Cover image for Designing Web Audio & CD-ROM

Book description

Designing Web Audio is the most complete Internet audio guide on the market. It's loaded with informative real-world case studies and interviews with some of the world's leading audio and web producers. It contains step-by-step intstructions on how to build multimedia web pages using the most popular web audio formats. This book also includes a wealth of basic digital audio and sound wave theory, practical tips and techniques for recording and editing audio for the Web, and an invaluable buyer's guide to building an effective sound studio. Designing Web Audio explains how digital audio is encoded from microphone to hard disk; how sound is processed using compression and equalization; and how to turn audio source material into a great soundtrack using loops and ambient soundscapes. Designing Web Audio demystifies its subject with informative step-by-step techniques for encoding, compression, and streaming audio over the Web. This book includes the following:

  • The most up-to-date, step-by-step guides to the latest popular streaming media formats for building multimedia web pages including RealAudio, Shockwave, Flash, MP3, MIDI, and RMF (Beatnik).

  • A step-by-step guide to building multimedia Synchronized Media Integration Language (SMIL) presentations using the new RealSystem G2. (This is the only book on the market that offers information on this.)

  • In-depth coverage of the sound design principles for building effective multimedia web pages with sound, including examples of real-world sound design techniques used by leading film and CD-ROM sound designers.

  • Informative case studies featuring leading companies such as N2K, Fox News Corp, TechWeb, and Sonicopia, and how they are enhancing their web pages using Flash, RealAudio, Shockwave, or Beatnik's audio technologies.

  • Tips from two Academy Award-winning sound designers that will help web professionals use audio more intelligently.

  • In-depth consumer buyer's guide with street prices and tips for buying the best gear at the lowest prices to produce high-quality Internet audio in-house.

  • Thorough practical coverage of digital audio theory and basic recording and editing techniques.

The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on using the leading audio formats makes Designing Web Audio an invaluable resource for web developers and people who want to stream their own music over the Web.

