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Digital audio editing fundamentals
Jackson W., Apress, New York, NY, 2015. 142 pp. Type: Book (978-1-484216-47-7)
Date Reviewed: Apr 6 2016

Hands-on tutorials to popular free software are fairly common. What distinguishes this short (142 page) book is its coherent and concise explanation of foundational concepts.

Instead of jumping into using Audacity, chapters 1 and 2 are cogent expositions on the nature of sound and of the musical instrument digital interface (MIDI). Even for a seasoned audio editor such as myself (ahem, at our local community radio station [1]), these fundamental explanations are a good refresher and let the future user know the why behind the what. The next two chapters continue in this vein because many beginners will not understand how the many common audio formats differ or what is meant by sampling.

The real “meat” of the book, as far as actual audio editing in Audacity is concerned, takes place in chapters 5 through 10. It is here that the user will gain instruction on noise removal, trimming, editing, and audio processing. Good information on the use of audio tracks is covered from a hands-on point of view.

Chapter 11 on tone generation will, I fear, be of little use; however, the next chapter on file compression is excellent. The final chapters on programming interactivity and content delivery are too brief and superficial, and would be better left out or expanded upon.

Keeping up to date with software versions is always a challenge. This title is based on Audacity version 2.1, while others that offer good competition are more dated [2,3]. The index is decent. For the newbie, this brief introduction will be useful.

Reviewer:  David Bellin Review #: CR144295 (1606-0382)
1) WCOM Community Radio Home Page, (03/28/2001).
2) Schroder, C. The book of Audacity: record, edit, mix, and master with the free audio editor. No Starch Press, San Francisco, CA, 2011.
3) Rhodes, J. S.; Benoit, G.; Boyer, J. Audacity 101: the unofficial Audacity tutorial & step by step guide. CreateSpace, North Charleston, SC, 2012.
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