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Dance Music Manual: A "how to" for making electronic music in any style


ectogemia
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Still reading this book. I'm not really past the "basic" chapters of stuff I already knew, but the treatment of things like sound design in this book are a pretty good refresher.

I enjoy how they put everything in the context of electronic music. I have a few other books on composition and theory, as well as some of the "How-to" books for specific programs, but this general treatment of effects, what the are, and how they are used in most dance music is relatively enlightening.

The book has a lot of minor typos for some reason (ex: "lightening fast reflexes"), more so than most books I've seen that have gone to press, and there are many things that he assumes that you are familiar with without explaining them, like filter sweeps or what a dB is. I mean those concepts aren't hard to figure out on your own but I feel that I wouldn't be able to hand this book to someone with zero experience with electronic music creation and expect them to figure the book out - it would be best in the hands of someone who's already got a program installed and is familiar with the basic interface and knows the general principles of making music on a computer.

But, even then, reviewing concepts like the difference between a 12dB and a 24dB low-pass filter, the use of the compressor in electronic music, and the "storyboard of a typical dance track" helps crystallize these concepts for me. Many books and guides I've gone through so far don't offer you specific guidelines for how to get particular styles of sound or what makes dance music production the way it is and instead say fuzzy things like "do what feels good" and it's comforting to have a book that actually says, "many dance tracks use an ABC to achieve a 123 sound" and instruct you on common ways to build 123 and tweak ABC.

I'm not really at the level where I'm building good BOOM-tss just from reading this book but I can definitely say that I'm absorbing information and general philosophies on dance music and dance music production so far. Need to read more, I've been mostly flipping through and reading sections rather than doing a cover-to-cover.

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...there are many things that he assumes that you are familiar with without explaining them, like filter sweeps or what a dB is. I mean those concepts aren't hard to figure out on your own but I feel that I wouldn't be able to hand this book to someone with zero experience with electronic music creation and expect them to figure the book out - it would be best in the hands of someone who's already got a program installed and is familiar with the basic interface and knows the general principles of making music on a computer.

Doesn't dB simply stand for decibals? As for filter sweep, the name itself kind of hints at what it is. In the context of dance music, what 'sweeps'? a lot of stuff does! It's just smoothly sliding through the filter.

I agree about it being best for people with basic familiarity of DAWs and music, but gaining that basic knowledge is not at all difficult. If there's one thing I love to say about any software program, it's this: Don't be intimidated! If your IQ is above 80 and you have a pulse, you can learn it!

I'm working on a cover-to-cover read, highlighting things that look extremely important and bookmarking pages for things I even suspect might be important. This guy is extremely knowledgeable. I trust his information and thus will go to great lengths to understand what he's saying, whether that requires a Google search or a PM to zircon.

This will be my Bible.

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  • 1 month later...

asked for/received this for christmas, read about 100 pages today (jumping between sections of interest). not gonna go into detail, but this is an excellent read so far.. highly recommended for electronic musicians of any experience level.

many thanks to the OP for plugging this! :)

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