LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Jim Harvey reviews PC Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD Audio Production

COW Library : Audio Professionals : Jim Harvey : Jim Harvey reviews PC Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD Audio Production
Jim Harvey reviews PC Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD Audio Production
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review


Jim Harvey reviews PC  Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD  Audio Production

Jim Harvey Jim Harvey
JHV Digital
New York, USA

© 2002 Jim Harvey and CreativeCOW.net. All rights are reserved.


Article Focus:
Jim Harvey takes a look at PC Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD Audio Production by Roger Derry. ~ This book is published by Focal Press. Read why Jim gives this book 4 1/2 COWs and says, "This book really belongs on your shelf if you are starting out with audio editing, and if you are already fairly comfortable with audio it is an excellent reference work.''

PC Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD Audio ProductionOne of the most frustrating things for me has been to find a good book on audio editing. Some of the books that I've read were so sparse and simplistic that there was virtually nothing of value to be had in them. Others were so technical that even though there was a tremendous amount of information, none of it was pertinent to my needs.

The manuals that come with much of the audio editing software available today are similar. Either no useful information, or information that is either presented haphazardly or presented in a way that doesn't truly reflect what I want to do.

When I first opened PC Audio Editing: Broadcast, Desktop & CD Audio Production by Roger Derry. I did the obligatory quick scan. It seems a standard convention to begin all books on audio with the same information. Give the history, give the arcane examples and derivations of modern day recording practices and not much else. While some might disagree, none of this makes my audio editing software more useful. Going further into the book, however, within 5 minutes I had changed my mind.

I sat down to scan the book, realizing that I didn't really have the time to get into it. I had a lot of work that was sitting waiting for me to attend to. Well, after I read the opening chapters (which DO go into some depth about sound levels, hearing safety (imagine that!) The required Analog and Digital audio (which was finally presented in a way that didn't make me want to take some warm milk and a cookie and go to sleep) and time-code. I found that there was something about THIS book that was different. ... It was READABLE!

The first 3 chapters concern themselves with the mundane aspects of audio, the type of hardware that is necessary (without making any particular recommendation as to brand). All this has been done before, but for some reason, in this book it's not as boring as other works as Derry seems to be speaking directly to you.

Well pretty soon I found myself unable to put the book down. Although Derry claims that the book isn't aimed at any particular program, he DOES use Cool Edit Pro as his demonstration platform. He's obviously partial to Cool Edit and that's just fine with me. I've used Cool Edit Pro and find for the most part to be far more than I ordinarily need. The main problem was that I never really took the time to understand the program fully. There is far more to it than just being able to assemble tracks and make basic edits. I remember searching around in Borders and other mainstream bookstores to find something that would help to unlock some of the features of Cool Edit Pro in a more "user friendly" manner than the standard manual does, to no avail. Like many people, I read the manual just perfunctorily and dove head first into the program. I knew that I was missing many of the features that were available to me, but what the heck, I was making my WAV's and no one was complaining. With Derry's book. Cool Edit has been demystifyed enough that it is now far more productive a tool than it was prior to reading this book. I can feel confident when I apply an effect or a pre-set that I actually KNOW what I'm doing.

There are some minor errors, however, one glaring ( to me at least) error is his confusion between the ALT and CTRL keys. In his chapter on Multi-track he refers to the undo key as "ALT/Z" when in reality is it "CTRL/Z" that undoes an error or change. Additionally, he refers to the Shift key to dual select while it is the control key again that allows multiple track selection. Maybe UK software is configured differently, but that's how my system works. It's a minor point and not something that really gave me any problems (I KNEW already that CTRL/Z is the undo key) Some newcomers might have a bit of confusion there.

The book is split up into chapters naturally, and the chapter on Production is interesting in that Derry gives little guidelines as to how each type of production might be recorded. Drama, Magazine Programs, Illustrated Talks are covered with an eye to keeping things interesting and some hints as to how to set things up to achieve the desired results. The next chapter on Post-Production is a little thin, but manages to touch on a number of subjects in a clear and easily understood manner.

The part of this book that I truly enjoyed was the chapter on Audio Design. Derry devotes the bulk of the book (65 pages) to this subject and describes and explains virtually every pre-set and function available in Cool Edit. From normalization, reverb presets, noise reduction and how to fake stereo from a mono input to clear explanations of the track controls and the audio mixer, this is just a pleasure to read.

The last part of the book concerns itself with some basic tips on reviewing your material after it's edited to ensure that you have a good edit. Making your master, how to make a test file and CD burning with Cool Edit. Derry also touches on hardware and some tweaks that can make your editing more pleasant and faster.

The entire book is full of clear and well explained diagrams and illustrations that certainly can be applied to other audio programs. It was refreshing to have a book that was so clearly written for the average person and not for a degreed audio engineer.

I used to use Photoshop simply to resize pictures. It took me several years to fully understand the scope and power of that program, and several years more to become proficient with it. With Roger Derry's book, thankfully that won't be the case with Cool Edit Pro. This one is definitely worth a close look. It really belongs on your shelf if you are starting out with audio editing, and if you are already fairly comfortable with audio it is an excellent reference work.


