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Posted April 22, 2006
Doesn't get much better than this!
I¿ve made a spot on my bookshelf for Digital Audio Essentials from O¿Reilly Publishing. Bruce and Marty Fries are authors par excellance. Rarely will you encounter the fine points of audio so eloquently expressed. I¿ve read several books about digital audio. Typically, as the author attempts an failed explanation I find myself thinking, ¿Boy, if I didn¿t already fully understand that concept, I¿d be totally stumped!¿ Although I have several years of experience with analog and digital audio, I gained many insights from this book. It provided countless clarifications, a host of resources, and it resolved many of my ¿never fully answered¿ questions! O¿Reilly¿s Digital Audio Essentials should prove helpful for beginners too however it¿s a probably a better fit for those already at an intermediate level with audio. At times the authors use lots of music/audio vocabulary, so Digital Audio Essentials might be a bit of a stretch for complete beginners. Otherwise I found it perfectly paced: it presents topics in an orderly and logical manner, it expertly escorts you to considerable depths, and most terms are clearly defined as they¿re introduced. The book reveals facts oft¿ overlooked ... and I especially like its knack for clairvoyantly addressing questions that arise in the back of your mind. For instance, when it says, `Never attempt to remove dust from a vinyl LP with a dry brush,¿ it explains that rubbing a dry brush on your LP charges the vinyl with enough static electricity to suck the dust right back to its surface¿with a grip tighter than before! (And to make matters worse, previously disinterested airborne dust now finds your LP distinctly attractive!) Digital Audio Essentials is 340 pages in all. I¿ve read several chapters fully and browsed most of the others. Music digitization is a topic of continuing interest for many DVMUG members. To help convey the quality and depth of Digital Audio Essentials, I¿ll provide summary of chapter 14, which is all about digitizing. Digitizing Your Records and Tapes contains 23 pages of articulate and up-to-date audio wisdom. It¿s packed with information vital for anyone new to digitizing music this information is equally valuable to those interested in improving their workflow and the quality of their audio projects. It begins with an interesting, detailed, historical account of the evolution of analog recording: i.e. Edison¿s cylinders, the Gramophone turntable, shellac and vinyl records, and tape. It discusses the original analog audio format wars (yes, those began long before VHS vs. BetaMax) and it chronicles the eventual rise of the 33 RPM LP ... and the once ubiquitous cassette. The remaining 20 pages cover various digitizing topics. There¿s lots of thoughtful, sage advice and a list of things to know. Tips on preparing for analog recording: cleaning vinyl, choosing of turntable and stylus, demagnetizing tape playback heads. There also a discussion of noise reduction (when to apply) and a survey of methods for saving your work as individual tracks. To avoid redundancy, the authors refer the reader to chapters 9 11 and 13, Digital Audio Format, Recording and Ripping, and Editing Audio. These provide a detailed introduction to hard disk recording, audio interfaces, editing principles, and editing software. Other chapters include: an overview of music on computers, software audio players, music on the web, Internet radio, podcasts, etc. There¿s a three chapter section that introduces audio terminology and concepts, file formats, and there¿s a four chapter section on capturing and editing audio. (Chapter 14, jusst reviewed, is one of those. This book is so good I almost hate to point out a couple of issues, but I found three in chapter 14. 1) The reader is told that they must remain nearby and attentive when recordingWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2005
The authors furnish a good introduction to the main aspects of actively using digital audio. By this, I mean more than merely listening to it. The book is directed not to an audio professional, but to someone who comes at this as a layman. Hence the general discussion about sound waves and recording this in a digital manner. What you should appreciate is that once stored as digital data, a whole panoply of software techniques are available to be used on it. Your special effects, as it were. The book skims lightly over the various digital audio formats. Just enough explanation for a broad understanding. Other chapters then take you into using common audio packages and the burning of CDs and DVDs. A full run-through. All of this should be readily understandable.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 19, 2005
Digital audio is an ever growing phenomenon and this book explains in great detail not only the basics of creating, editing, and sharing digital audio files, but also virtually anything the digital audio enthusiast needs to know. Whether it's the potential dangers of downloading mp3's from the net (eg copyright infringement, 'bogus files,' etc), the type of computer equipment you'll need to create your own audio files, where to find streaming music files or Internet radio, or even ways to take your digital music with you, this book contains information about it. The authors have done an excellent job with this book, and I learned quite a few things from it, even in sections that I skimmed over (I plan to refer back to this book quite often as I delve more into the 'digital music world'). I even found out about a small 'mp3 editor' program that lets you do small edits on mp3 files. I especially enjoyed the chapters about copyright laws, the various digital audio formats, and creating your own audio files. This book contains a wealth of information and is a must for anyone interested in learning more about creating digital music files.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.