Product Sound Quality—The Music that Machines Make

date September 27, 2013
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Friday, September 27, 2013 4:00 p.m. in ETC 4.150

David A. Nelson, INCE Bd. Cert., PE
Principal Consultant, Nelson Acoustics
Elgin, Texas

The experience of product noise depends not just on the sound pressure level, but on a host of perceptual factors including loudness, spectral balance, tonality, and modulation.  Overlaid atop these are social factors such as cultural expectations, the context in which the sound is presented, potential for annoyance or distraction, threshold of hearing, and personal preference.  The subjective and objective sides of acoustics are connected through proper selection of objective metrics, development of stimuli, structure of presentations, and statistical analysis methods.  The result is an objective “recipe” for a product sound that is likely to be acceptable in the marketplace, which in turn forms the basis for noise control efforts.  Data from actual product sound quality studies will be used where possible.