I've had the benefit of taking courses from the author prior to this book being published. As a result I know his teaching style. The author's style and voice comes through loud and clear in the text. It's enjoyable to read while you're learning some rather complex subjects.
Coming from a non engineering background I find the explanations of concepts clear and the graphics used to illustrate the concepts extremely helpful. This text will be useful for those wishing to learn more about the science behind the art.
If you want to know things like how to add a touch of reverb to make a voice pop through a music bed without having to simply lower the volume of the music; this book will show you how to do that and other production techniques in a way a non-techie will understand. It will also explain 'why' it works.
Having said that, this is not a "Sound Effects for Dummies" book either. This book goes in-depth. It will benefit those who have a technical/engineering background and are more "into the math" of sound and acoustics as well.
Access to the website with audio examples and the samples that are used to further illustrate the concepts is an invaluable resource that obviously took time to compile.
Investing the $39.95 for the knowledge "Sound FX" contains is a "no brainer" for anyone seriously interested in learning more about the science of sound and sound design.
Sound FX is a comprehensive, beautifully laid out resource for all levels of recording engineers. Professor Case has found a way of re-examining the tried and true building blocks of music production that imparts new perspectives while covering fundamental topics. The book aims to empower engineers to understand the science behind the tools of the control room in order to inspire greater creativity within their recordings. Many of the described effects utilize tools found in most studios, but in a way that will be new to many of the readers, even those working in major recording studios. Musical references have been included so that the reader seek out discussed effects first hand.
Perhaps the greatest asset of Sound FX is the manner by which the material is presented; Alex Case has included a light hearted, witty narrative that makes the reading experience a breeze regardless of the material.
As is probably true of many audio people, I own several books covering various topics in recording but none that are as insightful and as inpiring as this one; highly recommended!
I have been a home recording enthusiast for ten years now. I feel that I have picked up many skills over those years, albeit from scattered sources. I was finally ready to dive in and get my head around all of these things that I had available to me, and along came Sound FX. This book is an indespensible reference for aspiring engineeers who have already cut their teeth in some way, and understand a few things about electronic music and general sound properties. That being said, the book stays grounded at a level that is not tailored for acoustic engineering pros. There is a technical aspect to the flow of the info, but as soon as that's covered, you're right back to getting into practical applications. It truly is a perfect balance. And, Alex Case keeps an amazing sense of humor throughout his writing. This book reads like a breeze. This is not an easy topic to cover this way. Additionally, this book gives hope to the budget-minded recording enthusiast, and tends to play down the idea that you need to buy lots of expensive gear to get the job done. Too many references and 'how to' books are pushing gear, big gear. Not this one. Alex Case only teaches you to push your creativity to brink. Keep this book next to your mixer at all times!
Case has created something very special in Sound FX - the seasoned veteran and the rookie recordist alike will benefit hugely from an exploration of Case's book. His writing is clear and concise, while simultaneously very interesting to read, covering an immense array of recording/production techniques, from the most rudimentary to the most nuanced and complicated. I've always believed an author must truly know their subject inside-out to write succinctly and creatively at the same time - if this is true, Case is an honest master of pop/rock music production. Case has succeeded in creating something quite rare in the music world today - a text relevant to both the musician/engineer/producer as well as the academic. Highly recommended!
I think this is a terrific book that fills a need for engineers and musicians looking to develop a serious understanding of audio technology and studio production and composition. The emphasis on acoustics and psycho-acoustics while still providing practical advice on using processing is unique. It is very much the approach I've been trying to design into my classes and Alex Case does it with great accuracy and style. He makes the science understandable (and includes plenty of it), he cautions against the hype in our industry, always emphasizes the musical result, and his sense of humor makes it fun reading. Alex Case teaches much more than effects with this book. I am planning to use it for a text in a summer course I'm teaching and will probably use it next spring in my undergraduate class.
Jim Moses, Brown University MEME (multimedia and electronic music experiments) program.
"Sound FX" is required reading for students attending the Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music, at NYU. "Sound FX" is in a class by itself when it comes to the clarity and readability of technical issues. It's a book that can instruct the audio novice and inform the audio pro. Alex Case has written a classic text that will be used for years, even as the technology evolves.
The other reviews previous do a fine job of commending this book. I want to add a specific example of why I like it. Case examined the various kinds of reverberation that audio professionals use: acoustical (as in concert halls), chambers, springs, plates, digital and convolution. He compared all of these in terms of how they sound when excited by music. His analysis was comprehensive, fresh and applicable. Then he detailed less than obvious reasons why one or more of these techniques would be used. His unique and thorough treatment of reverb was enlightening. This chapter alone would be worth owning the book!
Sound FX was written by one of my favorite engineers and educators, this book covers pretty much everything you should know about studio effects, from the acoustics basics to advanced use of signal processing. Good engineer reference book that everyone should have one in your studio.