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The Songs the Sound Engineers Use to Tune Your Stereo



For sound-system engineers at the audio-equipment manufacturer Bose, a playlist is more than tracks that slap. To test stereos, they need songs representing a variety of sounds and recording techniques to make sure new systems can re-create a song with the depth of the original recording.

To have a common reference point, Bose engineers all over the globe share a master playlist. “Every system engineer knows these tracks inside and out,” says Mark Armitage, head of the acoustical-engineering team at the company’s Michigan field office. “It makes for a universal language we can use when testing and tuning.”


The partial list (the article mentions the whole list is 54 recordings long, but only nine—along with the rationale for each one—are included):

* A generic "pink" noise track
* "I Can See Clearly Now," cover version by the Holly Cole Trio
* "Bird on a Wire," Johnny Cash
* "24K Magic," Bruno Mars
* "Billie Jean," cover version by Winterplay
* "Learning to Fly," live version by Tom Petty
* "Take Five," Dave Brubeck Quartet
* "Hey Nineteen," Steely Dan
* "Homeward Bound," cover version by Straight No Chaser

My mom used to sing that first selection (#1 on the list) to me when I was a child. Put me to sleep every time. /s

Back in the day when I did car stereos (before sound ordinances became commonplace)... My favorite test music oddly enough was few Enya songs.... I am sure they test different things now days, not so much basswise. But Enya just did the full gambit for me.

Cyber Liberty:
Those are pretty good cuts to test for the stated purposes.


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