Table of Contents

  1. Designing Web Audio
    1. Preface
      1. Audience
      2. Why we wrote this book
      3. How to contact us
      4. Acknowledgments
    2. 1. The Art of Sound Design
      1. A brief history of web audio
      2. What you can do with sound on the Web
      3. Two easy ways to add sound
        1. Adding a simple background sound
        2. Adding a looping music soundtrack
      4. Adding sound effects
      5. Audio challenges and limitations
      6. Solid sound design
      7. Designing web audio
        1. Easy-to-use narration
          1. Capturing narration
          2. Embedding narration in a web page
        2. Using sound effects
        3. Designing music loops
          1. Sound loops versus repetitive sound effects
          2. Good ambient loop mixing
          3. Optimum loop length
          4. Sound loop tutorial: creating seamless loops with a sound editor
          5. Building seamless music loops
      8. Interactive sound effects and buttons
      9. Interactive sound design case study
        1. Selecting sounds
        2. Timing loops
      10. Summary
    3. 2. The Science of Sound and Digital Audio
      1. The science of sound
        1. Loudness
        2. Pitch
        3. Timbre
        4. Sound propagation and acoustics
        5. Reverberation and delay
      2. Digital audio demystified
      3. Summary
    4. 3. Capturing Original Source Material
      1. Selecting the right equipment
        1. Microphones
          1. Tranducer designs
          2. Dynamic microphones
          3. Condenser microphones
          4. Lavaliere clip-on microphones
          5. Directionality and pick-up patterns
          6. Frequency response
        2. Microphone pre-amps
        3. Mixers
        4. Compressors/limiters
        5. Studio reference speakers
        6. DAT recorders
        7. Headphones
        8. Pop screens
        9. High-quality cables
      2. Recording techniques
        1. Studio recording
          1. Proper room acoustics: capturing a “dry” signal
          2. Optimizing your recording environment
          3. Desktop audio recording
        2. Field recording
          1. Live concerts and events
          2. On-location interviews and panel discussions
          3. Capturing ambient sounds
      3. Summary
    5. 4. Optimizing Your Sound Files
      1. Basic sound editing
        1. Choosing takes and removing artifacts
        2. Avoiding gaps between edited sections
        3. Removing embedded artifacts
          1. Deleting a spike
          2. Amplitude reduction
          3. Equalization
      2. Digital effects
        1. Reverb
        2. Delay
        3. Pitch shift
        4. Bender
        5. Backwards
      3. Web mastering: optimizing sound files for Internet broadcasting
        1. Normalization: maximizing the dynamic range
        2. Compression: reducing sound peaks and spikes
        3. Equalization: customizing your sound
        4. Using EQ to enhance audio
          1. Removing sibilance
          2. Using low-pass and high-pass filters
      4. Summary
    6. 5. Introduction to Streaming Media
      1. Streaming protocols
        1. Lossy compression
        2. Lossless compression
      2. Streaming media formats
        1. RealMedia and RealAudio
        2. Windows Media Technologies (Netshow)
        3. QuickTime
        4. Flash and Director Shockwave
        5. Beatnik’s Rich Music Format (RMF)
        6. MP3
        7. Liquid Audio
        8. MIDI
      3. Selecting the right format
        1. Interactive sound design capabilities
        2. Browser compatibility
        3. Cost for streaming audio
        4. Learning curve and documentation support
        5. Audio fidelity and compression
        6. Low bandwidth performance overall
        7. Server performance and software quality
      4. Summary
    7. 6. Encoding, Serving, and Streaming Sound with RealAudio
      1. The RealMedia System
        1. RealEncoder and RealPublisher
        2. RealServer
        3. RealPlayer
        4. RealAudio utilities
        5. RealAudio 5.0 file types and metafiles
        6. RealAudio delivery
      2. Streaming RealAudio from a web server
        1. Pros and cons
        2. Requirements for HTTP streaming
        3. HTTP streaming tutorial
      3. Professional webcasting
        1. Selecting the right RealAudio codecs
        2. Using the RealEncoder
          1. Encoding RealAudio with a batch processor
        3. Broadcasting audio with the RealServer
          1. RealServer installation
          2. RealServer system requirements
          3. Using bandwidth negotiation
      4. Advanced RealAudio applications
        1. Broadcasting through firewalls
        2. Creating custom player controls
          1. Creating custom controls with JavaScript
          2. Note of caution
          3. Embedding custom player controls with RealPublisher
          4. Playing clips with a hidden control or plug-in
        3. Indexing RealMedia clips: creating a table of contents
        4. Creating RealFlash content
        5. Creating synchronized RealAudio presentations with RealSystem 5.0
        6. Database management and tracking of RealAudio content
        7. Load balancing
      5. Live broadcasting with RealAudio
      6. Case study: N2K streams live Mötley Crüe concert
        1. Capturing high-quality live sound
        2. Capturing live audio with the RealEncoder
        3. Archiving live broadcasts
        4. Using the time-out preferences to avoid crashes
        5. Splitting a live broadcast for more efficient streaming
          1. Remote encoding and management
      7. Summary
    8. 7. Designing Multimedia Presentations with SMIL and RealSystem G2
      1. SureStream
      2. SMIL
        1. SMIL syntax
        2. Establishing a timeline
      3. RealPix
        1. RealPix syntax
        2. Hyperlinking
      4. RealText
        1. RealText syntax
        2. Window types
        3. Hyperlinking
      5. RealFlash
      6. Delivering backwards-compatible content
      7. Case study: TechWeb Today
        1. Deciding what to show
        2. Synchronizing media types
