Dance Music Manual: Tools, Toys, and Techniques (Anglais) Broché – 5 décembre 2013
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Présentation de l'éditeur
What are the differences between trance and chill out? How can you create compelling, professional-sounding original or remixed dance tracks? With Dance Music Manual, you’ll get coverage of every aspect of dance music production—from designing sounds to compression, from effects to mixing and mastering—and go even further, with advice on publishing and promoting your tracks. No matter your level of experience, this book is packed with techniques and practical tips to help you achieve professional results, whether you’re an aspiring dance music producer, DJ, remixer, recording engineer, musician, or composer.
The companion website provides examples of synthesis programming, compression, effects, MIDI files and examples of the tracks discussed within this edition.
The third edition includes up-to-date dance music coverage, including new chapters on arranging dance music, layering kicks, more on music theory, fundamentals of rhythm, building professional drum loops, gain structure, producing dubstep, and advice on the very latest production techniques.
Biographie de l'auteur
Rick Snoman has been actively involved in the electronic dance music scene since the late eighties. He has produced numerous white labels and released under various guises such as Phiadra, GOD and Red5. He has remixed professionally for artists such as Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, and Madonna and worked as a ghost producer for recording artists and international DJ’s. Alongside holding seminars across the UK on producing club-based music, he has written numerous articles and reviews for leading music technology magazines and authored a distance-learning course for Music For the Media. He currently runs his own recording studios in Manchester, UK.
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The reason I give it 4 rather than 5 stars are threefold.
The first is, this edition starts out full-bore music theory, whilst prior editions saved it for the end. I had some music theory in college, and my eyes still glazed over. I think it would be better to put this information later in the book (after hooking the reader, or someone perusing the table contents or a PDF) and refer to the topic by example throughout the book.
Secondly, in the "I don't think this word means what you think it does" department, the word "atypical" is used frequently throughout the book, but incorrectly. "atypical" is not-typical. In this book, it means "extremely common", such as "the atypical four-four time signature of dance music". I checked with a number of British friends before writing this review and they had never heard of it used that way. Maybe he meant archetypal? Maybe meant "typical" but search-and-replaced an extra a at the beginning?
Finally - this book really needs an editor. They would have caught the atypical use of atypical. There are many places where sentences are incoherent. You could tell they started out and were partially edited. Most of the time I could suss out the meaning whilst scratching my head, other times I just gave up and moved on. An editor could also suggest other words for "whilst" which appears many times on every page. Not being a Brit, that word jumped out at first reading, and continued jumping out throughout reading of the book. The word is ok, but it'd be nice having some variety whilst reading.
Firstly, the second edition seems outdated from when I first picked it up. As the first book I read, a lesson in synthesizers and such was a bit overwhelming for me but I embraced it and did a lot of researching into what Rick was talking about. After going thru this route of learning about the technical aspects of production, I found that although the second edition was amazingly informative, I couldn't help but cringe at the way the author had written the book. Is synthesis really the first thing a beginner needs to understand when composing music?
After a year of getting my hands dirty on all the books I can find, and figuring out all the things that go into making dance music or producing music, I had finally began to see the bigger picture. Understanding frequencies and synthesizers and equalizers and compression and such. It didnt come without a fight tho because I had nooooo clue what they were. If you bought the second edition as a new producer you would understand what I meant by it being kind of out dated. The examples used for musical references I had never heard of so it was very hard for me to grasp what was going on. It seemed more like a intermediate book aimed at people with an already basic understanding my how the music works.
With that said, this edition goes back and updates all of the references to music made. It is absolutely amazing. In the first chapter instead of talking about synthesizers the author goes into basic and fundamental music theory that is the fundamentals of good music in my opinion. The entire book is revamped to flow in a different pace than previous editions. Mostly when I think of an edition change, I think of maybe the author decided to do a reprint with some example changes here and there. The flow of the book is incredible. Chord progression and melody writing is something that all producers aim to achieve to create good music. By diving into the music first aspect of the book, I was blown away that Rick decided to go into music theory.
