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Posted by on Feb 17, 2010 | 7 comments

Sound Design Essentials: 6 Recommended Books and 11 Google Books Links


Continuing with the Sound Essentials series, articles created to provide resources and tips to learn sound design. Since I give the first list of recommended books, some people told me if we could recommend more of them, ans the answer is: yes. Buy software, buy gear, it’s ok, but also buy Books! I consider them as one of the best ways to spend money, and come on, they’re cheap. Excellent value for the money.

So, here is a list of more books (in no particular order), enough to don’t stop reading about sound this year.

The Sound Effects Bible – Ric Viers said it and did it. On this book he puts everything he knows about sound effects, from beginner topics to intermediate and advanced tips to create sound effects. You’ll learn everything from digital audio and software to studio equipment, field recording and sound design techniques. The Commandments Chapters are really great and has the wonderful “Sound Effects Encyclopedia” section with tips and tricks to create a lot of different sound effects.

Soundscape: The School of Sound Lectures 1998 – 2001 – This book is a kind of magic source. Each time you read it again, you found more and more good info. The book contains fantastic articles, lectures and investigations made on The Shcol of Sound event between 1998 and 2001. Secrets, stories, tips, techniques, thoughts, and everything you want to know from the masters, edited by Larry Sider.

Sound-On-Film: Interviews with the creators of Film Sound– This is one of my favorites. The sound on film didn’t come from nowhere. What we have now has been the result of the efforts of many masters of sound. This book collects interviews, experiences, stories, and the theory of several of the most important figures in the evolution of sound in cinema.

Sound Theory, Sound Practice – A great book to know about the fundamental theory of sound in cinema, from historical aspects to deep theory and fantastic information on different prespectives, genres and the different ways to deal with film sound.

Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema – David Sonnenschein did a great work with this book, putting great information about how you can approach sound in cinema, with a really detailed guide covering psychological, narrative, expressive and technical aspects with awesome analysis of sound on film, quotes by other sound designer and a really great feature called “Try this”. This is one of my latest reads and I loved it.

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pictures: A guide to the invisible art – Some times people don’t think about dialogue as a very important part of a movie. This book gives you a journey through the world of dialogue recording and editing, with theory, techniques and tricks to get the most of the dialogues in your productions.

If you want to read the contents of the books before buy it, or don’t have money or a good way to get any of those books, I made a list of sound design books on Google Books. Some of them has a large preview of many chapters available to read and some are more limited. Check:



  1. Excellent list, Miguel! A great resource for all. I’ve got about 80% of these on my own shelves. One I might also suggest to your readers is Whittington’s “Sound Design and Science Fiction.” It gets pretty deep into the semiotics of sound in sci-fi films, and it calls out some interesting sound design decisions that, perhaps conscious or not, have direct implications for meaning and interpretation. Not a book of technique, but rather an analysis of the results of sound design in that genre. Easier to find now than its many years out of print, it’s a great read for anyone that’s a fan of sci-fi cinema or sound…or both!

    Again, great list – thanks for compiling it!

  2. may i suggest M.Chion’s new book “Film: A Sound Art”, Im a few chapters into it and its amazing so far.

  3. I have the David Sonnenschein book. In it he actually gives means to contact him. I’m a student and working in Sound Design and he replied to my e-mails giving some advice. A Top Guy!

  4. lowtronik thanks for your suggestion, I’ll be checking that ;)

    And Aaron: Yeah! Fantastic read. Is one of those books you don’t want to end up and keep learning from it, hehe…

  5. Thak you,Migue!I have downloaded some of these books’PDF.I’m a Chinese boy,designing sound is my favorite. I always read your blog everyday.


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