, as a textbook, seems obtuse and unrefined to me. Am I missing something?
I finally decided to work through this book based on the recommendation of basically everyone everywhere, but I've found it a very frustrating experience. I'm normally pretty good at learning by working through a textbook, but I've had numerous hang-ups in trying to do that with this book:
- Important things are assumed without being mentioned, and I'm usually confused for a while before finally realizing what he meant. An example in chapter one is when he describes frequency as f = wR/2pi, where w is angular frequency and R is the sample rate. I had no idea what R was doing at the top of that fraction until I realized that that equation holds when the independent variable is sample number, NOT time.
- For nominally being an introductory text, he casually invokes a lot of knowledge to make conclusions that I can't decipher. An example in chapter two is when he says that the error between an ideal sinusoid and its interpolated version is "a residual signal all of whose energy lies in the overtones of the original sinusoid." I don't know enough about acoustics to even begin to understand the implications or even meaning of that.
- The questions are all of the kind that require you to infer a lot of the implications of the basic relations he sets forth in the chapters without having seen them demonstrated. A question at the end of chapter 2 asks: "if a wavetable’s contents all fall between -1 and 1 in value, what is the range of possible outputs of wavetable lookup using 4-point interpolation?" I assume that this probably involves evaluating the 4-point interpolation function at some minimum or maximum, but beyond that I'm lost. I feel like I would need a lot more preparatory work to understand how to begin to approach this question. I might figure it out in the meantime, but this has been my experience with all of the exercises; they've all been done by the skin of my teeth. I also have no idea if my answers are correct, because there's no answer key.
I know that the thing is free, but unfortunately the amount it costs is irrelevant to its utility for me. Also, to be clear, the math is not an issue for me. My questions are:
1. Am I just being impatient? Everyone recommends this book without reservation.
2. What type of person is this book aimed at? I thought it was me: someone with a musician's understanding of pitch and overtones, who understands the basic principles of the logarithmic nature of pitch, and who has a solid mathematical competency. I'm not convinced that that's the case.
3. If I am just missing some essential background knowledge, what's a good source for acquiring it?