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Audio Production and Critical Listening

Book Description

Making decisions about how and when to apply sound processing effects and recording techniques can make or break your song mix. The decisions you make come down to your listening skills - what you hear and how you perceive it. Your ability to properly discern sound, identify a problem, and act accordingly - especially when the decision often needs to be made quickly - makes all the difference to the success of the final track.

Audio Production and Critical Listening develops your critical and expert listening skills, enabling you to listen to audio like an award-winning engineer. The interactive "ear training" software practice modules give you experience identifying various types of signal processes and manipulation - EQ, dynamics, reverb, distortion, delay, etc. The software sits alongside the clear and detailed explanations in the book, offering a complete learning package that will help you train your ears to listen and really "hear" your recordings.

Updated CD files can be downloaded from: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/cw/corey-9780240812953/p/resources/

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Full Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Introduction
    1. Audio Attributes
    2. Goals of the Book
    3. The Accompanying Software
  7. Chapter 1 Listening
    1. 1.1 What Is Technical Ear Training?
      1. 1.1.1 Isomorphic Mapping
      2. 1.1.2 Increasing Awareness
      3. 1.1.3 Increasing Speed of Detection
    2. 1.2 Shaping Sounds
    3. 1.3 Sound Reproduction System Configurations
      1. 1.3.1 Monaural: Single-Channel Sound Reproduction
      2. 1.3.2 Stereo:Two-Channel Sound Reproduction
      3. 1.3.3 Headphones
      4. 1.3.4 Headphone Recommendations
      5. 1.3.5 Surround: Multichannel Sound Reproduction
    4. Summary
  8. Chapter 2 Spectral Balance and Equalization
    1. 2.1 Shaping Spectral Balance
      1. 2.1.1 Equalization
      2. 2.1.2 Microphone Choice and Placement
      3. 2.1.3 Indirect Factors Affecting Spectral Balance
    2. 2.2 Types of Filters and Equalizers
      1. 2.2.1 Filters: Low-Pass and High-Pass
      2. 2.2.2 Graphic Equalizers
      3. 2.2.3 Parametric Equalizers
      4. 2.2.4 Shelving Equalizers
    3. 2.3 Getting Started with Practice
      1. 2.3.1 Practice Types
      2. 2.3.2 Frequency Resolution
      3. 2.3.3 Number of Bands
      4. 2.3.4 Frequency Range
      5. 2.3.5 Gain Combination
      6. 2.3.6 Q
      7. 2.3.7 Sound Source
      8. 2.3.8 Equalizer Selection
      9. 2.3.9 Sound File Control
      10. 2.3.10 Time Limit
      11. 2.3.11 Keyboard Shortcuts
    4. 2.4 Working with the EQ Practice Module
      1. 2.4.1 Vowel Sounds
    5. 2.5 Recommended Recordings for Practice
    6. Summary
  9. Chapter 3 Spatial Attributes and Reverberation
    1. 3.1 Analysis of Perceived Spatial Attributes
      1. 3.1.1 Sound Sources
      2. 3.1.2 Acoustic Spaces and Sound Stages
      3. 3.1.3 Overall Characteristics of Stereo Images
    2. 3.2 Basic Building Blocks of Digital Reverberation
      1. 3.2.1 Time Delay
      2. 3.2.2 Reverberation
      3. 3.2.3 Digital Reverberation Presets
    3. 3.3 Reverberation in Multichannel Audio
