Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano [Sound Machine]

Skip to 17s to hear startup, 1m05s for acceleration

From the Ferrari website:

The sound becomes more pleasurable when certain engine frequencies are enhanced whilst reducing mechanical resonance, particularly when accelerating hard. Work was done on the body and transmission too as part of this “design to sound” approach.

The most characteristic acoustic components of a 12-cylinder engine are the third and sixth harmonics. The former gives the sound a more robust tone while the latter guarantees a pleasant timbre.

Having never owned a car, I have no sense of what a car should sound like. That said, I’m not sure I would be happy with this “Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano”, at least as far as sound design is concerned. Judging from the startup sound, this car is not for someone who wants to be discreet – but I’m not really here to critique the attitudes that the sounds project. So the sounds: the engine hum is more evocative of lawn mowers and small aircraft than the snarl of some alpha predator. I can’t speak to the acoustic properties described above, but I think the most puzzling assumption of the quote above is that cars should make conspicuous sounds in the first place. An ideal sound machine as transportation device, as I see it, would be the opposite of a Ferrari. It would be a sort of portable anechoic chamber. A car ride in this vehicle would not have to be silent – one could listen to music, the wind, or enjoy conversation with passengers.

– Miles


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