Sound FX: Unlocking the Creative Potential of Recording Studio Effects [NOOK Book]


FX introduces today's up and coming musician to the fantastic creative potential of the most popular instrument today- the home studio. Explaining the basic and advanced signal processing techniques used in professional music production (EQ, compression, delay, reverb etc), using real world popular music examples and an emphasis on the perceptual results and musical value of these effects, FX teaches the Recording Musician how to achieve ...
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Sound FX: Unlocking the Creative Potential of Recording Studio Effects

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FX introduces today's up and coming musician to the fantastic creative potential of the most popular instrument today- the home studio. Explaining the basic and advanced signal processing techniques used in professional music production (EQ, compression, delay, reverb etc), using real world popular music examples and an emphasis on the perceptual results and musical value of these effects, FX teaches the Recording Musician how to achieve professional production standards and maximise their creative potential.

The accompanying website includes audio exaples of FX featured in the book.


A chapter dedicated to each key effect:
Distortion Equalization
Compression and Limiting Delay
Expansion and Gating Pitch Shift
Reverb Volume
More than 100 line drawings and illustrations.
Accompanying website featuring examples of all FX covered in the book.
Discography of FX at the end of each relevant chapter.

From the Sound FX Intro:

The most important music of our time is recorded music. The recording studio is its principle musical instrument. The recording engineers and music producers who create the music we love know how to use signal processing equipment to capture the work of artists, preserving realism or altering things wildly, as appropriate. While the talented, persistent, self-taught engineer can create sound recordings of artistic merit, more productive use of the studio is achieved through study, experience and collaboration. This book defines the technical basis of the most important signal processing effects used in the modern recording studio, highlights the key drivers of sound quality associated with each, shares common production techniques used by recording engineers with significant experience in the field, references many of the touchstone recordings of our time, and equips the reader with the knowledge needed to comfortably use effects devices correctly, and, more importantly, to apply these tools creatively.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sound FX is a entertaining, informative, and useful book that will find more time on the mixing console and effects rack than on a shelf in the library of practicing engineers, musicians and producers who want a better understanding of what the boxes in the rack or the plugins in their computer can do and why do it." - Neil A. Shaw - AES Journal Dec 07
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781136123573
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/26/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Alex Case is an Assistant Professor of Sound Recording Technology at the University of Massachusetts. An active member of the Audio Engineering Society, and a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Case is an engineer, educator, and author who speaks frequently on audio and acoustics across the United States and internationally. With degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Music, and Acoustics, Professor Case lives and works at the intersection of art and science.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     xv
Introduction     xix
Sound - Signals, Systems, and Sensation     1
Audio Waveform     3
Medium     3
Amplitude versus Time     4
Amplitude Confusions     6
Time Implications     8
Amplitude versus Distance     9
Amplitude versus Frequency     10
Complex Waves     12
Square Waves     15
Sawtooth Waves     16
Triangle Waves     19
Decibel     19
Logarithm     21
Ratios     24
References     29
Zero Decibels     31
Negative Decibels     32
Dynamic Range     32
Sound Misconceptions     35
Mistaking the Message for the Medium     35
Don't Picture These Sketches     35
Signal Flow     39
Types of Sessions     39
Basics     40
Overdubs     42
Mixdown     45
Live to Two     46
Console Signal Flow     47
Channel Path     48
Monitor Path     48
Split Console     48
In-Line Console     51
Outboard Signal Flow     55
Parallel and Serial Processing     55
Effects Send     57
Insert     62
FX Decision Making     63
FX Procrastination     64
FX Assertion     64
FX Undo     66
FX Innovation     67
Perception     71
Preconscious Listening     71
Audible Sound     72
Masking     78
Masking Reduction     81
Wishful Listening     85
Amplitude Effects     87
Distortion     89
Distortion of Amplitude     89
Harmonic Distortion     91
Intermodulation Distortion     95
Sources of Distortion     96
Motivations for Distortion     97
Distortion Dos and Don'ts     98
Selected Discography     101
Equalization     103
Spectral Modification     104
Parameters for Spectral Modification     106
Frequency Select     106
Cut/Boost     106
Q     107
Multiband EQ     109
Take Away the Q     109
Take Away the Frequency     111
Take Away the Knobs     111
Some Knobs Are Switches     112
Shelving EQ     113
Filters     114
Applications     116
Technique     116
Fix     118
Feature     123
Fit     125
Special Effects     127
Audio Ear Training     129
Compression and Limiting     131
Parameters     132
Threshold     132
Ratio     132
Attack     133
Release     134
Make-Up Gain     135
User Interface     135
Technologies     136
Tube Compressors     137
Optical Compressors     137
VCA Compressors     138
Digital Compressors     138
Nominal Application: Dynamic Range Reduction     139
Prevent Overload     139
Overcome Noise     140
Increase Perceived Loudness     141
Improve Intelligibility and Articulation     142
Smooth Performance     143
Advanced Applications      144
Altering Amplitude Envelope     145
Ambience and Artifacts     147
De-Essing     147
Distortion     149
Advanced Studies - Attack and Release     151
Definitions     151
Visualizing Attack and Release     153
Parameter Interdependence     157
Program Dependence     159
Pumping and Breathing     160
Learning Compression - Some Personal Advice     161
Unnaturally Difficult to Hear     161
Hype and Hyperbole     162
Imitation     163
Multiple Personalities     164
Achieving Compression Success     164
Selected Discography     165
Expansion and Gating     167
Increasing Dynamic Range     167
Parameters     169
Threshold     169
Slope     170
Attack     171
Release, Fade, or Decay     171
Hold     172
Range     173
Applications     173
Expansion     174
Noise Gating     175
Gating Through Waveform Editing     177
Gating     178
Keyed Gating      179
Ducking     183
Envelope Following     184
Tremolo     185
Selected Discography     187
Volume     189
Volume Controls     189
Faders     189
Pan Pots     192
Mute Switches     193
Volume Applications     194
Balance     194
Ideal Level     197
Ideal Faders     200
Automation     200
Cross Fades     201
Fade Out     203
Selected Discography     203
Time Effects     205
Delay     207
Source of Delay     207
Signal Flow     208
Basic Features     210
Modulation     210
Long Delay     214
Calculated Delay     216
Echo     222
Support     223
Slap     223
Emphasis     225
Groove     226
Short Delay     227
Constructive and Destructive interference     227
Comb Filter     231
Early Reflections     235
Inevitable Combinations      238
Flanger     239
Medium Delay     241
Double Tracking     241
Chorus     243
Experimental Sessions     244
Experimental #1     244
Experimental #2     245
Summary     245
Selected Discography     246
Pitch Shift     249
Theory     249
Pitch Recalculation     249
Fixed Delay     250
Accelerating Delay     251
Applications     254
Side Effects     254
Special Effects     254
Surgical Effects     256
Obvious Effects     257
Selected Discography     260
Reverb     263
Reverberation     264
Key Parameters     264
Reference Values     268
The Need for Reverb Devices     269
Multitrack Production     269
Isolation     270
Creative Microphone Technique     271
Sources of Reverb     271
Room Tracks     272
Acoustic Reverberation Chambers     272
Spring Reverb     276
Plate Reverb      280
Digital Reverb     284
Reverb Techniques     303
Sound of a Space     303
Non-Spatial Applications     310
Selected Discography     324
Applied Effects     327
Basic Mix Approach     329
Mix Challenge     330
Global Effects     330
Special Effects     331
Kick Start     332
Back Beat     333
Get Down     334
Chug On     335
Key In     336
Speak Up     336
Go Solo     338
Do It All     339
Snare Drum FX     341
Sound     342
Possibilities     342
Goals     343
Recording     344
Close Microphones     344
Overhead Microphones     346
Room Microphones     349
Signal Processing     349
Equalization     350
Envelope     350
Image     353
All of the Above     355
Summary     356
Selected Discography     356
Piano     359
Mother Instrument      359
Defining the Piano     360
Effects     361
Spectrum     361
Image     363
Envelope     366
Outside the Box Behavior     368
"Acoustic" Piano     368
Digital Piano     369
Summary     371
Automated Mix     373
Unautomated Mixing     373
Automated Mixing     375
Faders and Cuts Automation     375
Everything Automation     379
Snapshot Automation     381
Mix Modes     381
Write or Read     381
Write: Absolute or Relative     382
Automation Strategies: Organizing the Infinite Options     384
Phase I: Balance     384
Phase II: Signal Processing     384
Phase III: Cuts     385
Phase IV: Rides     386
Phase V: Tweaks and Special Effects     386
Playing the Instrument     386
Practice     387
User Interface     387
Caveats     391
Master the Gear Before It Masters You     391
Resist Temptation     392
Save Often     393
Summary      393
Bibliography     395
Index     397
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    A reviewer

