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Présentation de l'éditeur

Designing Sound teaches students and professional sound designers to understand and create sound effects starting from nothing. Its thesis is that any sound can be generated from first principles, guided by analysis and synthesis. The text takes a practitioner's perspective, exploring the basic principles of making ordinary, everyday sounds using an easily accessed free software. Readers use the Pure Data (Pd) language to construct sound objects, which are more flexible and useful than recordings. Sound is considered as a process, rather than as data--an approach sometimes known as "procedural audio." Procedural sound is a living sound effect that can run as computer code and be changed in real time according to unpredictable events. Applications include video games, film, animation, and media in which sound is part of an interactive process. The book takes a practical, systematic approach to the subject, teaching by example and providing background information that offers a firm theoretical context for its pragmatic stance. Many of the examples follow a pattern, beginning with a discussion of the nature and physics of a sound, proceeding through the development of models and the implementation of examples, to the final step of producing a Pure Data program for the desired sound. Different synthesis methods are discussed, analyzed, and refined throughout. After mastering the techniques presented in Designing Sound, students will be able to build their own sound objects for use in interactive applications and other projects.

Biographie de l'auteur

Andy Farnell has a degree in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering from University College London and now specializes in digital audio signal processing. He has worked as a sound effects programmer for BBC radio and television and as a programmer on server-side applications for product search and data storage.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 étoiles sur 5 16 commentaires
35 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A truly remarkable book 9 janvier 2011
Par T. Thompson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I ordered Designing Sound to consider using it in a computer audio class. As soon as I got it, I had to jump in. The book itself is inviting, and the writing style is engaging. Once I started, I found that I couldn't put it down. What is so remarkable is the balancing act that Farnell pulls off so admirably. To explain what I mean, I must give a brief description of the pedagogical approach.

The primary goal is that students learn to design sounds (for game audio, etc.) using physical modeling. It cannot be assumed that students have the requisite background in the several fields that come into play, so the book must introduce those first. They need to know and be able to implement some physics (not just essential wave theory and acoustics, but the physics related to all kinds of things that make sounds). They need background in psychoacoustics (anatomy, perception, cognition--yes; but also listening strategies, physiological responses to sound, and how sound interacts with language and knowledge). They should understand how programming and digital audio works, and have some audio processing and synthesis tools in their belt. They should do exercises using a particular programming environment, so they must learn about that language and how to use it. They must understand how interactive gaming and immersive environments work. And, of course, they need to learn a theory and a set of strategies for sound design. Tall order! But the execution is stunning. The beauty is that the background information is presented in such a way that is tailored to the goals of the book.

In the first section, Theory, Farnell breezes through the important physics and psychoacoustics concepts through a series of concept summaries that are so well organized, focused, and written that the whole thing works quite well. Each section has plenty of references for further reading, but the text is adequate for gaining a working understanding of the key concepts. I described this as a series of summaries, but I should clarify that the coverage is really quite thorough.

The author uses the Pd environment, which works very well for this. The coverage in the "Tools" section is "just what you need and nothing you don't need," but the trick is in the brilliant organization of the material and the comprehensible explanations.

The "Techniques" section is fairly thin compared to more traditional digital audio books, but it is sufficient for the task. If you are looking for a book focused on detailed coverage of techniques for synthesis, filtering, spatialization, and so on, this is not it.

The first three sections are background, and the fourth section, Practicals, is the goal. Farnell gives the reader/student no fewer than 35 hands-on exercises in sound design. For each sound type, whether natural or synthetic, the first step is to analyze how the sound is made, down to the smallest detail. The second step is to create abstractions to perform the various components of the creation of the sound. The third step is to design a program that makes the sound given a number of input parameters. Farnell provides not only graphics of the Pd programming in the book, but the actual programs as well, which can be downloaded from the book's website. Most of the practicals involve physical modeling, and Farnell teaches the applied science here. The topics range from physical (the stick-slip motion of a door hinge) to environmental (the components of fire), to mechanical (the ticking of the gears of a clock), to biological (the syrinx of a bird). Most of these feature elegant solutions for the combination of disparate elements. A good example is the automobile, for which he accounts for the type of engine, number of cylinders, the exhaust system, the engine block and chassis, changing speed, sputter and jitter, and other sounds from tires, belts, and so on. He goes on to show the implementation of a "warping circular waveguide" as an efficient way of making the exhaust system more realistic.

