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Art of Digital Audio


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Table of Contents

Why Digital?: Introduction; What is digital audio? Why binary? Why digital? Some digital audio techniques outlined; The sampler; The programmable delay; Time compression; Synchronization; Error correction and concealment; Channel coding; Compression; Hard disk recorders; The PCM adaptor; An open-reel digital recorder; Rotary head digital recorders; Digital Compact Cassette; Audio in PCs; Networks; References. Some Audio Principles: The physics of sound; The speed of sound; Wavelength; Periodic and aperiodic signals; Sound and the ear; Hearing; The cochlea; Mental processes; Level and loudness; Frequency discrimination; Critical bands; Beats; Music and the ear; The sensation of pitch; Frequency response and linearity; The sine wave; Root mean square measurements; The deciBel; Audio level metering; Vectors; Phase angle and power factor; Audio cabling; EMC; Electrical safety; References. Digital Principles: Pure binary code; Two's complement; Introduction to digital processing; Logic elements; Storage elements; Binary adding; The computer; The processor; Interrupts; Programmable timers; Timebase compression and correction; Gain control; Digital faders and controls; A digital mixer; Effects; The phase-locked loop; Multiplexing principles; Packets; Statistical multiplexing; Filters; Transforms; FIR and IIR filters; FIR filters; Sampling rate conversion; IIR filters; Sampling rate conversion; IIR Filters; The z-transform; Bandpass filters; Higher-order filters: cascading; Pole/zero positions; The Fourier transform; The discrete cosine transform (DCT); The wavelet transform; Modulo-n arithmetic; The Galois field; Noise and probability; References. Conversion: Introduction to conversion; Sampling and aliasing; Reconstruction; Filter design; Choice of sampling rate; Sample and hold; Sampling clock jitter; Aperture effect; Quantizing; Quantizing error; Introduction to dither; Requantizing and digital dither; Dither techniques-Rectangular pdf dither, Triangular pdf dither, Gaussian pdf dither; Basic digital-to-analog conversion; Basic analog-to-digital conversion; Alternative convertors; Oversampling; Oversampling without noise shaping; Noise shaping; Noise-shaping ADCs; A one-bit DAC; One-bit noise-shaping ADCs; Operating levels in digital audio; References. Compression: Introduction; Lossless and perceptive coding; Compression principles; Codec level calibration; Quality measurement; The limits; Some guidelines; Audio compression tools; Sub-band coding; Transform coding; Compression formats; MPEG Audio compression; MPEG Layer 1; MPEG Layer 11; MPEG Layer 111, MPEG-2 AAC; apt-x; Dolby AC-3; ATRAC; References. Digital Recording and Transmission Principles: Introduction to the channel; Types of transmission channel; Types of recording medium; Magnetism; Magnetic recording; Azimuth recording and rotary heads; Optical disks; Magneto-optical disks; Equalization; Data separation; Slicing; Jitter rejection; Channel coding; Recording-oriented codes; Transmission General-purpose codes; Miller2 code; Group codes; 4/5 code of MADI; 2/3 code; EFM code in CD; The 8/10 group code of DAT; Tracking signals; Convolutional RLL codes; Graceful degradation; Randomizing; Communications codes; Convolutional randomizing; Synchronizing; References. Error correction: Sensitivity of message error; Error mechanisms; Basic error correction; Error handling; Concealment by interpolation; Parity; Block and convolutional codes; Hamming code; Hamming distance; Cyclic codes; Punctured codes; Applications of cyclic codes; Burst correction; Introduction to the Reed-Solomon codes; R-S calculations; Correction by erasure; Interleaving; Product codes; Introduction to error correction in DAT; Editing interleaved recordings; References. Transmission: Introduction; Introduction to AES/EBU interface; The electrical interface; Frame structure; Talkback in auxiliary data; Professional channel status; Consumer channel status; User bits; MADI - multi-channel digital audio interface; MADI data transmission; MADI frame structure; MADI audio channel format; Fibre-optic interfacing; Synchronizing; Asynchronous operation; Routing; Networks; Introduction to NICAM 728; Audio in digital television broadcasting; Packets and time stamps; MPEG transport streams; Clock references; Program Specific Information (PSI); Multiplexing; Introduction to DAB; DAB principles; References. Digital Audio Tape Recorders: Types of recorder; PCM adaptors; Introduction to DAT; Track following in DAT; Aligning for interchange; DAT data channel; Sound and subcode in shuttle; Timecode in DAT; Non-tracking replay; Quarter-inch rotary; Half-inch and 8mm rotary formats; Digital audio in VTRs; Stationary-head recorders; DASH format; DCC - digital compact cassette; References. Magnetic disk drives: Types of disk drive; Dick terminology; Structure of disk; Principle of flying head; Reading and writing; Moving the heads; Controlling a seek; Rotation; Servo-surface disks; Soft sectoring; Winchester technology; Servo-surface Winchester drives; Rotary positioners; Floppy disks; Error handling; RAID arrays; The disk controller; Digital audio disk systems; Arranging the audio data on disk; Spooling files; Broadcast applications; Sampling rate and playing time; References. Digital Audio Editing: Introduction; Editing and random access media; Editing on recording media; The structure of an editor; Timecode; Locating the edit point; Editing with disk drives; CD mastering; Editing in DAT; Editing in open-reel recorders; Jump editing; References. Digital Audio in Optical Disks: Types of optical disk; CD, DVD and MD contrasted; CD and MD - disk construction; Rejecting surface contamination; Rejecting surface contamination; Playing optical disks; Focus systems; Tracking systems; Typical pickups; DVD and CD readout in detail; How optical disks are made; Direct metal mastering; MiniDisc read / write in detail; How recordable MiniDiscs are made; Channel code of CD and MiniDisc; Deserialization; Error-correction strategy; Track layout of MD; CD subcode; MD table of contents; CD player structure; MD recorder / player structure; Structure of a DVD player; References. Sound Quality Considerations: Introduction; Information capacity; Loudspeaker problems; Subjective and objective testing; Objective testing; Subjective testing; Digital audio quality; Use of high sampling rates; Digital audio interface quality; Compression in stereo; References.

