Hi everyone,

I'd like to create this thread that would be like a library for sound designers/audio post people. The principle is as basic as 1 post = 1 resource, so each book/webpage can be voted for and we can build up a library/ranking. My understanding of several discussions going on on the Internet is that going to a good school is important, that practicing is key, but the entry point is always reading the appropriate assets.

Great assets, this is what should be in here! So post about something that impressed you even as an experienced designer, or you think is worth reading for beginners.

IMPORTANT NOTE: answers should posted on behalf of the community wiki so that your reputation is not artificially increased using the work of someone else.

  • 1
    Anyone else feel weird about earning reputation points for recommending someone else's hard work? It's clearly an effective way to vote and sort the answers, but seems unfair somehow. – Steve Urban Jul 14 '10 at 20:54
  • Should I make this a community wiki? I never really understood what it was for, now it makes sense... any chance a modo can change the owner of a post? – Justin Huss Jul 14 '10 at 21:32
  • Alright just changed it to community wiki... doesn't seem to affect the reputation I got though... modo please. – Justin Huss Jul 14 '10 at 21:34
  • Thanks Steve, I'm feeling kinda bad though :D – Justin Huss Jul 14 '10 at 21:49
  • Yeah, I actually hit the reputation cap today and earned the mortarboard badge. While that's cool, it wasn't really earned. In fact I don't know if the system works like this, but I've changed them all to wiki's. If anyone voted my submissions up today, vote them back down, and then up again for the wiki. Otherwise I might delete them all and add them back again. – Steve Urban Jul 15 '10 at 3:14

23 Answers 23


The Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound, by David Lewis Yewdall, MPSE.

Not only does the author outline many invaluable techniques and principles used daily in film post-production, but also laces the book with interviews and stories from professional sound editors and designers that accurately capture the true essence of the craft.

  • Just as a note, Amazon states there is a Fourth Edition of this book coming out at the end of the year. Source: amazon.co.uk/Practical-Art-Motion-Picture-Sound/dp/0240812409/… – Audious Sound Jul 14 '10 at 15:18
  • A great overview of the post sound process, focusing mostly on editorial and supervising (not much on mixing). It's mostly filled with anecdotes though, which are great, but it's not the most practical book for the modern era. Very worthwhile reading to understand what goes on in the sound post world. – Evan Jan 1 '14 at 22:32

Dialogue Editing for Motion Pitctures by John Purcell

A bit dated now, but has a lot of really good workflow descriptions and information.

  • This book should be at the top of the list. – Sean Apr 8 '11 at 15:53
  • This is definitely the most realistically valuable book I've read, absolutely essential. – Evan Jan 1 '14 at 22:28


  • 5- to 10-minute profiles with true behind-the-scenes looks at the top film sound designers in the industry.
  • It also has award speeches and interviews you would never see anywhere else. I've seen every one of these like 3 times.
  • 45-minute sound panel for Avatar.
  • Sound profiles from each of this year's Academy Award nominated films for sound.
  • 30-minute interview with the sound team from The Hurt Locker.
  • 30-minute talk with Randy Thom.

The place is a gold-mine for tips, tricks, workflows, etc.


Sound Design: The Expressive Power of Music, Voice and Sound Effects in Cinema (David Sonnenschein)

(source: filmsound.org)

Still haven't gotten all the way through this excellent book as I have to pause, take a step back, and try to practically implement everything David mentions before moving on to the next chapter, page or even paragraph. But everything I've read in it has helped me better understand the role and power of sound for picture.


DesigningSound.org DesigninSoundHeader
(source: noisepages.com)

If you haven't been to DesigningSound.org yet, go. Now. The rest of this will still be here later.


The Sound Effects Bible (Ric Viers)

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I find this book is a lot of techy/geeky talk about mics and recorders, miking techniques and sound effects editing. A few anecdotes here and there make easy to read you're looking forward to the next one. Maybe the summary will tell you more!


Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen (Michel Chion)

alt text http://cup.columbia.edu/app?fileid=4048&height=275&service=thumbnail&width=183

The greatest theory book I've ever read, it'll tell you everything about the terms and their meaning, insisting on the nuances one should see in film sound. This will perfect your understanding of film sound and give you a vocabulary for interesting discussions.

