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Shaping Sound in the Studio and Beyond: Audio Aesthetics and Technology

Book Description

Audio, in all its forms, is a combination of aesthetics and technology. An audio engineer without any sense of aesthetics could successfully run current through a console, but would be unable to judge if the resulting sounds were effective for the application. Similarly, someone with a well-developed aesthetic sense who possesses no technical knowledge would fall short trying to make great audio, since he would have an idea in mind but be unable to execute it. Shaping Sound in the Studio and Beyond takes a unique approach to teaching audio by presenting both the aesthetic and technology elements of recording audio in one text-- it helps you understand the technology while helping you train your standards of what good sound really is. No other book on the market takes this unique and comprehensive view to teach audio production. Topics covered include basic audio theory, microphones, speakers, amps, digital audio, MIDI, audio editing, signal processing, mixing, sound design, and much more. There's also a chapter that defines recording industry jobs available and offers helpful tips about how to get them and keep them. Exercises at the end of each chapter help reinforce the concepts learned. This is an ideal introduction to studio recording and audio production for anyone interested in pursuing these careers, as well as for home recordists and practicing audio engineers and musicians who want to make the most out of their equipment, or improve their communication skills in the studio.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Foreword
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. About the Author
  5. Introduction
  6. Basic Audio Theory
    1. Audio Aesthetics and Technology
      1. In Search of Aesthetics
      2. Audio and Aesthetics
      3. Audio Technology Meets Aesthetics
    2. The Properties and Characteristics of Sound
      1. Sound as a Waveform
      2. Sound as a Form of Perception
      3. The Speed of Sound
      4. The Human Perception of Sound
      5. Environmental Effects on Perception of Sound
      6. Fletcher Munson Equal Loudness Contours
      7. The Behavior of Sound Waves
      8. Exercises
      9. Additional Reading
  7. Understanding Audio Equipment
    1. The Production Room
      1. What Is a Production Room?
      2. Key Components of a Production Room
      3. Consoles
      4. Patch Bay
      5. Recording and Storage Devices
      6. V.U. Meters
      7. Magnetic Tape
      8. Magnetic Tape Characteristics
      9. Production Room Procedure
      10. Exercises
      11. Additional Reading
    2. Consoles
      1. Versatility in Consoles
      2. Preamps
      3. Impedance
      4. Auxiliary Sends
      5. Pan Pots
      6. Equalizers
      7. Summing Networks
      8. Using the I/O Module
      9. Exercises
      10. Additional Reading
    3. Microphones
      1. Dynamic Microphones
      2. Condenser Microphones
      3. Lavalieres
      4. Boundary Microphones
      5. Shotgun Microphones
      6. Wireless Microphone Systems
      7. Polar Patterns
      8. Critical Listening
      9. Microphone Placement
      10. Exercises
      11. Additional Reading
    4. Speakers and Amps
      1. Theory of Operation
      2. Moving Coil Speakers
      3. Ribbon Speakers
      4. Electrostatic Speakers
      5. Woofers and Subwoofers
      6. Mid-Range Drivers
      7. Tweeters
      8. Crossovers
      9. Studio Monitors
      10. Bookshelf Speakers
      11. Sound Cubes
      12. Enclosures
      13. Line Arrays
      14. Efficiency, Frequency Response, and Distortion
      15. Amplifiers
      16. Exercises
      17. Additional Reading
    5. Digital Audio
      1. Sampling Rates
      2. Aliasing and Quantization Problems
      3. Error Correction, Compression, and Formats
      4. Bit Quantization
      5. MIDI
      6. SMPTE
      7. Additional Reading
  8. Audio Methods and Operations
    1. Editing
      1. Objectives
      2. Terminology
      3. Methodology of Simple Edits
      4. Methodology of Complex Edits
      5. Possible Edit Problems
      6. Digital Editing
      7. Exercises
      8. Additional Reading
    2. Signal Processing
      1. Historical Overview
      2. Digital Signal Processing Technology
      3. Classification of Processors by Types of Perception
      4. Processors That Affect Loudness
      5. Processors That Affect Pitch
      6. Processors That Affect Timbre
      7. Processors That Affect Envelope
      8. Processors That Affect Location
      9. Processors That Are Fun
      10. Signal Flow or Where to Use a Processor
      11. Exercises
      12. Additional Reading
    3. Mixing
      1. A Good Mix
      2. I/O Modules
      3. Master Section of the Console
      4. Normaling
      5. Using Monitors
      6. Methodology
      7. Mixing in a Sphere
      8. Exercises
      9. Additional Reading
    4. Recording Studio Operations and Procedures
      1. Production Facility Job Descriptions
      2. Entry-Level Positions
      3. Studio Etiquette
      4. Recording Studio Operations
      5. Being the Best Assistant
      6. Exercises
      7. Additional Reading
    5. Sound Design
      1. Believability of Sound Cues
      2. Semiotics
      3. Emotion, Anticipation, Subtlety, and Continuity
      4. Silence
      5. Methodology
      6. Attention to Detail
      7. Incorporating Subtlety and Subliminal Cues
      8. Incorporating Silence for Anticipation
      9. The Challenge of Ambience
      10. Establishing Location Characteristics
      11. The Second Reading
      12. Selecting a Playback Format
      13. Incorporating Room Characteristics and Existing Equipment
      14. Assessing Available Equipment
      15. Speaker Considerations
      16. Choosing and Placing Microphones
      17. Cue Sheets
      18. Additional Reading
  9. Bibliography
  10. Glossary
  11. Index