ABSTRACT: The audio industry is a complex mixture of: Art — a combination of music performance and recording engineering microphone choice and positioning, and signal processing: manipulations of amplitude, time, space and spectrum to achieve desired artistic goals. Technology - the acoustics of recording spaces, microphones, electronic apparatus and algorithms, storage media, loudspeakers and the monitoring environment. Science — knowledge of hearing, what is and is not audible, human perceptions and preferences in the timbral and spatial qualities of reproduced sounds, the relationships between subjective judgments of sound and corresponding technical measurements. In the evolution of the audio industry, trial and error and opinions have had more influence than science and confirmable facts, mostly because the latter has been lacking.
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Paperback, pages, ISBN The author of this book, Dr. Floyd E. Toole, is one of the most influential scientists in modern audio. There he created and directed the Harman Research and Development Group, a central resource for technology development and subjective measurements for the Harman International companies, most especially the divisions producing the Infinity, JBL, and Revel loudspeakers.
Most of the discussion is based on the results of logical, well-designed experiments, such as simulating the positions and angles of incidence of boundary reflections by the use of discrete sound sources in an anechoic environment.
However, Toole approaches the problem of reaching a consensus from the results of different experiments in a number of ways. Sometimes, he undertakes to rescale the original data to demonstrate that the underlying phenomena, described differently in different studies, are actually similar.
Sometimes, he simply discusses how different studies might draw the reader to the same conclusion. Toole concludes Part One with a description of some "typical" domestic listening arrangements and how they conform or, more often, fail to conform to the parameters he has deemed conducive to good sound reproduction. All of this lays the groundwork for the seven chapters of "Part Two: Designing Listening Experiences," in which Toole recounts the modern history of sound reproduction, describes the relevant parameters of a contemporary listening room, critically addresses loudspeaker evaluation, and discusses system setup.
At the heart of these chapters is his historic work on the subjective and objective evaluation of loudspeaker performance. The former, based on blind tests of trained listeners, grew from a seminal experience in , when Toole and a few colleagues, as part of an effort to select a reference speaker for studies of sound localization and imaging, subjected themselves to a subjective listening test of four respected speakers.
Toole then turns this approach on its head, using subjective but controlled studies to determine how the results correlate with objectively measured properties of loudspeaker performance. Unsurprisingly, although these measurement parameters were chosen to predict subjective enjoyment, they also make a rather good case for objective linearity.
In an ideal world, loudspeaker manufacturers would offer such standardized and revealing information about their products, and we, instructed by this book, could more informedly select those we most want to audition. Toole concludes with guidelines for the selection of audio equipment and for optimizing the setup of a practical listening room, based on his insights into auditory psychophysics and the acoustics of speakers and rooms.
This is very helpful in terms of practical guidance for speaker placement, particularly of subwoofers, and for the physical and electronic correction of the room acoustic. Reading this book will give you an immense appreciation for Floyd E.
Dr. Floyd Toole' system - with pictures
It contains many references to work done by researchers all over the world, but among them are references to work done by my research colleagues and me over the years. Consequently, in this introduction to the new edition, I will also introduce myself, my motivations, and my approach to examining aspects of audio. The first edition of the book was clearly oriented to explaining the science underlying the acoustics and psychoacoustics of loudspeakers, rooms and the listeners who derive pleasure from the combinations. What was called the second edition was a labeling error associated with a change in publishers. The book was unchanged. This edition is substantially new.
Sound Reproduction : The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms