Hi, I'm mainly interested in producing electronic music (breakcore, dubstep and so on). I have a decent knowledge of music theory and I can create not-so-bad drum patterns, but when it comes to create or manipulate a sound (for a drum kit, or a synth) I just procede changing parameters randomly, applying effects and so on.

I'm looking for some good book about sound synthesis. Recently I've bought the Z3ta synth and reading the manual is only useful if you actually know when to use what to obtain a certain sound.

The same goes for music production. Anything that explains compression, equalization and all of this stuff.

Thank you very much, Carlo

4 Answers 4


I found puredata the best free software to study, learn and understand audio synthesis and much more.

So I suggest the software itself (extended version) and these books:

Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music by Miller Puckette

Loadbang by Johannes Kreidler

here the links for the free pdf versions.



  • Thanks. I started using PD some time ago and I started with Loadbang. So now I am even more motivated to go on with it, but still I think I'd like other, may more technical, books. Any other suggestions?
    – Carlo
    Commented Jul 7, 2010 at 22:29
  • I dunno exactly what you are looking for... try checking Sound Synthesis and Sampling by Martin Russ Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications by Perry R. Cook A Digital Signal Processing Primer: With Applications to Digital Audio and Computer Music by Ken Steiglitz Digital Audio Explained: For The Audio Engineer by Nika Aldrich Principles of Digital Audio by Ken C. Pohlmann Than I suggest to check Curtis Roads publications (listed here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Roads#Publications)... you'll find amazing things especially if you like granular synthesis.
    – fabio_iaci
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 8:15

Hi there,

make sure you check out Designing Sound from Andy Farnell.

The book takes a practical, systematic approach to the subject, teaching by example and providing background information that offers a firm theoretical context for its pragmatic stance. Many of the examples follow a pattern, beginning with a discussion of the nature and physics of a sound, proceeding through the development of models and the implementation of examples, to the final step of producing a Pure Data program for the desired sound.

There is also an excerpt from the Book available as a PDF. BTW a really good Introduction to Pd.

Kind Regards,



I would recommend two books: The Art of Digital Audio by John Watkinson and Elements of Computer Music by F. Richard Moore. The first for his generality, is a very interesting book useful for introducing to many matters regarding digital audio. The 2nd is my preferred for his semplicity and clarity; though not very complete in respect to The Computer Music Tutorial by Curtis Roads (a bible for digital audio synthesis). In my opinion! : )




Recommend you to check "Good Musician" by Shadow Producers(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072M8QRLN). It is by far the biggest glossary of all music production words, acoustics terms, EDM genres, audio engineering terminology, recording vocabulary, and electronic music theory definitions, etc. Cheers)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.