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Producing Great Sound
for Film & Video


By Jay Rose, C.A.S.
464 Pages with Audio CD
From Focal Press    ISBN 978-0-240-80970-0

List $44.95 at bookstores everywhere,
or click for discount purchase.

Five Stars 16 Customer Reviews (Amazon)

There's a new edition!
  • Completely updated with new equipment, workflows, and techniques
  • 20% bigger... but only $3 more expensive
  • Print and interactive e-book versions*
  • Dedicated website for more information and content:
    go to
*Interactivity requires properly equipped e-reader; otherwise, use a web browser  

If you got to this page by mistake and you were looking for Jay Rose's online tutorials, click here. But please come back to read about the book when you're done.

About the Book

The Digital Video revolution makes it possible for artists, animators, filmmakers, and ordinary citizens to produce first-class films using nothing more than a desktop computer... in fact, a lot of what you see on TV and in theaters has been assembled on ordinary Macs and PCs. (I should know. I create the soundtracks for them. My recent projects have included network-identity packages for PBS, spots for Disney/Buena Vista, and a theatrical feature for MGM.)

A lot of creative individuals have taught themselves how to produce and edit pictures by playing with these computer systems, and comparing what they do with what's being broadcast on tv.

But you can't teach yourself how to record, edit, and mix sound this way. There are too many interconnected factors. For instance, decisions you make while shooting can influence how effective your music score will be. And trying to improve part of a track by ear -- tweaking a knob until things seem better -- can make them much worse later on.

There's an art to good sound. But there's also a science, and a body of techniques that have been developed by professionals like me, over a large chunk of the past century.

This book teaches the science and technique of creating great soundtracks to go with your visuals. I don't expect you to be a scientist, so I've kept the physics and math to basics you learned in grade school, illustrated with visual analogies. And since I expect you to be primarily interested in results, the book is full of practical tips, how-to examples, and time-savers that have been proven in the field.        -- Jay Rose

About the Third Edition

There's been a seismic shift in our industry. The line between film and video production has become blurred. When I conceived the first edition in 1999, video was used mostly for corporate and documentary projects. By the second edition, video was starting to be used for feature projects, so I added more material on booming and other narrative dialog techniques. Also, manufacturers had introduced miniDV cameras with reasonable picture quality but generally substandard sound. So I added a lot on getting the best single-system results, and shortcuts for low-cost double-system.

Now, some small video cameras can record dialog at theatrical quality when used properly. A new generation of non-linear audio recorders has appeared. Both audio and video have advanced to the point that some theatrical releases are completely digital until prints are made for distribution; most film festival entries don't use film at all. These days, "filmmaking" means "story telling"... regardless of the actual medium.

I've added lab measurements of new cameras and recorders along with conclusions on how to get the best results with any single- or double-system recording. I talk about other recent changes in wireless, software, and delivery methods. Most importantly I've added sections on feature film workflow editing techniques, what they contribute that traditional video sound techniques can't, and how they can be used in smaller productions.

More pages, more topics, and a remastered audio CD... for the same price as previous editions.        -- Jay

User-friendly Features

Producing Great Sound was designed to be useful for the producer, videographer, and editor:

What's New in the Third Edition

Critical comments

Here's what industry experts say about Producing Great Sound

Reader comments captured on January 20, 2012
Click here for live link to Amazon's reader review page. (I'm taking a risk that the reviews stay positive...)

via e-mail

Downloadable samples

Table of Contents as printed

Sample Text 1 two sections on mixing previewed inDigital Video Magazine

Sample Text 2 pages from the book, about

Sample text 3 Section on pads and how to wire them (also appeared in the second edition)

About the Author

Jay Rose CAS is a Clio and Emmy-winning sound designer, and proprietor of The Digital Playroom -- a creative audio-for-video boutique. Recent Playroom projects have included:
  • Network identity packages for PBS
  • Documentaries for A&E and Discovery Networks
  • Omni Theater System Introduction for Boston's Museum of Science
  • Theatrical sound design for MGM.
  • Rose also writes a popular audio tutorial column for DV Magazine, posts a sound-for-picture blog at ProVideo Coalition, lectures at MacWorld and other conferences, and is a member of the Cinema Audio Society and past officer of the Audio Engineering Society.

    TG first page

    For Classroom Use

    Many colleges are using Producing Great Sound in their film and video programs, as a complete soundtrack course that students can keep as a reference after graduating. A Teacher's Guide is available for this edition. Go to Focal Press for evaulation copies and textbook sales.

    How to buy Producing Great Sound

    • You can find Producing Great Sound for Film and Video at large local book and computer stores for $44.95.

    • Amazon usually offers substantial discount. (Some days they discount this book 33%, other days it may be less. Naturally, they're keeping the logic behind this proprietary. But if you see a price you like, grab it.)
    • Or check the discount at Markertek.
      This well respected audio/video dealer has been around longer than Amazon. I've bought a lot of gear from them, both online and from their brick-and-mortar store, and always been satisfied with their service.

    ⇐ Click for instant purchase from Amazon pop-up window.
    Instant Purchase works only if you're already signed up for Amazon "1-click" ordering; otherwise, use this link.

    As an author, here's why I prefer that you buy from the Amazon link:

    A book like this obviously has to be a labor of love, since the publisher pays me only $2.25 royalty per copy sold.

    But if you buy right after clicking on the Amazon link, they give me almost two bucks on top of the publisher's royalty! A few of those and I can buy a pizza!

    Amazon's commission is much less if you wander around their site before ordering. So if you're going to wander, please do me a favor. Once you decide to actually buy the book, come back to my site. Then click the Amazon link right before placing the order. I could use the pizza.

    • If Amazon isn't offering a discount today, check Markertek's price.



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    March 7, 2008 & updates