The intake and exhaust sound of a car always sounds best at the engine’s full open, fully loaded condition (under full acceleration) in its power band. (Recently there have been cars that are tuned to sound the best under load conditions encountered in daily use, before the full open/fully loaded state. A good example of this are cars like the Lexus LFA and the Ferrari 458). All “drivers” know, that engines sound the best when the car is at full throttle under load of acceleration, in its power band, when the airflow through the engine is the greatest; when the engine is “flat out”.
And we’ve had the desire to record engines under those conditions, but in actuality this is quite difficult. Sampling of engine sounds have to be recorded in samples that has a certain amount of length (a full second at minimum), with frequency (pitch) variation at a steady state, or else its not possible to create a sound asset that loops correctly. If the pitch varies, its difficult to restore the sound to a condition in which the pitch is constant.
And having the car at full acceleration in a straight line (so in effect, the pitch increasing gradually with the rise in engine RPM) with microphones in the car recording this, then using sound tools to apply counters to negate pitch changes and then returning the pitch to a constant state did not produce a quality looped sound piece.
So we also tried running the car on a lightly ascending slope, thereby placing the car under load and using a higher gear at full throttle, not decelerating or accelerating; but again this is not easy.
Using a roller chassis dynamo you can record engine sound with the engine under load, but the rotation noise of the roller itself, and the noise of its contact with the tires was greater than the exhaust sound, and didn’t prove to be a good alternative.
However there was a turning point in 2003, when we met with Mr. Tanabe of Amuse, one of the leading car tuners of Japan in his day (Mr. Tanabe passed away in 2008).
We found that the “Dynapack” chassis dynamo used by Tanabe san (known to be a perfectionist) for precision engine settings was perfect for capturing engine sound.
to be continued.