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Recording Studio Design, 4th Edition

Book Description

Recording Studio Design, Fourth Edition explains the key principles of successful studio design and construction using straightforward language and the use of practical examples appreciated by readers of previous editions. Updated to reflect new industry standards, this fourth edition addresses improvements in cinema sound, with specific attention paid to B-chain electroacoustic response and calibration.

Using over 50 years’ experience, author Philip Newell provides detail on the practical aspects of recording in various environments, not only exploring the complex issues relating to the acoustics but also providing real-world solutions. While the book contains detailed discussions about performing rooms, control rooms, and mobile studios, concepts of the infrastructures are also discussed, because no studio can perform optimally unless the technical and human requirements are adequately provided for. In this new edition, sound for cinema provides a platform for highlighting many, wider electroacoustic topics in a way that is relatively easy to visualise. The way in which sound and vision interact is an important aspect of many modern multimedia formats.

The new edition includes:

  • A new Chapter 22 that will thoroughly reflect recently published SMPTE investigations which will drastically impact standards for cinema sound;
  • The inclusion of new academic research and its practical applications;
  • An entire new illustrated chapter on room construction principles; and
  • The consolidation of ideas which were only emerging when the earlier editions were published.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Recording Studio Design
  3. Audio Engineering Society Presents (AES)
  4. Title
  5. Copyright
  6. Contents
  7. About the Author
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Preface
  10. Introduction
  11. 1 General Requirements and Common Errors
    1. 1.1 The General Requirements
    2. 1.2 Sound Isolation and Background Noise Levels
    3. 1.3 Confidence in the System
    4. 1.4 The Complete System
    5. 1.5 Very Common Mistakes
    6. 1.6 Summary
  12. 2 Sound, Decibels and Hearing
    1. 2.1 Perception of Sound
    2. 2.2 Sound Itself
    3. 2.3 The Decibel: Sound Power, Sound Pressure and Sound Intensity
    4. 2.4 Human Hearing
    5. 2.5 Summary
    6. References
    7. Bibliography
  13. 3 Sound Isolation
    1. 3.1 Vibrational Behaviour
    2. 3.2 Basic Isolation Concepts
    3. 3.3 Practical Floors
    4. 3.4 Ceiling Isolation
    5. 3.5 Summing the Results
    6. 3.6 Wall Isolation
    7. 3.7 Lighter Weight Isolation Systems
    8. 3.8 Reciprocity and Impact Noises
    9. 3.9 The Distance Option
    10. 3.10 Discussion and Analysis
    11. 3.11 Summary
    12. Reference
    13. Bibliography
  14. 4 Room Acoustics and Means of Control
    1. 4.1 Internal Expansion
    2. 4.2 Modes
    3. 4.3 Flutter Echoes and Transient Phenomena
    4. 4.4 Reverberation
    5. 4.5 Absorption
    6. 4.6 Q and Damping
    7. 4.7 Diffusion
    8. 4.8 Diffraction
    9. 4.9 Refraction
    10. 4.10 Review
    11. 4.11 Summary
    12. References
    13. Bibliography
  15. 5 Designing Neutral Rooms
    1. 5.1 Background
    2. 5.2 Large Neutral Rooms
    3. 5.3 Practical Realisation of a Neutral Room
    4. 5.4 What is Parallel?
    5. 5.5 Reflexions, Reverberation and Diffusion Requirements
    6. 5.6 Floor and Ceiling Considerations
    7. 5.7 Wall Treatments
    8. 5.8 Small and Neutral
    9. 5.9 Trims
    10. 5.10 The Degree of Neutrality – An Overview
    11. 5.11 Dialogue Recording Rooms
    12. 5.12 Summary
    13. References
    14. Bibliography
  16. 6 Rooms with Characteristic Acoustics
    1. 6.1 Definitions
    2. 6.2 A Brief History of Idiosyncrasy
    3. 6.3 Drawbacks of the Containment Shells
    4. 6.4 Design Considerations
    5. 6.5 Driving and Collecting the Rooms
    6. 6.6 Evolution of Stone Rooms
    7. 6.7 Live versus Electronic Reverberation
    8. 6.8 The 20% Rule
    9. 6.9 Reverberant Rooms and Bright Rooms – Reflexion and Diffusion
