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Audio Engineering 101: A Beginner's Guide to Music Production [Kindle Edition]

Tim Dittmar
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Audio Engineering 101 is a real world guide for starting out in the recording industry. If you have the dream, the ideas, the music and the creativity but don't know where to start, then this book is for you!

Filled with practical advice on how to navigate the recording world, from an author with first-hand, real-life experience, Audio Engineering 101 will help you succeed in the exciting, but tough and confusing, music industry.

Covering all you need to know about the recording process, from the characteristics of sound to a guide to microphones to analog versus digital recording. Dittmar covers all the basics- equipment, studio acoustics, the principals of EQ/ compression, music examples to work from and when and how to use compression. FAQ's from professionals give you real insight into the reality of life on the industry.

Product Description


"This beginner's guide to audio engineering presents a clear overview of the science and art of sound recording and provides readers with foundational information for getting started in audio engineering. Beginning with a discussion of sound and general recording principles, the work covers topics such as microphones, mixing consoles, signal processors, and signal flow, as well as studio session procedures and optimization. Chapters include illustrations, tips, and checklists, and the text includes an additional section with questions and answers from industry professionals."--Reference and Research Book News

About the Author

Tim Dittmar is a musician, recording and live sound engineer, producer, songwriter, and professor. Tim began his professional recording career in 1987 at Cedar Creek Recording studio in Austin, Texas. Before locating to Austin, Tim received an Associate in Arts in Radio/TV Production from Del Mar Junior College. He then spent much of the nineties touring with a punk group, recording bands, and running live sound on the infamous 6th street at various venues. He was hired in 2000 as a professor and full-time faculty member at Austin Community College where he currently teaches Audio Engineering I, Audio Engineering IV, and the Special Projects class. Tim heads up the Technical side of Commercial Music Management at the college. He has also been a returning lecturer at the University of Texas teaching Audio Production and Audio for Picture. Tim has worked in numerous studios in Austin, Los Angeles and Chicago, compiling over 300 album credits. Recording such artists as the Old 97's, Voxtrot, Dynamite Boy, King Missile and the Murdocks. In 2008 he was invited to moderate a panel at the Tape Op Conference in New Orleans where he spoke on "The State of Audio Education”. At present, he owns and operates Las Olas Recording in Georgetown, Texas. He currently tours and records with his wife in the group Annabella and can also be seen drumming with The Hearts & The Minds, Kristi Rae, and Everything's Gone Green.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3975 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (11 Feb. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1136111697
  • ISBN-13: 978-1136111693
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,604 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I was hooked. 16 Jan. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Before i bought this book i was clueless about audio engineering, however the description claimed to encompass almost everything i needed to know, and it sure did! this is an absolutely great book, great advice, great content, great read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great instructional guide! 9 Feb. 2012
By Method2Madness "Alex" - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
DISCLAIMER: Although this was given to me through Vine to review, unlike other questionable "reviewers", I actually take the time to USE the product or READ the book. So whatever score/review the product gets, it's absolutely earned. At no time is a product given a particular review or rating simply because I fear loosing Vine status. That's not how the Vine program operates.

Anyhoo, onto the review:

Plainly put, this is a great book. Not only does the author take the time to explain, in detail, what how and why things work the way they do, he also provides illustrations for the layman. I read this cover to cover over a period of a week and honestly learned quite a bit. And I've been in audio production for years! You can definitely tell the author knows his stuff and has actually DONE what he writes about. In lieu of some authors who just compile information and later jam it all together into what barely passes as a book.

I definitely applaud the author and highly recommend this book to those wishing to learn the basics, and to a point, the higher-level operation of sound reproduction.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 99 Reasons to Read Audio Engineering 101 21 Feb. 2012
By C. CRADDOCK - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
By the title, Audio Engineering 101, you know that Timothy A. Dittmar's book is going to cover that basics of Audio Engineering. Anytime you see that 101, as any community college student knows, you know it is going to be a rudimentary primer. Kind of Audio Engineering for Dummies. Some of the stuff is pretty basic, and I just kind of skimmed over it. Advice for interns, like not to tell clients how awful they sound, and don't sit around texting while rolling your eyes, etc., etc., etc..

