Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (March 18, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #318,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #62 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Digital Audio Production #631 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Electrical & Electronics > Electronics #904 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Internet, Groupware, & Telecommunications
There are times when a book reviewer reviews a book because it's something they have a passing interest in, or it is something they know they should be doing and want to learn more. Then there are those books that relate to something so familiar and so every day, that it's easy to build an expectation for the title. For me, audio editing on behalf of the TWiST podcast is a nearly daily thing (at least five days a week), and Audacity is my tool of choice for doing audio editing, partly by chance but more recently by familiarity. Is there a book out there that would keep my interest on the subject?I'm happy to say that "The Book of Audacity", written by Carla Schroeder, and published by No-Starch Press, is just such a book. You don't have to be a computer aficionado, but it certainly helps. You don't have to be a musician, but it certainly helps there, too. You don't have to be someone who enjoys a witty and sometimes mildly sarcastic writing style, but again, it certainly helps. If you are the special geek that fits all three of these categories just mentioned, then this book is a gem!The Book of Audacity is platform agnostic, but shows a number of approaches to using it on a number of platforms (with a special section specifically focusing on Linux). Audacity is free and cross platform, and the author spends plenty of time trying to make the users feel comfortable tackling the various topics.Many books are written to describe the process of recording and producing music, but they often devolve into an impenetrable treatise on sound theory and issues of interest to professional audio and signal processing engineers, leaving many of us everyday folks interested in recording behind. Carla is careful to not do that here.
Before you buy this only moderately-expensive book, I suggest you do three things: (1) download Audacity (the full version is free); (2) go through the free tutorials that come downloaded with it; and (3) read the extremely extensive "LOOK INSIDE!" material that is supplied here on by the author, Carla Schroder.She has graciously given us most of her 359-page book to read for free before purchase, so make use of it. I confess that I read so much for free--hours worth--I felt duty bound to buy the book, even though I'm a Mac user and the author states on page 47 that it is written for Windows and Linux. I do not regret the purchase because (1) most of the material is applicable to the Mac version of Audacity also, and (2) the book covers vastly more useful information about audio recording than just Audacity. Check out the detailed version of her Table of Contents in "LOOK INSIDE!" to see for yourself. Schroder also provides a 16-page index that is very useful.There are separate chapters on how to configure Windows and Linux machines for Audacity, but none for Mac, and there is a chapter on Audacity plugins for Windows and Linux machines, but none for Mac. However, this information can be found for free on the Internet. I wish Schroder had included Mac in her book project because I enjoy her writing, so I would like to have gotten specific Mac info from her. Maybe she'll accommodate some day so I can give her that fifth star.I initially downloaded Audacity because I wanted to extend the length of play-along segments on CDs that accompany many music instruction books I purchased. Some of these play-along segments are only 20 or 30 seconds long, but I wanted them to last for three or four minutes, at least. Audacity lengthened those play-alongs seamlessly.
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