    10. 6.10 Low Frequency Considerations in Live Rooms
    11. 6.11 General Comments on Live Rooms
    12. 6.12 Orchestral Rooms
    13. 6.13 RT Considerations
    14. 6.14 Fixed Studio Environments
    15. 6.15 Psychoacoustic Considerations and Spacial Awareness
    16. 6.16 Dead Rooms
    17. 6.17 Foley Rooms
    18. 6.18 Summary
    19. References
    20. Bibliography
  17. 7 Variable Acoustics
    1. 7.1 The Geometry of Change
    2. 7.2 Small Room Considerations
    3. 7.3 Summary
  18. 8 Room Combinations and Operational Considerations
    1. 8.1 Options and Influences
    2. 8.2 Layout of Rooms
    3. 8.3 Isolation Considerations – Doors and Windows
    4. 8.4 The Geddes Approach
    5. 8.5 Recording Techniques for Limited Acoustics
    6. 8.6 Compact Studios in Larger Spaces
    7. 8.7 Review
    8. 8.8 Typical Isolation Door Construction
    9. 8.9 Rectangular Room Shells
    10. 8.10 Summary
    11. References
  19. 9 The Studio Environment
    1. 9.1 Some Human Needs
    2. 9.2 Ventilation and Air-Conditioning
    3. 9.3 Headphone Foldback
    4. 9.4 Colours and General Decoration
    5. 9.5 AC Mains Supplies
    6. 9.6 Summary
    7. Reference
  20. 10 Limitations to Design Predictions
    1. 10.1 Room Responses
    2. 10.2 Scale Models
    3. 10.3 Computer Models
    4. 10.4 Sound Pulse Modelling
    5. 10.5 Light Ray Modelling
    6. 10.6 Ripple Tank Modelling
    7. 10.7 Measurement of Absorption Coefficients
    8. 10.8 Review
    9. 10.9 Summary
    10. References
  21. 11 Loudspeakers in Rooms
    1. 11.1 From the Studio to the Control Room
    2. 11.2 Room Influences
    3. 11.3 Room Reverberation and the Critical Distance
    4. 11.4 Sound Power Radiation
    5. 11.5 Corrective Measures
    6. 11.6 Phase and Time
    7. 11.7 The Black Art
    8. 11.8 Summary
    9. References
    10. Bibliography
    11. Essential Reading
  22. 12 Flattening the Room Response
    1. 12.1 Electronic Correction Concerns
    2. 12.2 The Standard Room
    3. 12.3 The Anechoic Chamber
    4. 12.4 The Hybrid Room
    5. 12.5 A BBC Solution
    6. 12.6 On Listening Rooms in General
    7. 12.7 Close-Field Monitoring
    8. 12.8 Summary
    9. References
    10. Bibliography
  23. 13 Control Rooms
    1. 13.1 The Advent of Specialised Control Rooms
    2. 13.2 Built-in Monitors
    3. 13.3 Directional Acoustics
    4. 13.4 Scaling Problems
    5. 13.5 The Pressure Zone
    6. 13.6 One System
    7. 13.7 Aspects of Small Control Room Designs
    8. 13.8 A Short Overview
    9. 13.9 Summary
    10. References
    11. Bibliography
  24. 14 The Behaviour of Multiple Loudspeakers in Rooms
    1. 14.1 Mono Sources
    2. 14.2 Stereo Sources
    3. 14.3 Steady-State Performance
    4. 14.4 Transient Considerations
    5. 14.5 The Pan-Pot Dilemma
    6. 14.6 Limitations, Exceptions and Multi-Channel Considerations
    7. 14.7 Surround in Practice
    8. 14.8 A General View
    9. 14.9 Summary
    10. References
    11. Bibliography
  25. 15 Studio Monitoring: The Principal Objectives
    1. 15.1 The Forces at Work
    2. 15.2 Where is the Reference?
    3. 15.3 Different Needs
    4. 15.4 What is Right?
    5. 15.5 Close-Field Monitoring
    6. 15.6 Why the NS10M?
    7. 15.7 General Needs
    8. 15.8 Summary
    9. References
    10. Bibliography
  26. 16 The Non-Environment Control Room
    1. 16.1 Introduction
    2. 16.2 Sources of Uncertainty
    3. 16.3 Removing a Variable
    4. 16.4 Limitations – Real and Imaginary
    5. 16.5 Spacial Anomalies
    6. 16.6 Solutions
    7. 16.7 Stereo Imaging Constraints
    8. 16.8 The Concept of Stereo as Currently Used
    9. 16.9 Conflicts and Definitions
    10. 16.10 A Parallel Issue
    11. 16.11 Prior Art and Established Ideas
    12. 16.12 The Zero Option – the Origins of the Philosophy
    13. 16.13 Summary
    14. References
  27. 17 The Live-End, Dead-End Approach
    1. 17.1 First Impressions
    2. 17.2 A Window of Objectivity
    3. 17.3 Working and Listening Environments
    4. 17.4 Summary
    5. References
    6. Bibliography
  28. 18 Response Disturbances Due to Mixing Consoles and Studio Furniture
    1. 18.1 The Sound of Mixing Consoles
