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Old 10-31-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
Mr. Wyndham
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Tuning the Camaro Exhaust note

Quote:
Getting an Earful

How Do We Make the Exhaust Sound Right?
It goes without saying that the exhaust character of a pony car is vital to the success of the vehicle. The engine note is central to the Camaro's very being — it's part of the reason for buying the car in the first place.

We will not have done our job correctly if it comes out sounding like a turbocharged vacuum cleaner.

So just how do we decide what the Camaro needs to sound like anyway?

The process, like all of those that we do with GM Engineering, is reasonably simple but very complex. First, we identify a number of vehicles (some are usually competitors' vehicles and some of our own product) that we think sound good. We measure them with a tool affectionately known here in Melbourne as "Helmut." It is a very sensitive set of microphones attached in a facsimile of a human head that is carefully calibrated to accurately simulate the human hearing spectrum.

Helmut usually sits on a box in the passenger seat of the vehicle and goes for a ride with the driver as he or she performs various maneuvers. We then repeat the same procedure for all of our test vehicles to give us a comparative set of sound recordings for the cars. These recordings can be used later by the induction and exhaust development engineers to calibrate their parts to the intended sound pressure curves on various test benches and dynamometers. Incidentally, we also measure the cars from the outside to simulate what an observer is hearing as the cars drive past them.

We process the sound recordings using a fast computer and break them up into their constituent frequencies (this is called Fourier Transformation — named after the French scientist who invented the mathematics behind it), graph them, and document the portions of the sound which are pleasing and those which are not. These are then put into a virtual melting pot; we use some parts of one recording and other parts of another to create a master file, which is a composite of all of these recordings and sounds exactly the way we want it to.

We're all ears
We usually convene a cross-sectional group of marketing and engineering people in a soundproof room once the master file is done, play all of the files one after another through very sophisticated headphones, and come to some consensus on the new composite.

Typically, we then throw this composite file in a drawer somewhere, forget about it, and decide to copy the car that sounded the best in the first place. Simple, really.

One Final Step
Oh yeah, there's one last essential step. We all go out to the track and burn some serious rubber in the original test cars, just to make sure we made the right decision — and to remind ourselves how cool our jobs can be.
— Andrew D. Holmes


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Old 10-31-2008, 11:28 AM   #2
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Wow. I didn't know they actually have a machine for this. Pretty cool.
That would be the best job.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
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I say, make it sound like a ZR1!
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:59 AM   #5
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One Final Step
Oh yeah, there's one last essential step. We all go out to the track and burn some serious rubber in the original test cars, just to make sure we made the right decision — and to remind ourselves how cool our jobs can be.
— Andrew D. Holmes


Hahahaha, I love it.
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:18 PM   #6
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I know it will sound awesome. The one thing that I am concerned about is you may have to "listen up" to hear it at idle. Don't get me wrong, I don't want it to be a nuisance but I do want to it to be heard. I remember as kids my brother and I always knew when my dad was coming home as we could here him turn the corner in his Oldsmobile. That's what I want.
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:34 PM   #7
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BTW do know that Team Camaro is done tweaking the exhaust yet?? I heard the vid with Jay Leno starting the V6 and since it was a "pre-production" model even he said the exhaust note was still being tweaked.

I'd sure like to hear an updated clip of the V6 in action.
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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like this.....we're listening to many exhausts at the Milford Proving grounds........
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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and this too..........
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Old 10-31-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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Room full of motorheads.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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Nice!!!
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:34 PM   #12
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great! i cannot wait to hear the final sounds!!
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:27 AM   #13
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I cant wait to hear the final V6 sound in person when i take delivery!
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:10 AM   #14
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Shoot...nothing wrong with the V6, but I can't wait to hear the sound of my chambered exhaust when I pick up mine!!!
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