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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DANCE MUSIC MANUAL
Well, I took a chance on this book because I knew the author had written many articles in various music-making-related magazines in the UK.
I figured I was making a good bet - I was after a one-stop, A-to-Z reference (being tired of searching the net and magazine shelves). I certainly haven't been disappointed I can say!
This book is crammed with over 500 pages...
Published on 19 Jun. 2004 by Amazon Customer

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Misses out a lot of important points
I bought a few different books as a present to my girlfriend who was producing her own dance tracks. A recommendation from a friend lead me to this and another of the author's books. I'm fairly disappointed to be honest. Firstly the author has questionable merits and in my (admittedly limited knowledge of the genre) or from Google searches nothing comes up pointing to him...
Published on 10 Jan. 2013 by rockazabah


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DANCE MUSIC MANUAL, 19 Jun. 2004
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
Well, I took a chance on this book because I knew the author had written many articles in various music-making-related magazines in the UK.
I figured I was making a good bet - I was after a one-stop, A-to-Z reference (being tired of searching the net and magazine shelves). I certainly haven't been disappointed I can say!
This book is crammed with over 500 pages of inspiration, revelation and education, and there's no large font tricks "stealing" space either... This book is COMPLETE!
If you want to get deep into controlling sine waves, sawtooth and triangle oscillators etc... to create your own unique synth sounds, it's there! (On the CD you can hear how the author creates virtually every instrument of a drum-kit from sine waves, white and pink noise, filter cut-offs etc... cool stuff!).
If you want to know how to get that phat sub bass sound, but not have it swamp everything else in the mix, it's there.
If you want to know ALL about the art of mixing, it's there... down to the last frequency!
The book goes on to reveal all the tricks used in creating many of the effects we hear used in todays dance tracks and tells how to achieve them. (BTW, dance music could be "misleading", it covers all the genres from Ambience, Trip Hop, Hip Hop to Techno and dissects them all)
There's a passage on mixing for vinyl (records) for playing in clubs which I can't wait to use since I've fallen foul of this too when I managed to blag a DJ friend of mine into playing a track we'd done - The sound was crazy all-over-the-place. The bass was rumbling, had no definition and the higher frequencies were "washy"... deeply embarrassing, now I know why!
It's not just about the studio and composing side of things though: What I also found interesting was the glimpse into the machinations of the music business world from the unusual perspective of, "the faceless man behind the desk" - Afterall, established sound engineers at this level of the industry get to see new and old, famous and non-famous bands every week. The advice given to us wannabe artists in the book therefore, it seems, comes from someone who's witnessed most extremes without needing to "suffer" (or enjoy too I suppose as well!) the fickle business of the conveyor-belt-artist-promotion treadmill we see too often today...
...what I'm saying is, if an artist had wrote this book, it would've been influenced greatly by their success, failures, contracts etc... alone. A sound engineer is in a position to see and hear of the wider business picture and it comes across in the book - Don't get me wrong, there ain't no kiss 'n tell stories here, oh no!
In summary, I've only scratched the surface here. I have to think VERY hard before parting with over £20 for a book but I can honestly see this book becomming a lifetime companion (apart from the chapter looking at software and hardware which will obviously date). No more wasted hours searching the internet and archive mags, it's all here.
Oh BTW, the accompanying CD has "before and after" demonstrations of the examples discussed in the book... very illuminating.
Well impressed - An investment!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't hesitate - this is a MUST!!, 21 Nov. 2004
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
I passed over this book a couple of times, thinking "oh no, not another lame book with an explaination of basic midi and how to wire up your studio".
I finally took the plunge after reading some of the other reviews - and I have to say, although I consider myself extremely adept around the studio, there is plenty of good stuff in this book well beyond the boring basics of how a mixing desk works.
Plenty of stuff about sound shaping, creative uses of compression and effects, plus an excellent disection of typical dance music genres, including tips on how to get the right sound out of your gear for each genre.
