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Martin Russ: Sound Synthesis and Sampling
Softcover, 1996; ISBN 0-240-51429-7; 400 pages; illustrated, time lines, review questions, glossary, index; Focal Press/Butterworth-Heinemann, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK; telephone (+44-1865)314627; fax (+44-1865) 314091; electronic mail email@example.com; Focal Press, 225 Wildwood Ave., Woburn, Massachusetts 01801-2041, USA
Sound Synthesis and Sampling, by Martin Russ, is all about the principles of sound synthesis in electronic musical instruments. In a little less than 400 pages, the author provides a technical and historical overview of the various sound-synthesis methods. Starting from early tape manipulations through analog synthesis, digital sampling, and the latest physical modeling techniques, the book offers a comprehensive introduction to the main methods of producing and manipulating sound. The eight chapters are organized into five major divisions: an introductory chapter, four chapters describing synthesis techniques, two applications chapters showing the use of synthesis for musical needs, a summary/discussion chapter, and finally a comprehensive reference section containing a glossary, list of jargon, and index.
Presented in nonmathematical fashion and extensively illustrated, this appears to be an excellent reference book for researchers and musicians, or a supplementary textbook for a course on sound synthesis. Enriched with a substantial glossary and time-line charts that mention key events in the history of sound synthesis, the book contains all the ingredients for a comprehensive survey of the field. Although it focuses mainly on commercially available synthesis solutions, it does not forget to present some of the more experimental laboratory methods that have not yet hit the commercial market.
Sound Synthesis and Sampling begins with an introductory chapter that from the start puts the subject of synthesis into the context of a "creative bringing together" of sound components, presenting the important conceptual dichotomy between synthesis model and interface abstraction. The synthesizer structure is divided into two basic functional blocks: a control interface that provides the parameters for a synthesis engine, and an engine module that interprets the parameters and generates sound output. This structure is used throughout …