We've seen our fair share of production books over the years. This new 312-page book from Attack magazine includes plenty of overall production tips but mainly looks at various forms of dance music and their relevant techniques. The colourful pages are packed with info on synthesis, sampling, beat-making, studio setup and monitor placement, EQ, compression, layering, frequency bracketing, lo-fi processing, bass-splitting, vocal production, mastering and more.
There are easy to follow walkthroughs using a range of DAWs and software instruments to build arps, basslines, keys, leads and FX sounds from scratch and also a section on music theory covering voicing, syncopation, melody, and chord progressions. Throw in plenty of tips from world-class producers such as Justice, Redlight and Todd Edwards, plus analysis of track structures and round-ups of gear and you have a great package.
To accompany the book you can download 640MB-worth of extensive audio examples, plus the odd MIDI file and DAW project. Although specific software is used for the walkthroughs, most of the information and techniques given are more general.
Overall, the book is driven by stacks of short tips and suggestions rather than longer passages. This can be a little overwhelming at times, so it's recommended to work through in sections or revisit certain chapters when you're working on a specific aspect of a track. Various genres are touched upon at different times, such as drum 'n' bass, chillwave and dubstep, but there are more references to 4/4 based genres such as techno and house, as these cover a broad spectrum.
If you have hours of internet research under your belt, you'll still find this book useful, but notably less so than beginner or intermediate-level producers. However, if you fall into the latter category, then we firmly urge you to get this book and read it from cover to cover, as you could save yourself hours of time and read it from cover to cover, as you could save yourself hours of time reading online blogs and watching YouTube videos, and fast-track your product knowledge in a very focused way.