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Audio Engineering: Know It All - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781856175265, 9780080949642

Audio Engineering: Know It All, Volume 1

1st Edition

Authors: Douglas Self Ben Duncan Ian Sinclair Richard Brice John Linsley Hood Andrew Singmin Don Davis Eugene Patronis John Watkinson
Paperback ISBN: 9781856175265
eBook ISBN: 9780080949642
Imprint: Newnes
Published Date: 29th September 2008
Page Count: 936
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Table of Contents

Part I Fundamentals of Sound

Chapter 1 Audio Principles
1.1 The physics of sound
1.2 Wavelength
1.3 Periodic and aperiodic signals
1.4 Sound and the ear
1.5 The cochlea
1.6 Mental processes
1.7 Level and loudness
1.8 Frequency discrimination
1.9 Frequency response and linearity
1.10 The sine wave
1.11 Root mean square measurements
1.12 The deciBel
1.13 Audio level metering
Chapter 2. Measurement
2.1 Concepts Underlying the Decibel and Its Use in Sound Systems
2.2 Measuring Electrical Power
2.3 Expressing Power as an Audio Level
2.4 Conventional Practice
2.5 The Decibel in Acoustics—LP, LW, and LI
2.6 Acoustic Intensity Level (LI), Acoustic Power Level (LW), and Acoustic Pressure Level (LP)
2.7 Inverse Square Law
2.8 Directivity Factor
2.9 Ohm’s Law
2.10 A Decibel Is a Decibel Is a Decibel
2.11 Older References
2.12 The Equivalent Level (LEQ) in Noise Measurements
2.13 Combining Decibels
2.14 Combining Voltage
2.15 Using the Log Charts
2.16 Finding the Logarithm of a Number to Any Base
2.17 Semitone Intervals
2.18 System Gain Changes
2.19 The VU and the VI Instrument
2.20 Calculating the Number of Decades in a Frequency Span
2.21 Deflection of the Eardrum at Various Sound Levels
2.22 The Phon
2.23 The Tempered Scale
2.24 Measuring Distortion
2.25 The Acoustical Meaning of Harmonic Distortion
2.26 Playback Systems in Studios
2.27 Decibels and Percentages
2.28 Summary
Chapter 3 Acoustic Environment
3.1 The Acoustic Environment
3.2 Inverse Square Law
3.3 Atmospheric Absorption
3.4 Velocity of Sound
3.5 Temperature-Dependent Velocity
3.6 The Effect of Altitude on the Velocity of Sound in Air
3.7 Typical Wavelengths
3.8 Doppler Effect
3.9 Reflection and Refraction
3.10 Effect of a Space Heater on Flutter Echo
3.11 Absorption
3.12 Classifying Sound Fields
3.13 The Acoustic Environment Indoors
3.14 Conclusion
II. Audio Electronics
Chapter 4 Components
4.1 Building Block Components
Chapter 5 Power supply design
5.1 High Power Systems
5.2. Solid State Rectifiers
5.3. Music Power
5.4. Influence of Signal Type on Power Supply Design
5.5. High Current Power Supply Systems
5.6. Half-wave and Full-wave Rectification
5.7. DC Supply Line Ripple Rejection
5.8. Voltage Regulator Systems
5.9. Series Regulator Layouts
5.10. Over-current Protection
5.11. Integrated Circuit (Three Terminal) Voltage Regulator ICs
5.12. Typical Contemporary Commercial Practice
5.13. Battery Supplies
5.14. Switch-mode Power Supplies

