Books and stuff!
Recommended reading list
Recommended reading list
Here's a list of books that are highly recommended for helping you with the design, construction and treatment of your studio or other acoustic space, as well as just general understanding of acoustics and psycho-acoustics. I have read all of these, and the comments below are my own views of each book... except for the last one. Each one looks at the art and science of acoustics and acosutic spaces from a different point of view, there's a fair amount of overlap between the material in them in some areas, but all of them are very, very good, and very worthwhile adding to your library.
"Master Handbook of Acoustics", by F. Alton Everest. Affectionately know as MHoA, this is sort of the "Bible" of acoustics. It's menat for people with little or no background in acoustics, and it walks you through the basics, then onto more advanced topics, with the minimum possible level of math. Lots of diagrams, and clear explanations. Very much recommended for the newcomer to acoustics and studio design.
"Home Recording Studio: Build it Like The Pros", by Rod Gervais. This one continues on where MHoA ends: it delves into the methods, materials, and techniques for actually designing and building a home studio. It's all about framing, studs, drywall, plywood, insulation, electrical systems, HVAC, and a whole bunch of other stuff. This is much more a "nuts and bolts" book. It also covers the aspects of how to design your studio before you ever lift a hammer, (and as Andre will tell you for sure, good design is the most important part of building a studio: it should occupy 90% of your efforts, with the actual build only being about 10%...).
"Acoustics of Small Room", by Mendel Kleiner and Jiri Tichy. A masterful look deeper into the theory of how we percieve sound (psycho-acoustics), how sound actually behaves in small rooms, and what can be done to control it. A lot more math and theory than the first two, but also a lot ore detailed explanations and diagrams. Very much recommended, if you can stomach the equations.
"Acoustic Absorbers and Diffuser" by Trevor Cox and Peter D'Antonio. This is the definitive, number 1, A-grade, top, most respected, in-depth book about what the title suggests: acoustic diffusers, and acosutic absorbers. Everything you ever wanted to know about them; how they work, how to design them, how to build them, what they do, where to put them for maximum effect, where NOT to put them, when to use them, or NOT use them.
"Sound Reproduction" by Floyd Toole. The author is the Grand Master of speakers, and all things related to them. Toole has spent his entire professional life researching, analyzing, and designing speakers. This book summaries over 30 years of his experience, expertise, investigation, and findings. If you really want to understand speakers, how they emit sound, and what happens to that sound AFTER it leaves the speaker, all the way up to when it arrives in your brain, this is the book to read. It's also for you if you want to understand how your speakers and room can be designed to work together optimally, to get the sound from the speaker to your ear without the room affecting it. This book should be high on your priority list!
"Architectural Acoustics" by Marshall Long. A look at both large-room acoustics, as well as small-room acoustics (to a lesser extent). It's mostly about acoustics of spaces other than home studios, but sill very applicable and very useful for the home studio builder. If you plan to have a large live room, or just want to understand the differences between "large rooms" and "small rooms" in the acoustic sens, then this is definitely for you. Also, if you want to really get into the theory of acoustics, to fully understand it, you'll find that here.
"Guide to Acoustic Practice " by Keith Rose. I haven't read this one myself (yet!), so I can't comment for me, but Andre Vare recommends it highly, so therefore it is on the list, for sure. Anything recommended by Andre is bound to be good, so get this one too!
I will probably update this list with other recommended reading in the future, so please do check back every now and then, or just subscribe to this page to get automatic notification when it is updated.
- Stuart -