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Songs used by sound engineers to tune stereo

Illustration by Alexander WellsCar and driver

From the November 2021 issue Car and driver..

What’s being blown up from your car’s speakers, and more importantly, how does it sound? For audio equipment maker Bose’s sound system engineers, playlists are more than slap tracks. To test stereo, you need songs that represent different sounds and recording techniques to ensure that the new system can recreate songs at the original recording depth.

Bose engineers around the world share master playlists to have a common reference point. “Every system engineer knows the inside and outside of these trucks,” says Mark Armitage, head of the acoustic engineering team at the company’s Michigan field office. “This provides a universal language that can be used for testing and tuning.”

According to Armitage, the 54-track Bose playlist is regularly updated and can be used by engineers with personal favorites and recent Grammy award winners. He showed me some options from the test list.

Mono pink noise

“The most fun truck [Literally noise—Ed.] It is also the one we use most often.It shows where your central image is [the imaginary center stage of the recording] And because it is full bandwidth, you can hear frequencies that are not properly tuned. “

Holly Cole Trio, “Visible“”

“This track is pretty central, the first part of which is a very monaural channel. The deep male vocal equivalent is Johnny Cash.Birds on the wire.. “” “”

Bruno Mars, “24K magic“”

“It features a lot of instruments that spread from the high notes of the tweeter to the entire sound stage. It’s very full.”

Winterplay, “Billie Jean“”

“This is a simple, clean female vocal with an upright bass. Often, the simple ones give details of a sound stage that is hard to hear in a very busy one.”

Tom Petty, “Learn to fly (live)“”

“The crowd begins to sing and Petty’s voice is cut off. If the system is done correctly, you can feel the size of the auditorium. Otherwise, it tends to collapse and lose its huge space. . “

Dave Brubeck Quartet, “Take Five“”

“Listen to the hi-hats and cymbals in the intro. The cymbals are difficult to record and play, the instruments are widely spaced, and the sound is natural.”

Steely Dan, “Hey Nine Teen“”

“There are lots of details and sharp, clean hits that show how well the temporal alignment of the music sounds. Each speaker has a different distance from the listener, so all you need to do to adjust the system is The sound must reach your ears at the same time. Clear and natural sound. “

Straight, No Chaser, “Homeward bound“”

“A cappella and vocals spread throughout the stage, and you can listen to each person singing independently.”

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