www.ethanwiner.com - since 1997

The Audio Expert
Table of Contents

Back to general book description

Acknowledgments

About The Author

Introduction

PART 1 - AUDIO DEFINED

Chapter 1 - Audio Basics

Volume and Decibels
Standard Signal Levels
Signal Levels and Metering
Calculating Decibels
Frequencies
Graphing Audio
Standard Octave and Third-Octave Bands
Filters
Phase Shift and Time Delay
Comb Filtering
Fourier and FFT
Sine Waves, Square Waves, and Pink Noise, Oh My!
Resonance
Audio Terminology
The Null Test
Summary

Video: Comb Filtering
Video: Loudspeaker Resonance

Chapter 2 - Audio Fidelity, Measurements, and Myths

High Fidelity Defined
The Four Parameters
Lies, Damn Lies, and Audio Gear Specs
Test Equipment
Audio Transparency
Common Audio Myths
The Stacking Myth
Myth-Information
The Big Picture
Summary

Chapter 3 - Hearing, Perception, and Artifact Audibility

Fletcher-Munson and the Masking Effect
Distortion and Noise
Jitter
Audibility Testing
Dither and Truncation Distortion
Hearing Below the Noise Floor
Frequency Response Changes
Ultrasonics
Ringing
Aliasing
Phase Shift
Absolute Polarity
Ears Are Not Linear!
Blind Testing
Psychoacoustic Effects
Placebo Effect and Expectation Bias
When Subjectivists Are (Almost) Correct
Summary

This chapter includes 44 audio examples.

Chapter 4 - Gozintas and Gozoutas

Audio Signals
Audio Wiring
Audio Connectors
Patch Panels
Impedance
Summary

PART 2 - ANALOG AND DIGITAL RECORDING, PROCESSING, AND METHODS

Chapter 5 - Mixers, Buses, Routing, and Summing

Solo, Mute, and Channel Routing
Buses and Routing
Console Automation
Other Console Features
DAW Software and Mixing
The Pan Law
Connecting a DAW to a Mixer
Inputs and Outputs
Setting Record Levels
Monitoring With Effects
The Windows Mixer
Related DAW Advice
5.1 Surround Sound Basics
Summing
Gain Staging
Microphone Preamplifiers
Preamp Input Impedance
Preamp Noise
Clean and Flat is Where It's At
Summary

Chapter 6 - Recording Devices and Methods

Recording Hardware
Analog Tape Recording
Tape Bias
Tape Pre-Emphasis and De-Emphasis
Sel-Sync
Tape Noise Reduction
Tape Pre-Distortion
The Failings of Analog Tape
Digital Recording
In The Box Versus Out of The Box
Record Levels
Recording Methods
DAW-Specific Advice
Copy Protection
Microphone Types and Methods
Micing Techniques
The 3-to-1 Rule
Microphone Placement
DI = Direct Injection
Additional Recording Considerations
Advanced Recording Techniques
Vari-Speed
Summary

This chapter includes 1 audio example.

Chapter 7 - Mixing Devices and Methods

Volume Automation
Editing
Basic Music Mixing Strategies
Be Organized
Monitor Volume
Reference Mixes
Panning
Getting the Bass Right
Avoid Too Much Reverb
Verify Your Mixes
Thin Your Tracks
Distance and Depth
Bus Versus Insert
Pre and Post, Mute and Solo
Room Tone
Perception is Fleeting
Be Creative!
ITB Versus OTB - Yes, Again
Using DAW Software
Slip-Editing and Cross-Fading
Track Lanes
Normalizing
Editing and Comping
Rendering The Mix
Who's On First?
Time Alignment
Editing Music
Editing Narration
Re-Amping
Backwards Audio
Mastering
Save Your Butt
Summary

Video: Music Editing Example #1
Video: Music Editing Example #2
Video: Envelopes
Video: Cross Fading
Video: Music Editing
Video: Voice Editing

Chapter 8 - Digital Audio Basics

Sampling Theory
Quantization
Sample Rate and Bit Depth
The Reconstruction Filter
Oversampling
Bit Depth
Digital Notation
Sample Rate and Bit Depth Conversion
Dither and Jitter
External Clocks
Digital Converter Internals
Bit Rate
Digital Signal Processing
Latency
Floating Point Math
Digital Audio Quality
Summary

This chapter includes 2 audio examples.

