Music Production Resources
As a music producer, it can be hard to find good music production resources that will help you improve your skills. You learn all you can from one resource, but there are still holes in your knowledge. So I have put together a list of the best music production books, podcasts, Youtube channels, and courses for producers and musicians.
The Producer’s Manual: All You Need to Get Pro Recordings and Mixes in the Project Studio
This book was written by one of the main editors at Sound on Sound Magazine. This book is more directed at people looking to get into music production and working in their home studio. People interested in acoustic instruments (as in need to be recorded with a microphone) would find this book useful. Not really recommended for electronic music producers.
Recommended For: Songwriters, DIY musicians, Home Studio Owners
Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques
If you are a electronic music producer, then this is the book I recommend for you. This was one of the first books that I read that took me from someone that just dabbled to be able to actually create something.
Andrew Huang has one of the largest Youtube music production channels. There is a reason for this. He is entertaining and comes across a totally legit and down to earth person. He is more of an influencer and many videos come across as a vlog, but he always drops valuable nuggets of information. I am always motivated after watching his videos. This guys puts out a massive amount of music. Check out his Spotify.
Recommended For: Electronic Music Producer, When you need a motivation boost
The Secrets of Dance Music Production
Excellent podcast that looks at famous songs and analyzes them from artistic and technical standpoints. The host, Kirk, takes a lot of music concepts and makes it easily digestible for his listeners. He has meticulous breakdowns of songs while keeping you interested. You will learn something new on every listen.
You Suck At Producing
If you a beginner producer and you literally do suck at producing, this channel has a lot of great information for beginner producers learning Ableton. This one of the most sarcastic yet informative channels I have ever watched. Wowziers.
Make Pop Music
Austin Hull will breakdown and show you the latest techniques and sounds being used in the today’s pop hits. I would first recommend checking out the “How to Make a Song Like:” Series.
Sound on Sound
This is one of the leading magazines on recording and music technology. It is a great resource of techniques, interviews, and knowledge. It definitely has a more technical focus so if you want to take a deep dive into the more technical aspects, I would check Sound on Sound out. Many articles are free, but the latest ones require a subscription. I have found the “Mix Rescue” series very useful and practical.
Sound on Sound:Synth Secrets
This is a series of 63 articles that go in depth about synthesis. This is not your basic “how to make this sound bass sound” tutorial. If you want to learn why and the technical aspects of how a sound works, this will be the best resource for you to learn sound design and synthesis in general. Be prepared because this will take you a while to get through, but it will be well worth it because you will come out with a much deeper understanding of how sound works.
There are sections that are straight to the point on how to make a sound so beginners might find that very useful.
Understanding how synthesis works will help you make better sounds.
If you want to have a guided way to learn synthesis by actually doing it, then this app is the way to go. It can be difficult yo learn synths because with most modern synths there are way to options and it can be difficult to know where or how to start.
Synthorial will gradually introduce new functions of synths as you actually experiment with making sounds. In my experience, I learn much better by seeing/hearing and then doing. I recommend this if you are more of a hands on learner just getting into synthesis
This is a super deep book about the theory of sound. I recommend this book for people that like to get geeky about sound design. This book covers the physical properties of sound to the psychoacoustic reponsonses of sound. Also, it contains a lot of PureData tutorials and information to help you create your own synths and sound.
How to Make a Noise: a Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming
This a great in-depth book that breaks down synthesis and the difference methods of synthesis. It reads much like a textbook so be prepared to go through it slowly. The only negative is that the synths and patches they include are a little dated. However, you can follow along with your own synth since the principles are the same.
This is a very active sub-reddit of people asking about how sounds are made, which can be a wealth of information.
Samples and Plugins
Splice Sounds allows you to buy monthly credits and and use them to download any sample you want from their database of thousands of sound. You don’t have to stay subscribed to continuing using the samples which is a huge benefit that I have found. Plus, they offer a great cloud collaboration tool for FREE. That I use to collab with friends on the other side of the world.
200 Free VST Plugins
Whilst I hesitate to mention LANDR, they did create a comprehensive list of free plugins organized into categories such as synths, drum, guitar, and other useful plugins.
The Producer Mindset
A bottom-up guide to finding success, growth and happiness through flow – an optimal experience of being, characterised by total absorption and joy in the present moment – by psychology professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
War of Art
Do you find yourself living and imagining 2 different lives? This book goes into detail explaining all the mental barriers that our mind creates to stop us from achieving our goals with it be from fear procrastination. If you understand the barriers, it will help you overcome them.
The Creative Habit
Creativity is a habit that is a combination of preparation and effort. She explains how to overcome fear, get out of your creative comfort zone, and how create a habit. She has a very opinionated tone.
Make Pop Music
This a forum primarily for producing, mixing, and writing pop music. This forum will also have business tips, networking, and an open environment to become a better producer and writer.
KVR Audio is a community and news site for popular Audio Plug-in formats and related subjects, such as sample libraries and mobile apps.
This is a very old forum, but still very active. It is pretty infamous in the audio community, but you can find a lot of good information gleaning by through the threads. It might be better to ask questions in a different forum though.
The Indie Musician Resources
There are 5 spheres of knowledge and skills that go into making and releasing a song successfully. What do you want to develop?