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
Here's what industry experts say about Producing Great Sound
Folks, this book is a treasure chest. Don't call Producing Great Sound for Digital Video by Jay Rose an audio primer or even a reference source, it's much more... It's like taking a class taught by a caring, affable, pro. The writer's intimate and accessible style is what makes this book a great value for anyone interested in audio. Whether you're just starting in the field of digital audio/video production, or are a seasoned pro, you'll find information in this book that will improve your end product.
-- John Hartney, Creative Cow.com Read the full review.
There's a lot of technical stuff ... but there's also a lot of ideas that can quickly and
easily improve your soundtrack. This is a great book.
-- Fiona Jackson,
nzindie blog Read the full review.
5 out of 5. I have been looking for this book for 20 years - no exaggeration. Obviously, I was looking in the wrong places, as this Focal Press paperback is in its third edition. In the first half hour I skimmed through this book, Rose answered many of the technical sound questions I have accumulated over the last fifth of a century... Love the Frequently Asked Questions sidebars of common sound problems and their fixes. The chapter on Editing Voices alone is worth the price tag.
-- Morgan Parr, Videomaker Magazine Read the full review.
...Numerous references to current software and cameras... Digital artists are very much hands-on, and Rose is the right man to write audio books for this new generation of filmmakers... direct experience with DV equipment and projects is apparent throughout the book. Rose largely succeeds in his mission to provide a one-stop source for digital filmmakers to learn everything they need to know to get the job done...
-- S. D. Katz, Millimeter Magazine Read the full review (you'll have to scroll down; a different book is reviewed first).
If you are just starting out in video/film production, you will find
this book to be lifesaver. If you have been working for a while in the business you will manage to pick up a lot of good tips and tricks to perfect your techniques... I found myself saying "how come I didn't read this book before I started shooting my productions? It would have saved me a lot of pain and agony.... wonderful real world guidance that will make your shows sound a heck of a lot better and save you lots of time and money trying to fix your audio mistakes.
-- Mark Shapiro,
Internet Video Magazine Read the full review.
5 out of 5. A very through and practical guide to the audio production process... valuable tips from industry professionals with real-world examples. Whether you are just beginning your adventures in audio and video production or are a seasoned veteran of the production realm, this text includes something for everyone.
-- Robert Nulph, Videomaker Magazine November 2008 Read the full review.
A truly great book... I really enjoyed the read. This book is an ABSOLUTE MUST if you will be shooting on a budget and doing sound yourself. You'll learn what mics to use in the field, how to fix an echo, how to deal with line noise, cheap fixes for potentially expensive problems--and that's just the beginning.... this book will teach you tips and tricks that will make your head spin. This book can literally save you THOUSANDS in post production.
-- Biagio Messina, AccessDV Read the full review.
...Crammed full of practical advice on recording, editing, and mixing audio for your production, including many of the technical basics.
-- Trish Meyer, Cybmotion Read the full review.
Most folks who write about doing sound for moving pictures, on film or on video, focus on the sexy stuff--mostly writing music, sometimes doing foley, often talking technical. Jay Rose doesn't mess around. He digs right into the hardcore side of audio for moving pictures -- recording and editing dialog, sound effects, and music. He debunks common myths, shows the reader how to make do in limited-budget, time-constrained situations, and puts it all in context on a technical level. Producing Great Soundtracks is an invaluable collection of step-by-step how-to information combined with the technical reasons things do or don't work. It's essential reading for anyone serious about making a living doing moving pictures.