Chapter 9 - Dynamics Processors

Compressors and Limiters
Using a Compressor
Common Pitfalls
Multi-Band Compressors
Noise Gates and Expanders
Noise Gate Tricks
Expanders
But ...
Dynamics Processor Special Techniques
Other Dynamics Processors
Compressor Internals
Time Constants
Summary

Video: Compressors Demo

Chapter 10 - Frequency Processors

Equalizer Types
All Equalizers (Should) Sound the Same
Digital Equalizers
EQ Techniques
Boosting Versus Cutting
Common EQ Frequencies
Mixes That Sound Great Loud
Complementary EQ
Mid/Side Equalization
Extreme EQ
Linear Phase Equalizers
Equalizer Internals
Other Frequency Processors
Summary

This chapter includes 2 audio examples.

Video: Equalizers Demo

Chapter 11 - Time Domain Processors

Echo
Reverb
Phasers and Flangers
Summary

This chapter includes 7 audio examples.

Chapter 12 - Pitch and Time Manipulation Processors

Pitch Shifting Basics
Auto-Tune and Melodyne
Acidized Wave Files
Summary

This chapter includes 2 audio examples.

Chapter 13 - Other Audio Processors

Tape-Sims and Amp-Sims
Other Distortion Effects
Software Noise Reduction
Other Processors
Vocal Removal
Ring Modulators
Summary

This chapter includes 3 audio examples.

Video: Other Effects Demo
Video: Beat Tones

Chapter 14 - Synthesizers

Analog Versus Digital Synthesizers
Additive Versus Subtractive Synthesis
Voltage Control
Sound Generators
Modulators
Filters
MIDI Keyboards
Beyond Presets
Alternate Controllers
Samplers
Software Synthesizers and Samplers
Sample Libraries
Creating Sample Libraries
Key and Velocity Switching
Sampler Bank Architecture
FM Synthesis
Physical Modeling
Granular Synthesis
Pre-Rendering
Algorithmic Composition
Notation Software
Summary

This chapter includes 2 audio examples.

Video: Analog Synthesizers
Video: Vibrating Strings
Video: Sample Looping
Video: FM Synthesis

PART 3 - TRANSDUCERS

Chapter 15 - Microphones and Pickups

Microphone Types
Dynamic Microphones
Dynamic Directional Patterns
Ribbon Microphones
Condenser Microphones
Condenser Directional Patterns
Other Microphone Types
Phantom Power
Microphone Specs
Measuring Microphone Response
Microphone Modeling
Guitar Pickups and Vibrating Strings
Summary

Chapter 16 - Loudspeakers and Earphones

Loudspeaker Basics
Loudspeaker Drivers Types
Loudspeaker Enclosure Types
Subwoofers
Enclosure Refinements
Crossovers
Active Versus Passive Speakers
Room Acoustics Considerations
Loudspeaker Impedance
Loudspeaker Isolation
Loudspeaker Polarity
Earphones
Loudspeaker Specs
Accurate or Pleasing?
Summary

Video: Loudspeaker Motion

PART 4 - ROOM ACOUSTICS, TREATMENT, AND MONITORING

Chapter 17 - Acoustic Basics

Room Orientation and Speaker Placement
Symmetry
Reflection Points
Calculating Reflection Points
Angling the Walls and Ceiling
Low Frequency Problems
Reverb Decay Time
Stereo Monitoring
Surround Monitoring
Summary

Chapter 18 - Room Shapes, Modes, and Isolation

Modal Distribution
Room Ratios
Modes, Nodes, and Standing Waves
ModeCalc Software
Room Anomalies
Odd Room Layouts
One Room Versus Two Rooms
Vocal Booths
Surface Reflectivity
Calculating Reflections
Isolation and Noise Control
Air Leaks
Room Within a Room
Summary