About the Author

John Watkinson is an independent international consultant in advanced applications of electronics to audiovisual and avionics systems. He is a Fellow of the AES, a member of the Society of Expert Witnesses, and the British Computer Society and is a chartered information systems practitioner. He presents lectures, seminars and training courses worldwide. He is the author of many other Elsevier books, including The Art of DigitalVideo, An Introduction to Digital Video, Convergence in Broadcast and Communications Media, Television Fundamentals and The Art of the Helicopter.


'It's hugely informative, well illustrated and an essential source of reference.'
Malcolm Nelson in Line Up magazine

'...a full dissection of all things digital... accessibility is one of this book's strong points.'
Future Music magazine

Reviews of previous editions

'Once in a while, someone writes a technical book which becomes the definitive work or industry bible. John Watkinson has done that with The Art of Digital Audio'.
New Scientist

' As a bridge between introductory text and technical dissertations or papers, The Art of Digital Audio remains highly recommended.' Studio Sound

' Watkinson writes clearly and makes frequent use of diagrams, what he has produced here is an authoritative text book. As a reference work, this book is superb. In short, an essential reference work for any modern recording facility. Sound Engineer & Producer

'Since digital audio has become a commercial reality there has been a need for a comprehensive textbook on the subject; a need fulfilled by John Watkinson. ... The Art of Digital Audio is highly informative but approachable and refreshing at the same time, hence widening its appeal outside the university campus to DIY-ers and enthusiasts alike. Highly recommended. Paul Miller, Hi-Fi News

'Mr Watkinson's work commands pride of place amongst the publications on digital audio techniques.' EBU Review (European Broadcasting Union journal)

Selected by Choice - the magazine of the American College Libraries Association - as one of their OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC BOOKS.
'For some time there has been a need for a comprehensive book on this subject. This book covers both the essential theory of all aspects of audio reproduction and a good deal of its practice. Highly recommended as an acquisition for libraries serving either technical groups or the public who require an authoritative overview of digital audio reproduction.'

'The Art of Digital Audio by John Watkinson remains the best in its field.'
David Josephson, Sound & Communications

'It's a must for all audio engineers interested in complete digital fluency. ' Radio World

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