There are many fine examples of partnerships—situations where more than one person, step or process is needed for best results. Take cooking as an example. We can single-handedly follow perfectly a recipe and hope for the best outcome, but we’re always better off adding to the process by tasting and adjusting along the way. Changes in temperature, humidity, water hardness, and personal tastes are rarely accounted for in formulaic recipes. What worked perfectly in the recipe author’s kitchen is hard to duplicate without adjustments.
The same can be said for audio design. If we only work from schematics, educated guesses, and measurement results, we’ll never know how the final outcome sounds. Only by tasting or listening along the way can we manage to craft the desired outcome of both measured and audible performance expectations.
This is because design is rarely successful in a vacuum. Design and execution, with multiple feedback loops along the way, is a partnership with the best chance for success.
We can’t successfully determine a product’s final outcome by measurements or listening alone.
Instead, the finest outcomes are a partnership between the two arts.