Sweetwater Press Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer

Comprehensive Book Explaining the Ins and Outs of Digital Audio.
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Sweetwater Press Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer
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Understand Digital Audio Once and For All!

Have you ever wondered exactly why adding noise to a digital recording actually makes it sound better? Do you know what a phase lock loop does, and why it's important? These questions and dozens more are answered in clear, understandable english in Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer!

Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer is written for all audio engineers at all levels. It is written about topics that have been reserved, until now, for the electronic engineers, circuit designers, mathematicians and academians. No corner of digital audio is left unturned, from the basics of digital sampling and issues regarding Nyquist to the circuit design of A/D converters, word clock generators, and PLLs.

Nika Aldrich clearly explains issues as seemingly complex as convolution reverbs, Fourier Analysis, noise-shaping and floating point processing for the person who has little exposure to advanced level mathematics. He does this with a linear, methodical approach and the aid of over 600 graphics. In his conclusion, Nika unearths many of digital audio's little secrets having to do with bit-depth, sample frequency, dither, and emerging technologies such as DSD. With the knowledge gained from this book, engineers from the novice to the advanced will make better decisions and get better sounding results from their studios.

Digital Audio Explained: For the Audio Engineer Author
Nika Aldrich is known by engineers around the world for his clear and concise explanations that are widely available on the internet, in trade magazines and in books, and by thousands who have used him as an audio consultant. His former overwhelming success at Sweetwater as a Senior Sales Engineer is directly linked to his depth of digital audio knowledge which shines in this volume.

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Customer Reviews

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Highly recommended

This book is as close as it gets to a really good explanation of digital audio built on an accessible level. And it at times it begins to sound non-intuitive, it is to a large degree because the math behind digitizing a sound wave IS complicated. I am still quite amazed at the very good job Mr Aldrich has done in explaining concepts and relationships from the world of engineering and math (such as Fourer transforms) on an intuitive level. To those aiming for simplicity and whining that the author isn't making everything 100% easy to understand (aka hasn't told them what to think), I can say only one thing: it is precisely because people wait to be told something simple that they end up believing in the TEN MYTHS OF DIGITAL AUDIO which Mr Aldrich has dedicated an entire chapter in order to debunk. Granted, not everybody is a mathematician, and no, a musician's job is not to muse over equations (of which there is only 2 or 3 in the entire book); but, the nature of the matter is highly technical and, you will not be able to get completely away from some of it. So, buckle up for a good read, and even if you don't understand some of the most technical stuff, after reading this book your understanding of digital audio will still be WAY better than that of even some big old-school names in the audio business. Is it worth it? You decide!
Music background: Musician

Knowledge is Power

Marketing lies in the audio business are as bad as any other. Find out for yourself the scientific truths about digital audio. Compared to other digital audio books, you will find this easy to read and wrap your head around. This book will certainly help you make better purchasing decisions, you might be surprised what you learn...
Music background: Music Engineering and Computer Science Student

Really good - if you read it through

This book takes the extremely complicated digital world and tries to describe it for the average audio engineer. The fundamentals are easy, as are the basics of the digital domain. Aldrich really explains on a level that is understandable for someone whos not that experienced with maths and digital programming. But later on when things get more complicated it can get really hard to grasp, so it is difficult to just finding your topic and read about it if you haven't read the rest of the book.
Music background: Musician and producer, Sound Engineering student.

Smooth and Informative Read

I had some initial doubts about "Digital Audio Explained," as many books of this type tend to delve far too deep into algorithms and formulaic jargon while leaving out much of what the reader is looking for. However, Nika's book strikes an even balance between mathematical explanation and plain English understanding concerning a matter which confuses (often unwittingly) many musicians and engineers. The entire book is laid out logically, with a clear progression from basic topics (such as understanding the basic waveform) to the more intricately advanced (such as digital signal processing). Detailed diagrams appear several times on nearly every page and provide a great visual aid to the complex subject matter. Of particular interest is the "Myths of Digital Audio" section, which covers fiercely debated and often misunderstood topics such as sampling rates, bit depths, and jitter. Keeping in line with the rest of the book, the topics are explained both mathematically and with basic language, so an understanding of what makes these topics tick comes quickly and easily. Overall, this book makes a great read when you find yourself entrenched in the complex workings of digital audio and would like to have at least some idea of how it all comes together.

Sweetwater Advice

Chuck Surack

This is a great book for anyone in the modern audio business. Nika's clear explanations make it easy for any audio engineer or musician to better understand digital audio and most importantly how to make better recordings.
See also: Sweetwater Press, Sweetwater Press Instructional Books