COW Rating:

I give it 4 1/2 cows and recommend it to anyone who has an interest in wanting to make their audio better and learning how to do it.





Jim Harvey

JHV Digital


If you found this page from a direct link, please visit our forums or read other articles at CreativeCOW.net







Related Articles / Tutorials:
Audio Professionals
Prince: Musician

Prince: Musician

There are almost too many stories to tell about Prince Rogers Nelson and his sudden passing at age 57. Stories of the dazzling star selling 100 million records, the explosive entertainer, the incendiary guitarist, the prolific composer, and more. Instead, we focus on a story too easily lost in all this: a man who was all about the music, 24 hours a day. Remarkable previously unseen footage of a playful Prince at an Osaka soundcheck in 1990 by Chainsaw Post GM Steve Purcell, who worked with Prince for 6 years, sheds entirely new light on an artist you only thought you knew.

Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Audio Professionals
The Trouble With Rain: Designing the Sounds of Noah

The Trouble With Rain: Designing the Sounds of Noah

To add new dimensions to the soundscapes of Darren Aronofsky's Noah, Supervising Sound Editor Craig Henighan took advantage of the new Dolby Atmos mixing stage at Deluxe New York to place movie audiences in the middle of the storm.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Tim Wilson
Audio Professionals
Skywalker Sound's Randy Thom Awarded for Career Achievement

Skywalker Sound's Randy Thom Awarded for Career Achievement

Randy Thom, Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound, received the Motion Picture Sound Editors Career Achievement Award at the 61st MPSE Golden Reel Award ceremony on February 16th, 2014. Thom, a two-time Academy Award-winner (The Right Stuff, The Incredibles) and a 14-time Oscar nominee, has contributed to more than 100 films as a sound designer and re-recording mixer. Star Wars creator George Lucas presented the annual MPSE Career Achievement Award to Randy.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Audio Professionals
Remembering Ray Dolby: A Life of Invention

Remembering Ray Dolby: A Life of Invention

Ray Dolby gave his talents and his name to the most significant advances in audio recording, for both the professional film/TV/music industries and consumer products. On the occasion of his death, at age 80, Creative COW tells the story of his life, his engineering achievements and the impact he has had on the creative people in our industry.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Audio Professionals
The Art of Foley: John Roesch Honored by MPSE

The Art of Foley: John Roesch Honored by MPSE

John Roesch is one of the most accomplished Foley artists in the motion picture industry, with contributions to more than 400 films in a three decade-spanning career. He is the recipient of two MPSE Golden Reel Awards (The Dark Knight, The Matrix) alongside more than a dozen nominations. He has worked on 16 films that have won Academy Awards for Best Sound or Best Sound Editing. John Roesch spoke to Creative COW about the art of Foley and his extensive experience in creating sound effects.

Editorial, Feature, People / Interview
John Roesch
Audio Professionals
Soundelux's Wilhoit Recreates Sonic World for End of Watch

Soundelux's Wilhoit Recreates Sonic World for End of Watch

Michael D. Wilhoit, supervising sound editor at Soundelux, collaborated with director David Ayers on the sound track for End of Watch, a critically acclaimed police thriller that takes viewers into the lives of two policemen who become the targets of a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. The movie is stylistically "found footage," and Wilhoit's challenge was to create a soundtrack that matched the movie's gritty immediacy and realism.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Audio Professionals
Technicolor Opens Sound Facility on Paramount Lot

Technicolor Opens Sound Facility on Paramount Lot

These two companies structure a partnership to benefit clients and their own ecosystems by opening gleaming new mixing stages for Technicolor on the Paramount lot.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Audio Professionals
Drive garners Oscar Nom for Soundelux's Lon Bender and Victor Ennis Garner

Drive garners Oscar Nom for Soundelux's Lon Bender and Victor Ennis Garner

Oscar nominated Soundelux Supervising Sound Editors Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis & team take the audience of "Drive" on an aural trip.

Feature, People / Interview
Debra Kaufman
Audio Professionals
A Look at Alan Parsons Art & Science of Sound Recording

A Look at Alan Parsons Art & Science of Sound Recording

If you are one of the many people working in film and broadcast that has been wanting to sharpen your skills in audio production -- or just become more aware of its principles and dynamics -- Creative COW's Ronald Lindeboom points to a series that is near to guaranteed to expand your working knowledge of audio.

Review
Ronald Lindeboom
Audio Professionals
sE Electronics' USB2200a and Reflexion Filter

sE Electronics' USB2200a and Reflexion Filter
  Play Video
Sam McGuire demonstrates the quality and effectiveness of two sE Electronics' products. The USB2200a is a USB/XLR hybrid microphone which is extremely low noise (I didn't believe it until I heard it.) The "Reflexion Filter" is an acoustics baffle used to create a studio environment in any room. For a combined price of under $600 this is a relatively affordable, portable, and high quality solution for all of your VO needs.

Review, Tutorial, Video Tutorial
Sam McGuire
MORE
© 2016 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]