘n’ Bass so you get  a good understanding of how to put together these different styles yourself.

The third part of this book looks at the production elements including mixing, final mastering of your track, doing remixes and sample clearance, basically getting permission to use these samples commercially. This books has received positive feedback from those who have read it, and is highly recommended for those seriously into dance music production.

Music Production Books – What is Music Production

What is Music Production

The ‘What is Music Production’ book is another complimentary tool to go with the Music Production Course Foundation level, and in the first section defines exactly what music production is, and discusses the type of people that go into this profession, what it is really like to be a music producer, and how you can make it your business and make a decent living from it.

To give an album that finished and professional sound, a producer needs to understand how to capture a great musical performance by encouraging the artist and inspiring confidence in them, as well as knowing how to create a great sound. Therefore as a producer, you are not only involved with the music, but also the technical aspects as well as business matters such as the financing, studio costs and so on. The information in this book has been gathered from several detailed interviews, and focuses on the music production process, detailing the work and activity of the producer’s role.

Music Production Books from Paul White

Creative Recording 1 and 2

Creative Recording Volume 1Creative Recording Volume 2

Paul White is an electronics engineer turned publisher, currently editor in chief for Sound on Sound Magazine and has been involved with music publications since 1984. He also plays drums and guitar, records music and builds music related electronic devices. With the wealth of knowledge he has gained he published the Creative Recording books now in their second edition volume one covers effects and processors. The subject is covered in a clear and well explained manner that is easy to understand. So many people get lost using effects and processors, not really understanding how they work and just playing around with the controls hoping to get something that resembles the effect they wanted. This book removes the mystery behind how effects and processors work and explains how to set them up.

Book 2 covers acoustics including microphones, microphone techniques, soundproofing your studio as well as sound monitoring. Acoustics is a science in its own right and this book gives practical easy to understand explanations, and is highly recommended by the recording workshop for any of our courses.

The Recording Engineers Handbook – Music Production Books

The Recording Engineers Handbook

If you have had the experience of not knowing which mic to use, how to set it up for a good sound, or how to set up equalization (EQ), whether you should be processing the signal and what are the best settings to use, then The Recording Engineer’s Handbook is for you. This book takes you through many configurations for many types of instruments and vocals, giving you the skills to get that sound you or your client is seeking, covering acoustic and electronic instruments, mic placement, EQ settings, all that is needed to capture professional recorded audio tracks is dealt with in this handbook.

Readers have reported that the recommended microphone techniques were of great benefit as well as complete and an excellent resource for getting the sound you want. Types of microphone for each application are covered.  There is a handy section written by the “Drum Doctor” about tuning drums which is a very important step towards getting a great sounding drum recording.

Basic Live Sound – Music Production Books

Basic Live Sound

This pocket sized book is from Paul White’s Basic series and is a quick and useful guide for the live sound engineer, and compliments the Sound Engineer Diploma course where live engineering is covered.

The topics covered include PA systems and PA loudspeakers, their crossover networks (these split the sound into Bass for the Woofer, Mid Range and Highs for the Tweeters), Speaker drive units, distortion and cone break up, and other technical related issues relating to speakers and their enclosures, as well as power amplifiers.

The next section goes into microphones, different types including dynamic, capacitor or condenser, electret, the many polar patterns (how a microphone picks up sound).

Section 3 moves onto PA mixers and the variety of equalization types available to the live sound engineer, followed by section 4 which includes effects and processors.

Miking for the stage is then covered in section 5 and this is crucial for getting a good live sound and is probably the most critical aspect of live music production, so easy to get wrong, but this book will guide you through the pitfalls by helping you chose the right mic for the job, using the right EQ, and damping drums for a much tighter and cleaner sound.

Stage Monitoring in section 6 covers the different types of  monitor speakers or in-ear types. Monitors are used by the performers so they can hear themselves and other band members in order to effectively play together in time and in the right key. Many problems can occur here such as feedback – that horrible whistling sound you sometimes hear during a live performance, or where the vocalist is completely out of tune, as they could not hear the rest of the band properly. These issues are addressed, and how to avoid them in this guide.

A handy pocket book, really useful to keep with you when working at a gig as a live audio engineer.

These are the recommended Music Production Books for the Recording Workshop courses and tutorials.