The Music Tech Student


by S. Elias James

(102 pages)

This is an eBook for digital download. 

The Music Tech Student is a compendium of information covering every major music technology topic. It’s a concise and unbiased look at the basics without leaving anything out. You’ll find it’s a fantastic trove of just the right answers to the most common questions from topics including careers, the nature of sound, acoustics, recording studios, DAWs, electronic music, audio processing, live sound, and marketing.


While other books on tech usually dive deep into the author’s specialty or cover just a few subjects, The Music Tech Student is focused, concise, and exhaustive. According to Daniel Anderegg, at SUU, it’s “a logical music technology curriculum that flows well, and intelligently builds upon itself . . . I will be using [it] as a reference in my own teaching.”

The book opens with some of the ways students can make money in music, whether in the industry or not. It then goes into detail about the nature of sound, how it works and how we record and reproduce it.

After that, it discusses recording studio roles and functions, acoustics, and gear/setup. The DAWs section introduces types of recording programs, cable types, latency, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.

The section on electronic music covers digital notation, MIDI, synthesis, and sampling/libraries. Audio processing goes over basic audio effects and their main parameters, reverberation, filters, and a few advanced concepts. The live sound chapter covers PA signal flow, system types, speakers/amplifiers (parts and selection), documentation, microphones/polar patterns, mixers, and Ohm’s Law. Marketing goes over social media options, website types/builders, distribution, and graphic resources.

Each chapter is followed by 15 test questions, 10 more open-ended questions, a couple of bonus questions (that weren’t necessarily found in the text), and a couple of writing prompts. The goal of the book is to give you all the information you need. It isn’t an activity or project idea book, but an effective and complete reference for any teacher or student who wants to hit the ground running without tediously filtering through the blogosphere.



S. Elias James

About the Author

S. Elias James is a composer, educator, producer and performer in Provo, Utah. He has a master of music in recording technology from SUU and has taught tech classes at Snow College. He has scored multiple feature films and won Best Original Score for one of them. Elias is passionate about music education and believes that the way forward must include industry applications and publication, or students aren’t getting what they need.

You can learn more about S. Elias James here.


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