If you enjoy your job, you’ll find it interesting and probably also important for your own company. It would be unusual for a television crew to suddenly become interested in your field of work. This recently happened to Matthias Alex and he reports here on his experience during shooting work for the VOX car magazine ‘auto mobil’.
‘The public’s interest does not normally tend to focus on what I’m currently doing together with two mechanics and six engineers. As acoustic design developers and technicians, we primarily deal with damping the noise generated in the intake stroke of a combustion engine. This because increasingly strict noise emission limits ensure that the air intake systems developed by MANN+HUMMEL also have to contribute to reducing vehicle noise.
Sound transports emotions
As the sound of an engine also carries emotion, acoustic design is increasingly often in demand, rather than simple noise reduction: the engine of a sports car is expected to sound sporty to the occupants, without breaching noise limits. That is also my team’s job – and the job of the ‘symposer’. This is a system which transfers the intake pulsation generated by the engine to the interior and in doing so purposefully shapes the sound of the engine.
From the lab to the television: acoustic design
The editors of the VOX car magazine ‘auto mobil’ happened upon MANN+HUMMEL whilst writing about acoustic design last autumn. You could also say that they had to happen upon MANN+HUMMEL. This provided me with an interesting diversion from my normal activities. Instead of working on simulations on the computer or sitting in meetings with my team or with customers, I accompanied the television crew for a day. I had to drive a car equipped with our symposer, explain the system and talk about the significance and possibilities of acoustic design for the cameras. You can see it all on the webpage of VOX.
VOX ‘auto mobil’ about acoustic design
It is amazing how the television crew managed to compress a day of work into five and a half minutes – five and a half minutes of unaccustomed limelight. And even if you don’t become a celebrity as a result – thank God! – a television appearance is still a very public matter: I was surprised at how often I was, and am, approached and by whom. And even though I regularly give talks, it is unusual and exciting to speak and do things in front of a running camera. It was also fun, even though two things were missing in the report: a reference to the fact that the acoustic design is carried out in Ludwigsburg by a team of eight people and that it is run by MANN+HUMMEL at various locations around the world. But there probably wasn’t enough time for that in five minutes.’