Books about Synthesizers

Books about Synthesizers

Here's a list of books relating to synthesizers and electronic music that we think are worth reading.

Click on the image to go to and view more information and purchase them. Feel free to suggest a book.

The Synthesizer: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Programming, Playing, and Recording the Ultimate Electronic Music Instrument
by Mark Vail

A History of synthesizers, overview of current synthesizers, tips on usage and more.

Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer
by Trevor Pinch, Frank Trocco

This book deals with the first years of electronic music instruments and their builders. Plenty of interviews and pictures.

Electronic Music Pioneers
by Ben Kettlewell

From Leon Theremin to software synths, and from Kraftwerk to gangster rap, the electronic music explosion has made an impact on almost every aspect of the music industry. This book tells the exciting stories of the people and inventions that revolutionized the musical sound palette.

Synthesizer Basics: Musician's Reference for Creating, Performing, and Recording Electronic Music
by Brent Hurtig

Good introduction to synthesier operation. Also covers MIDI, mixers and recording.

Vintage Synthesizers: Pioneering Designers, Groundbreaking Instruments, Collecting Tips, Mutants of Technology
by Mark Vail

A great book covering all those modulars from the past. Lots of pictures and interviews.

Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook
by Fred Welsh

Synthesizer programming, sound analysis/reverse engineering, and universal patch book

Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook Vol. 2
by Fred Welsh

Welsh's Synthesizer Cookbook, Vol. 2: Harmonic Catalog is intended for synthesizer players who have either read Volume 1 (black and yellow cover) or are familiar with using harmonic analysis to program synths

Sound Reinforcement Handbook:
by Gary Davis, Ralph Jones

Everyone who works with any type of sound systems MUST HAVE this book. Covers the basics and advanced topics. Everything from mics, mixers, speakers, amps, cabling, MIDI etc. Also includes tutorials on various sound-related concepts such as Decibels, crosstalk, etc.

Analog Synthesis: The Newbie Guide to Synthesizers and Sound Design
by Reinhard Schmitz

Basics of sound, history of synthesizers, discussion of waveforms, filters, controllers, effects, etc.

Electro Shock!: Groundbreakers of Synth Music
by Greg Rule

Techno music and the gear that creates it.

Modulations: A History of Electronic Music: Throbbing Words on Sound
by Iara Lee, Peter Shapiro, Simon Reynolds

History of electronic music and sound generation with discussion of sampling and mixing.

Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music
by Joel Chadabe

With a truly global perspective, this vivid and readable narrative provides a comprehensive overview of the history of electronic music.

All Music Guide to Electronica : The Definitive Guide to Electronic Music
by Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen tho Erlewine, John Bush

This comprehensive guide profiles the careers of hundreds of major artists such as Aphex Twin and the Prodigy, and reviews thousands of the best electronica recordings. Incisive essays explore electronica's widely varied subgenres.

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