Don’t get me wrong, articles and videos are great, but that is only one way of learning. Over the years I have picked up a lot from different books on music production. A well written book can let you take the information in at your speed and can unpack some big concepts. I believe these books will greatly help your music, creativity, and life.
The Daily Adventures of Mixerman
I started with this book because it is a hell fun read. I was just so captivated by this story and the characters. It also gives you a very interesting look at the life of a mixing engineer. The book is basically a diary of Mixerman, an engineer. I am not sure if it is 100% true to actual events, but it is definitely a fun read and has some great insights in the industry.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This book has some foundational wisdom for anyone that wants to have a good life. I have found that having these habits as a musician has greatly lowered my stress, made me more effective, and a better person. This is a highly suggested book.
Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
You know that moment when you are making music and time just disappears, some people have called this the Flow State. This book looks at what creativity is, and how to stay in a creative state.
Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers
This book was released by Ableton. The author, Dennis Desantis, gives some amazing insight into the creative process. He shares a lot of techniques in music production and music writing that is important for the modern music producer. It’s a very useful book to have on your shelf if you ever get stuck in your creative process.
They have an online version with a few snippets from the book: https://makingmusic.ableton.com/
The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook – Bobby Owsiniski
If you are new to Mixing, this is an amazing handbook to have. It is a classic read that goes into every part of the mixing process. Though the book is old, the lessons are timeless.
Behind the Glass – Howard Massey
Howard Massey did a lot of interviews with famous producers. The book is a collection of their thoughts on the industry, techniques, and life of an engineer. I love the wide range of information in this book. One engineer might have a totally different perspective on mixing. I also like that you can just flip through it and read something interesting instead of having to go from beginning to end.
Behind the Glass on Amazon
Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science – Bob Kantz
If you are thinking of becoming a Mastering Engineer, then this is a must read. This book is foundational around the science of mastering. It helps put a lot of tools and concepts in perspective. I am a big fan of Bob Kantz and his work for mastering engineers.
My Personal MBA – Josh Kaufman
I think this book should be in high school. If you work anywhere, you are a part of a business. If you are a part of a business, it is a good idea to know the basics of how a business works. If you are serious about being a music producer, musician, or an engineer, then you are managing a business. This book puts a lot of things in perspective and makes the confusing world of business practices in easy to understand ways. I highly suggest this book. It has greatly informed me on how to improve my website, my brand, and build a sustainable career as a musician.
If you have a book recommendation, please leave it in the comments below. If I think it’s good, I’ll add it to the list.