Ford/Sony audio boffins

Ford & Sony (clearly) need your help…
Ford/Sony audio boffins

Bland FM on the Ford sound system…

You may well have read elsewhere, perhaps even in sales blurb that The Ford Motor Co. have developed a top-end stereo system to be supplied within their new cars, the first car to feature the system will be the B-Max which will be released to the public at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show ”“ Ford claim that they have used

The all-new Ford B-MAX will be available with an exclusive premium quality Sony audio system. It features eight high performance speakers and a 4 x 25 Watt Sony amplifier. Drivers can select music from the built-in CD/radio unit, including Digital Audio Broadcast, or from their own portable music players connected via USB or Bluetooth.”

Matthias Terstegge, the man responsible for designing the audio system was quoted saying “Each car interior has completely different acoustics, and detailed tuning can make a dramatic difference to what the driver hears,” he says. “The human ear can detect subtle differences in the sound and you can’t beat simply listening to the system for that final tuning. The tracks we use really help identify what needs tuning. But after thousands of plays, I feel like I never want to hear them again.”

All sounding good so far ”“ perhaps, and presuming you want a Ford B-Max, you might get a car with a sound system capable of re-producing your current top tunes, certainly be an improvement upon the distorted crackle currently offered by your parcel shelf Goodman’s!!

So how did the brains at Sony and Ford develop this system, just what tracks did they use to test its ability ”“ well this is were the plan may have gone a little array. Have a look at the list, which is divided by artist, track and Tuning potential

Artist Track Tuning potential

Yello ‘Oh Yeah’ – Kick Bass/Low voice
Fugees ‘Nappy Heads’ – Low bass/Mid bass/Door buzz
Talking Heads ‘Flowers’- Kick bass/Door buzz/Woofer
Radiohead ‘Sardines’ – Kick bass/Door buzz/Woofer
Peter Gabriel ‘Growing Up’ – Low bass/Kick bass/Door buzz
Black-Eyed Peas ‘Diamonds And Rust’ – Ambience/Treble/Tonal balance
Mariah Carey ‘Butterfly’ – Ambience/Treble/Tonal balance
Susanne Vega ‘Tom’s Diner’ – Center imaging
Jennifer Warnes ‘Somewhere’ – Center imaging/Mid bass/Tonal
Steve Strauss ‘Mr. Bones’ – Center imaging/Mid bass/Tonal
John Coltrane ‘My Lazy Bird’ – Treble/Tweeter distortion
Carl Orff ‘Carmina Burana’ – Treble/Tweeter distortion/Dynamics
Vivaldi 4 Seasons ‘The Summer’ – Treble/ weeter distortion/Width
Eagles ‘Hotel California’ – Live Low bass/Mid bass/Ambience/ Stage width/Tonal balance

All a bit bland, certainly as a listening experience, and it seems like The Eagles ‘Hotel California’ is some sort of audio benchmark ”“ this isn’t a critique of the song-writing or musical abilities of the artists featured, but I like my music to have an impact upon me; music has the ability to excite, to leave your heart racing, to leave you breathless. Have Ford and Sony never heard of such obscure genres as punk, heavy metal, reggae, rock ”Ëœn’ roll ”“ these would really challenge the audio boffins to come up with something decent, and would actually reflect what a large proportion of their target audience listen to.

So, in an effort to help Ford/Sony and Mr Terstegge who’s clearly owns the world dullest CD collection; we are looking to you for suggestions ”“ send us your ideas, bands, track details and we will pass them on to Ford/Sony; ok we probably won’t but it will be good to see what you come up with”¦

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.



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