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books (sound)

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Wolf, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    Cincinnati, Ohio

    I am looking to get a book on basic sound operation. I am a lighting technician but I would like to learn basic sound to become a more valuable technician. I am looking for a book that explains the hook ups and how to run the cable, and set up the speakers, also how to operate the board (I know they cant explain fully a sound board because they very but the basic of the board). I do know that a book cant teach you everything but this would be a nice starting point.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Detroit, MI
    You're looking for a copy of the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. The Sound Reinforcement Handbook: Gary Davis, Ralph Jones: Books

    This is the number one book that comes to mind when anyone in the live audio world is asked about good literature. There are lots of things audio engineers disagree on, but this book (for the most part) has been widely accepted as the consensus.

    It's very concise, but very thorough. It's not something you read cover to cover. You look up a topic you're curious about and learn. It can go very in depth, but it's very easy to skip over the complex stuff if you're lost. It breaks down sound reinforcement to a very rudimentary theory. It doesn't discuss brands or who makes the best line arrays; it simply gives you knowledge that every good engineer (seasoned or unseasoned) should be familiar with.

    You will do yourself a major a favor by reading this book. You will find yourself laughing the next time you see a FOH engineer scratching his head. I wish more sound guys, let alone lighting guys, would read this book.

    Also, check out Soundcraft's learning center on their website. They focus less on a theory and more diagrams and schematics for basic applications of broadcast, radio, dj, live band, monitors, etc. I love their cable diagrams that explain the differences between unbalanced and balanced versions. I even find myself occasionally referencing my soundcraft brochures when I want to confirm something to be 100% sure.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  3. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Rane Corporation also has a number of excellent articles in its Library.
  4. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Sydney, Australia
    I've found Live Sound Mixing by Dunc Fry to be a useful resource. Not quite as heavy as the Handbook...
  5. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    +1 for Sound Reinforcment Handbook, and the information on Rane's website. There are also several good white papers on the ProSoundWeb site in their study hall, and most manufactures have articals like the Rane site. Check out Soundcraft, Shure, and JBL.
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Acoustical, audio and audiovisual consultant
    Marietta, GA
    That probably is "the" introductory level, comprehensive text, but for systems designers "Sound System Engineering" by Davis and Patronis is probably the reference. However, this is a much more technical text and can be rather intimidating for many. For mixing there are other books that focus solely on mixing and get much more into the artistic as well as technical aspects and that sort of segues to...

    One of the problems with learning about sound is that there are many different aspects to it from system design to mixing to installation to recording and production and so on. Some of these involve primarily technical issues, others mostly artistic. Then add that an at least cursory knowledge of acoustics is also invaluable for some aspects. However, in practice a person doing audio production may need to know nothing about system installation or design while an installer may not really need to know how to produce or mix or design a system. This range is often reflected in the available books and other resources and they often apply primarily to one area. Many that do try to be more encompassing typically fall short in one or more areas, sometimes even providing as much disinformation as information in areas outside the author's actual expertise. So you may find a good book on mixing but have to look to another for learning about speaker placement. Because of this, it may help to initially focus on one or two specific aspects rather than to try to learn everything at once.
    The_Guest and (deleted member) like this.
  7. TWSmith

    TWSmith Member

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    +1 on the Yamaha sound book. That's a very good starting point. I have found Live Sound, Theory & Practice by Mark Amundson to be most practical for myself. Check here: FOH/PLSN Bookshelf

    For a decent background and primer on analog sound (vintage, archaic stuff!), try Successful Sound System Operation by F. Alton Everest if you can find it: Successful Sound System Operation: F. Alton Everest: Books

    Nothing beats good ol' OJT!! Try volunteering with a local sound co. or concert hall. Be prepared to wrap cable. :)

    Good luck!
  8. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Performing Arts Center Manager
    Macomb, MI
    +1 for the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It is a great resource.


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