    2. 18.2 Equipment Racks
    3. 18.3 Computer and Video Monitoring
    4. 18.4 Sofas
    5. 18.5 Effects Units and Ventilation
    6. 18.6 Close-Field Monitors
    7. 18.7 General Comments
    8. 18.8 Summary
    9. Bibliography
  29. 19 Objective Measurement and Subjective Evaluations
    1. 19.1 Objective Testing
    2. 19.2 The On-Axis Pressure Amplitude Response
    3. 19.3 Harmonic Distortion
    4. 19.4 Directivity – Off-Axis Frequency Responses
    5. 19.5 Acoustic Source
    6. 19.6 Step-Function Responses
    7. 19.7 Power Cepstra
    8. 19.8 Waterfalls
    9. 19.9 General Discussion of Results
    10. 19.10 The Enigmatic NS
    11. 19.11 The NS10M – a More Objective View
    12. 19.12 The Noise of Conflict
    13. 19.13 Summary
    14. References
  30. 20 Studio Monitoring Systems
    1. 20.1 The Constituents of the System
    2. 20.2 Console Monitor Circuitry
    3. 20.3 Audio Cables and Connectors
    4. 20.4 Monitor Amplifiers
    5. 20.5 Loudspeaker Cables
    6. 20.6 Crossovers
    7. 20.7 Loudspeaker Cabinets
    8. 20.8 Loudspeaker Drive Units
    9. 20.9 Review
    10. 20.10 Summary
    11. References
    12. Bibliography
  31. 21 Surround Sound and Multi-Channel Control Rooms
    1. 21.1 Surround in the Cinemas
    2. 21.2 TV Surround
    3. 21.3 Music-Only Surround
    4. 21.4 An Interim Conclusion
    5. 21.5 The Psychoacoustics of Surround Sound
    6. 21.6 Rear Channel Concepts
    7. 21.7 Perceived Responses
    8. 21.8 Low Frequencies and Surround
    9. 21.9 Close-Field Surround Monitoring
    10. 21.10 Practical Design Solutions
    11. 21.11 Other Compromises, Other Results
    12. 21.12 Dubbing Theatres
    13. 21.13 Summary
    14. References
    15. Bibliography
  32. 22 Dubbing Theatres and Cinema Sound
    1. 22.1 Background
    2. 22.2 Modern Dubbing Theatres
    3. 22.3 Room-to-Room Compatibility
    4. 22.4 The X-Curve
    5. 22.5 Perceived Sound Level versus Screen Size
    6. 22.6 Room Acoustics and Equalisation
    7. 22.7 The SMPTE B-Chain Report
    8. 22.8 Dialogue Levels and Room Equalisation
    9. 22.9 Problems with Standard Calibration Practices
    10. 22.10 Consequences of the Use of Projection Screens
    11. 22.11 New Methods of Calibration
    12. 22.12 Room for Immersive Sound Systems
    13. 22.13 Summary
    14. Acknowledgements
    15. References
    16. Bibliography
  33. 23 A Mobile Control Room
    1. 23.1 The Problems to be Solved
    2. 23.2 The Vehicle
    3. 23.3 Acoustic Discussion
    4. 23.4 Close-Range Monitoring
    5. 23.5 Directivity and Total Power
    6. 23.6 Attaching a Sub-Woofer
    7. 23.7 Results
    8. 23.8 Conclusions
    9. 23.9 Summary
    10. References
  34. 24 Foldback
    1. 24.1 A Virtual World
    2. 24.2 Constant Voltage Distribution
    3. 24.3 Stereo or Mono
    4. 24.4 In-Studio Mixing
    5. 24.5 Types of Headphones
    6. 24.6 Connectors
    7. 24.7 Overview
    8. 24.8 Summary
  35. 25 Main Supplies and Earthing Systems
    1. 25.1 The Ground Plane
    2. 25.2 Low Impedance Supplies
    3. 25.3 The Number of Phases
    4. 25.4 Line Filters and Power Conditioners
    5. 25.5 Balanced Power
    6. 25.6 A General Overview
    7. 25.7 Summary
    8. Reference
    9. Bibliography
  36. 26 Analogue Audio Interfacing
    1. 26.1 The Origins of the Professional Interfaces
    2. 26.2 Jackfields (Patchbays)
    3. 26.3 Jacks – Two or Three-Pole?
    4. 26.4 Avoiding Chaos
    5. 26.5 Multiple Signal Path Considerations
    6. 26.6 Grounding of Signal Screens
    7. 26.7 Balanced versus Unbalanced – No Obvious Choice
    8. 26.8 Sixteen Options for One Cable
    9. 26.9 Some Comments
    10. 26.10 Summary
    11. References
    12. Bibliography
  37. 27    A Pictorial Representation of a Studio Construction
  38. 28 Human Factors
    1. 28.1 The Ambiance of the Occasion
    2. 28.2 The Subjectivity of Monitoring
    3. 28.3 Conditioning and Expectations
    4. 28.4 Lack of Reference-Points in Human Judgements
    5. 28.5 Studios and Control Rooms
    6. 28.6 Summary
    7. References
  39. Appendix 1
  40. Appendix 2
  41. Glossary of Terms
  42. Conversion Tables
  43. Index