Books We've Reviewed

Entertainment Rigging for the 21st Century: Compilation of work on rigging practices, safety, and related topics
Lighting & Sound America, April 2015

edited by Bill Sapsis. This volume shows how rigging interacts with set design, lighting, sound, wardrobe, and just about every other department. It is a useful and highly readable compilation of articles bearing on the state-of-the-art of the contemporary rigging industry, contributed by a who's who of leading practitioners. Densely packed with up-to-date information and loads of relevant detail, the book is richly illustrated with photographs, diagrams, graphs and charts, underpinned with meaningful math, and generously laden with vital prescriptions in the areas of safety and rescue. I can’t think of any other book that packs so much into 270 pages, and is equally relevant to rigging for the theatre, auditorium, arena, exhibition hall, and outdoor event markets.

 

Sound and Recording: Applications and Theory, Seventh Edition
Professional Sound, October 2014

by Francis Rumsey and Tim McCormick. Since this wonderfully comprehensive textbook first appeared in 1992, Sound and Recording has been updated six times to keep up with rapid changes in studio technology and practices. In this, the seventh edition, the authors have substantially revised its digital audio chapters to include parametric and high resolution audio coding, new interfaces and file formats, networks, and innovations in workstation audio processing, including issues relating to mixing entirely within a computer (“inside the box”).

 

Basic Live Sound Reinforcement: A Practical Guide for Starting Live Audio
Lighting & Sound America, October 2014

by Raven Biederman and Penny Pattison. The title Basic Live Sound Reinforcement: a practical guide for starting live audio promises an elementary text aimed at newcomers to the live sound field, with an emphasis on practice over theory. While tightly restricting their focus to small venues with fairly simple sound systems, the authors have nonetheless approached the subject with an almost encyclopedic zeal that makes reading the book a bit tedious at times.

 

Acoustics: Sound Fields and Transducers
Lighting & Sound America, February 2013

by Leo L. Beranek and Tim J. Mellow. Intended as a textbook for senior or graduate engineering students and as a basic reference for practicing acoustical engineers, this is an updated edition of Beranek’s classic Acoustics, first published in 1954. It's likely that few sound designers, mixers, and technicians will take the time to wade through the book’s many extensive mathematical computations, but we can all be grateful that this text will be studied by the engineers and acousticians who build the facilities in which we enjoy the fruits of our labor.

 

Cover of Samll Signal Audio DesignSmall Signal Audio Design
Lighting & Sound America, October 2012

by Douglas Self. This review appears in a compendium of reviews, including John Huntington's Show Networks and Control Systems, and other volumes. Its technical heaviness balanced by the author’s light hearted and good humored approach, Douglas Self's fabulous Small Signal Audio Design and its companion website focus on audio at the electronic component level.

 

Cover of Recording Tips & TricksRecording Tips for Engineers
Professional Sound, August 2012

3rd edition, by Tim Crich. Skip the theory chapters at the beginning and buy the book for the tips and practical advice. Even old dogs with decades of experience will learn a few new tricks.

 

Cover of Modern Recording TechniquesModern Recording Techniques, 7th edition
Broadcaster, June 2012

by David Miles Huber & Robert Runstein. With its companion website, this is a monumental achievement in presenting a vast amount of material to beginning and intermediate students of audio through the media of print, audio and video.

 

Sound Reproduction: Loudspeakers and Rooms by Floyd E. Toole
Lighting & Sound America, November 2008

The title embodies the book's central theme: loudspeakers and rooms comprise a system that, along with listeners, must be approached as a whole by those of us who undertake to design listening experiences. In this 550-page work, Toole brings together—much of it in one place for the first time—a wealth of research, experience, and practice from scores of investigators like himself working over many decades, and distills from it a number of empirically substantiated recommendations for practice. In the process, he examines some beliefs and rituals long held sacred in some quarters, and finds many to be not merely irrelevant, but in some cases counterproductive.