In yesterday's post I had mentioned we have invested a lot of money in state of the art measurement equipment. That equipment finds all manner of little distortions, noises, jitter, and frequency anomalies we would never have found without it. It's absolutely worth the investment we've made. Yet, it cannot measure much of what our ears can. This fact drives Dave Paananen, our Director of Engineering, bonkers. And not just Dave either. The entire team is challenged to deliver properly engineered new products, as well as maintaining and servicing existing products, based on someone's opinion that it "sounds good".
It sometimes feels like an impossible challenge, one unique to our industry.
And yet there are many examples of this same frustration within other industries. Take art for example. Imagine you were responsible for choosing which art has enough value to go in your museum, store, or client's home. Or food. Restaurants (even McDonalds) live and die by taste and the opinions of others.
When your company's products are defined by taste, creativity, or sonic accuracy, and the final measurements are a matter of someone's opinion, the ballgame changes from that of a simple right or wrong, to one of multiple shades of gray. (Probably more than 50).
Let us not stress too much over the fact our machines cannot quantify that which we can taste, feel, smell, or hear.
You don't need a machine to back up what you already know.