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Working with Audio

Book Description

Written by highly respected author Stan Alten, WORKING WITH AUDIO provides readers with a fundamental understanding of the principles, technology, and techniques of audio production. This book covers the basics of audio production techniques in radio, TV, music, and new media with a focus on digital transfer, as well as a special emphasis on equipment, editing, and business concerns. Because the material is not medium-specific, readers can apply the techniques learned to sound production in any of the major audio and audio/visual media.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Preface
    1. Structure of the Book
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. 1. Behavior of Sound
    1. The Sound Wave
    2. Frequency
    3. Amplitude
      1. The Decibel
    4. Velocity
    5. Wavelength
    6. Acoustical Phase
    7. Sound Envelope
    8. Direct, Early, and Reverberant Sound
      1. Reverberation and Echo
    9. Main Points
  5. 2. The Ear and Hearing
    1. The Auditory System
    2. Hearing Loss
      1. Conductive Hearing Loss
      2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss
    3. Sound-Pressure Level
    4. Safeguards Against Hearing Loss
    5. Main Points
  6. 3. Perception of Sound
    1. The Frequency Spectrum
    2. Frequency and Loudness
      1. Equal Loudness Principle
      2. Masking
    3. Timbre
    4. Spatial Hearing
      1. Haas and Precedence Effects
      2. Binaural Versus Stereo Sound
    5. Main Points
  7. 4. Studio and Control Room Design
    1. Differences Between Studios and Control Rooms
    2. Noise
    3. Sound Isolation
    4. Room Dimensions
    5. Room Shape
    6. Room Acoustics
      1. Absorption and Reflection
      2. Diffraction
      3. Diffusion
      4. Variable Acoustics
    7. Home and Project Studios
    8. Relationship of Studio Acoustics to Program Material
    9. Ergonomics
    10. Main Points
  8. 5. Monitoring
    1. Performance Requirements of a Monitor Loudspeaker
      1. Frequency Response
      2. Linearity
      3. Amplifier Power
      4. Distortion
        1. Intermodulation Distortion
        2. Harmonic Distortion
        3. Transient Distortion
        4. Loudness Distortion
      5. Dynamic Range
      6. Sensitivity
      7. Polar Response
      8. Arrival Time
      9. Polarity
    2. Monitor Placement
    3. Monitoring Stereo
      1. Far-Field Monitoring
      2. Near-Field Monitoring
    4. Monitoring Surround Sound
    5. Evaluating the Monitor Loudspeaker
      1. Monitoring in an Unfamiliar Control Room
    6. Headphones
      1. Headphones and Hearing Loss
      2. In-Ear Monitors
    7. Main Points
  9. 6. Microphones
    1. Operating Principles
      1. Impedance
      2. Transducing Elements
        1. Magnetic Induction
        2. Variable Capacitance
    2. General Transducer Performance Characteristics
    3. Directional Characteristics
      1. Polar Response Diagrams
    4. Sound Response
      1. Frequency Response
      2. Overload Limit
      3. Maximum Sound-Pressure Level
      4. Sensitivity
      5. Self-Noise
      6. Signal-to-Noise Ratio
      7. Proximity Effect
      8. Hum
      9. Humbucking
    5. Various Types of Microphones
      1. Lavaliere Microphones (Mini-Mics)
      2. Shotgun Microphones
      3. Parabolic Microphone System
      4. Headset and Earset Microphones
      5. Contact Microphones
      6. Boundary Microphones
      7. Noise-Canceling Microphones
      8. USB Microphones
        1. USB Microphone Converter
      9. Multidirectional Directional Microphones
        1. System Microphones
        2. Stereophonic Microphones
        3. Middle-Side Microphones
        4. Infinitely Variable Pattern Microphones
        5. Binaural Microphone Systems
        6. Surround-Sound Microphone Systems
      10. High Definition Microphones
        1. High Definition Microphone for Laptop Computers
      11. Digital Microphones
      12. Microphone Modeler
    6. Wireless Microphone System
      1. Analog Versus Digital Wireless Microphone Systems
    7. Microphone Accessories
      1. Windscreens and Pop Filters
      2. Shock Mounts
      3. Cables
      4. Connectors
      5. Microphone Mounts
    8. Microphone Care
    9. Main Points
  10. 7. Microphone Techniques
    1. Phase and Polarity
      1. Phase
      2. Polarity
    2. Six Principles
    3. Microphones for the Speaking Voice
      1. Sound Quality
      2. Directional Pattern
      3. Microphone-to-Source Distance
