Books that helped you make better music


Im interested to know about any books fellow Elektronauts feel compelled to recommend.

Here’s another book I get a big kick out of some of you may enjoy:
Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques Bk/online media (Music Pro Guides)


I can recommend a lot of books, the more, the better!
Just put them on the shelf in the listening room, they will help with a room acoustics. You will make better music in no time.


A lot of good stuff here. I found this one very interesting


Improvisation by Derek Bailey

FS (EU) Books on Electronic Music

This is a good Ebook from Eddie Brazil. Currently halfway through it. He goes over the mixbus in your DAW really well. It’s easy to read even if youre new to mixing.


FYI. now has a subscription model. For as little as 24.99US you can get pro tutorial videos for recording, mixing, and mastering.


Not a book on production technique, but rather the business itself. Also, I’m a little surprised this wasn’t suggested previously.


I guess I won’t give up recommending this book until everyone I care about on this forum reads it.

It’s very approachable. Not dry and academic whatsoever.


Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond by Michael Nyman – this is a good overview of western music / musical figures (improvisational, composed music, modern-classical, minimalism, free-form, dadaism, Fluxus, et al) during the latter half of the 20th century.

Space is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra by John F. Szwed – interesting insight into Sun Ra’s life; brief overview of his youth, his ‘becoming’ Sun Ra, musical / life practices, events, philosophy etc.

Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation by Ben Watson – This is a really interesting account of the late 60s / early 70s (and beyond) scene / events surrounding players like Derek Bailey, Gavin Bryars, Anthony Braxton, Peter Brotzmann, Evan Parker, Han Bennink, Tony Oxley, et al) - Derek Bailey’s “Company”, Incus Records, etc… it’s engrossing.


For technique I had read Secrets of House music production and Secrets of dance music production, the second is an updated and expanded version of the first (BTW, the first has an ipad version). The content is similar but is totally directed to ITB production and to achieve the standards of most of released music in the biggest scenes (house, tech house, edm, techno). It is good if you are into that.

For mixing I liked Roey Izhaki “Mixing audio”, excellent book.

For composing I haven’t find a book that really speaks to me, most of what I have read is either to basic or too advanced.

The Ableton publiched book is very nice for creativity, lots of ideas to try.

Syntorial is probably the best way to learn fixed architecture synthesis, super useful.

As for videos I have used Groove3, and Lynda, all of them have something useful, my favorite was a course on improvisation on groove3 (one in greek modes and one in blues scales). Lynda has some superb ones on mixing. is more EDM specific.


I have a silly question, do you read all these books on pdf or do you read them physically?


I have a bookcase full of books and I also have some PDFs. :wink:


I am currently reading this, always enjoyed working with these rules and writing out common practice harmonies.

But this being elektronauts and the current hype is FM synthesis, I strongly recommend Chowning’s FM theory and applications!

And just read some (music) books outside your comfort zone, it tends to make your compositions more original!

Have fun!


Paperbacks for me, please :pray:t4:
Hate reading on screens


Moby Dick. Dune. The Metamorphosis. Brave New World. 1984. The Count of Monte Cristo (unabridged).

Theory and technique are great. But it is narrative that drives the hearts of human beings.


Tao Te Ching.

“To understand the limitation of things, desire them.”


I’m glad to see someone else suggest some great novels.


Handmade Electronic Music by Nicolas Collins.


Stefan Goldmann‘s Presets is an interesting read.


The Bible

I learnt harmonies from it

My granny made me go to Sunday school and sing crappy songs but the songs may have been shit but we did mega harmonies!