I recently received some PMs asking me about why some industry veterans  said they don’t believe in the “house curve philosophy” because “every car is different”. 

Obviously, I can’t speak for them. 

But I was reminded of an article I read a long time ago by a pro sound guy named Bob McCarthy. I looked it up, and I went ahead and ordered his book -  On Sound System Design -  and here’s a bit of what he said in the article:

“Where do you aim the speakers in a lively hall? At the people. And in a dead hall? At the people again. In what kind of hall do we intentionally aim sound at anything other than the seats? None that I have ever been involved with. Do we approach this differently for pop music than speech in a house of worship? Do loud shows need to aim away from the walls while quiet ones don’t?

This might seem like a silly line of questioning, but I am bringing this up to make a simple but important point. Sound system engineering is not about the room. It is about the sound system.”

He goes on to make some excellent points, some specifically for pro, some I’m going to test out in my own car - but the gist of it is this:

A house curve approach isn’t an approach of where to set the sliders. That truly would ignore differences from car to car. 

A house curve is a frequency response target. You can change that target for personal preference or system deficiencies (or because you don’t want to rattle one trim panel you aren’...


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