This book does contain some padding (what is the website section meant to be about... completely pointless!), but I'd say well over 50% of this book is great stuff which will inspire and empower you to improve the sound of your tracks immenseley.
The section on mastering is essential reading, as it truly does contain information from an industry professional which you would have to pay good money for at one of those lame midi-school type places.
You will not regret this purchase, unless you are already Sasha or Oakenfold.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should have been called the Complete Encyclopedia of Dance M, 13 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
After reading the mess that was "Electronica Dance Music Programming Secrets" by Roger Brown I was suspicious about any books on dance music but I thought I'd take a risk on this and I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised.
It covers pretty much everything you need to know about dance music from sequencing, acoustic science, processing and effects (I was particularly impressed with the insight into creative compression, I haven't seen any other book go this much in detail) to recording techniques for vocals, programming synthesizers and different genres and mixing and mastering. The chapter concerned with releasing your own white lables was also very insightful as it goes through the entire process required to release your own music.
Overall, I can't recommend this book highly enough. If you write dance music then you'll find hundreds of tips and tricks but more importantly inspiration on every page. I've read quite a few books on writing dance music and I can say with no hesitation that this is the best by far!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 19 Jun. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
I don't like reading books on "how to write dance music" because I always feel that you can end up writing in the same style as the author.
I don't think this is going to happen with this book.
Its different from others because it doesn't offer 'step by step' instructions on how to write and mix music instead it describes what the equipment does and how it's used and then offers some creative tips before leaving the rest up to you.
The dance genre part, which I was most concerned about (for the above reason), is covered in the same way. It's difficult to describe these chapters but it's more musically orientated than the typical "place this here and that there". Instead it fills you with inspiration that I think is more essential for those learning how to write dance music (for those with no musical knowledge theres an excellent music theory guide near the beginning of the book too).
I also have to mention the chapter on programming synthesizers because its excellent. You're walked through how to program leads, basses, drums and so on and the CD even has an audio track going through the stages of programming from beginning to end!
I don't usually get excited over books on this subject, but it's got me hooked and it's one that's earned a permanent place in my bookshelf.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY IT NOW IF YOUR SERIOUS ABOUT PRODUCING, 13 Jan. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
This book is amazing. It is perfect for a starter or intermediate producer.
If your willing to read it all, you will learn so much, and your music will change alot. It teaches you everything, all about different genres, bit of music thoery, basic acoustics, equipment and software, mixing, mastering, website designing and alot more!
The CD rom tutorial is good also.
Im so glad i bought this book. Its Excellent.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable guide, 22 April 2006
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This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
Reading this book made me realise that although the creation and production of electronic dance music is a relatively modern artform, surprisingly, it is founded on well-established principles of music theory, sound manupulation and production values. Rick Snoman explains objectively but with passion, what these principles are and how to use them and the requisite machines effectively. There is also valuable insight into the recording industry and DJ's that ultimately make it all happen. Quite simply, if you want to make a dance record, you can't afford not to know this!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!, 2 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
This is a book that just had to be written! It covers all aspects of dance music creation, from beginner to advanced, and its totally choca with great hints and tips. Some genres aren't covered such as drum 'n'bass, but I would say this will be in volume 2. However its extremely comprehensive and I would recommend it to anyone. This will become the bible of dance music production!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Grail of Dance Music production, 7 Feb. 2005
By 
Amazon Customer (Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
Wow! Thats pretty much all I need to say. If like me, you have some excellent ideas in your head for dance tracks but you get horribly frustrated because you dont know how to use the tools or at the very least, have a direction to head in to get these ideas into an audible reality then you need this book. I have played around with various sequencers, synths, samples and tried desperately to get some of my ideas down but it just feels a bit like I'm finding my way in the dark. This book clean pushed that feeling out the way and gives absolute, solid and complete information on what is needed to get good dance tracks. Not one other book or reference I have looked at comes close. All the other books and guides I have looked at go through the same procedure of assuming you want to learn piano or guitar or other 'classical' instrument. This is good information in itself but it doesnt really provide you with what you need to produce dance. Well done to Rick for taking his time out to put together this excellent reference. He has saved me an immeasurable amount of time and regenerated my enthusiasm for playing around with dance music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardly any Drum & Bass info but it doesn't matter, 13 April 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
This book is staggeringly useful, in particular the hints on dance music theory & advanced track progression / layout are utterly invaluable.
