For those that don't know, Vance Dickason has been the editor of Voice Coil Magazine ("the monthly periodical for the loudspeaker industry") since 1987, and the author of the Loudspeaker Design Cookbook (LDC) volumes since 1978. LDC is "the world's most popular book on loudspeaker design." With its 351 pages of solid informational content, this 8th Edition, Volume 1 should be a must-have for anyone designing speakers for every type of use, including recording studios. However, there's more to this text than just speaker design and building knowledge. Chapter 10 covers “Room Measurement Equipment and Room Correction Solutions,” and the overview of room measurement gear, acoustic treatments, and room correction solutions is an important read for any of us. Chapter 13 gives us an interesting history of “Studio Monitor Loudspeakers” and investigates the difference between professional and hi-fi speakers. My favorite (and true) note is: "The variability in recording studios' acoustic environments by itself is scary." Info about waveguides, directivity, and crossovers should help anyone understand more about their monitors, and the "dissertation on zero phase in studio monitors" might cause one to question some of that ad copy hype we occasionally see out there. Chapter 8 explains how the testing of loudspeakers can reveal why one may sound better than another, plus a section on how acoustic phase enters the picture – and whether it matters.

Full of charts, tables, and technical photographs, LDC might scare some of us off initially, but Vance's writing is very human and realistic, drawing me into subjects I thought might leave me cold. It’s a perfect resource to have around any studio or recording space for some real thoughts and knowledge on monitors.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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