    4. Basic Approaches to Miking Speakers
      1. Single Speaker: Radio and Television
        1. Mini-Mic
      2. Radio Interview and Panel Setups
      3. Television Panel and Talk Programs
        1. Hand Mic
        2. Hand Mic in the Field
        3. Boom Mic
        4. Fishpole Boom
    5. Miking Music: Basic Approaches
      1. Close Miking
      2. Distant Miking
      3. Accent Miking
      4. Ambience Miking
    6. Miking Music: Stereo Arrays
      1. Coincident Miking
      2. Near-Coincident Miking
      3. Spaced Miking
      4. Other Types of Stereo Microphone Arrays
    7. Miking Selected Instruments
      1. Drums
        1. Bass (Kick) Drum
        2. Tom-Toms
        3. Snare Drum
        4. Hi-Hat Cymbal
        5. Overhead Cymbals
      2. Acoustic Guitar
      3. Piano
      4. Electric Instruments
        1. Miking the Amplifier Loudspeaker
        2. Recording Electric Bass
        3. Recording Electric Guitar
      5. Vocal
        1. Timbre
        2. Dynamic Range
        3. Breathing, Popping, and Sibilance
        4. Acoustics
        5. Reflections
      6. Mic-to-Source Distance Versus Style
        1. Isolating the Vocalist
    8. Surround-Sound Miking
      1. Direct/Ambient Surround-Sound Miking
      2. Direct Surround-Sound Miking
    9. Main Points
  11. 8. Mixers, Consoles, and Control Surfaces
    1. Mixers
    2. Consoles
    3. Analog and Digital Consoles
    4. On-Air Broadcast Consoles
    5. Production Consoles
      1. Features of the Production Console
      2. Meters
        1. VU Meter
        2. Peak Meters
          1. LED Meters
          2. Plasma Displays
        3. Meter Controls
        4. Peak Program Meter
      3. Optimizing Digital Levels
      4. Master Section
      5. Monitor Section
      6. Additional Features
    6. Channel Strips
    7. Patching
      1. General Guidelines for Patching
      2. Plugs
      3. Computer Patching
    8. Console Automation
      1. Operating Modes
      2. Snapshot and Continuous Automation
      3. Advantages of Console Automation
      4. Disadvantages of Console Automation
    9. Digital Consoles
    10. Control Surfaces
    11. Main Points
  12. 9. Recording
    1. Digital Audio
      1. Sampling
      2. Quantization
        1. Audio Data Rate
    2. Recording Systems
      1. Memory Recorders
      2. Hard-Disk Recorders
      3. Storage Capacity of Memory and Hard-Disk Recorders
      4. Digital Audio Workstation
        1. Computer-Based Digital Audio Workstation
        2. Sound Card
        3. Integrated Digital Audio Workstation
          1. Server
          2. Storage Area Network (SAN)
      5. Recordable, Rewritable, and Interactive Compact Discs
      6. Digital Versatile Disc
      7. High-Density Optical Disc Formats
        1. Blu-Ray Disc
    3. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
      1. What MIDI Is
      2. How MIDI Works
        1. Channel Messages
          1. Channel Mode Messages
          2. Channel Voice Messages
        2. System Messages
      3. Basic Components and MIDI System Signal Flow
      4. Sequencer
    4. Connectors
    5. Digital Audio Networking
    6. Main Points
  13. 10. Synchronization and Transfers
    1. Time Codes
      1. SMPTE Time Code
      2. MIDI Time Code
      3. Time Formats with Computer-Based Recorder/Editors
    2. Synchronizing Digital Equipment
      1. Jitter
      2. Driver Support and Latency
    3. Frame Rates
      1. 23.976 fps
      2. 24 fps
      3. 25 fps
      4. 29.97 fps and 30 fps
      5. Drop Frame and Non-Drop Frame
    4. Transfers
      1. Analog-to-Analog Audio Transfers
      2. Analog-to-Digital Audio Transfers
      3. Digital-to-Digital Audio Transfers
    5. Main Points
  14. 11. Signal Processors
    1. Spectrum Processors
      1. Equalizers
        1. Fixed-Frequency Equalizer
        2. Graphic Equalizer
        3. Parametric Equalizer
        4. Paragraphic Equalizer
      2. Filters
        1. High- and Low-Pass Filters
        2. Band-Pass Filter
        3. Notch Filter
      3. Psychoacoustic Processors
    2. Time Processors
      1. Reverberation
        1. Digital Reverberation
        2. Convolution Reverb
        3. Reverberation Plate
        4. Acoustic Chamber Reverberation
        5. Reverberation and Ambience
      2. Delay
        1. Digital Delay
        2. Uses of Delay
        3. Flanging
        4. Phasing
      3. Morphing
    3. Amplitude Processors
      1. Compressor
        1. Broadband and Split-Band Compressors
      2. Limiter
      3. De-Esser
      4. Expander
      5. Noise Gate
