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The Audio Expert: Everything You Need to Know About Audio [Paperback]

by Ethan Winer
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 9, 2012 0240821009 978-0240821009 1

Gain a deep understanding of audio practice and theory with this easy-to-read book, illustrated with more than 400 figures and photographs. Using common sense, plain-English explanations and minimal math, author Ethan Winer helps you understand audio at the deepest, most technical level—no engineering degree necessary.

If you’re an intermediate to advanced recording engineer or audiophile, you already know the basic mechanics of how audio "works." This book will take you beyond that, weaving together audio concepts, theories of aural perception and acoustics, musical instrument physics, and basic electronics and demonstrating their relationships to one another.

Rather than merely showing you how to use audio devices like equalizers and compressors, Winer explains how they work internally and how they are spec'd and tested.

With The Audio Expert, you get:

* Videos and audio examples on the companion website (www.TheAudioExpertBook.com) that help you understand complex topics, such as vibration and resonance

* Platform agnostic explanations, applying to Windows and Mac operating systems, and to most software and hardware

* Practical tips, tricks, advice, and lots of myth-busting

Bonus chapters are currently available on FocalPress.com.

http://www.focalpress.com/books/audio/the_audio_expert.aspx?terms=Audio+Expert


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The Audio Expert: Everything You Need to Know About Audio + Master Handbook of Acoustics
Price for both: $75.81

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Audio Expert is a comprehensive reference that covers all aspects of audio, with many practical, as well as theoretical, explanations. Providing in-depth descriptions of how audio really works, using common sense plain-English explanations and mechanical analogies with minimal math, the book is written for people who want to understand audio at the deepest, most technical level, without needing an engineering degree. It's presented in an easy-to-read, conversational tone, and includes more than 400 figures and photos augmenting the text.

The Audio Expert takes the intermediate to advanced recording engineer or audiophile and makes you an expert. The book goes far beyond merely explaining how audio "works." It brings together the concepts of audio, aural perception, musical instrument physics, acoustics, and basic electronics, showing how they're intimately related. Describing in great detail many of the practices and techniques used by recording and mixing engineers, the topics include video production and computers. Rather than merely showing how to use audio devices such as equalizers and compressors, Ethan Winer explains how they work internally, and how they are spec'd and tested.

Most explanations are platform-agnostic, applying equally to Windows and Mac operating systems, and to most software and hardware. TheAudioExpertbook.com, the companion website, has audio and video examples to better present complex topics such as vibration and resonance. There are also videos demonstrating editing techniques and audio processing, as well as interviews with skilled musicians demonstrating their instruments and playing techniques.

About the Author

Ethan has, at various times,worked as a studio musician, computer programmer, circuit designer, recording engineer, composer/arranger, technical writer, and college instructor. He's had nearly 100 feature articles published in audio and computer magazines including Mix, PC Magazine, Electronic Musician, EQ Magazine, Audio Media, Sound on Sound, Keyboard, Pro Sound News, and Recording. . In 2002 he started the company RealTraps to manufacture bass traps and other acoustic treatment, which he continues to this day.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (April 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240821009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240821009
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.5 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A more complete description of my Audio Expert book is on my web site, along with errata, additions, and links to the Music Theory YouTube video that complements the book:

http://www.ethanwiner.com/book.htm

Ethan Winer is a reformed rock 'n' roll guitar and bass player who sold his successful software business in 1992 at the age of 43 to take up the cello. Ethan has, at various times, earned a living as a recording engineer, studio musician, computer programmer, circuit designer, composer/arranger, technical writer, and college instructor. In addition to a best-selling book about computer programming, more than 100 of his feature articles have been published in audio and computer magazines including Mix, PC Magazine, Electronic Musician, EQ Magazine, Audio Media, Sound on Sound, Computer Language, Microsoft Systems Journal, IBM Exchange, Strings, Keyboard, Programmers Journal, Skeptic, The Strad, Pro Sound News, and Recording. Ethan is also famous (some might say infamous) for his no-nonsense posts about audio science in online audio forums.

Besides his interest in audio and computers, Ethan produced two popular Master Class videos featuring renowned cellist Bernard Greenhouse, and five CDs for Music Minus One including a recording of his own cello concerto. His Cello Rondo video has received more than a million views on YouTube and other web sites. Besides writing, playing, and recording pop tunes, Ethan has composed three pieces for full orchestra, all of which have been performed publicly. He has also played in several amateur orchestras, often as principal cellist.

Ethan lives in New Milford, Connecticut, with his wife and two wonderful cats. In 2002 he started the company RealTraps to manufacture bass traps and other acoustic treatment, which he continues to this day. When he's not watching re-runs of The Simpsons on TV or writing music, Ethan enjoys cooking, and playing his collection of vintage pinball machines.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book November 17, 2012
By BF
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The introduction says "This book is for everyone who wants to truly understand audio but prefers practical rather than theoretical explanations" and also that it's for people who've been around audio for awhile and want to know how it really works. That's me, and it met my needs perfectly. However it would not be appropriate for those who don't already have a sense of what decibels are and how electronic gear works or who are not technically inclined because the whole books is about the science, engineering and art of audio equipment and its use. It's friendly and approachable, simplified without being dumbed down, but it's still a technical book.

This book is written in a very straightforward, plain language manner. Moving logically from one topic to another and treating each in detail without being either dry nor falsely humorous. I got the impression that Ethan is a friendly, straightforward, knowledgeable and no-nonsense guy. He's honest in his mention of areas where there is controversy in the industry (e.g. are oxygen-free copper cables better?), unapologetic about his opinions (no!) and rational in supporting them (because you can't measure any difference). He's also really good at explaining what really matters (e.g. without proper treatment the acoustics of your listening room make even the best speakers sound bad, and even the best speakers have far more distortion than any competent, inexpensive amp) -- and again he explains why in ways that make sense.

