The Dance Music Manual 4th Edition Revealed

dance music manual

Dance Music Manual is widely revered as the bible for electronic music production. Thousands of online forums have sought answers from this resource, while production schools and producers around the globe regularly recommend its pages as essential reading.

This book not only reveals the inner workings of LMMS, an open music production program, but it also walks readers through the entire process of song creation from beginning to end. Topics discussed include studio fundamentals and techniques like synthesizing and sampling; mixing tips; essential techniques, etc.


Snoman’s book takes readers beyond production into the realm of composing, arranging and mixing dance music. The 4th Edition covers styles like house, techno, drum and bass and jungle while also touching upon slower genres like trance UK garage and chill out. This comprehensive and well written guide is essential reading for anyone producing upbeat dance music using Ableton Reason or Reaktor DAWs.

Beginning with an in-depth overview of different computer audio workstations, then covering how they compare, this book takes you step-by-step through creating upbeat dance music – from MIDI protocol and synth programming through recording and more! I highly recommend it and believe any producer, whether amateur or experienced professional will find this invaluable.

Rhythm is another key topic addressed in the book and includes how to create and mix different drum sounds into a rhythm, including techniques for layering drums and using special effects to add depth and variety to a beat.

Composition is a crucial section in this book that provides students with instruction in creating melodies, bass lines and chord progressions in different genres of dance music. The author shows readers how to compose melodies that create melodic motifs that stick in listener’s heads; using simple melodies to build tension and anticipation within tracks; as well as how using arrangements for creating balance within their tracks. This chapter may prove particularly helpful to novice producers looking to balance different elements within tracks.


This book presents readers with all of the software and hardware essential for producing original and captivating dance music, from beginners to veteran producers alike. It explores digital audio workstations as well as various genres of dance music and how they are produced, while discussing ways of reaching an audience for your creations. Topics such as synthesis programming, compression effects and MIDI files are thoroughly explained while there is also an accompanying website providing samples of tracks discussed, techniques discussed as well as MIDI files available online.

This book’s main drawback lies in its complex writing style, making it more challenging for newcomers and novices to grasp its meaning. Beginning with an overview of MIDI protocols and mathematical theory, which may prove interesting but may bore readers who are unfamiliar. However, if you can absorb all of the information contained within this book, it will prove an invaluable resource for anyone serious about creating dance music. This guide covers most aspects of electronic music production from synth synthesis to DJ producing as well as some non-music related topics, like promotion and website creation. An essential reference that should be in every producer’s library.


Although some readers might find the amount of information in this book daunting, it remains a great resource for anyone interested in creating electronic music. The writer covers everything from MIDI protocols and basic synth programming, to various dance music genres and how to produce them. Furthermore, he covers how to create melodies and acoustic patterns using Ableton, FL Studio and Logic software programs.

The chapter on synthesis is very comprehensive, providing many practical lessons for new producers. At times it may become too technical as the author devotes too much space explaining how various systems function mathematically or theoretically; more could have been accomplished had he focused more on how these technologies are used to produce music instead.

Notable among the book’s chapters is one on publishing and promotion written by an experienced PR specialist; this section provides invaluable advice to artists hoping to break into electronic music.

Experience is undoubtedly essential when it comes to producing dance music, but this book provides invaluable knowledge that is indispensable for those looking to embark on the path towards becoming professional electronic producers. Written expertly and accessible for novice producers regardless of prior musical knowledge.

Mixing and mastering

Dancing music’s distinctive elements include synthesis (the use of software to produce sounds that wouldn’t otherwise be possible using hardware), effects, sampling, drum sequencing and mixing and mastering. A professional mastering engineer can quickly spot areas for improvement within a mix or production as well as adding quality assurance measures that make the final product more cost-efficient on the market.

Equipment has long been discussed at length; even experienced producers often lack an in-depth knowledge of the mixing and mastering stages due to emotional attachments involved with creative expression. Furthermore, outside of mastering engineers themselves very few people understand or care what goes on during these processes.

Mastering engineers are responsible for adjusting the volume levels of tracks so that they meet commercial distribution standards, with an aim to maximizing emotional impact and sound quality without overdoing it – this task is perhaps one of the most vital in creating music.

Mastering engineers can make or break a track that you have dedicated months, or years, of work on. That is why it’s crucial that you find one whom you can trust with your work – just as with visiting any doctor or mechanic with lacking skills or experience, mastering is no exception! Educate yourself more on this process by reading Rick Snoman’s The Dance Music Manual as the perfect resource. From basic production topics such as synthesizing effects, DJing etc it will cover everything!


If you are an aspiring dance music producer or just keen on learning the craft, this book is for you. It covers every aspect of production from designing sounds to synthesizing, compressing and adding effects – as well as advice on publishing and promoting tracks. Plus it comes complete with its own companion website offering example tracks, synthesis techniques, MIDI files – so all bases are covered!

This book covers all of the components that go into creating music, such as drums, synths and vocals. Additionally, it covers different genres of dance music with detailed musical analyses for each genre. Furthermore, each chapter is filled with tips on music theory (the relationship between chords/bass/melody) in plain language that speak directly about what occurs within songs rather than just explaining mathematically what goes on behind-the-scenes.

It also discusses the significance of repetition when creating melodies, particularly dance music, where repeated motifs can be heard throughout performances by dancers. To gain further understanding, this book suggests listening to various popular dance songs and deconstructing them to understand their composition, arrangement, and tempo in more depth.

This book also discusses various digital audio workstations (DAWs) and provides guidance for using various software instruments to build tracks. Furthermore, mixing and mastering processes are covered as well. Aside from music-related subjects such as MIDI protocols or promotion/web page creation outlined here are covered; nevertheless this reference book makes an ideal tool to learn electronic music production.