Farnell's love for his craft is apparent throughout this book, and the attention to detail and to design that makes him good at that craft goes a long way to making this an excellent book--for budding sound designers, hobbyists, or anyone interested in the physics behind many of the sounds we hear everyday.
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you want to create sounds from nothing, this is your book 21 octobre 2010
Par Engel Sanchez - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I found this book in my quest to learn how to create sounds Ab Initio (from nothing but basic principles, not recorded samples). This is absolutely the right book for those interested in that area. This book is NOT for audio beginners. You will need to have a good grasp of basic digital audio concepts, understand frequency domain analysis concepts, a bit about DSP filters, have payed attention at those Physics classes and at least be familiar with some of the math. Andy tries to get away with not writing too many equations, but he still throws a differential equation on you to explain harmonic oscillators and some trigonometry when explaining modulation, for example. I have found nothing in its 600+ that I would remove or skip over. In fact, I just wish he had written 1,200 more pages!! There are four main sections in the book: Theory, Tools, Techniques and Practicals. Theory includes background information on acoustics, psychoacoustics, sound perception and digital signals. The Tools section will introduce you and get you productive using Pure Data, the free and deceptively simple looking visual sound programming software package used throughout the rest of the book. In Techniques you will get practical information on the various sound synthesis methods at your disposal, and the Practicals section has dozens of example uses of these techniques. You will, for example, learn how to create models for telephone bells, rolling objects, fire, running water, etc.

Like another reviewer said, you will not get every single detail of every single technique or theory in this book. You will get enough to get a good idea, good examples and excellent links in the reference sections so you can go wild and study any of the ideas in the book much further by yourself.

Some of the sample code links for the MIT Press version of the book are broken. I contacted Andy Farnell directly by email about this, and he was kind enough to point to his other website which does not have this problem . I hope the MIT Press folks fix this soon, but even with the broken links, the code is available in the website in text areas, so you can cut and paste it and save it in a file and it will work, but is more tedious.

I could not recommend this book anymore. It's a great introduction into a fascinating field. As a disclaimer, I am not an audio person, but a software engineer interested in audio with a bit of DSP background from school. I imagine audio professionals might have a different experience with the book, but I can't imagine anybody calling it anything but an excellent, epic work.
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For the Serious Sound Designer 14 octobre 2010
Par Owlster - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
While not for a rank beginner, Andy Farnell's book is an excellent review of acoustical principles related to sound design. This book will be of interest to those who do sound design for film, gaming, and even experimental DJing, and could be used for an undergraduate course in a media studies program or in a beginning electronic music class.

To illustrate the principles needed for sound design and to conceptionalize the methods of realization of a particular sound emulation, Mr. Farnell utilizes an OpenSource programming language known as Pd (Pure Data). Designing Sound is an excellent introduction to Pd and demonstrates how basic physics principles can be turned into sonic entities.

Pd is a project related to programming sound in a similar sense that Processing is related to programming live graphics, and GEM is related to programming live video. Since all of these programming strategies are related, they can be used together (or separately) by artists with interest in live performance art or art installations.

Andy Farnell's book is well written and full of interesting problems. If you are looking for a book that will "hand hold" you through every problem you may be somewhat disappointed. On the other hand, if you are willing to use the excellent reference materials for further study, you will be rewarded.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent book worth its weight in gold 30 décembre 2010
Par Dara - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I really love this book. It removes the fog of buzzwords and fancy ideas and leaves the reader with true analytical and engineering and software-like knowledge necessary to understand the nature of the sound we hear.

The references in each chapter are great treasures spanning to early 20th century.

The language of the text is very useful for the researchers to adopt. The writer was astute in selecting the terms carefully describing the analysis of the situation.

The Pd code and review is outstanding and to the point.

I believe this is an instant classic, indeed a must to have for all who are dealing with sond.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is by far the best book on the subject that I've read 7 août 2015
Par Ryan McGladrey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a thorough and cogent treatment of the subject. Rich with practical details, it gets into specifics while broadening the reader's perspective of the underlying methodology. This is by far the best book on the subject that I've read.
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