I know what most people think, theory is boring, but I can tell you that after going thru synthesizers and learning all about the basics, I found that music theory is something that most people will struggle with especially because most people concentrate on the technical aspects of music production. It is MUSIC after all firstly and most importantly, then production.
Reading up on music theory, and being a musician in piano and saxaphone, I found the refreshing link the author makes from actual musicianship to the production of the music we hear currently on the radio.
5 Stars MUST HAVE BOOK. If you buy any book it is this one. Its up to date and incredibly easy to understand with the examples given. Focus on the music first people and the production second. When I got started, I trailed behind a bit because I had focused all my time on learning the mixing aspects and synthesis aspects of production. I wish I had started with this book first because the chapters go in order of what you need to understand firstly before moving on. Rick, If your reading this, I can't thank you enough! Incredible update, everyone who has the second edition, go out and check the 3rd edition. It will absolutely blow you away.
For this 3rd edition, Snoman outdid himself, and this book is now better than ever. There are completely new chapters, and many previous chapters have been updated to reflect the latest music trends and technologies.
The fundamentals are all still there, and I could spend hours studying some chapters of this book in front of my computer. His chapters on compressors, processors, effects, mixing structure, kicks and percussion, and sound design practice are very valuable.
But there are some fundamental flaws with this third edition that need to be corrected in the next edition. These flaws should not stop a serious student of electronic dance music from buying and reading this book repeatedly. But they should be noted.
First, the book is very poorly edited and full of typos and grammar mistakes - roughly 2 - 3 mistakes per page. Second, Snoman's style is at times a bit too casual in a very colloquial British manner, and assumes a bit too much background knowledge on his readers' part. I often found myself struggling to follow what he was saying. For example, I just randomly opened up to a page discussing how to program the lead in a song and Snoman writes "a common approach... is to construct a harmonically rich sound through saw, square, triangle and noise waveforms along with ... the unison feature... Once a harmonically rich voice is created, it can then be thinned... with the filters or EQ and modulated with the envelopes and LFOs." OK, I am perfectly capable of throwing together a couple of oscillators on my synth, and understand perfectly well what it means to apply a filter or EQ or an envelope of some kind and LFO to sound waves generated by the oscillators. But seriously, after reading this, I am no closer to understanding how these components come together to form a properly programmed lead. I mean seriously, how many contemporary synth tracks DO NOT use some combination of saw, square, triangle and noise oscillators passed through audio effects like filters and EQ and modulated by envelopes and LFOs? To some extent the burden is on my to catch up with Snoman - But if I were already at the level where reading these sentences I instantly knew exactly what Snoman meant to say and could fire up my favorite subtractive synthesizer and bust out a charming, perfectly programmed lead sound, then what would be the point of reading the book. I am the student, he is the teacher. But sometimes Snoman seems to forget that his audience is a bunch of newbies who need hand holding from time to time and seems more interested in having a casual chit chat with his peers about their craft. A third and final problem - which really isn't that big of a deal - is that Snoman's chapters discussing specific genres seem to miss the mark from time to time. Or at least, my experience and impression of certain genres is quite different from Snoman's. The weakest discussion is probably the "Ambient/chill out" chapter. Part of the problem is a problem of genre labels themselves. Snoman is sensitive to the fact that the minute you make a generalization about a genre, it is based on your subjective impression of what falls under the label. A lot of electronic music falls through the cracks, doesn't conform to any of the generalizations Snoman makes about any of the genres described in the book, etc. But I do not consider the genre discussion chapters to be the core strength of Snoman's book. The beauty of the book is really the first 19 chapters of fundamentals. So even if your particular perception of the distinguishing features of a particular style is different from Snoman's it is not a big deal.
Over all, this is and has been for years a very important and valuable book for anyone interested in getting beyond the "beginner" stage in producing electronic dance music - an absolute must read! And I have not purchased Snoman's video tutorials that are built around this book, but they may be the missing link that would make this book a 5 star product. But this book still has some room for improvement for the 4th edition.
I highly recommend it!