I think Simon Cann is a good author who knows how to teach the basics of synthesis effectively and get the reader making simple patches quickly. I think this because that's what he did in the first book of his that I read, How to Make a Noise, as well as the second, How to Become a Synthesizer Wizard. The second mainly elaborated on the first, offering little new material but making the fundamental parts of synthesis digestible enough that a complete novice could grasp them easily. However, while the basic building blocks were well fleshed out, I felt that his works left a lot to be desired in terms of practical application. So, when I received an email advertising that Mr. Cann had written a new series of books, I was hopeful that he had expanded on what synths can do and how. Unfortunately, having already read through this book I can say that it is no different from his other books, again going over the very basics of synthesis and offering almost nothing new.
First, I need to knock off some points for the Kindle sample. Maybe there was just something wrong with my sample, but as soon as I got past the table of contents it asked me to buy the book. I realize that authors have to make a living and that this book is very cheap, but making a sample nothing more than a table of contents is extremely bad taste. That said, I could read the table of contents and so I shouldn't exactly be surprised by the book's offerings, but for $3 it was worth the chance to learn something, anything, new.
And there was something worth reading in this book. The final chapter walks the reader through making some basic patches. Cann writes this chapter without resorting to a list of synth parameters to follow blindly, which makes the chapter all the more useful. He goes through the basic sounds elaborating on the points laid out in the previous 7 chapters of the book and for beginners, I can't recommend that enough. For those of us who are not only familiar with synthesis, but familiar with Cann's other books, most of the information is still redundant. If he could write a whole book like this last chapter, perhaps looking at well known synth sounds in various genres (NOT just dance music!!) as case studies while sharing his wisdom on how to usefully modify those sounds, it would be a bargain at three times the price of this one. As it stands, I cannot recommend this book to anyone but the very beginner, and certainly not to anyone who already has any of his other books.