I primarily make drum & bass, and was saddened to see this genre was not included in the 'genre analysis' section - still, you can find out any of that info from websites such as dogsonacid.com.
There are already so many blazing reviews for this book that really I shouldn't bother writing this, but thought I would like to add my voice the chorus of praise ringing out for rick Snoman's hard work.
Minor gripes (for me) would be slightly too much emphasis on Trance, and not enough mention of Jungle / Nuskool breaks. Still, I accept that this is probably because Rick's personal interests shape how he presents the knowledge.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dance Music Manual... The LAST Manual!, 3 Jun. 2004
This review is from: The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques (Paperback)
Well, I took a chance on this book because I knew the author had written many articles in various music-making-related magazines in the UK.
I figured I was making a good bet - I was after a one-stop, A-to-Z reference (being tired of searching the net and magazine shelves). I certainly haven't been disappointed I can say!
This book is crammed with over 500 pages of inspiration, revelation and education, and there's no large font tricks "stealing" space either... This book is COMPLETE!
I mean, if you want to get deep into controlling sine waves, sawtooth and triangle oscillators etc... to create your own unique synth sounds, it's there! (On the CD you can hear how he creates virtually every instrument of a drum-kit from sine waves, white and pink noise, filter cut-offs etc... cool stuff).
If you want to know how to get that phat sub bass sound, but not have it swamp everything else in the mix, it's there.
If you want to know ALL about the art of mixing, it's there... down to the last frequency!
The book goes on to reveal all the tricks used in creating many of the effects we hear used in todays dance tracks and tells how to achieve them. (BTW, dance music could be "misleading", it covers all the genres from Ambience, Trip Hop, Hip Hop to Techno and dissects them all)
There's a passage on mixing for vinyl (records) for playing in clubs which I can't wait to use since I've fallen foul of this too; A mate and I almost left a nightclub in an ambulance once. I managed to blag a DJ friend of mine into playing a track we'd done. The sound was crazy all-over-the-place. The bass was rumbling, had no definition and the higher freqs were "washy"... deeply embarrassing, now I know why!
It's not just about the studio and composing side of things though: What I also found interesting was the glimpse into the machinations of the music business world from the unusual perspective of, "the faceless man behind the desk" - Afterall, established sound engineers at this level of the industry get to see new and old, famous and non-famous bands every week. The advice given to us wannabe artists in the book therefore, it seems, comes from someone who's witnessed most extremes without needing to "suffer" (or enjoy too I suppose as well!) the fickle business of the conveyor-belt-artist-promotion treadmill we see too often today...
...what I'm saying is, if an artist had wrote this book, it would've been influenced greatly by their success, failures, contracts etc... alone. A sound engineer is in a position to see and hear of the wider business picture and it comes across in the book - Don't get me wrong, there ain't no kiss 'n tell stories here, oh no!
In summary, I've only scratched the surface here. I have to think VERY hard before parting with over £20 for a book but I can honestly see this book becomming a lifetime companion (apart from the chapter looking at software and hardware which will obviously date). No more wasted hours searching the internet and archive mags, it's all here.
Oh BTW, the accompanying CD has "before and after" demonstrations of the examples discussed in the book... very illuminating.
Well impressed - An investment!
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The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques
The Dance Music Manual: Tools, toys and techniques by Rick Snoman (Paperback - 25 May 2004)
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