Master Handbook of Acoustics Paperback – Jun 22 2009
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About the Author
F. Alton Everest was a leading acoustics consultant. He was co-founder and director of the Science Film Production division of the Moody Institute of Science, and was also section chief of the Subsea Sound Research section of the University of California.
Ken C. Pohlmann is well known as an audio educator, consultant, and author. He is professor emeritus at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, consultant for many audio manufacturers and car makers, and author of numerous articles and books including Principles of Digital Audio.
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The advantage of Everest's book is other books will tell you "it's like this" or "it's like that", but never get down to why. You scratch your head and scribble diagrams trying to sort it out. If you read Everest first -- and understand him -- you can breeze by all those tortured half-explanations. You can see how they are correct and what they are overlooking. You'll get more out of other books by having this one. If you are responsible for sound at live concerts, then you know how convenient it is to quickly understand the hall you just arrived at. Deep basic knowledge is an asset at times like that.
Bottom Line: Everest's book gives you a solid grounding, but is probably not enough by itself. It is a valuable reference. You can turn to it whenever you get thrown by some technical argument about the behaviour of sound in an internet article, at gearslutz, or in someone else's book. If you are really in this game, how can you not have a copy of Everest?
You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about...
"[Here are the basics of Acoustics]... But if you want a truly professional job, you should find an expert on acoustics" kinda garbage.
You won't find that here.
This guy really goes deep. As deep as you've always wanted someone to go, in your journey to understanding the science of acoustics.
You'll find yourself learning the required math and thinking "OK, this math is really not that complicated, I can handle this" and you'll find yourself regularly saying to yourself "WOW that's so interesting!" There is so much cool information. You really leave this book feeling confident that you have a WELL-ROUNDED knowledge of acoustics.
If you've ever struggled to find good information on acoustics and wondered where you could really find the truth about it all -- your search is over.
Of course you should continue to learn acoustics from different sources... but this is your textbook. Your induction to the world of acoustics experts.
Only the last two chapters seem out of place. They outline the design of some acoustical software and would mostly be of interest to people writing such software. Still, don't let this dissuade you; the rest of the book is well worth the price.
My first reaction was "wow this is heavy" , that can be taken in either context, as it is about 5lbs, I guess? and second the depth of the material is well beyond what I had anticipated. But it is impressive and one night danced my fingers through the table of contents, and looked at maybe 10 different chapter sub titles and I would say in 70-80% of the cases I could find something useful out of. I am not saying I would use that amount of data but I am trying to estimate what the average reader might expect, I already own the book.. I think it is enough of a resource to kept on hand, and a chance to learn more.
I should describe one of the reasons I bought this is, I have encountered rooms, usually peoples living rooms, or family rooms that have such horrible acoustics. I can't imagine how you can make them better, so much concrete or glass or both. People whom I helped in the past know I like challenges. Already from a few hours in this book, some situations are such you could end up spending thousands of dollars to reach the level, that I had in my plastered wall 4th floor apt. in the East Village in the sixties. Those old places great, if I closed my windows no sound would escape , never heard anyone above me or below.
I think for these people the best bet, and I found this here on Amazon, go to Electronics Accesories and look up Auralex Acoustic, and they had a service you could draw and measure out you room or rooms, I believe I printed the form off Amazon and you send it to Auralex. They would for free or even if you had to pay something these guys will lay out a plan of attack. I have used for years Auralex products, as well as others for years , I have other corner treatments I prefer.
In my home theatre set up my Ctr. and R/L front speakers are on Auralex, my subwoofer sits on a Subdude platform all all from Amazon. Like I say I use other products as well. I have spent in this room about $500.00 on acoustics, I don't count the window treatments I use because the save energy and drapes add todecor as well.
Acoustics are as important as equipment in how we hear, the ancient Greeks used the Hillside to make outddoor theatres in which you could hear a person speak 300 feet or more. For ages the plaster and horsehair was the ultimate in Opera House and Concert Halls. Today Acoustic engineers have a large bag of tricks.
I have been in and around sound on many levels and once was given an oppurtunity to work recording, so I have a bit of a history with this but I think this old dog can learn a few new tricks
The other option in most areas is to hire someone to come in and they will set up microphones and take measurements and lay out a plan of attack, if it is a new place and you want it right have someone who is a certified profesional design the whole space for you if it's a home theatre it is you audio and video furnishing cost and can be designed for the whole unit, most of all you want to enjoy. Good Luck and Good Listening.
Please excuse any errors, I don't have time tonight to check.
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