    4. 3.4 Software Training Module
    5. 3.5 Description of the Software Training Module
      1. 3.5.1 Sound Sources
      2. 3.5.2 User Interface
    6. 3.6 Getting Started with Practice
      1. 3.6.1 Decay Time
      2. 3.6.2 Predelay Time
      3. 3.6.3 Mix Level
    7. 3.7 Mid-Side Matrixing
      1. 3.7.1 The Mid Component
      2. 3.7.2 The Side Component
      3. 3.7.3 Exercise: Listening to Mid-Side Processing
    8. Summary
  10. Chapter 4 Dynamic Range Control
    1. 4.1 Signal Detection in Dynamics Processors
    2. 4.2 Compressors and Limiters
      1. 4.2.1 Threshold
      2. 4.2.2 Attack Time
      3. 4.2.3 Release Time
      4. 4.2.4 Knee
      5. 4.2.5 Ratio
      6. 4.2.6 Level Detection Timing
      7. 4.2.7 Visualizing the Output of a Compressor
      8. 4.2.8 Automated Level Control through Compression
      9. 4.2.9 Manual Dynamic Range Control
    3. 4.3 Timbral Effects of Compression
      1. 4.3.1 Effect of Attack Time
      2. 4.3.2 Effect of Release Time
      3. 4.3.3 Compression and Drums
      4. 4.3.4 Compression and Vocals
    4. 4.4 Expanders and Gates
      1. 4.4.1 Threshold
      2. 4.4.2 Attack Time
      3. 4.4.3 Release Time
      4. 4.4.4 Visualizing the Output of an Expander
    5. 4.5 Getting Started with Practice
      1. 4.5.1 Practice Types
      2. 4.5.2 Sound Source
      3. 4.5.3 Recommended Recordings for Practice
    6. Summary
  11. Chapter 5 Distortion and Noise
    1. 5.1 Noise
      1. 5.1.1 Clicks
      2. 5.1.2 Pops
      3. 5.1.3 Hum and Buzz
      4. 5.1.4 Extraneous Acoustic Sounds
    2. 5.2 Distortion
      1. 5.2.1 Hard Clipping and Overload
      2. 5.2.2 Soft Clipping
      3. 5.2.3 Quantization Error Distortion
      4. 5.2.4 Software Module Exercises
      5. 5.2.5 Perceptual Encoder Distortion
      6. 5.2.6 Exercise: Comparing Linear PCM to Encoded Audio
      7. 5.2.7 Exercise: Subtraction
      8. 5.2.8 Exercise: Listening to Encoded Audio through Mid-Side Processing
    3. Summary
  12. Chapter 6 Audio Clip Edit Points
    1. 6.1 Digital Audio Editing: The Source-Destination Technique
    2. 6.2 Software Exercise Module
    3. 6.3 Focus of the Exercise
    4. Summary
  13. Chapter 7 Analysis of Sound
    1. 7.1 Analysis of Sound from Electroacoustic Sources
      1. 7.1.1 Overall Bandwidth
      2. 7.1.2 Spectral Balance
      3. 7.1.3 Auditory Image
      4. 7.1.4 Spatial Impression, Reverberation, and Time-Based Effects
      5. 7.1.5 Dynamic Range and Changes in Level
      6. 7.1.6 Noise and Distortion
      7. 7.1.7 Balance of the Components within a Mix
    2. 7.2 Analysis Examples
      1. 7.2.1 Sheryl Crow: "Strong Enough"
      2. 7.2.2 Peter Gabriel: "InYour Eyes"
      3. 7.2.3 Lyle Lovett: "Church"
      4. 7.2.4 Sarah McLachlan: "Lost"
      5. 7.2.5 Jon Randall: "In the Country"
    3. 7.3 Graphical Analysis of Sound
    4. 7.4 Multichannel Audio
      1. 7.4.1 The Center Channel
      2. 7.4.2 The Surround Channels
      3. 7.4.3 Exercise: Comparing Stereo to Surround
      4. 7.4.4 Exercise: Comparing Original and Remastered Versions
    5. 7.5 High Sampling Rates
    6. 7.6 Exercise: Comparing Loudspeakers and Headphones
    7. 7.7 Exercise: Sound Enhancers on Media Players
    8. 7.8 Analysis of Sound from Acoustic Sources
    9. Summary
  14. Bibliography
  15. Index