Unlocking the Creative Potential of Recording Studio Effects
By Alex Case
Focal Press – 2007 – 412 pages
Every session, every gig, every day, recording engineers strive to make the most of their audio signal processing devices. EQ, Compression, Delay, Distortion, Reverb and all those other FX are the well-worn tools of the audio trade. Recording and mixing, live and in the studio, engineers must thoroughly master these devices to stay competitive sonically. Its not enough to just know what each effect is supposed to do. Sound FX explains the basic and advanced signal processing techniques used in professional music production, describing real world techniques used by experienced engineers, and referencing popular music examples released internationally. The reader learns not just how to, but also what if, so they can better achieve what they already hear in the productions they admire and chase what they only hear in their imaginative minds ear. Sound FX will immediately help you make more thorough, more musical use of your sound FX.
The accompanying website www.soundfx-companion.com includes audio exaples of FX featured in the book.
A chapter dedicated to each key effect:
Compression & Limiting
Expansion & Gating
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.
"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
SECTION 1: Sound - Signals, Systems and Sensation
Chapter 1 : The Audio Waveform
Chapter 2 : Signal Flow
Chapter 3 : Perception
SECTION 2: Amplitude Effects
Chapter 4 : Distortion
Chapter 5 : Equalization
Chapter 6 : Compression and Limiting
Chapter 7 : Expansion and Gating
Chapter 8 : Volume
SECTION 3: Time Effects
Chapter 9 : Delay
Chapter 10 : Pitch Shift
Chapter 11 : Reverb
SECTION 4: Applied Effects
Chapter 12 : A Basic Mix
Chapter 13 : The Snare Drum
Chapter 14 : The Piano
Chapter 15 : The Automated Mix
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.