III Preamplifiers and Amplifiers
Chapter 6 Introduction to Audio Amplification
CHAPTER 7 Preamplifiers and input signals
7.9 Voltage amplifiers and controls
Chapter 8 Interfacing and processing
8.1 The Input
8.2 RF filtration
8.3 The balanced input
8.4 Sub-sonic protection and high-pass filtering
8.5 Damageprotection
8.6 What are process functions?
8.7 Computer control
Chapter 9 Audio amplifiers
9.1. Junction Transistors
9.2. Control of Operating Bias
9.3. Stage Gain
9.4. Basic Junction Transistor Circuit Configurations
9.5. Emitter-follower Systems
9.6. Thermal Dissipation Limits
9.6. Junction Field Effect Transistors (JFETs)
9.7. Insulated Gate FETs (MOSFETs)
9.8. Power BJTs vs. Power MOSFETs as Amplifier Output Devices
9.9. U and D MOSFETs
9.10. Useful Circuit Components
9.11. Circuit Oddments
9.12. Slew Rate Limiting
Chapter 10 Audio amplifier performance
10.1 A brief history of amplifiers
10.2 Amplifier architectures
10.3 The three-stage architecture
10.4 Power amplifier classes
10.5 AC- and DC-coupled amplifiers
10.6 Negative feedback in power amplifiers
Chapter 11. Valve (tube-based) amplifiers
11.1 Valves or Vacuum Tubes
11.2 Solid State Devices
11.4 Single-ended vs. Push–pull Operation
11.5 Phase Splitters
11.6 Output Stages
11.7 Output (Load-matching) Transformer
11.8 Effect of Output Load Impedance
11.9 Available Output Power
Chapter 12 Negative feedback
12.1 Amplifier stability and NFB
12.2 Maximising the NFB
12.3 Maximising linearity before feedback
12.4 References
Chapter 13 Noise and grounding
13.1. Audio amplifier PCB design
13.2. Amplifier grounding
13.3. Ground loops: how they work and how to deal with them
13.4 Class I and Class II
13.5 Mechanical layout and design considerations
Part IV Digital Audio
Chapter 14 Digital audio fundamentals
14.1 Audio as data
14.2 What is an audio signal?
14.3 Why binary?
14.4 Why digital?
14.5 Some digital audio processes outlined
14.6 Time compression and expansion
14.7 Error correction and concealment
14.8 Channel coding
14.9 Audio compression
14.10 Disk-based recording
14.11 Rotary-head digital recorders
14.12 Digital audio broadcasting
14.13 Networks
Chapter 15 Representation of Audio Signals
15.1 Introduction
15.2 Analogue and Digital
15.3 Elementary Logical Processes
15.4 The Significance of Bits and Bobs
15.5 Transmitting Digital Signals
15.6 The Analogue Audio Waveform
15.7 Arithmetic
15.8 Digital Filtering
15.9 Other Binary Operations
15.10 Sampling and Quantising
15.12 Transform and Masking Coders
15.13 Bibliography
15.14 Other titles of interest
Chapter 16.Compact disc
Chapter 17 Digital audio recording basics
17.1 Types of Media
17.2 Recording Media Compared
17.3 Some Digital Audio Processes Outlined
17.4 Hard Disc Recorders
17.5 The PCM Adaptor
17.6 An Open Reel Digital Recorder
17.7 Rotary Head Digital Recorders
17.8 Digital Compact Cassette
17.9 Editing Digital Audio Tape
Chapter 18 Digital audio interfaces
18.1 Digital audio interfaces
18.2 MADI (AES10–1991) serial multi-channel audio digital interface
Chapter 19 Data compression
19.1 Lossless compression
19.2 Intermediate compression systems
19.3 Psychoacoustic masking systems
19.4 MPEG layer 1 compression (PASC)
19.5 MPEG layer 2 audio coding (MUSICAM)
19.6 MPEG layer 3
19.7 MPEG-4
19.8 Digital audio production
Chapter 20 Digital audio production
20.1 Digital audio workstations (DAWs)
20.2 Audio data files
20.3 Sound cards
20.4 PCI bus versus ISA bus
20.5 Disks and other peripheral hardware
20.6 Hard drive interface standards
20.7 Digital noise generation – chain-code generators
20.8 Notes

