Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers

Ableton has released Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers, a new book that confronts the problems of creativity and offers concrete solutions to those problems.  The creative struggle lies in any art, but this book is specifically tailored for electronic musicians and producers.  The book is written by Ableton's Head of Documentation, Dennis DeSantis.  If you've read Live's manual, you've undoubtedly been struck by how clear, concise, and helpful it is.  That's Dennis' work.  Dennis is a great writer, amazing musician, and super intelligent person. The few times I've spent with him, at various presentations and during my Ableton certification, were valuable learning experiences. He's the kind of smart that would be intimidating if he wasn't so warm and friendly. You can feel yourself getting smarter just being near him. I'm really excited to learn about his techniques, tips, and creative problem solving skills.  

The creative battle is one of my favorite topics, and Making Music tackles it in an really practical way.  A problem is presented (and from what I've read online, these are problems that pretty much every producer faces), then a solution is offered.  What I like about the solutions is that they are very concrete.  A great example is in a chapter about how loop based music can become boring and repetitive.  From there, about half a dozen quality solutions are offered; and they are things you can do right away.  

The book is divided into three sections, Problems of Beginning, Problems of Progressing, and Problems of Finishing.  You can read a pretty generous portion of the book online, and the hard cover version is on sale now.   It's not going to teach you how to use compressors or how to copy clips from Session to Arrangement view.  In truth, it's going to offer you something much more valuable.  It will help you make music. At the end of the day, that's what we are here for.