I have been teaching in Steinberg certified music production courses for several years now. Musical and technical preparation, as well as end goals, can change significantly from case to case, but despite that, I have identified, over time, a series of skills that any aspiring producer can't ignore. I have summarised them in this book and tried to explain them clearly and logically.

In this book, all novices will find a reference guide with which to move gradually, step by step, into the fascinating and inspiring world of music production. I also invite those who already use Cubase to read the text from the beginning to the end, quickly scrolling through the sections that concern topics that they already know. This is because, although this book is conceived as an introduction to music production, I have tried to add some references to techniques and tools that are frequently little known and exploited, despite their great usefulness and effectiveness.

From time to time, I have also included text boxes with general tips and reflections (Philosophy tips) or containing hints on workflow optimization (Useful tips).

The book is complemented and completed by the website http://musicproductionwithcubase.cloud. From there, you will be able to download sample materials, exercises, and all-color Hi-Res images.

I invite you to reflect on each notion or new tool I will present, putting into practice what you read several times before proceeding any further.

Make this book a reference guide to use in a practical and applied way. Feel free to use the resources provided on the website, but also create original tracks and ideas, or find extra materials to practice and consolidate your skills. Always listen to what you've worked on very carefully and critically. Only then will the new skills acquired become second nature to you, allowing you to proceed quickly, effectively, and professionally.

This book should not be considered a complete guide to Cubase. Use Cubase's official manuals (https://steinberg.help/cubase-manuals/) if you want to learn every single software function. This text offers a non-exhaustive (it couldn't be otherwise), neat and didactical journey into Cubase. It introduces to music production with gradualness, useful advice, and also discussions on general matters that are not strictly relevant to any specific software. It hides (momentarily) all those advanced features and techniques which, if faced too early at the beginning of a journey into music production, would only generate confusion. Good teachers are not so much those that provide students with large amounts of information (for this, there are manuals and - with a little care in selecting quality sources - the Web); they are instead able to recognize what students need to progress and what would put them in trouble; they know how to help them to master new skills and make them their own entirely. I hope this book will be a good teacher for you.

In this book, I always refer to Cubase versions 10 and 10.5. They are extremely similar; however, I have highlighted the contexts in which they differ from one another (in relation to the addressed topics). What explained in the book is also largely valid for previous versions of Cubase, as long as they are not too dated.

All screenshots were taken on Windows OS; however, the differences between Windows and Mac OS Cubase versions are minimal (in essence, some items appear under the Cubase menu item, which is not available on Windows). Even the initial installation is slightly different on Mac OS, but it follows the usual procedure for installing software in that environment. Mac OS users will be able to follow without any particular problems.

Good reading and good luck. I hope this book will be the first step, or at least a significant one, towards the realization of your aspirations and your musical and artistic goals.

Pierluigi Bontempi