        3. Problems and workarounds
      8. Summary
    9. 8. Playing, Serving, and Streaming MP3
      1. MP3 pros and cons
        1. Advantages
        2. Disadvantages
      2. What is MP3?
        1. MP3 technical details
      3. Playing MP3 files
        1. Playlists
        2. Basic MP3 player controls
        3. Using the equalizer
        4. Skins
          1. Skin-making tutorial
        5. Plug-ins
      4. Making MP3 files
        1. Encoding MP3 files
          1. Working with the CDDB
          2. Getting started
        2. Using Xing AudioCatalyst
          1. Selecting tracks
          2. Choosing your encoding options
          3. 128 Kbps Internet standard
          4. Working with ID3 tags
          5. CDDB database support
          6. Encode
          7. Play
        3. Using MusicMatch Jukebox
          1. Selecting tracks
          2. Specify encoding quality
          3. Encode
          4. Play
          5. CDDB database support
      5. Creating a buzz: posting MP3 files to the Internet
        1. Creating your own MP3 site
      6. Start your own MP3 radio station
        1. Running your own station
          1. Installing the SHOUTcast DSP plug-in
          2. Installing an appropriate MP3 codec
          3. Installing the SHOUTcast server software
          4. Additional server options
        2. Configuring and starting the system
          1. An easier way?
          2. Complying with copyright laws
          3. Basic rules of the road
      7. Legalities of MP3
        1. Is MP3 legal?
        2. Legal MP3 files: headline artists sign up for MP3
        3. Ongoing legal battles
      8. MP3 resources
      9. Summary
    10. 9. Interactive Sound Design with Flash and Shockwave
      1. Flash and Shockwave basics
        1. Drawbacks to Flash and Shockwave
      2. Introduction to Flash
        1. Flash audio: event-driven sound versus streaming sound
        2. Flash audio tutorial
          1. Adding an event sound
          2. Publishing and file size optimization
      3. Introduction to Shockwave
        1. Using Shockwave “internal” sounds: embedded cast members versus streamed SWA sounds
        2. Creating transparent Shockwave loops
        3. Shockwave streaming audio
        4. Exporting Shockwave audio files
        5. Optimizing your Shockwave audio files
        6. Quick and easy audio streaming with Shockwave
      4. Summary
    11. 10. MIDI: Quick and Easy Audio for the Web
      1. MIDI: A universal approach
        1. Advantages to using the MIDI format
      2. Adding MIDI to your web pages
        1. Making a MIDI jukebox
          1. Jukebox code: a step-by-step guide
        2. Add a bit of spice to your site
        3. Playing a different tune
      3. Creating your own MIDI files
        1. MIDI editors
        2. Editing a pre-existing MIDI file
          1. Removing instruments
          2. Pitch-shifting
          3. Changing notes
          4. Inserting regions
          5. Creating your own tunes
        3. MIDI file editing tutorial
          1. Initial steps
          2. Extracting parts
          3. Transposing pitch
          4. Changing notes
          5. Using the strip chart
        4. Making your MIDI music from scratch
          1. Creating your own MIDI file
          2. Adding notes without using a keyboard
      4. Summary
    12. 11. Designing Audio Web Sites with Beatnik
      1. New possibilities for interactive sound
      2. Beatnik authoring system
        1. Beatnik Player
        2. Beatnik Audio Engine
        3. Beatnik Editor
        4. Authoring with Beatnik
        5. Introduction to the Music Object
      3. Sonification tutorial
        1. Lesson 1: A simple mouseover
        2. Lesson 2: Building a sonified navbar
        3. Lesson 3: Adding simple background music
        4. Lesson 4: Creating multiple Music Object instances on a page
        5. Lesson 5: Putting it all together
      4. Using the Beatnik Editor
        1. Getting started
        2. Importing MIDI and audio files
        3. Manipulating the files
          1. Working with songs
          2. Working with instruments
          3. Working with samples
        4. Making a custom instrument from your imported samples
        5. Exporting an RMF file with the Beatnik Editor
      5. Summary
    13. A. Creating the Ultimate Web Sound Studio: Buyers Guide and Web Resources
      1. Creating the ultimate web sound studio
      2. Designing a studio with proper acoustics
        1. Microphones
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
          3. Pro option
          4. Budget option
        2. Mic pre-amps
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        3. Compressor/limiters
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        4. Digital audio workstation/recording editing software
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        5. Sequencers: MIDI and digital audio recording and editing applications
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        6. Synthesizers and tone generators
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        7. Mixers
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        8. Digital mixers
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        9. Studio reference monitors
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        10. Effects processors
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
        11. DAT (digital audio tape) recorders
          1. Pro option
          2. Budget option
      3. Sound studio accessories
        1. Headphones
        2. High-quality cables
        3. Sound libraries
        4. Disk repair and optimization utilities
        5. Audio plug-ins and utilities
        6. Pop screens
      4. Web resources
        1. Digital audio software
        2. MIDI files and sequencers
        3. Sound effects and samples
      5. Summary
    14. B. Audio Format Comparison
      1. RealMedia
      2. MP3
      3. Windows Media
      4. QuickTime
      5. Liquid Audio
      6. Flash
      7. Director Shockwave
      8. Beatnik
      9. MIDI
      10. WAV and AIFF
    15. 12. Glossary
    16. Index
    17. Colophon