Two impressive music reviews

Good vibes, second edition: a history of record production

mark cunningham

Mark Cunningham created Good Vibrations, which is a fun and fascinating journey through the history of record production. If you focus on a particular studio and the musicians who produced albums there. He gives insight into how the production of many of the major pop recordings in our history evolved, including Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pet Sounds, The Dark Side of the Moon, Telstar, Bohemian Rhapsody, and more. He shows how the productions evolved, gives information and pictures not found elsewhere, and generally tells an interesting story.

Some of the interviews are from Sir George Martin, Les Paul, Trevor Horn, Hugh Pagham, Tony Visconti and many more. The interviews are truly fascinating and create a sense of the whole world of record production.

Mark Cunningham’s Good Vibrations is an insightful book, but it fell a bit short on American record productions. Because it was based on one particular study, I think a lot of American innovation in music production was left out of the store. A good companion to a book that covered the entire history of world record production.

Editorial Sanctuary

The technological primer

tony greenpink

The Techno Primer is an excellent introduction to techno trends and engineering. The writer, Tony Verderosa, does a one-man techno/remix show called VFX, and he certainly gets the hang of it. The book includes a multimedia CD that has samples of numerous techno styles, along with some videos of the creator performing, as well as demo variations of some music software.

This publication is divided into three parts. Part 1 offers a bit of a framework for techno genres. Verderosa begins with a brief background of digital music. This gives newbies enough to know exactly where techno originated from, without turning into a dissertation. The writer then discusses the impact of today’s technology on the dance floor, which includes computer systems and turntables.

Verderosa also features a section that does a great job detailing most of the seemingly limitless styles of electronic music. It provides a brief description of each Style, along with a short demo of the particular Styles on the included CD. For numerous styles, it offers samples of both songs and artists. For example, the Hip-Hop model of hers pulls together examples of lo-fi vinyl and acid loops.

Section 2 of the book describes the production of Techno Music by means of computers. It’s a very high-level overview, but it offers enough material to give people who are serious about creating their own techno music some thought on how to get started. It offers brief discussions about many of the most popular audio/MIDI programs and visualizes some of the computing devices required to generate audio. Additionally, it includes a brief introduction to sound synthesis, along with a discussion of the writer’s way of producing techno live.

Section 3 is an accumulation of interviews with musicians. Verderosa interviews people who are involved in techno in a number of capacities. The writer is not a power interviewer: he uses the same set of questions with all the musicians, even if they don’t make much sense. Many of the interviews are with musicians that readers may not have met.

Even so, the interview portion is among the best areas of the book. The interviews show that there are all kinds of people creating in electronics, using a variety of talents, skills, and passions. For anyone thinking about creating digital music, it’s helpful to note that there are a lot of people who build careers out of it, and they’re all into various things.

In general, the guide will do an excellent job of introducing techno styles. It is primarily aimed at people who would like to explore types of electronic music and produce their own loop-based audio. Verderosa’s The Techno Primer is excellent for young musicians and techno enthusiasts, as the book provides a framework for different styles of digital music, as well as highlighting a number of recent methods for producing electronic music.

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