The Musician's Guide to Audio (The Musician's Guide to Home Recording)
Musician's Guide to Home Recording Book

The Musician's Guide to Audio (The Musician's Guide to Home Recording)

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Author: Craig Anderton

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Table of Contents

About This Book
Getting The Most Out Of Your Audio
Tips And References
Introduction to Audio
Analog Audio Basics
Analog Audio Recording And Playback: Vinyl And Tape
Analog Audio Drawbacks
Digital Audio Basics
How Digital Audio Maintains Fidelity
Digital Audio Issues
Frequency, Period, And Wavelength
About Waveforms And Harmonics
Key Takeaways
Analog and Digital Audio Connections
Balanced And Unbalanced Lines
Unbalanced Connections
Balanced Connections
Is Balanced Better?
Signal Level Categories
Analog Audio Connector Types
Xlr Connectors
1/4-Inch Phone Connectors
Combination Jacks
1/8-Inch Stereo Mini Connectors
Digital Audio Connector Types
S/pdif (Sony/philips Digital Interface)
Aes/ebu (Audio Engineering Society/european Broadcast Union)
Adat (Alesis Digital Audio Tape) Optical Interface
Madi (Multichannel Audio Digital Interface)
Computer Audio Connectors
Usb (Universal Serial Bus)
Firewire (Also Called Ieee-1394)
Key Takeaways
Measuring and Specifying Audio
Measuring Audio
Level Meters
Spectrum Analyzers
Phase And Correlation Meters
Real-Time Analyzers
Understanding Audio Specifications
The Problem With Ears
Frequency Response, Hearing, And The Decibel
Why Flat Response Is Good
The Decibel
Common Audio Specifications
Signal-to-Noise Ratio
Total Harmonic Distortion
Intermodulation Distortion
Key Takeaways
Digital Audio Sample Rates
Understanding And Choosing Sample Rates
The "high-Resolution" Sample Rate Controversy
Avoiding Foldover Distortion
Pros And Cons Of Recording At Higher Sample Rates
Direct Stream Digital (Dsd)
Key Takeaways
Bit Resolution
Distortion And Bit Resolution
Accuracy Vs. Resolution
Hardware Resolution Vs. Recording Software Resolution
Headroom In Digital Systems
DC Offset
File Bit Resolution
Dithering Demystified
Dithering To The Rescue
How To Hear The Results Of Dithering
Noise Shaping And Different Dithering Types
How To Apply Dithering
Data Compression And Audio
The Mp3 Audio Format
Data Compression Formats
Choosing The Right Encoder Settings
Converting To A Compressed Format With Itunes
Key Takeaways
Obtaining the Benefits of Higher Sample Rates in Lower-Sample-Rate Projects
Solution 1
Solution 2
Clocking and Networked Audio
Clocking With External Devices
Word Clock
Networked Audio
About The Author

Everything in the studio starts and ends with audio—both analog and digital—yet many musicians know a lot more about the principles of music than the principles behind audio. The Musician’s Guide to Audio includes the details you need to understand on the following topics:

• Audio theory—sound waves in the real world

• Bit resolution

• Sample rates

• The different types of decibels

• The meaning of audio specifications

• Frequency response

• The different types of distortion

• Signal-to-noise ratio

• Dynamic range

• How the human ear hears sound, and more

The book covers specifications regarding levels, connection standards (both analog and digital), and how to resolve potential incompatibilities among different pieces of gear. Additional topics include information on the practical ramifications of audio, such as the basics of room acoustics, why speaker placement matters, audio distribution methods including data-compressed formats like MP3, the unique constraints of vinyl, and more.

Filled with illustrations and featuring selected “tech talk” sidebars to give details on specific topics for those who want to know “why” as well as “how,” The Musician’s Guide to Audio fills a unique need by avoiding overly technical details, and instead emphasizing the practical implications involved in working with audio in the studio.

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