Chapter 21 Other Digital Audio Devices
21.1 Video Recorders
21.2 HDCD
21.3 CD Writers
21.4 MPEG Systems
21.5 MP3
21.6 Transcribing a Recording by Computer
21.7 WAV Onwards
21.8 DAM CD
21.9 DVD and Audio
V. Microphone and Loudspeaker Technology
Chapter 22 Microphone technology
22.1 Microphone Sensitivity
22.2 Microphone Selection
22.3 Nature of Response and Directional Characteristics
22.3 Wireless Microphones
22.4 Microphone Connectors, Cables, and Phantom Power
22.5 Measurement Microphones
22.6 Bibliography
29.17. References
Chapter 23 Loudspeakers
23.1 Radiation of Sound
23.2 Characteristic Impedance
23.3 Radiation Impedance
23.4 Radiation from a Piston
23.5 Directivity
23.6. Sound Pressure Produced at Distance r
23.6. Electrical Analogue
23.7. Diaphragm/Suspension Assembly
23.8. Diaphragm Size
23.9. Diaphragm Profile
23.10. Straight-Sided Cones
23.11 Material
23.12 Soft Domes
23.13 Suspensions
23.14 Voice Coil
23.15 Moving Coil Loudspeaker
23.16 Motional Impedance
Chapter 24 Loudspeaker enclosures
24.1 Loudspeakers
24.2 The interrelation of components
Chapter 25 Headphones
25.1 A Brief History
25.2 Pros and Cons of Headphone Listening
25.3 Headphone Types
25.4 Basic Headphone Types
25.5 Measuring Headphones
25.6 The Future
Part VI. Sound Reproduction Systems
Chapter 26 Tape Recording
26.1 Introduction
26.2 Magnetic theory
26.3 The physics of magnetic recording
26.4 Bias
26.5 Equalisation
26.6 Tape speed
26.7 Speed stability
26.8 Recording formats – analogue machines
Chapter 27 Recording consoles
27.1 Introduction
27.2 Standard levels and level meters
27.3 Standard operating levels and line-up tones
27.4 Digital line-up
27.5 Sound mixer architecture and circuit blocks
27.6 Audio mixer circuitry
27.7 Mixer automation
27.8 Digital consoles
27.9 Note
Chapter 28 Video synchronization
28.1. Introduction
28.2. Persistence of vision
28.3. Cathode ray tube and raster scanning
28.4. Television signal
28.5. Colour perception
28.6. Colour television
28.7. Analogue video interfaces
28.8. Digital video
28.9. Embedded digital audio in the digital video interface
28.10. Timecode
28.11. Notes
Chapter 29 Room acoustics
29.1 Introduction
29.2 Noise Control
29.3 Studio and Control Room Acoustics
Part VII Audio Test and Measurement
CHAPTER 30 Fundamentals and instruments



The Newnes Know It All Series takes the best of what our authors have written to create hard-working desk references that will be an engineer's first port of call for key information, design techniques and rules of thumb. Guaranteed not to gather dust on a shelf!

Audio engineers need to master a wide area of topics in order to excel. The Audio Engineering Know It All covers every angle, including digital signal processing, power supply design, microphone and loudspeaker technology as well as audio compression.

Key Features

  • A 360-degree view from our best-selling authors
  • Includes such topics as fundamentals, compression, and test and measurement
  • The ultimate hard-working desk reference; all the essential information, techniques and tricks of the trade in one volume


Electronics Engineers; Audio Engineers and Technicians


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29th September 2008
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About the Authors

Douglas Self

Affiliations and Expertise

Douglas Self has a worldwide reputation as a leading authority on audio amplifier design, but it is perhaps less well known that he has devoted a good deal of study to small-signal circuitry, including many years as the chief design engineer at one of the major mixing console manufacturers, where his achievements included winning a Design Council Award. His rigorous, skeptical, and thoroughly practical approach to design has been applied to the small signal area as well, and some of the results to be found in this book. Senior designer of high-end audio amplifiers and contributor to Electronics World magazine, Douglas has worked with many top audio names, including Cambridge Audio, TAG-McLaren Audio, and Soundcraft Electronics.

Ben Duncan

Ben Duncan is well known to many users of audio power amplifiers around the world, both professional and domestic, through his hundreds of articles, reviews and research papers on music technology in the UK and US press, and through his part in creating several notable professional power amplifiers.Since 1977, he has been involved in the design of over 70 innovative, high-end audio products used by recording and broadcast studios, on stages, in clubs and by the most critical domestic listeners - as well as creating bespoke equipment for top musicians. Born in London, he has travelled widely but has lived mainly in Lincolnshire, home of his family for over 150 years. Outside a wide spectrum of music and festivals his interests include managing an organic garden, woodland and nature reserve; industrial archaeology, historic building restoration, psychic research, and 20th century political, social and engineering history. He is twice co-author of the book Rock Hardware in which he has chronicled the history of rock’n’roll PA.

Affiliations and Expertise

International consultant in high quality Audio Electronics, Pro & Hi-Fi; and prolific equipment designer. See Ben Duncan Research websites.

