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Understanding Audio Specifications

Baffled by audio specifications? Frequency response, signal-to-noise, distortion - what does it all mean? Do manufacturers always tell the whole truth about their products? How can you tell from the specifications which equipment is best?


The technical background that every successful producer should know!

Ready to take your audio knowledge to the next level? Now you can!

  • The problem: Specifications, figures, units - what makes one piece of equipment or software different to another? How can you know?
  • What can go wrong?: Do you know what you're doing when you buy equipment? Or do you take a shot in the dark and hope for the best? If you don't truly understand audio specifications, you could waste a lot of your hard-earned money.
  • What you need: A firm foundation of knowledge of how equipment and software differ from each other in features, specifications and performance. A true understanding of the essential audio fundamentals.

Understanding Audio Specifications - an essential book for the successful producer from Audio Masterclass

  • Instant download in both ePub and PDF formats
  • 20,000-word 'no fluff' content
  • Richly illustrated
  • Read on your computer, table, phone or e-reader
  • Written and produced by Audio Masterclass
  • Backed by our 30+years of experience in audio education and training since 1986
  • Available worldwide (we have students in more than 100 countries)
  • 30-day full-refund, no-quibble guarantee

Look inside...

About author David Mellor

David Mellor is the founder and Course Director Audio Masterclass, currently residing in the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. He has worked in audio education since 1986 in hands-on training, lectures and online. David Mellor holds the degree of B.Mus (Tonmeister) from the University of Surrey where he studied music, piano performance, acoustics, electronics, electro-acoustics and recording.

Live Sound and Recording Engineer
David Mellor worked as theatre sound engineer at London's Royal Opera House, with activities including sound design, front-of-house operation, stage monitoring and electronic design satisfying the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Karlheinz Stockhausen. David Mellor toured with the Royal Opera Company to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, USA; the Odeon of Herod Atticus, Athens, Greece; the Sejong Center, Seoul, South Korea; the Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan.

Musician and Composer
Since 1985 David Mellor has had more than 1000 works published in the field of production music, including the Chappell and Carlin music libraries (now combined into Universal Publishing Production Music) and his own music library for which he has produced seventeen compact discs. Notable uses of his music include the BBC's Horizon, Fahrenheit 911, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Writer and Educator
David Mellor has been actively involved in Audio Education since 1986, teaching students of City of Westminster College and Westminster University, and also returning to lecture at Surrey University. He has also written for magazines including Sound on Sound, Audio Media, Studio Sound, Sound & Video Contractor. He has also written four books on audio and video technology. David Mellor now specializes in online audio education and has been Course Director of Audio Masterclass since 2001.

All purchases have a 30-day full-refund, no-quibble guarantee. If you need it, just ask and we'll push the 'refund' button and get your payment headed straight back to you.
What do we cover in this book?


  • Types of microphones - dynamic, capacitor, ribbon, large-diaphragm, vacuum tube
  • Microphone polar patterns
  • The specification of microphones including sensitivity and noise
  • Microphone preamplifiers
  • Tube vs. transistor
  • Frequency response, noise and distortion
  • Mixing consoles, analog and digital
  • Mixing console functions and facilities in detail
  • Digital audio workstations
  • DAW functions and facilities
  • Stereo mix formats, analog and digital
  • Outboard equipment
  • Power amplifiers and headphone distribution amplifiers
  • Headphones and monitor loudspeakers
What our enrolled students say about their experience with Audio Masterclass...

You did a great job!

Excellent material, audio and videos are really good and clear.

I appreciate the depth, very informative and useful. I increased my knowledge in the area I am so passionate about. I was able to implement a lot of new procedures in my own sound and musical projects.

My gratitude and best regards

Anton Strecky, Slovakia

“With my employment in health service established years ago, music and recording is an essential withdrawal from "professionalism" to me, rather than a significant possibility to provide a supplement to earned income. But with growing interest and investment, achievement of professionally acceptable quality became a must. At that point studying at Audio Masterclass had only pros and no cons to me, and no equally accessible alternatives of world-class standards.

The book "How to set up a Pro Home Recording Studio" [by Audio Masterclass] and other information concerning hardware and software helped me to find "my way" in the jungle of possibilities, and it actually had a money saving effect.

Assessments of practical assignment projects were of especially great importance to me. It is easy for the beginner like me to have an illusion that the produced work is good, while actually it is not. Additional valuable information can be derived from individually provided comments too.

It is very comforting to have tons of audio examples at hand. Even after the course I use some of them as benchmarks of specific quality.

The most special experiences along the way of the course were moments of approaching the presumed limits of creative possibilities… stepping beyond… and finding that there is something more out there. And this kind of training may have implications that are not immediately obvious, but may prove to be of great importance in any intellectually demanding/competitive situation of life. All in all, I consider that to be my greatest gain achieved at Audio Masterclass.”

Egidijus Nemanius, Lithuania