Looking to get deeper into audio production, music technology, and/or music composition for media? Check out this constantly-expanding collection of recommended texts, tutorial videos, and more.

Know of a great resource that you think should be included here? Email Mike Espar (mespar@sdccd.edu). 


Audio Post Production

Gardner's Guide to Audio Post Production by Mark Scetta - a brief overview of all different types of audio for film/tv



Essential Dictionary of Orchestration - handy, compact guide that includes the ranges of all orchestration 

Principles of Orchestration by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov - classic text by 19th-Century Russian composer. Kindle version is FREE on Amazon!

The Study of Orchestration by Samuel Adler  - authoritative textbook on modern orchestration. Older editions are fine (and cheaper!).

Berliner Philharmoniker - the best way to get better at orchestration is the listen to lots of classical music, especially in person or through online concerts. Get FREE access to watch this symphony in Berlin.


Film Scoring

The Reel World: Scoring for Pictures by Jeff Rona - nice overview of the film scoring process 

Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music - fairly recent film music analysis

SCORE: A Film Music Documentary — The Interviews - interview with top composers including Hans Zimmer

Art of the Score - great podcast about film scoring

Orchestration for Pros - How To Score Music For Film Part 1 - helpful video with an example from Toy Story


Game Audio

A Composer's Guide to Game Music by Winifred Phillips - an award-winning book explaining the philosophy behind game music

The Essential Guide to Game Audio: The Theory and Practice of Sound for Games by Steve Horowitz and Scott Looney - the history and practice of music and SFX for video games, written by the founders of the Game Audio Institute at San Francisco State University


Sample Libraries

If you're considering writing orchestral-style music for film, TV or video games, investing in an orchestral sample library is a good idea. It’s hard to get a decent orchestral sample library for less than $300-400, though. Some affordable options:

Logic's Studio Strings are decent and FREE if you use Logic. They integrate different articulations (arco, pizzicato, etc.) making it easy to write more expressive string parts.

EastWest Composer Cloud The best deal around. For students, it's only $9.99/mo if you commit for a year. EastWest is a professional-quality library and was the go-to library for film composing for many years.