An interview with the “Golden Ears” of Sony’s Automotive Audio about the creation of Live Acoustics
Project Lead - Live Acoustics
Acoustic Architect & Senior Manager - Acoustic Engineering Sec.
Creating great sound is a difficult task. Creating great sound in a vehicle is even harder. When tuning a vehicle you have to consider that you are in a small, confined space; different noises are coming from every direction; and the shape of the windshield, seat materials, and where a car manufacturer wants to put the speakers all affect the sound that can be produced. With all of this in mind, how do you now make the driver feel like they are sitting in a concert hall listening to the greats perform instead of in traffic on his/her way to work? We spoke with an Acoustic Engineer or as he is better known, the “Golden Ears” of Sony’s car audio, Mr. Goro Shiraishi, to learn how he and his team took on this great task.
Q: Everyone wants to know, why do they call you “Golden Ears”?
Shiraishi: I’m not really sure who started that, but I do have a strong background in music. I have been playing the violin since I was 4 years old, have almost dedicated my life to music and sound, and in 2000 I became a concert master of the Sony Philharmonic Orchestra. I can really analyze music from an artist’s level because I am one. Maybe that is why people have called me “Golden Ears”
Q: What is Live Acoustics?
Shiraishi: Live Acoustics is an audio algorithm based on measurement data that brings out the ambiance and feeling of live music. With this technology we are able to transport your listening experience to among the world’s greatest concert halls while still giving you a natural, comfortable, and accurate sound.
Q: This algorithm was brought into home audio before bringing it into the car. Can you explain how adding this technology into the car is different?
Shiraishi: When we introduced Live Acoustics to our car amplifier, we had to modify the algorithm so it fits into the car audio format bringing the total experience to driver and passenger in the car. When you are tuning a sound in the car you have to consider a lot of things that you wouldn’t for your home. For example, in the car, you are in a much, much smaller space than a concert hall or your home. This means that speakers are very close and we have to alter the style of the sound so the speaker locations don’t make you feel so confined in your vehicle. You also have a lot of different materials in the car that you are working with and how the sound reflects off of the glass, versus plastic, versus leather has to be brought into consideration. There are many differences between the car and home so you have to make sure you are taking precise measurements inside the vehicle to ensure that everything can still sound very natural. I believe we accomplished this with Live Acoustics.
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