-- Dominic Milano, Digital Video Magazine
The most comprehensive, in-depth resource I've found for audio production in the desktop environment... a must-have resource for professionals involved in video, multimedia or internet production. -- Randy Cates, Videography Magazine
Jay Rose brings a wealth of experience to Producing Great Soundtracks... With over 400 pages and many illustrations, the book is replete with facts and useful information. -- Dennis Berkla, Videomaker Magazine
Rose knows his stuff and presents it well. -- Peter Plantec, AV Video Multimedia Producer
Jay Rose's Producing Great Soundtracks is one of those crisp, tight, practical how-to books where production insights and experience just leap off the page at you. All focus, no fluff. If you're trying to do audio for video, this book is a must, just to keep you sane! -- Dave Moulton, TV Technology Magazine, author Golden Ears ear training course
The entire book is fascinating: it's absolutely packed with useful information and tips. ... Digital cameras, inexpensive computers offer all kinds of ways to create visual eye candy, but embryonic filmmakers don't always realize that the picture is only half the story. Producing Great Sound for Digital Video explains how the other half works, what to watch out for, and how to achieve professional results. -- Mike Caputo, Amazon.com staff reviewer
...a complete audio training guide as well as a quick problem-solving resource for the working pro... hundreds of real-world techniques to use from preproduction through the final mix. Readers get how-tos, tips, and time-savers, plus tutorials on key skills such as dialogue and music editing... It also includes updates on working techniques, including new software categories for postproduction and new interchange standards. -- Walmart.com Read the full review.
This book delivers proven solutions to specific problems throughout the entire process of creating engaging audio for digital video. Written by a Clio- and Emmy-winning sound designer, he explains hundreds of real-world techniques you can use from pre-production through mix. You get how-tos, tips and time-savers, plus tutorials on key skills such as dialog and music editing. With an audio CD of sample tracks and diagnostic tools. -- Wolf Seeberg, Sync Sound and the New Media
Rose has created an easy-to-approach text that feels like a one-to-one tutorial between a teacher and his student. Rose's effervescent sense of humor permeates every page with relatable anecdotes from his own life and professional career. Throughout, he preserves a notion he singles out on the first page: Good Soundtracks aren't just a question of art. You also have to understand the science. --Chris Kriofske, Imagine 2000 NewsMagazine
When an expert who understands what he is talking about -- and Jay Rose is a consummate expert -- writes about audio production, you knew you are onto a winner. Rose knows his subject matter forwards and backwards, and displays a cool, calm air of authority that permeates his writing.
Starting from first principles, Jay leads us through the often-times confusing world of microphones, mixing and recording formats, until even the most neophyte user can fully understand and -- more usefully -- use the hard ware to produce great soundtracks for all forms of video presentations.
Undoubtedly, this is a book that's destined to be THE essential work on sound production for project-video users. -- Mel Lambert, Media & Marketing (Hollywood) and internationally-respected audio consultant
I'm an independent animator working on my first feature film... I needed a good place to start, and this book was the one. Get your mind around it and you will be rewarded with the knowledge of how to get perfect sound. Now I'm starting to build my own sound effects library, and I know how to clean it and work with it... I would highly recommend this book, especially to indies or people on a budget.
January 6, 2012 Reviewer: ZephyrStar
This book covers everything I can think of to assist me with a confusing subject, audio production... you can get the high end audio you need for your corporate, commercial, television and internet productions. I highly recommend this book for anyone in the production business. It's the audio bible I use.
February 28, 2011 Reviewer: R. Cates
I'm pretty picky when it comes to buying reference books about anything. The book has to be comprehensive, and it also has to be packed with practical examples, good advice, ... easy to read, understand, and apply. This book definitely lives up to the hype....What more do you want?
October 11, 2010 Reviewer: Louis S. Carrozzi
Tech details, and more importantly, balanced with real world examples, with tried and tested solutions. ... Well written, not too dry and good value. A really useful reference.
September 25, 2010 Reviewer: A Kid's Review (name suppressed by Amazon)
Absolutely amazing book. ...Wonderful tips that I keep handy for times I encounter the situations mentioned here (all the time). I just bought another of Rose's books "Audio Postproduction" to get a better knowledge of how to enhance my capabilities and to see how things are correctly done. Great books!!
September 9, 2010 Reviewer: Alvaro Calandra (Montevideo, Uruguay)
Outstanding Book! If you are learning about sound, this is the book to get. I am going to buy every book Jay Rose has written. He's an excellent, experienced author. Highly recommended.