I bought the book primarily for the material in three of its 23 chapters and ended up reading eight because I enjoyed it so much. There are other chapters I'm holding in reserve until I get to those points in my audio journey.

Thank you Ethan for sharing your knowledge so generously and writing such an approachable book.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sure to become a standard April 22, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book book for three main reasons: (1) Mr Winer can comment convincingly on all aspects of musical reproduction (performance, recording, and playback); (2) the nice balance that the book places on breadth and depth; and (3) the book is approachable by many (I daresay it's an enjoyable read).

Many in the industry know Ethan Winer from his substantial web presence, both on his own sites and on the audio forums. Many also know him as the CEO of RealTraps, a leader in the field of acoustic treatments. And a lot of folks know him for his critiques of audiophile fetishes and "golden ear" listening abilities. Far fewer know him as a cellist. But anyone looking at his body of work in the audio field would surely acknowledge his expertise, passion, and experience. And his contributions.

As to the book itself, I think that if you review its table of contents and a few sample pages you can readily decide if it's for you. Said another way, all the topics represented in the Contents are delivered at moderate depth and equal authority. There are neither weak sections nor seminal treatises - this book can be a primer and/or encyclopedia depending on your needs.

I approached it as an audiophile and home theater owner (who is in the process of a DIY treatment of my listening room). I own many great books in the category (e.g., Toole). For me, AUDIO EXPERT was a welcome addition to this fine little library.

Highly recommended.

Bob
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth!!!! September 27, 2012
Format:Paperback
This book is a fantastic foundation in audio concepts and practices. I am a professional audio engineer, and have been for 12 years. I found something new and helpful in every single chapter. After following Ethan's advice, my home studio has NEVER sounded better. I LOVE all the myths he debunks, as well. Thanks again for telling the truth!!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite October 11, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For a title like that I would expect more. Not to mention it's really expensive, even in the Kindle format. Many great readings on the subject are much more affordable.

The author is definitely knowledgeable and is successful explaining a lot of audio concepts and techniques, but his authority is compromised when you find some fundamentally wrong information, such as the difference between +4dBu and -10dBV - which is NOT 14dB.

Maybe it's irrelevant as an isolated piece of info, but that certainly touches the "expert" and "trust" side of the book. I found some chapters to be really shallow. The "pan law" paragraphs are a good example of a confusing text, perhaps exposing not the best areas of expertise of the author.

Looks like the book is trying to touch every single aspect of audio (and even video production) to get more authority. It would be better if edited, perhaps to half the content, twice the depth. I would have focused on advanced topics only.

This is not a intermediate/advanced book as proposed somewhere. This is more of a beginners/intermediate reading, illustrating things like how to manage tracks in a DAW.

I particularly don't enjoy the defensive tone all over as if trying to prove everyone else wrong.

I value the hard work and intentions, but I would wait until the price is down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best audio book I've read August 4, 2012
By Chris
Format:Paperback
I had heard very positive things about Ethan's books and 'The Audio Expert' completely affirmed that. It's incredibly informative for anyone interested in recording, playing or listening to music, regardless of what prior knowledge you have of these subjects. It spans a broad range of topics within the field of recorded music as well as information on electronics and other audio related subjects. I very much liked the tone in which the book was written; Ethan cleverly used scientific backup to present to the reader a common sense analysis of what aspects of audio fidelity should or should not be worried about. It's great that he puts to rest many 'audio myths', claims that companies, audio reviewers and professionals may make without any evidence to suggest that it's actually true or even relevant. He also manages to present the information in a clear and interesting way which makes for an eye-opening, compelling read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in audio, whether working within this field professionally or undertaking as a hobby.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helps me a lot!
If you want to build a studio, read this book before! You will learn what you need and will save much money
Published 1 month ago by Victor Diogenes Vieira do Lago
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethan Winer says it like it is!
Lots of good tips in this book that help the audio professional get to the brass tacks of what they need to know. Recommended.
Published 8 months ago by White
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on audio terms and technology
Comprehensive, in depth, and understandable. There might be more in depth books on specific subjects for audio professionals, but this book is a great audio 101 book. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Clayton
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Source For Audio INformation
If you do any kind of work with audio equipment, buy this book. If you are planning to buy an expensive home theatre you need this book and your system builder should be reading... Read more
Published 9 months ago by John Carlton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction that covers ALMOST EVERYTHING wrt audio
The good news is that this book covers everything that you need to know about. The bad news is that it covers everything. Read more
Published 10 months ago by the olde professor
5.0 out of 5 stars it has many information inside
very good - but not for dummies. it has everything yopu need to know a about aoudio inside. nice and simple.
Published 11 months ago by Noy Uzrad
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, but shy of "everything you need to know"
I am a fan of the author. He's a really good guy, generous with his online help, an excellent musician, and a champion of science over B.S. Read more
Published 18 months ago by David Townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Audio Engineering Book Ever!
This is the best Audio Engineering book I have ever read. My library is quite extensive, and this is really the only book I would replace if it is lost. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D.Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book in Remarkably Clear Language,
The Audio Expert is simply the best source of anything you want to know about the subject. Well-organized and indexed, you can immediately find all things audio instead of... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Exeptional clarity in explanation of audio
Ethan Winer shares his thorough understanding of audio in a clear and easy to understand book. He goes straight and to the point on the subject. Read more
Published 19 months ago by rev1.0beta
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Topic From this Discussion
Looking forward to reading this book Ethan!
Thanks very much Mike.
Feb 26, 2012 by Ethan Winer |  See all 2 posts
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