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Good books on audio (or websites)
Aldem
post Jun 10 2013, 22:08
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Hi

I'm looking for books with explanations on audio fundamentals, that would explains the reason for using, for example, compression, dithering, etc...

I found some books, but they're more about the mathematics aspect of the things than the reason for their uses.

I already know things like sample rate, dynamic range, lossless,etc...

What I'm looking for is a book that would tell me when to do compression, when to do dithering, how to equalize, etc. Not all that interested in the mathematics aspect of the things, only about the WHY and WHEN to use this and that.

A websites that would have the same function would be good too.

Thanks


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TomasPin
post Jun 11 2013, 01:57
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I'd say it'll be quite hard to find books on these subjects that don't go into maths at some point. The implementation and often the reason to enable these things is backed by mathematical theories and at least some knowledge of those is required to fully understand what's happening.

However,

QUOTE (Aldem @ Jun 10 2013, 18:08) *
A websites that would have the same function would be good too.


have you tried searching this site? Check out the Knowledgebase which is one of the best sources of audio information I've found on teh webz.

Hope that helped a bit smile.gif


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DVDdoug
post Jun 11 2013, 02:31
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I can't recommend a particular book, but I'd look for an "audio mixing" book. During audio production, effects are added during the mixing step, and often again during mastering... You don't have to know math to mix & edit audio! (A mastering book will probably assume that you already understand basic effects.)

I like to start with the idealistic concept that, "A good recording doesn't need any effects." Of course that's usually unrealistic and most modern recordings are going to have at least some EQ, some artificial reverb, and probably tons of compression.

You might also consider a subscription to Recoding Magazine.

At some point, I'll probably buy The Audio Expert by Ethan Winer ($60 USD). I don't know if he talks about how & when to use EQ & compression. Ethan posts here sometimes and I've read most of the articles on his web site. His style does get technical, but it's not too technical or DSP math oriented.

And, there's no substitute for "playing around" yourself!

It's not quite as crazy as the audiophile community, but there is a fair amount of nonsense in the pro audio community too, like recording engineers preferring their favorite-rare preamp, or super-expensive microphone, or some special dither setting, etc. I won't say, "All preamps sound alike", but I'd be very surprised if any of these experts could listen to a recording and tell you what preamp & mic was used!

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Jun 11 2013, 02:36
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Aldem
post Jun 11 2013, 02:35
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jun 10 2013, 21:31) *
At some point, I'll probably buy The Audio Expert by Ethan Winer ($60 USD).


Thanks, that book looks interesting, judging by the table of contents smile.gif

This post has been edited by Aldem: Jun 11 2013, 02:35
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Ethan Winer
post Jun 11 2013, 19:51
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Jun 10 2013, 21:31) *
At some point, I'll probably buy The Audio Expert by Ethan Winer ($60 USD). I don't know if he talks about how & when to use EQ & compression. Ethan posts here sometimes and I've read most of the articles on his web site. His style does get technical, but it's not too technical or DSP math oriented.

Thanks for the plug Doug. Yes, I explain both how and why to use these devices, and also how they work internally. There's almost no math, instead using mechanical analogies when possible. For example, a transformer is exactly analogous to a car's transmission: One exchanges RPM versus torque for a fixed amount of horsepower, and the other balances volts and amps for a fixed amount of electrical power.

--Ethan


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julf
post Jun 11 2013, 20:18
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QUOTE (Ethan Winer @ Jun 11 2013, 20:51) *
For example, a transformer is exactly analogous to a car's transmission: One exchanges RPM versus torque for a fixed amount of horsepower, and the other balances volts and amps for a fixed amount of electrical power.


Ah, but does a manual transformer sound better than an automatic one? smile.gif
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pdq
post Jun 11 2013, 20:34
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QUOTE (julf @ Jun 11 2013, 15:18) *
QUOTE (Ethan Winer @ Jun 11 2013, 20:51) *
For example, a transformer is exactly analogous to a car's transmission: One exchanges RPM versus torque for a fixed amount of horsepower, and the other balances volts and amps for a fixed amount of electrical power.


Ah, but does a manual transformer sound better than an automatic one? smile.gif

And is a 16 cylinder engine oversampled?
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TomasPin
post Jun 11 2013, 21:03
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QUOTE (julf @ Jun 11 2013, 16:18) *
Ah, but does a manual transformer sound better than an automatic one? smile.gif

In my experience they sound the same under normal circumstances (busy, noisy city). Never tried ABXing them though... biggrin.gif


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ktf
post Jun 11 2013, 21:09
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If you can read German, there a fantastic book on microphones here: http://www.schoeps.de/en/downloads/papers (Mikrofonaufsätze komplett)


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DVDdoug
post Jun 11 2013, 21:28
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There are also some very good articles at MultonLabs.com. They are "random" and most assume some knowledge.... Not quite "Audio 101" or "Audio A-Z", but agin not overly technical or mathematical.
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Dynamic
post Jun 12 2013, 13:18
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You might also find it useful to your mostly non-mathematical understanding to see some of the audio features in action in xiph.org's digital media Videos, including their second video, Digital Show & Tell which visually illustrates a lot of it.

I also found some YouTube videos from user "LoudnessWar", Matt Mayfield, who makes his own music and teaches some audio fundamentals courses, 30 videos from which are on YouTube and might be informative (including one about Compression - both data compression and dynamic range compression).
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Ethan Winer
post Jun 12 2013, 19:27
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jun 12 2013, 08:18) *
their second video, Digital Show & Tell which visually illustrates a lot of it.

Yes, that's an excellent video! Probably the best I've ever seen on this subject.

--Ethan


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TomasPin
post Jun 12 2013, 21:13
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QUOTE (Dynamic @ Jun 12 2013, 09:18) *
You might also find it useful to your mostly non-mathematical understanding to see some of the audio features in action in xiph.org's digital media Videos, including their second video, Digital Show & Tell which visually illustrates a lot of it.


Yes, +1 to those. Very informative and well explained.


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