5 Books Every Sound Design Student Should Read

Learn more about the sound design books every student should read at least once!

By: Aug. 13, 2022

Contrary to what many people believe, a sound designer does not simply find music for a show. They contribute in big ways making sure everyone's mics are operating properly down to the small tasks like picking out all the sound effects for the show. While having a background in music is key, having the proper education is a priority. Here at the top five books every sound design student should read at least once!

5 Books Every Sound Design Student Should Read Sound Design for the Stage (Crowood Theatre Companions) by Gareth Fry

This book walks through the process of creating a show, from first contact to press night, with examples from high-profile productions. Topics include analyzing a script to develop ideas; discussing your work with a director; telling the emotional story; working with music; how to record, create, process, and abstract sound; key aspects of acoustics and vocal intelligibility; the politics of radio mics and vocal fold back; designing a sound system; and what to do when things go wrong.

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5 Books Every Sound Design Student Should Read The Art of Theatrical Sound Design: A Practical Guide (Backstage) by Victoria Deiorio

Emphasizing the artistry behind the decisions made by theatrical sound designers, this guide is for anyone seeking to understand the nature of sound and how to apply it to the stage. Through tried-and-tested advice and lessons in practical application, The Art of Theatrical Sound Design allows developing artists to apply psychology, physiology, sociology, anthropology and all aspects of sound phenomenology to theatrical sound design.

Structured in three parts, the book explores, theoretically, how human beings perceive the vibration of sound; offers exercises to develop support for storytelling by creating an emotional journey for the audience; considers how to collaborate and communicate as a theatre artist; and discusses how to create a cohesive sound design for the stage.

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5 Books Every Sound Design Student Should Read Mixing a Musical 2nd Edition by Shannon Slaton

Mixing a Musical: Broadway Theatrical Sound Techniques, Second Edition pulls the curtain back on one of the least understood careers in live theatre: the role and responsibilities of the sound technician.

This comprehensive book encompasses every position from shop crew labor to assistant designer to sound board operator and everything in between. Written in a clear and easy-to-read style, and illustrated with real-world examples of personal experience and professional interviews, Slaton shows you how to mix live theatre shows from the basics of equipment and setups, using sound levels to create atmosphere, emotion, and tension to ensure a first-rate performance every time.

This new edition gives special attention to mixing techniques and practices. And, special features of the book include interviews with some of today's most successful mixers and designers.

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5 Books Every Sound Design Student Should Read Great Live Sound: A practical guide for every sound tech Paperback by James Wasem

This practical guide is the BEST PLACE TO START for new sound techs from all backgrounds and experience levels. This book will provide you with clear explanations, plain instruction, and focus on the fundamentals that matter most when it comes to operating a live sound system.

Audio rookies will appreciate this easy-to-follow handbook that delivers a consistent training approach, professional tips, and quick tricks for achieving great live sound.

Whether you want to get rid of feedback, improve your mix, or take your understanding to the next level, Great Live Sound is the resource for you.

Every section and chapter in the book is designed to walk you through the most important things you need to know about live sound, including identifying key components in your sound system, getting set up for a successful soundcheck and mix, and dealing with some of the common issues with live sound in challenging mixing environments.

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5 Books Every Sound Design Student Should Read Sound and Music for the Theatre 4th Edition by Deena Kaye (Author) and James Lebrecht (Contributor)

Covering every phase of a theatrical production, this fourth edition of Sound and Music for the Theatre traces the process of sound design from initial concept through implementation in actual performances.

The book discusses the early evolution of sound design and how it supports the play, from researching sources for music and effects, to negotiating a contract. It shows you how to organize the construction of the sound design elements, how the designer functions in a rehearsal, and how to set up and train an operator to run sound equipment. This instructive information is interspersed with 'war stores' describing real-life problems with solutions that you can apply in your own work, whether you're a sound designer, composer, or sound operator.

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