These books inspired me a lot on my sound journey, they are neither based solely on the theory nor the practicality but cooking both of these within a deeper purpose. Hope you enjoy them as I did!
Microsound by Curtis Roads is my favorite. The book is mainly on granular – particle synthesis but above this it contains a lot of information on sound, manipulation and technology. Here is how MIT press defines it,
“Below the level of the musical note lies the realm of microsound, of sound particles lasting less than one-tenth of a second. Recent technological advances allow us to probe and manipulate these pinpoints of sound, dissolving the traditional building blocks of music—notes and their intervals—into a more fluid and supple medium. The sensations of point, pulse (series of points), line (tone), and surface (texture) emerge as particle density increases. Sounds coalesce, evaporate, and mutate into other sounds.”
If you really want to dive into sound design for films & media, this is the one book you must have. David Sonnenschein will not just expand your creative side within the tools but explain the steps of how to get into the business.
This is another great book from MIT press, Designing Sound from Andy Farnell. With this you can dive deep into how to make sound effects from scratch.
“Designing Sound teaches students and professional sound designers to understand and create sound effects starting from nothing. Its thesis is that any sound can be generated from first principles, guided by analysis and synthesis. The text takes a practitioner’s perspective, exploring the basic principles of making ordinary, everyday sounds using an easily accessed free software.”
If you are looking for a technical book, this is not for you, but if you are looking for inspiration on how musical instruments reverberate, great sonic spaces in nature and more, this is it. There is so much inspiring information here that relates to sound, even to the world and how life is.
Csound is one of the most widely used software sound synthesis systems. If you are into programming and designing with csound, this is the best “insides” book out there.
There are countless books that can be mentioned, this list is revealed from my personal taste. Hope you enjoy these and if you have any suggestions share as a comment or send a mail to me.