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Composition for Computer Musicians Paperback – March 23, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
A good book on basic music theory (such as his other book 'Music theory for computer musician's ) is a good addendum to this one, with both serving as a good introductory guide into the process of composing and producing music on the computer.
Michael's writing style is very clear and focused so it's easy to follow along with all the examples and information he provides. The CD accompaniment to the book further helps to clarify every example.
I definitely recommend this book to anybody who is keen on taking their music production skills to the next level.
Be warned though--the author also did not do his due diligence on research when it comes to terminologies, and although this ultimately does not impact the lessons on composing, it does reflect the lack of professionalism and attention to detail. He called VST "Virtual Sythesizer Technology," when it's actually "Virtual Studio Technology." The guy has never heard of the Internet? It's the first thing that comes up when you search "VST." Any computer musician worth his salt knows this--it's really really basic stuff. He then refers to plugins as VST's. That is also incorrect. They are plugins using the VST format, and if anything VSTI would be better than VST, but only for virtual instruments and does not apply to effects plugins. I'm guessing this guy probably doesn't even hang around prominent sites for computer musicians like KVRAudio. He then also refers to DAW and Ableton Live separately saying both can host VST's, as if Ableton Live isn't a DAW. Does he even know what DAW stands for? It almost seems like he's only got a cursory understanding of all this technology and terminology, and then half-assed his way through the research when writing the book. Did he even have fellow computer musicians beta-read his manuscript before sending it off to the publisher? And was the editor asleep on the job? I know I seem more irritated by these seemingly trivial mistakes than I should be, but I'm tired of the lack of professionalism in the publishing world these days.
Although I'm coming down hard on the author for the lack of attention to detail and the substandard professionalism when it comes to thoroughness in research and editing, the instructional aspect of the book actually isn't bad, and if you are a total beginner, it can certainly be helpful to you.
If you want a beginners guide to electronic dance music production, I would recommend the Rick Snoman guide, "Dance Music Manual: 2nd Edition."
Compare this with Snoden's Dance Music Manual (which, along with this one, is in desperate need of a good editor) is three times the length, and is packed with information in a concise, easy to read writing style. Luckily this book was a gift. I don't plan on reading any of the others in the series.
The Author also makes a number of errors that should have been caught with a modicum of proofreading - such as the wrong expansion for numerous industry acronyms, but most hilariously terrible is the example rhythm from "Mars" is incorrect. Anyone who has been near that piece for any length of time has no excuse messing up the rhythm because it's hammered into your head bar after bar after bar. A simple google image search for "holst mars rhythm" shows the correct rhythm. That error is emblematic of the entire book.
This book is not aimed to teach you the fundamentals of music and basic concepts, but it does a pretty good job at it anyways. I've found that this book tremendously improved my workflow when approaching a song from scratch. If you have trouble trying to create and structure a full song, then this is the book for you. It will guide you through how to create a drum track, bassline, melody, chord progressions, and how these tracks can work together harmonically. It also gives a great rundown on describing and using FX. I'm much more confident in how I approach a song first, rather than playing around with samples/loops, drum patterns, and chord progressions until something sounds good and fits.
I have very little issues with this book, but nonetheless I should address anyways. Some terminology is not used 100% properly, and even though it will not impede or confuse you, it is worth taking with a grain of salt. As well, this book is slightly more centered towards "EDM" rather than Hip Hop and Rock music, but those genres are still mentioned throughout the book. On the contrary, if you produce "EDM" then all the better for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift for our son. He likes it and is a pianist in college.Published 6 months ago by TLZFavre
Product was shipped quickly and was exactly as advertised. Need I say anything more?Published 17 months ago by Dean Willis
Good book. Found it useful in laying out the concepts for composition. A pretty quick read. Good style of writing.Published on February 7, 2014 by HP-15C
I bought his book with the expectation that it would provide some insight about composing music using a DAW. This book really doesn't have much to do with composition at all. Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Haris G. Bruch