  • i found this book very hard to read, but its by far the best sound book I have read – Haydn Payne Jul 14 '10 at 17:13
  • very hard to read, yes. immediate impact from first couple of pages tho. – georgi Jul 14 '10 at 17:46
  • Yeah I can relate to that: hard to read :) But it's worth the pain! – Justin Huss Jul 14 '10 at 18:07

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Essential resource for all things foley.

  • Excellent resource to learn about a pretty well hidden art. – Evan Jan 1 '14 at 22:33

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  • Both amazing for the theory/art side of things. – Evan Jan 1 '14 at 22:53

Sound for Film and Television (Tomlinson Holman)

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Film and TV sound are explained from many point of views; theoretical (acoustics, psychoacoustics), production and postproduction techniques.

  • Excellent starting point to cover the basics. Holman's expertise is inspiring. – Evan Jan 1 '14 at 22:34

SOUNDSCAPE: The School of Sound Lectures 1998–2001. Edited by Larry Sider, Diane Freeman and Jerry Sider.

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(source: shoptoit.ca)

Re-published September 2010 by The School of Sound.

Collection of Lectures Covering a wide variety of topics relating to sound and picture. Definitely worth it! http://www.schoolofsound.co.uk/content/book.htm


FilmSound.org (Sven E Carlsson)

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(source: filmsound.org)

A giant web resource if you're after definitions, articles, interviews... Sven E Carlsson was awarded the Sound Wave Award 2004 for this website.

  • 1
    I like this site although it tends to stagnate for extended periods. – Jay Jennings Jul 14 '10 at 17:09
  • It's a little hard on the eyes too, though I've probably been spoiled by too much web2.0 exposure. – g.a.harry Mar 27 '11 at 15:29

The sound-article-list yahoo group.

A non-tech oriented forum "for promoting and encouraging the art of creative film sound design." Activity is a little slower on sound-article-list than sound_design, but the contributions are typically worth the wait.


Audio Postproduction for Film and Video (Jay Rose)

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(source: dplay.com)

A good book for just starting out in the audio postproduction world.


The sound_design Yahoo group.

This Sound Design discussion list is an open forum about Sound design tips, techniques, theories and solutions for both Film and Interactive Media.

The discussions, talent, and helpful attitude of the forum members are really inspiring, both from a creative and professional standpoint.


Designing Sound for Animation

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This is a very well written introduction to sound design for film. And while the book focuses on animation, it is also very relevant for traditional narrative film. The author has a real talent for getting to the basic essence of things. A very practical book!


Film Sound (Elisabeth Weis, John Belton)

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From what I remember, this book is a gathering of articles/interviews/critiques/analyses of the sound design for various movies.


The Book of Life is an amazing resource.

  • Where, pray tell, does one find this book on sale? :P :) – Andre Feldmann Apr 4 '11 at 11:29
  • Everyone has a copy unless you're going to hell! – Chris Apr 4 '11 at 17:01

Surround Sound: Up and Running

Tomlinson Holman is awesome.

Also, pretty much anything from Ioan Allen/Dolby is valuable, but I really like "The X-Curve: Its Origins and History" for learning about theatre acoustics:



Audio Post Production for Television and Film — An Introduction to Technology and Techniques (Hilary Wyatt, Tim Amyes)

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(source: amazon.com)

I have found myself reading this book a lot recently. It provides an insight into ADR work (which I was originally interested in) though I am enjoying reading — again — about all aspects of audio postproduction in details. The book makes it seem like you could blindly trust it your freshly-out-of-production film and that it'll come out as good as it'll ever be.

For what it's worth I find it easier to read than Yewdall.


Pro Tools Surround Sound Mixing Great book to understand how Pro Tools addresses Surround Sound and how to setup outputs.

Pro Tools Surround Sound Mixing

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Traité des objets musicaux (Pierre Schaeffer)


Not exactly a sound design book, but very interesting approach to sound objects and their relationships. The book explains different types of listenings and proposes a classification of sounds by type and morphology.

This theory derives from german phenomenology and it's the founding text of Musique Concrète in France.

I don't know if there are translations in english. I have read the spanish version, a translation of the original work of Schaeffer in frech.

Very recommended reading!


Sound for Picture: Film Sound through the 1990s (Tom Kenny)

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This book is an interesting collection of interviews and discussions addressing the sound design in specific movies of the 90's like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park or The Beauty and the Beast. You can read about the work of Gary Rydstrom, Walter Murch, etc.

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