|John Hartney reviews: Producing Great Sound for Digital Video, Second edition|
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review
Elgin, Illinois, USA
©2003 John Hartney and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.
|Don't call Producing Great Sound for Digital Video, Second edition by Jay Rose an audio primer or even a reference source, it's much more. In fact, it offers such a wide range of usable information about hands-on digital audio production, that by reading it, the reader is empowered with production skills and enlightened by an appreciation of how the experience of audio enriches video. It's like taking a class taught by a caring, affable, pro.
Jay Rose is a master at creating new worlds of sound and in this book he walks the reader through the tools and techniques used in digital audio production for video.
The book covers all phases of production from acquisition to the post production mix.
Chapter one is titled, "Help! It Doesn't Sound Right!" If you're having immediate problems with a production, chances are you'll find the answer here.
Layout of the book is well planned, making for an easy read by breaking the subject matter into four basic sections.
The first covers the science of audio basics including how sound works and how it translates to digital audio. "Don't be scared about the science part. The math is mainly stuff you learned in elementary school, and the physics is common sense." Jay writes. He follows through making difficult subject matter understandable for the reader to assimilate and use.
The second part of the book focuses on topics such as; planning for sound, budgeting & scheduling. Time requirements and location scouting are well covered.
Part Three focuses on production including explanations of microphones & room acoustics, mic techniques, recording (settings, mixers, preamps etc.), and capturing voice-overs and effects.
In section four you'll find great coverage of the post production process with thorough coverage of hardware, levels & digitizing, editing voices, working with music, sound effects, signal processing and mixing.
In the post production hardware section, he diagrams and teaches how to make a telephone coupler with paper clips and cellophane tape! With it, you can record telephone conversations.
While good audio centers in science, Jay makes it understandable to all, "The 'Art' of this book," he writes, "is the tricks, shortcuts, and industry practices that have been developed over 75 years of talking pictures... There's a lot to be shared after years of creating tracks..."
The writer's intimate and accessible style is what makes this book a great value for anyone interested in audio. He peppers the book with practical production tips that can only come from hands on experience. For example, in the chapter on checking locations and controlling sound comes this gem, "If you're turning off a refrigerator, put your car keys in it first. This guarantees you won't go home without remembering to turn it back on." Or how about taping a toy stuffed tiger on a shotgun mic when doing voiceover with a child! The child talks to the tiger.
Whether you're just starting in the field of digital audio/video production, or are a seasoned pro, you'll find information in this book that will improve your end product.
Also tucked in the back of the book, there's a CD which Jay Rose has produced featuring platform-independent diagnostics, demonstrations, and tutorial tracks that you can use to polish production skills. Play it on a good stereo and load the tutorials into your computer.
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