    Of the many audio engineering books I have encountered, Sound FX stands out in several distinct ways. The Book is incredibly thorough and detailed. After covering the basic function of each studio effect, Sound FX goes on to describe many different uses that each effect can serve. For example at the end of the chapter on compression 'page 163', nine different goals that compression can accomplish are listed. Over the course of the chapter, compression has been analyzed so thoroughly that you will understand how and to achieve each one of these nine desired effects and why and when you would want to. Why would an engineer pick one compressor over another? There are several paragraphs outlining characteristics that change from model to model. Knowing what to listen for helped cue me on to some subtle differences that I had previously not heard. Sound FX is filled with details like this about every effect that mixing engineers use. Other studio effects are described just as carefully. 'EQ, expansion, gating, reverb delay, pitch shifting, distortion, and so on' Have you ever listened to a compressed track, and cranked the compressor's release time from as low as possible to as high as possible and not hear the difference? Sound FX explains what you need to listen for. Have you tried adjusting the 'room size' on a reverb unit and not heard the difference? Again Sound FX explains what this means and what the sonic results are. While engineers working on material that is not musical may find valuable information here, the book is primarily about working with music. A fair amount of technical information is presented, but the material always circles back to how the technology can be used to accomplish musical tasks. It's taken me time to learn what effects are needed to find the sound I want to hear. Understanding the complexity of what each effect has to offer and knowing what to listen for when I adjust parameters has drastically improved my mixes. The authors experience and meticulous attention to detail comes through here and analyzes the material more effectively than any other source I have encountered. After reading, I'm always left with a powerful urge to rush to the studio and put the material to use.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 28, 2009

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    Posted January 20, 2009

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