Not many people might realise how much detail and planning goes into making a great car, especially a car that sounds amazing when you drive it. Well that sound has been designed as well as the comfy seats. GM Motors employs Kara Gordon as a noise and vibration performance engineer to make sure its kind to your ears.
It's not just the sound you don't want
Measures are taken to make the cabin of GM's luxury models very insulated to the outside world, the interesting part is the sound they do want you to hear. After all you know your engine is running well if it sounds like it does, obviously if you can't you aren't moving anywhere. Everything though, from the engine to the sound the cup holder makes when it pops out has been thought about. Right down to the last squeak and rattle, which I never thought about before.
A head for the times
There is a specialised recording device called an Aachen HEAD which is modelled after the human head with microphones in its ears and so back at the lab after a test run the engineers can put on headphones and hear exactly what a drive hears in perspective and fix and tweak as needed.
Sound saves the world
As manufacturers look for more eco-friendly designs for engines the RPM of a car is lowered and with electric becoming a more and more serious contender, the classic sounds of cars will have to be artificially tweaked to still give current car owners a ride they enjoy and feel they are still getting as much value out of their cars as possible.
I personally can't wait till you can upload and customise your own sounds for everything in your car or on your motorbike, sound like a little giant spider one day and a floating hovercraft the next. What do you think?