Broadcast Sound Technology

Broadcast Sound Technology

1st Edition - June 29, 1990

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  • Author: Michael Talbot-Smith
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483161518

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Broadcast Sound Technology provides an explanation of the underlying principles of modern audio technology. Organized into 21 chapters, the book first describes the basic sound; behavior of sound waves; aspects of hearing, harming, and charming the ear; room acoustics; reverberation; microphones; phantom power; loudspeakers; basic stereo; and monitoring of audio signal. Subsequent chapters explore the processing of audio signal, sockets, sound desks, and digital audio. Analogue and digital tape recording and reproduction, as well as noise reduction, are also explained.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword



    1 Basic Sound

    What are Sound Waves?

    The Velocity of Sound Waves


    2 The Behavior of Sound Waves

    Reflection and Diffraction

    The Inverse Square Law


    Measuring Sound Pressure

    3 Aspects of Hearing

    The Ear and the Hearing Process

    The Ear's Response to Different Frequencies

    Loudness and the Phone

    4 Harming and Charming the Ear

    Hearing Impairment




    The Fallibility of the Ear

    5 Room Acoustics

    Sound Insulation

    Room Resonances

    6 Reverberation

    Reverberation Time

    Sabine's Formula

    Optimum Reverberation Times

    Sound Absorbers

    7 Microphones


    Moving-Coil Microphones

    Ribbon Microphones

    Electrostatic Microphones

    Electret and RF Electrostatic Microphones

    Directional Characteristics

    8 Phantom Power

    'Standard Phantom', '48 V Phantom'

    'Ά-Β Powering', 'Modulation Lead Powering'

    9 Loudspeakers

    The Radiating Surface

    The Transducer

    The Enclosure

    Multiple Unit Loudspeakers

    Specialized Loudspeakers

    Listening Tests

    10 Basic Stereo

    How We Locate Sounds

    Creating Artificial Time-of-Arrival Differences

    Phase of Stereo Signals

    Production of Stereo Signals

    Coincident Pair Arrangements

    Coincident Pairs and Panpots-Applications

    Spaced Microphones

    Compatibility: the M and S Signals

    M/S Microphones

    Headphones and Stereo

    Transmission of Stereo (Radio)

    11 Monitoring the Audio Signal

    The Dynamic Range of an Audio Signal

    Zero Level

    The VU (Volume Unit) Meter

    The PPM (Peak Program Meter)

    Other Types of Program Measuring Device

    Stereo PPMs

    Interpreting Stereo PPM Readings

    12 Processing the Audio Signal



    Noise Gates

    13 Sockets and Symbols

    Jacks and Sockets


    14 Sound Desks (Mixing Consoles)

    The Basic Functions of a Sound Desk

    A Typical Channel


    Output Stages


    PA and Foldback

    Pre-Fade Listen (PFL) and after-Fade Listen (AFL)

    Clean Feed

    Multiway Working

    Deriving Mono from Stereo


    Computer Assisted Mixing (CAM)

    Assignable Facilities

    15 Digital Audio



    Bits (Binary Digits)

    Bit-Rate (Bits Per Second)

    Error Detection

    16 Further Digits

    Time Division Multiplex (TDM)

    Bit-Rate Reduction

    Basic Sound-in-Syncs (SiS)

    NICAM 728

    17 Analogue Tape Recording and Reproduction

    The Recording Process

    The Replay Process

    Record and Replay Equalization


    Full-Size Professional Machines

    Cassette Machines

    Cartridge Machines

    Track Formats

    18 Digital Recording and Reproduction

    Principles of Digital Tape Recording and Replay

    The DASH System


    The Future of Tape Recording?

    Compact Discs


    19 Noise Reduction

    Dolby A

    Dolby B

    Dolby C

    Dolby SR ('Spectral Recording')


    Telecom c4

    20 Public Address

    Public Address or Sound Reinforcement?

    Requirements of PA

    The Problem of Howlround

    The Choice and Siting of Loudspeakers

    Choice of Microphones

    Electrical Processing of The Audio Signal

    The PA Mixer

    21 More Uses of Digits

    Reverberation or Echo?

    Artificial Reverberation

    Digital Delay

    Pitch Change

    Digital Sound Desks (Digital Mixing)


    Digital Editing

    Time Code

    MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)

    Further Reading


Product details

  • No. of pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 1990
  • Published: June 29, 1990
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483161518

About the Author

Michael Talbot-Smith

Affiliations and Expertise

Freelance audio consultant and technical writer. Formerly an audio engineer trainer at BBC Wood Norton.

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