About the book

Richly illustrated with photos, illustrations, and prototypes, and with a foreword by electronic music visionary Jean-Michel Jarre. It celebrates the art & science of interface design in electronic music within the mysterious link between player and machine.


Artists, Brands & More

Meet artists Dorit Chrysler, Suzanne Ciani, Richard Devine, DiViNCi, Laura Escudé, Ean Golden, Axel Hartmann, Larry Heard, Roger Linn, Keith McMillen, Moldover, Jordan Rudess, Dave Smith, Tatsuya Takahashi, and more, along with well-known industry brands.


Unique Illustrations

Dive into the ideas behind gear like synths, drum machines, sequencers, DJ equipment, DAWs, and iOS apps. Explore sections on design principles, control elements, sound visualization, and concepts such as grids, MPC, multitouch, modular, and much more.

Technical Details


  • Foreword by electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Sound: How is sound visualised in music soft- and hardware?
  • Control: How can you shape sound through tangible and digital controls? Learn about different controls (knobs, faders, touch strips, buttons, screens etc.) and their variations and possibilities.
  • Layout: How do you organise an interface for sound-creation? Get an overview of design principles and techniques for designing interfaces of electronic music instruments and controllers. 
  • Concept: How has different instrument-makers solved the challenges of visualising and controlling sound? See examples of hardware, software, apps etc. of Digital Audio Workstations, Grid-based sequencing, Modular Synthesizers, Collaborative tools, Radial, Gestural interfaces etc.
  • User: How do you design the best possible experience for musicians? Learn about user centered interface design, usability, workflows, experience design etc.
  • Time: How did we get to where we are? Read about the evolution and revolutions of electronic music interfaces - from the Theremin and EMS VCS3 to Buchla, the Minimoog, TB303, Yamaha Tenori-On, Monome, Ableton Live and various other hard- and software that have shaped electronic music making through the times.


  • 350 pages in full color.
  • Hardcover.
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 24.5 cm (9.6 x 9.6 inches).
  • Printed in Denmark on 150g acid free quality paper.

Meet the makers, artists and designers

  • Dave Smith, Dave Smith Instruments, legendary synth-maker.
  • Suzanne Ciani, Buchla artist and electronic music pioneer. 
  • Roger Linn, Roger Linn Design, legendary maker of the Linndrum, MPC-grid, Linnstrument and others. 
  • Keith McMillen, Keith McMillen Instruments.
  • Jordan Rudess, Artist, Keyboard player in Dream Theater, Founder of Wizdom Music (GeoShred and other iPad apps). 
  • Richard Devine, Notable sound designer and modular artist. 
  • Olivier Gillet, Mutable Instruments (Eurorack Format Synthesizer Modules). 
  • Ean Golden, DJ and controllerist, founder of DJ TechTools and designer of several DJ-related products. 
  • Ableton: Gerhard Behles, CEO and Founder. Ed Macovaz, Head of Design. Jesse Terry, Push Product Owner.
  • Brian Crabtree, Founder of Monome - iconic grid-based controllers and now also Eurorack products.
  • Moldover, Artist and controllerist, originator of several controllers and collaborative instruments.
  • Axel Hartmann, Product- and synthesizer designer (Matrixbrute, 20, Blofeld, Microbrute, Moog Phatty, and more) 
  • Dorit Chrysler, Thereminist, composer, producer, and singer. Co-founder of the New York Theremin Society and America's first school for theremin.
  • Native Instruments: Gösta Wellmer, Head of UI Design at Native Instruments and others.
  • DiViNCi, Producer and artist.
  • Skinnerbox, Electronic music makers and software designers.
  • Teenage Engineering, CEO Jesper Kouthoofd
  • Propellerhead Software
  • Arturia
  • Roland
  • Synthstrom Audible
  • Elektron
  • Yamaha
  • Sonic Geometry
  • Make Noise
  • Output 
  • ... and many others

Why DJ TechTools?

  • All orders will ship in 24 hours or less
  • Every purchase is backed by the DJ TechTools "way cool" guarantee with easy returns
  • Professional DJ staff is online and ready to help
  • Every order directly supports the DJ community
  • Best price guarantee
  • Free shipping in the US, low rates to Europe
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Customer Reviews

Downloads & Support


  • Is this just a coffee table book with pretty photos of gear?
Of course we want to make a visual engaging book, however the ambition goes beyond that: The book provides a categorization of gear and explores the functional, artistic, philosophical and aesthetic world of user interfaces in the context of making and performing of electronic music.
  • Are there reviews or manuals of gear in it?
That is very well done elsewhere, we rather focus on usability and design principles. We also don’t go into detail on how the instruments sound.
  • Why is device X or artist Y not in the book?
This question is very relevant. We are lucky to have close to all major brands represented - but included quite a few smaller brands, because their creations are relevant and complementing. We would love to include all instruments but that would make the book thousands of pages, so we have had to make choices. Getting busy artists to do interviews for a book like this is not always easy, we are still working on getting even more major artists to contribute and we hope we present a varied selection.
  • Is the book about hardware or software?
It’s about both, however hardware takes up a larger part of the book than software. Again the amount of released software is astronomic so we have to focus on those having most impact on electronic music making.
  • Will I learn how to operate my gear or software by reading this book?
Not directly as in manuals, but you will definitely get a deeper understanding on why gear looks like it does and you will also get valuable insight in how design principles have developed.
  • Is this book for musicians or designers or what?
The book is for everyone interested in making electronic music and who want to get insight in how their gear is made. It would also appeal to professionals working with interaction design, usability or industrial design in general.
  • Why are you writing this book?
Because I have a life long passion for electronic musical instruments and great design :)
  • How did you determine the price (why is it so expensive / so cheap)?
That has in fact been quite difficult. On one hand we would like everyone with interest to be able to get the book, so we would love to give the book away for free if we could. On the other hand - we have been working on this book for more than a year, there has been put many hundreds of working hours into the project: Conceptualizing, researching, writing, making agreements with brands and artists, interviewing, getting pictures, finding people to help, figuring out how to print and send out the book worldwide.