Book Description

The Art of Recording articulates and explores the ways recorded sound is different from live sound, and how those differences can enhance music, including surround sound. It presents a system for developing the critical and analytical listening skills necessary to recognize and understand these sound characteristics--the same skills necessary to create quality recordings-- and for talking about or describing sound.

The Art of Recording also considers audio recording as a creative process. The reader will learn to guide the artistry of music recording from its beginning as an idea, through its development during the many stages of the recording sequence, to its final form.

Take a new and detailed look at many of the greatest recordings of The Beatles, offering insights into how the recording process shaped their music, and how you can gain control over the craft of making great recordings.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. List of Exercises
  6. Foreword by Rupert Neve
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Introduction
  10. Part 1
    1. Understanding Sound and the Aesthetic Qualities of Audio Recordings
    2. Chapter 1 The Elements of Sound and Audio Recording
      1. The States of Sound
      2. Physical Dimensions of Sound
      3. Perceived Parameters of Sound
      4. Summary
    3. Chapter 2 The Aesthetic and Artistic Elements of Sound in Audio Recordings
      1. The States of Sound and the Aesthetic/Artistic Elements
      2. Pitch Levels and Relationships
      3. Dynamic Levels and Relationships
      4. Rhythmic Patterns and Rates of Activities
      5. Sound Sources and Sound Quality
      6. Spatial Properties: Stereo and Surround Sound
      7. Conclusion
      8. Exercises
    4. Chapter 3 The Musical Message and the Listener
      1. The Musical Message
      2. Musical Form and Structure
      3. Musical Materials
      4. The Relationships of Artistic Elements and Musical Materials
      5. Equivalence and the Expression of Musical Ideas
      6. Text as Song Lyrics
      7. The Listener
      8. Conclusion
      9. Exercises
  11. Part 2
    1. Developing Listening and Sound Evaluation Skills
    2. Chapter 4 Listening and Evaluating Sound for the Audio Professional
      1. Why Audio Professionals Need to Evaluate Sound
      2. Talking About Sound
      3. The Listening Process
      4. Personal Development for Listening and Sound Evaluation
      5. Summary
      6. Exercises
    3. Chapter 5 A System for Evaluating Sound
      1. System Overview
      2. Sound Evaluation Sequence
      3. Graphing the States and Activity of Sound Components
      4. Plotting Sources Against a Time Line
      5. Summary
      6. Exercises
    4. Chapter 6 Evaluating Pitch in Audio and Music Recordings
      1. Analytical Systems
      2. Realizing a Sense of Pitch
      3. Recognizing Pitch Levels
      4. Pitch Area and Frequency Band Recognition
      5. Melodic Contour
      6. Exercises
    5. Chapter 7 Evaluating Loudness in Audio and Music Recordings
      1. Reference Levels and the Hierarchy of Dynamics
      2. Program Dynamic Contour
      3. Musical Balance
      4. Performance Intensity versus Musical Balance
      5. Exercises
    6. Chapter 8 Evaluating Sound Quality
      1. Sound Quality in Critical Listening and Analytical Listening Contexts
      2. Sound Quality and Perspective
      3. Evaluating the Characteristics of Sound Quality and Timbre
      4. Summary
      5. Exercises
    7. Chapter 9 Evaluating the Spatial Elements of Reproduced Sound
      1. Understanding Space as an Artistic Element
      2. Stereo Sound Location
      3. Distance Localization
      4. Environmental Characteristics
      5. Space Within Space
      6. Surround Sound
      7. Exercises
    8. Chapter 10 Complete Evaluations and Understanding Observations
      1. The Overall Texture
      2. Relationships of the Individual Sound Sources and the Overall Texture
      3. The Complete Evaluation
      4. Summary
      5. Exercises
  12. Part 3
    1. Shaping Music and Sound, and Controlling the Recording Process
    2. Chapter 11 Bringing Artistic Judgment to the Recording Process
      1. Part 3 Overview
      2. The Signal Chain
      3. Guiding the Creation of Music
      4. Summary
    3. Chapter 12 The Aesthetics of Recording Production
      1. The Artistic Roles of the Recordist
      2. The Recording and Reality: Shaping the Recording Aesthetic
      3. The Recording Aesthetic in Relation to the Performance Event
      4. Altered Realities of Music Performance
      5. Summary
    4. Chapter 13 Preliminary Stages: Defining the Materials of the Project
      1. Sound Sources as Artistic Resources and the Choice of Timbres
      2. Microphones: The Aesthetic Decisions of Capturing Timbres
      3. Equipment Selection: Application of Inherent Sound Quality
      4. Monitoring: The Sound Quality of Playback
      5. Summary
    5. Chapter 14 Capturing, Shaping, and Creating the Performance
      1. Recording and Tracking Sessions: Shifting of Focus and Perspectives
      2. Signal Processing: Shifting of Perspective to Reshape Sounds and Music
      3. The Mix: Performing the Recording
      4. Summary
    6. Chapter 15 The Final Artistic Processes and an Overview of Music Production Sequences
      1. An Overview of Two Sequences for Creating a Music Recording
      2. Editing: Rearranging and Suspending Time
      3. Mastering: The Final Artistic Decisions
      4. The Listener’s Alterations to the Recording
      5. Concluding Remarks
  13. Bibliography
  14. Discography
  15. Index