Book Ideas for a Sound Design Class?

I am excited to have the opportunity to teach an upper level sound design class to digital film students this Fall. I have several books in my collection that relate to sound design that cover very specific topics, but what I’ll need for the class is a book that covers a broad spectrum of concepts within the field. The course competencies include multi-tracking, mixing, sampling techniques, signal processing, equalization, editing, synchronization of audio and video, Foley, and ADR. Does anyone have any suggestions for a book focused on sound design, but general enough to cover all of these topics?

To give you an idea of what I’m looking for, I currently use Real World Digital Audio by Peter Kirn for an entry level audio production class that is a prerequisite for the sound design class. Peter’s book works really well because it’s current and covers exactly what I wanted for the audio production class in an illustrated, thorough, yet clear and concise way.

14 thoughts on “Book Ideas for a Sound Design Class?

  1. There’re some really great books for specific sound post tasks, and different views from the authors. I personally love “Sound for Film and Television” by Tomlinson Holman, “Sound Design” by David Sonnenschein, and others such as Sound-On-Film, Soundscape. etc, etc…

    For an introductory and “broad spectrum” covering this may could help you:

    See the topics. Covers from video to audio, post, foley, adr, sfx, mixing, mastering, monitoring, digital audio, sync, software, hardware, production sound, post-production workflows, and more. I read it and liked it ;)


  2. I also vote for the Wyatt/Amyes book Miguel linked to above. It’s not specific to sound design, but as an introduction to the concepts of movie audio you won’t find a better single text. I actually came here from Google Reader just to recommend that book, Miguel just beat me to it.

    I’d also recommend this one:
    It’s a little outdated and crying out for a new edition, but for a critical study of some of the best examples of sound design in pre-80s cinema, look no further.

  3. Oh, and I came here from Google Reader to recommend Sound for Digital Video by Tomlinson Holman as well. I teach Sound Design at the Illinois Institute of Art and I couple that with R. Murray Schafer’s famous Soundscape book (to improve their critical listening skills) and excerpts from Tarkovsky, Murch and other directors/editors.


  4. Thanks for the suggestions, Miguel, AJ, winter, and Schmüdde! I’ll definitely investigate your recommendations. Another thing occurred to me and that is that I would like the book(s) to include a little history on sound art and sound design and not focus solely on technical issues. Thoughts?

  5. Will you be teaching synthesizer concepts at all? If you go over the basic of subtractive and additive synthesis. As well as how oscillators generate sound. Hope that helps!


  6. Thanks, Danijel! Ryan, I’ll try to discuss sound synthesis in addition to the topics listed, including subtractive, additive, perhaps granular, and modeling techniques. Thanks!

  7. Michel Chion, “Audiovision” : a great book which analyses all the ways to use sound for films.
    Murray Schaeffer, ” the soundscape “. A theory which be usefull to build ambiance and other stuffs.
    Ric Viers, “Sound effects Sound Bible” : basic but many techniques described there must be known by students.
    Advised by WAlter Murch itself, the “Michel Chion’s – Pierre Schaeffer ‘s sound object guide”…

  8. I’m preparing a sound design class too (with more theoretical subjects), and I’ve found some webpages and files that could be usefull for you. I can send you my bookmark folder if you want.

  9. This is a new sound design book which I recently came across: The Silent Sound Designer – Rediscovering Cinema Through Quietness. It was written by my teacher at film school and I would really recommend it:

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