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Sound reinforcement engineering : fundamentals and practice
Ahnert W., Steffen F., CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, 2017. 424 pp.  Type: Book (978-1-138569-74-4)
Date Reviewed: Apr 23 2019

With this book, the authors provide a comprehensive introduction to audio fundamentals and to modern sound reinforcement engineering, illustrating the theory while also giving examples of real-life applications.

The book has recently been updated to reflect the most recent advancements in technology. The approach of the book is rigorous, and all sound reinforcement topics are presented in the form of acoustic problems and state-of-the-art solutions available, with examples taken from existing installations.

The initial chapters are dedicated to defining the technical terms and clarifying methods, in terms of perspective and approach, to solve sound reinforcement problems. One of the declared objectives, stated in the introduction, is to address the need to introduce universally valid terms to allow for the efficient exchange of ideas and technical solutions between English- and German-speaking engineers.

Starting with definitions for the components and functions of a sound reinforcement system in chapter 2, the authors introduce a methodology where each problem is presented and analyzed, together with the theoretical solutions available and the limitations in real-life practical applications, for example, architectural constraints for theaters or the need to integrate the systems with the environment for outdoor installations.

The fundamentals of room acoustics and auditory psychophysiology are treated in chapter 3, which further explains the specific implications of sound transmission mechanisms for sound engineering and the need for sound reinforcement engineering to influence and improve the acoustic properties of different venues.

Chapter 4 describes the different devices, equipment, and systems with references to their roles in the framework of sound reinforcement engineering. Loudspeakers, microphones, amplification, and systems for sound control are discussed in detail, with examples of existing devices and their application. Chapter 5 is more theoretical and is dedicated to calculations. This part is useful: although today computer-aided simulation offers a virtually unlimited number of tools for the audio engineer, it is important to understand the underlying mathematical and physical bases and, even more importantly, the terminology. Chapter 6 presents a series of system layouts, differentiated for their purpose (for example, reproduction of music, amplification of an orchestra or a speaker) and location (for example, museums, auditoriums, stadiums, and churches). Chapter 7 is dedicated to calibration and testing tools and techniques. Chapter 8 finally presents a series of case histories and descriptions of existing installations.

This book is recommended to any professional who deals with sound reinforcement. It is mostly geared toward audio engineers; however, its balanced approach between theory and practice, with many examples from real installations, can enrich the perspective of anyone who deals with the design and setup of venues where sound reinforcement is required.

Reviewer:  Diego Merani Review #: CR146542 (1907-0265)
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Sound And Music Computing (H.5.5 )
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