Monday, May 26, 2008

Preserving the Knowledge of the Ancients

I know that all of you technical minded horn-fans are looking for Harry F. Olson's book called Dynamical Analogies. This is one of the most, if not the most cited reference for in-depth understanding of the functioning of horns. As the title indicates, Olson illustrates analogies and describes the acoustic interactions of soundwaves with alternative principles, like electronics. My background in math and engineering is ...... limited (cough)..... so this book is over my head. Although I do browse in it from time to time and I understand more every time. Some day. In the meantime, long live Bruce Edgar for making horn design more accessible to me with his popular style.

Anyway, here's a link to an online library of technical books, mostly audio-oriented. You can find it at Technical Books Online. These books are decades old and their copyrights have not been renewed. The maintainer of this website (webrarian?) is therefore free to offer them online. The direct reason that makes it elligible for a post here, is that it provides Olson's book. However, there are many more interesting books at this site.

Among the very interesting things that I found, are Magnetic Recording - Wire and Tape by M. L. Quatermaine, a wonderful little book with lots of diagrams and illustrations. Anything you never knew you wanted to know about your tapedeck!

There are also a lot of audio textbooks, of varying level. I am an educator myself and am of course interested in both "vintage educational material" as well as in improving my knowledge of things audio. I can tell you that some of this vintage material is still excellent textbook material, if you can look through the outdated graphic work. Didactically, there isn't much wrong with them and I enjoy reading them.

Happy browsing!

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