August 27, 2010 Reviewer: Tim Warneka
If you're going to read only one book on sound this would have to be it. While a lot of sound books come across very dry, technical, and quite frankly can tend to be boring, I actually found Producing Great Sound for Film & Video to be entertaining... most readers will only wish they had read it sooner.
August 5, 2010 Reviewer: Paul Burns
Fantastic, worth every penny... written extremely clearly and thoroughly, without feeling too dry or boring. The author clearly has a sense of humour, as well as a wealth of experience of working on soundtracks for a large range of budgets (corporate to feature film). I actually read it cover to cover, and have dipped into it several times since. March 19, 2010 Reviewer: T. Dowse
Just what I was looking for... Sound is the vehicle that communicates the message. This book is exclusively about audio and it is very thorough. It gave me the confidence to handle the audio part. February 1, 2010 Reviewer: K. J. Broekema (Roosendaal Netherlands)
This book is well written; clear, concise, and thorough, loaded with a wealth of knowledge, and the productions tips are to die for. A must read for anyone who is serious about their storytelling. March 15, 2009 Reviewer: R.X.Garcia (Los Angeles)
If you only buy one book on sound, this is it ... 20 years ago I used to be the "The Amp Doctor" fixing commercial PA systems, I was an electrical engineer after that, but I recently decided to make documentaries... I got several books on sound, I figure buy six, one has to be good. You can save your money, this book was the one in six. It all becomes much clearer after reading this book. Not only does this guy know his stuff, even more importantly, he knows how to communicate it.... some authors will tell you something is bad or wrong, with no explanation.. Jay gives you good examples. Borrow money if you have too.. but buy it. September 8, 2006 Reviewer: Brian R. Findlay "brfindla" (Merrimack, NH USA)
I've often been taken in by large reference books that promise to be a comprehensive guide to a subject, but turn out to be a lot of filler (screen shots of PC applications, or an excuse for the author to give lots of less-than-useful anectodal stories, etc.) Not so with Jay Rose's 'Producing Great Sound'. This informative guide covers a lot of ground, including sound theory, equipment explanations and use, and techniques for sound production including NLE tips, audio mixing... The great thing about this book is it is written with the expectation that your sound production values should be professional, but it's still accessible to hobbyists and those on a budget. I learned a lot from this great work. January 4, 2006 Reviewer: N. Utzig (Princeton, MA)
After spending years and years trying to get my recordings to sound the way I wanted them to, Jay Rose showed me how. This is the best book I've ever found on digital audio... and for audio recording in general. He taught me how to set up the gear and use sound absorbing material... how to use equalizers, compressors, and other gear better than I ever imagined possible... Now my tapes sound better than some of the professional ones! February 12, 2002 (about the first edition) Reviewer: Ed Bernd Jr. from Laredo, TX
If you are interested in using audio for anything from location sound to post, this book is a must read. Even if think you know enough already, Jay will teach some fun tricks, time savers, and just plain great techniques for gathering and editing sound. Sound gathering is far from simple but Jay lays it all out for you in an easy to refer to manual. December 7, 2002 Reviewer: avatar71 from Seattle, WA
Just a quick note to tell you that using your text "Producing Great Sound for Digital Video" in my basic audio production course was a big success. The test scores were significantly higher than in the past... thanks for sharing the knowledge May 13, 2003 Len Barish
I've been poring over tons of production books in the past few months in preparation to attend graduate film school... yours has by far been the most comprehensive and comprehensible of the lot. Your candor, wit, and clarity made "Creating Great Sound" not only an informative manual, but also a good read... thanks for your help in passing on the knowledge of the masters to us "Ambitious Newbies." January 7, 2004 Kris Maxwell
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:
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.
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.)
Click here for other books on related video and film sound topics.
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.
They haven't offered to buy me pizza (see below), but I'd rather you got the book at the best price.
⇐ 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.