But there is a lot of practical information and explanation of audio concepts like compression, noise gates, EQ, phlanging, and phase. I really like the microphone guide which shows various types and brands of microphones along with graphs of frequency response: Cascade Fat Head, Small-Diaphragm Condenser, Neumann U 87, or the ubiquitous Shure SM58. One chapter is a round table where questions are posed to a group of recording engineers like, what mic would you take with you on a desert island? There is a website where you can go and download audio clips that illustrate the concepts being discussed.

All in all, this is a handy book with a lot of good information that would be of interest to anyone interested in home recording or a career in audio engineering.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight forward and informative 26 Oct. 2012
By Jackson M. Duhon - Published on
In the interest of full disclosure I took Tim's Audio Engineering 1 class at Austin Community College. He's a great professor and a great guy whose company I really enjoy. He's also incredibly clear and informative during his lectures.

Lucky for you, you don't need to live in Austin to garner some of Tim's wisdom. Audio Engineering 101 is a great resource for basic audio engineering info. The topics in the book are set out in a straight forward and logical order. The illustrations, examples, and tips are all useful. The section in chapter 5 that summarizes dozens of microphones prices, frequency responses, and characteristics is especially useful for someone trying to add some mics to their ever expanding collection. The layout of each chapter is done very well. I never need to flip back and forth between different sections to get the information I want because everything pertinent to any given subject is in its logical location in the book.

I know some people have been hating on the illustrations (which, I admit, are a little goofy.) But if you aren't willing to overlook some goofy cartoons to get some quality information do you really want to be an audio engineer? Honestly, that seems like a horrible reason to not like a book with as as much wisdom as this one.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, somewhat useful, and pretty inconsistent 15 Jun. 2012
By K. Bortz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As someone who has recorded in a studio, and who has a digital recording system of his own, I gave this a try to see how it might help guide me through the recording process. First off, this book is not just about the technical end of recording - it also gives some good hints into interning, marketing, client relations, how to conduct yourself in the studio, etc. THIS portion of the book, although I will never utilize it, is pretty interesting and opened my eyes to a different side of the recording business.

The first 2/3 of the book, which actually cover recording techniques, is why I was interested in this book. Here, this book doesn't seem to know what it's target audience is. The title says "Beginner's Guide to Music Production", and some portions were actually geared to beginners - how to listen, how to place speakers, song structures, how to set up a recording room, place microphones, etc. But then some portions were exceedingly detailed - 23 pages of excruiating detail on the frequecy responses of different microphones. And the chapter on the basics of a mixing board, while covering basic information, seemed to presume an understanding of certain terminologies and processes that weren't defined (and this happened on a couple other occasions, as I remember). Maybe if the reader understood the chapter on signal flow (Chapter 8) before the chapter on mixing consoles (Chapter 6) it would help.

There are also some very basic sound clips and videos available on the internet as a companion to this book - these were referenced in the text, although the only way I knew how to access these were because the web address was on the back cover.

So, there is some good information here, but not all of it is geared toward the beginner as presumed by the title. This would be a good COMPANION reference for someone already familiar with basic recording techniques.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear Explanations 16 Feb. 2012
By John F. Wright - Published on
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Even though this is titled a "beginner's guide", the quality of the information and the clarity of the explanations is excellent, touching on aspects of audio engineering which someone familiar with such technology may be lacking a clear understanding.

Audio engineering certainly isn't my profession, but I've been working with electronics for several decades and I'm quite familiar with audio and I found this book to be excellent.

Note: the material is oriented toward someone doing audio with hardware, not someone manipulating audio in software. But the basic concepts are valuable to anyone desiring to work with audio and understand what they are doing a little better.

The first three chapters are an introduction to sound and cover the fundamental concepts which may be valuable to anyone, whether you intend to be a professional audio engineer or simply setting up a high quality stereo system in your home.

There are 32 pages of basic information (and pictures) of microphones. Certainly not an exhaustive list but enough to get you familiar with many options.

The book also addresses "people skills", history and other aspects of working in the business.

Perhaps the most interesting chapter is the last: "FAQ's" where various questions are put to thirteen pros. This gives you an idea of the software, microphones and other preferences of several experts (not just the author).
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