This book is written primarily for musicians . The scope of what that word means has expanded: the word "musician" rightfully applies to recording engineers and producers , to composers and arrangers, and to DJs and electronic performers. If you're using computers and other technology to produce music or any other type of sound, this book is written for you.
Topics like acoustics, MIDI, audio processing, synthesis, mixing, mastering, notation, video scoring, and electronic performance have each been the subject of numerous individual books. But the reality is that a wide group of people need to use many or all of these techniques in combination. Products like Apple Logic Pro, Digidesign Pro Tools, Cakewalk SONAR, and others provide resources for handling all of these tasks in a single package. So clearly, there's some overlap in these techniques and among the people who use them.
Because each topic could fill a whole book, it would not have been practical for us to cover every detail. Instead, this book provides an overview in each area, starting with the basics. In these pages you'll find the terminology and concepts that software and hardware manuals may frustratingly assume you already know, as well as some practical advice on how to apply specific production techniques to your music. If you're new to the field, this will be more than enough to get you started doing hands-on work with your tools of choice. If you've been working with the technology for a while, Real World Digital Audio will help ease the learning curve as you add more advanced tools to your studio and delve into more specialized books on the subject. You'll find references to some of the seminal works scattered throughout the text.
The "industrial strength techniques" tagline of the Real World series challenged us to cover power- user techniques, but we're especially interested in the needs of beginners . The person who has years of recording experience might know absolutely nothing about sound design for synthesizers. So although this book is densely packed, we've made every effort to explain each topic in detail rather than assume what you know.
Real World Digital Audio focuses primarily on the computer, not as the exclusive device for accomplishing every task, but as a hub that you'll sometimes use with other equipment. For an increasing majority of musicians and engineers alike, that's the reality of modern audio production. This doesn't mean some of the techniques discussed in this book can't be applied if you're working with the hardware counterparts of some of the software tools mentioned. New audio hardware often resembles or even incorporates computer software. Ultimately, even as specifics change, many of the underlying concepts remain . But where appropriate, our illustrations do focus on computers and software.