Book recommendations on synthesis techniques / sound design

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Re: Book recommendations on synthesis techniques / sound design

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:47 am

starthief wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:28 pm
Gareth Loy: Musimathics Vol. 1 and Vol 2

Volume 1 has a lot of stuff about pitch, tuning and scales, relevant physics concepts, circular/harmonic motion and vibration, acoustics, hearing and psychoacoustics, and composition.

Volume 2 is more directly relevant to synthesis, especially in the digital domain. The math is BRUTAL by my standards though, so I've honestly been skipping over a lot of it, and just gleaning a few bits of wisdom and insights into why certain things work the way they do. I think attempting to teach calculus in this format is too tall an order, and I'd really have to take a course to keep up. But there's a chapter on sampling theory, then imaginary/complex numbers, Fourier transforms, convolution, filters (digital), resonance, the wave equation, acoustical systems... I've read up to that point so far, and next are chapters on synthesis (including AM, FM and "vocal synthesis"), and dynamic spectra.
my take on this is that it does not go deep enough. there is only a little bit of math on each subject before it moves on very quickly. I guess it depends on the individual. I read these books before taking calculus in school. actually doing the math of this stuff for a job requires a lot more than these two books provide.

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Re: Book recommendations on synthesis techniques / sound design

Post by starthief » Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:53 am

I don't doubt there are some contexts where more specificity is required, but for most people looking for patching techniques and insight into sound design, or even to experiment some in code, the math in there is quite a lot, and honestly not what most people are looking for.

The general explanation of Bessel functions in FM, for instance, and examples of sounds John Chowning designed with it, might be helpful where a more in-depth dive into the math is unlikely. The main thing I picked up from Dr. Chowning's talk at Knobcon 2019 is I should look at a spectrum analyzer more ;)

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