Chapter 19 - Acoustic Treatment

Acoustic Treatment Overview
Buy or Build?
Flutter Echo
Absorb or Diffuse?
Rigid Fiberglass
Absorption Specs
Material Thickness and Density
Acoustic Fabric
Wave Velocity, Pressure, and Air Gaps
Bass Traps
DIY Bass Traps
Free Bass Traps!
Diffusers
Treating Listening Rooms and Home Theaters
Bass In The Place
Front Wall Absorption
Treating Live Recording Rooms
Hard Floor, Soft Ceiling
Variable Acoustics
Treating Odd Shaped Rooms
Treating Large Venues
Room Equalization
Summary

This chapter includes 1 audio example.

Chapter 20 - Room Measuring

Why We Measure
How We Measure
Room Measuring Software
Configuring Room EQ Wizard
Using Room EQ Wizard
Interpreting the Data
Waterfall Plots
RT60 Reverb Time
Energy Time Curve
Using the Real Time Analyzer
Measuring Microphones
Microphones Comparison
The Results
Calibrating Loudspeakers
Summary

This chapter includes 3 audio examples.

PART 5 - ELECTRONICS AND COMPUTERS

Chapter 21 - Basic Electronics in 60 Minutes

Ground
Volts, Amps, Watts, and Ohms
Electronic Components
Capacitor Upgrades
Inductors
Power Ratings
Solenoids
Transformers
Switches
Diodes
Parasitic Elements
Active Solid State Devices
Amplifier Damping
Negative Feedback
Power Supplies
Passive Filters
Amplifiers
Active Filters
Digital Logic
Practical Electronics
Splitters and Pads
Phone Patch
Summary

Video: Soldering Tutorial

Chapter 22 - Test Procedures

Frequency Response
Ringing
Harmonic Distortion
IM Distortion
Null Tests
Disproving Common Beliefs
Oscilloscopes
Summary

PART 6 - MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

Chapter 23 - Musical Instruments

Instrument Types
Sympathetic Resonance
The Harmonic Series is Out of Tune
Equal Temperament
"Wood Box" Instruments
Bowed Instruments
The Bow
The Stradivarius
Plucked Instruments
Amplification
Solid Body Electric Guitars
Blown Instruments
Flutes
Single Reeds
Double Reeds
Brass Instruments
Percussion Instruments
The Piano
Mozart, Beethoven, and Archie Bell
Summary

This chapter includes 1 audio example.

Video: Cello Demo
Video: Piano Demo
Video: Sax Demo
Video: Violin Demo
Video: Drum Tone
Video: Cello Oscilloscope
Video: Harmonic Tuning

Bonus Chapter - MIDI Basics

MIDI Internal Details
MIDI Hardware
MIDI Channels and Data
MIDI Data Transmission
General MIDI
Standard MIDI Files
MIDI Clock Resolution
MIDI Minutiae
Playing and Editing MIDI
Summary

Video: MIDI Editing

Bonus Chapter - Computers

Divide and Conquer
Back Up Your Data
Optimizing Performance
Practice Safe Computing
If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
Avoid Email Viruses
Bits 'n' Bytes
Computer Programming
Web Site Programming
Image Files
Custom Error Page With Redirect
Embedded Audio and Video
Summary

Video: Partitions and Folders

Bonus Chapter - Video Production Basics

Live Concert Example
Color Correction
Synchronizing Video to Audio
Panning and Zooming
Video Transitions
Key Frames
Orchestra Example
Cello Rondo and Tele-Vision Examples
Backgrounds
Time-Lapse Video
Media File Formats
Lighting
Summary

Video: Video Editing Basics
Video: Video Editing Example #1
Video: Video Editing Example #2


Ethan Winer has been a professional audio engineer and musician for most of his adult life. He now heads up RealTraps, where he designs acoustic treatment products for recording studios and home listening rooms.

Entire contents of this web site Copyright 1997- by Ethan Winer. All rights reserved.