      6. Pitch Shifter
    4. Noise Processors
    5. Multieffects Signal Processors
      1. Voice Processors
    6. Other Types of Plug-Ins
    7. Format Compatibility of Plug-Ins
    8. Main Points
  15. 12. Editing
    1. Digital Editing
      1. Functions of Editing Software
    2. Basic Functions in Digital Editing
      1. Editing Example
    3. Transitions
      1. Segue and Cut
      2. Crossfade
      3. Soft Cut
      4. Fade-Out/Fade-In
    4. General Editing Guidelines
    5. Organization
      1. Edit Decision List
      2. Organizing Edit Tracks
      3. Drive Management
    6. Differences Between Editing Sound and Editing Picture
    7. Editing Speech and Dialogue
      1. Identifying Sounds That Make Up Words
      2. Editing Similar and Dissimilar Sounds
      3. Emphasis and Inflection
      4. Ambience
    8. Editing Sound Effects
      1. Building Backgrounds
      2. Building Effects
      3. Matching Perspective
      4. Guidelines for Editing Sound Effects
    9. Editing Music
      1. Cutting to Resolution
      2. Preserving Tempo
      3. Repetitive Measures
      4. Looping
      5. Key Signature
      6. Comping
      7. Style and Texture
    10. Listening Fatigue
    11. Main Points
  16. 13. Mixing
    1. Basic Purposes of Mixing
    2. Maintaining Aesthetic Perspective
    3. Mixing Versus Layering
      1. Layering: Sound with Picture
      2. Layering: Music
      3. Perspective
    4. Signal Processing
      1. Equalization
        1. EQ: How Much, Where, and When?
        2. Equalization and Semantics
      2. Compression
      3. Reverberation
      4. Digital Delay
    5. Dynamic Range
    6. Mixing for Radio
    7. Spatial Imaging for Picture
      1. Stereo
        1. Scale
        2. Perspective
        3. Localization of Talk and Dialogue
        4. Sound Effects
        5. Music
      2. Surround Sound
        1. Surround-Sound Basics
        2. Track Assignment
        3. Imaging Surround Sound
    8. Spatial Imaging for Music
      1. Stereo
      2. Surround Sound
        1. Center Channel
        2. Surround Channels
        3. Reverberation
        4. Bass Management
      3. Approaches to Mixing Music in Surround Sound
    9. Recordkeeping and Cue Sheets
      1. Recordkeeping
      2. Cue Sheets
    10. Metering
    11. Evaluating the Finished Product
      1. Intelligibility
      2. Tonal Balance
      3. Spatial Balance and Perspective
      4. Definition
      5. Dynamic Range
      6. Clarity
      7. Airiness
      8. Acoustical Appropriateness
      9. Source Quality
      10. Production Values
    12. Main Points
  17. 14. Internet Audio
    1. Data Transfer Networks
      1. Local-Area Networks
      2. Wide-Area Networks
      3. Servers
      4. Clients
    2. Audio Fidelity
      1. Connection Speed
      2. File Manipulation
      3. Reducing the Sampling Rate
      4. Reducing Bit Depth
      5. Reducing the Number of Channels
      6. Reducing Playing Time by Editing
      7. Compression
      8. Audio Data Compression
      9. File Formats
      10. Nonstreaming Versus Streaming Audio
    3. Online Collaborative Recording
    4. Podcasting
    5. Audio Production for Mobile Media
    6. Main Points
  18. 15. Influences of Sound on Meaning
    1. Characteristics of Sound
    2. Nonverbal Speech
      1. Emphasis
      2. Inflection
      3. Speech Patterns
      4. Pace
      5. Mood
      6. Accent
    3. Sound Effects
      1. Contextual Sound
      2. Narrative Sound
        1. Descriptive Sound
        2. Commentative Sound
      3. Functions of Sound Effects
        1. Breaking the Screen Plane
        2. Defining Space
        3. Focusing Attention
        4. Establishing Locale
        5. Creating Environment
        6. Emphasizing Action
        7. Intensifying Action
        8. Depicting Identity
        9. Setting Pace
        10. Providing Counterpoint
        11. Creating Humor
        12. Symbolizing Meaning
        13. Creating Metaphor
      4. Silence
    4. Music
      1. Music Characteristics
        1. Melody
        2. Harmony
        3. Tempo
        4. Dynamic Range
        5. Style
      2. Functions of Music Underscoring
        1. Establishing Locale
        2. Emphasizing Action
        3. Intensifying Action
        4. Depicting Identity
        5. Setting Pace
        6. Providing Counterpoint
        7. Creating Humor
        8. Fixing Time
        9. Recalling or Foretelling Events
        10. Evoking Atmosphere, Feeling, or Mood
    5. Influences of Sound Design on Meaning
    6. Main Points
  19. Glossary