Here’s the review I posted on Amazon this morning:
1. This is an abridgement of the author’s much-longer book How To Make A Noise (which you can purchase in print, or download as a free PDF from the author’s website). Why would you spend money to get a shorter version of something you can get the full version of for free? I can think of three reasons. First, the full version can be overwhelming. Second, the full version refers to features and products that aren’t available on the iPad; that information’s not useless, but (again) it can be overwhelming. Third, because the abridged version is specifically targeted to products for the iPad, you can get to work sooner.
2. This book does a good job balancing general concepts (e.g., how filters work) and specific applications (how to synthesize drum sounds). It doesn’t rewrite the product manuals, and the recipes that it gives for particular sounds are general. You still have to think, and you still have to experiment. Does that mean it’s just trial and error? No: this book will help you to focus your experiments, and suggest some directions that you might not have thought of.
3. This book only costs $3. If you want more, you can always purchase or download the original book. The author also has a free “Synthesizer Bootcamp” series on YouTube; this has some overlap with the book, but that’s useful, because you can hear what you’re reading about.
4. More screenshots would be welcome, and since they don’t add to the production cost, why not?
5. Not all of the products featured in this book are featured equally. As you would expect, the products that come up most frequently are also the most powerful: specifically, NLogSynth Pro and Korg iMS-20. The one, big product that seems to be missing here is NanoStudio. But ultimately this book is more about concepts than products. If you learn the concepts for one of the other synths, you can apply them to NanoStudio (or SunVox, or Jasuto, or what have you). Other products that seem to be missing are Beatmaker and Xewton Music Studio; but those are samplers, not synthesizers, and this is a book about synthesizers.