Studying Sound


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An introduction to the concepts and principles of sound design practice, with more than 175 exercises that teach readers to put theory into practice

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Hearing and Listening
Chapter Two: Sound
Chapter Three: Recording Sounds
Chapter Four: Sounds in Space
Chapter Five: Sound Effects
Chapter Six: Mixing
Chapter Seven: Surround and Spatial Sound
Chapter Eight: Sound and Meaning
Chapter Nine: Sound for Story
Chapter Ten: Conclusions and Wrap-Up

About the Author

Karen Collins is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of ten books on sound, including Game Sound and Playing with Sound (both published by the MIT Press), and is the director of the film Beep- A Documentary History of Game Sound.


"In Studying Sound, Karen Collins has condensed years of experience into a readable and highly informative learning resource. Packed full of indispensable tips and tricks, pithy experiments and exercises, and useful real-world anecdotes, Studying Sound is destined to become the budding sound designer's go-to reference and lifelong survival manual."
-Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard, Obel Professor of Music, Aalborg University; author of Sonic Virtuality and The Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Reference Handbook

Studying Sound
teaches sound design as a rich and complex craft that prepares the reader to work in media and the arts. Collins methodically brings together technology, theory, and practice into a valuable course of study for anyone keen to understand how sound operates."
-Larry Sider, The School of Sound

"Karen Collins has produced an impressive and pedagogically brilliant textbook for all of those studying sound design in the twenty-first century. It places the theory and mechanics of sound where it should be: center stage. This book will be an essential guide to students of sound design for years to come."
-Michael Bull, Professor of Sound Studies, University of Sussex; author of Sirens

"Is it possible to teach sound? Karen Collins presents an indispensable and fundamental introduction to understanding, working with, and analyzing sound on all levels. From now on, to teach the basics of sound means working with this book."
-Holger Schulze, Professor in Musicology, University of Copenhagen

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