Ian Sinclair

Ian Sinclair was born in 1932 in Tayport, Fife, and graduated from the University of St. Andrews in 1956. In that year, he joined the English Electric Valve Co. in Chelmsford, Essex, to work on the design of specialised cathode-ray tubes, and later on small transmitting valves and TV transmitting tubes. In 1966, he became an assistant lecturer at Hornchurch Technical College, and in 1967 joined the staff of Braintree College of F.E. as a lecturer. His first book, “Understanding Electronic Components” was published in 1972, and he has been writing ever since, particularly for the novice in Electronics or Computing. The interest in computing arose after seeing a Tandy TRS80 in San Francisco in 1977, and of his 204 published books, about half have been on computing topics, starting with a guide to Microsoft Basic on the TRS80 in 1979. He left teaching in 1984 to concentrate entirely on writing, and has also gained experience in computer typesetting, particularly for mathematical texts. He has recently visited Seattle to see Microsoft at work, and to remind them that he has been using Microsoft products longer than most Microsoft employees can remember. Ian Sinclair is the author of the following Made Simple books: Lotus 1-2-3- (2.4 DOS version) MS-DOS (up to version 6.22) PagePlus for Windows 3.1 Hard drives He is also the author of many other books published under our Newnes imprint.Visit Ian's website at

Affiliations and Expertise

Long-standing technical author, UK

Richard Brice

Commercial Director of Miranda Technologies, a global company specialising in television and channel-branding equipment. Worked previously as a senior designer in several of Britain’s top broadcast companies. Previously Richard worked for Pro Bel where he designed the Freeway product series. For this he was cited in Post Update magazine as “one of the twelve disciples of TV design”. Richard was also responsible for the stereo enhancement system `Francinstien’ and the ‘OM’ three-dimensional stereo system. Both these systems have been used on many records, tapes and CDs as well as on television and film scores.Richard is author of Multimedia and Virtual Reality, Music Engineering and Newnes Guide to Digital Television.Director, Electric Perception Ltd

Affiliations and Expertise

Commercial Director of Miranda Technologies, a global company specialising in television and channel-branding equipment in Saint-Laurent, Canada

John Linsley Hood

John Linsley Hood (1925-2004) was head of the electronics research laboratories at British cellophane, for nearly 25 years. He worked on many instrumentation projects including width gauges and moisture meters, and made several inventions which were patented under the Cellophane name. Prior to his work at British Cellophane he worked in the electronics laboratory of the Department of Atomic Energy at Sellafield, Cumbria. He studied at Reading University after serving in the military as a radar mechanic. Linsley Hood published more than 30 technical feature articles in Wireless World magazine and its later incarnation Electronics World. He also contributed to numerous magazines including Electronics Today.

Affiliations and Expertise

(1925-2004) Independent Technical Author

Andrew Singmin

Affiliations and Expertise

Most recently Quality Assurance Manager at Accelerix in Ottawa, Canada. Currently working as an ISO 9000 Quality Assurance Manager for Conexant Systems Inc. in Ottawa, Canada.Over 25 years of experience in electronics/semiconductor device technology.Has written for Popular Electronics and the Electronics Handbook, as well asBeginning Analog Electronics Through Projects, 2E and Beginning Digital Electronics Through Projects, Modern Electronics Soldering Techniques,Dictionary of Modern Electronics Technology, and Practical Audio Amplifiercircuit Projects

Don Davis

Don Davis and his wife, Carolyn, founded Synergetic Audio Concepts in 1972, he later retired in 1995. Don is a Senior member of the IEEE, Fellow of the AES and has received the Heyser Award, Life Time Achievement Award from NSCA and from USITT, Recognition for participation in the Brussels World Fair 1958 from the U.S. Dept. of State, and for the U.S. Exhibition in Moscow in 1959.

Affiliations and Expertise

Don Davis and his wife, Carolyn, founded Synergetic Audio Concepts in 1972, retired in 1995. Don is a Senior member of the IEEE, Fellow of the AES and has received the Heyser Award, Life Time Achievement Award from NSCA and from USITT, Recognition for participation in the Brussels World Fair 1958 from the U.S. Dept. of State, and for the U.S. Exhibition in Moscow in 1959.

Eugene Patronis

Eugene Patronis is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He has also served as an industrial and governmental consultant in the fields of acoustics and electronics.

Affiliations and Expertise

Eugene Patronis is Professor of Physics Emeritus at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He has also served as an industrial and governmental consultant in the fields of acoustics and electronics.

John Watkinson

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

Reading, UK International consultant in audio, video and data recording.