Paperback: 424 pages
Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (November 27, 2006)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.6 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #594,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #30 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Records #229 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Acoustics #328 in Books > Science & Math > Physics > Acoustics & Sound
This book basically has three parts. Part 1 is background knowledge, including the physics of sound, psychoacoustics and perception, and song structure. Part 2 is a guide to methodically deconstructing recordings. Part 3 describes the process of creating your own recordings, from sound source selection, to recording, to processing, to mixing, to editing, to mastering.The book is obviously chock full of information, but it can definitely be long-winded. My biggest complaints are in Part 2. It's clear that Moylan's goal was to provide the ultimate guide to the methodical and objective deconstruction of a recording--an ambitious undertaking. In pursuit of this goal, Moylan invents a lot of terminology and splits hairs when defining terms that are actually quite abstract. He also makes some pseudo-scientific assertions about what can be perceived in a recording. For instance, he asserts that every recording has a "reference dynamic level", which cannot be measured, but can be unambiguously identified by listening.As any music fan knows, music is inherently subjective, especially in modern studio recordings, in which natural sounds have been artfully altered beyond their original dimensions. In reality, all aspects of sound fall into two categories: those which can be measured by instrument or algorithm, and those that are subjective. I don't care what you tell me: if something can't be seen or calculated, it is not objective and cannot be defined without ambiguity.Ultimately, going through Moylan's exercises will undoubtedly make you a better and more analytical listener, but understand that no matter how hard you try to remain objective in your analysis, your results will be colored by your own perception.
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