Mini Cooper Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.motoringfile.com/2014/03...-s-uses-active-sound-to-enhance-engine-noise/

we now have MINI using Active Sound to subtly enhance the in-cabin engine noise on the Cooper S. The option is only available on the Cooper S with the driving modes option – standard in North America. Let’s look at what the system is and how it works.


The system uses a small speaker in the left rear of the car that is tied to the engine revs. The system gives the car a slightly throatier sound up and down the rev range without going noticed. So subtle in fact is the system that when I drove the car a few months back I came away with the opinion that MINI had either decided not to have Active Sound in the Cooper S or the system wasn’t turned on. I’m now told it was and it’s just that subtle. However it’s worth noting that the system only is on in sport mode.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Not surprised this is happening, even Subaru and Scion did this to their cars by feeding a tube into the cabin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
That just ain't right

Feeding a computer-generated waveform into the cabin audio to fool the driver into thinking his engine sounds cool?

That just seems lame to me. The engine is what it is. Some of them sound great, some of them not so much. But artificially processing engine sounds is like a kid putting playing cards in the spokes of his bike or going Vroom! Vroom! on a kiddie cart.

I love the sound of machinery running well. And if something starts going south an attuned driver can often detect it before it becomes a big problem. This seems to decouple the the driver from the machine for an entirely unnecessary reason.

What's next? Auto-tuning? Make the engine sing Celine Dion songs?

How do I disconnect it? :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
Feeding a computer-generated waveform into the cabin audio to fool the driver into thinking his engine sounds cool?

That just seems lame to me. The engine is what it is. Some of them sound great, some of them not so much. But artificially processing engine sounds is like a kid putting playing cards in the spokes of his bike or going Vroom! Vroom! on a kiddie cart.

I love the sound of machinery running well. And if something starts going south an attuned driver can often detect it before it becomes a big problem. This seems to decouple the the driver from the machine for an entirely unnecessary reason.

What's next? Auto-tuning? Make the engine sing Celine Dion songs?

How do I disconnect it? :(
Okay, maybe I was a little too judgemental. If the augmentation is merely restoring sound attributes that are otherwise lost due to insulation, structure, etc, then that's OK. I suppose there's nothing unnatural about compensating for adverse acoustical environments; it enhances the driving experience.

I could also get behind anything that eliminates artifacts like buzzing, rattles, etc.

But if some engineer decided a Prius should sound like a small block Chevy, well, no thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I agree this bothersome lame, it makes me regret tesla did not come out yet with a model of this size... pure power even if silent is still pure power.

Anybody knows yet how to alter the program of the active sound system without requiring disassembly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
How come then i can only really hear the popping and turbo with the window or sun roof open?
The popping and burbling is still done physically - unburned fuel is introduced into the exhaust manifold in SPORT mode, producing the pops and burbles. No generated sound here.

I agree this bothersome lame, it makes me regret tesla did not come out yet with a model of this size... pure power even if silent is still pure power.

Anybody knows yet how to alter the program of the active sound system without requiring disassembly?
The ASD module is easily found (in the boot behind the left panel. It's silver and has lots of fins) and there are in line modules you can get that will disable it.

ESYS is another option - you can code the ASD sounds off completely.

In my opinion though, turning it off really takes the fun out of the car...It's too **** quiet. I coded it out myself on my car to see what the difference is and it's just too quiet. Give it some throttle, and that revving sound I used to enjoy is just gone. The ASD module isn't there to make sounds just because, it's there to accentuate the driving dynamics that drivers like me expect and want out of our cars. The sound profile even changes between driving modes - in MID/GREEN, the sound is much more subtle, but kick it into SPORT and it responds accordingly

The funny thing about ASD is that if you didn't know the car had it, you would never notice it, but when people find out they get all huffy about it. Now there are people on the BMW side that are recoding the ASD module so it sounds like different engines (ex: making a M135 sound like an M4), and I can understand why that can be polarizing because it very clearly sounds fake, but again, in the Cooper S, you would never know....until it's gone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: uke

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
We are in the Arts & design domain.

As an engineer at heart, sound is just a byproduct. A clear sign of wasted energy and therefore inefficiency. Wasted energy that could be used to make the car go faster/further/higher. Also making something silent is many times harder than leaving noise out, and therefore IMO noise no matter how "beautiful" is mostly a sign of careless engineering & lower quality. I guess it will take a generation or two until the general public realises this.

And of course, there will always people driving harley-davidson bikes as to enjoy (while somewhat selfishly sharing with everybody else, willing or not) totally useless pop.

But again, this is "personal TASTE". And in this sense I do feel cheated to be forced by BWM to conform to the majority while having to pay for it (directly or indirectly) without my knowledge, and now pay more to get ride of it. To be concrete I feel the same about the afterburner scape pops and it's the main reason I don't use sports mode in the towns too often. But at least that was done "for free" in a simple software tweak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
We are in the Arts & design domain.

As an engineer at heart, sound is just a byproduct. A clear sign of wasted energy and therefore inefficiency. Wasted energy that could be used to make the car go faster/further/higher. Also making something silent is many times harder than leaving noise out, and therefore IMO noise no matter how "beautiful" is mostly a sign of careless engineering & lower quality. I guess it will take a generation or two until the general public realises this.

And of course, there will always people driving harley-davidson bikes as to enjoy (while somewhat selfishly sharing with everybody else, willing or not) totally useless pop.

But again, this is "personal TASTE". And in this sense I do feel cheated to be forced by BWM to conform to the majority while having to pay for it (directly or indirectly) without my knowledge, and now pay more to get ride of it. To be concrete I feel the same about the afterburner scape pops and it's the main reason I don't use sports mode in the towns too often. But at least that was done "for free" in a simple software tweak.
Good point. Nobody takes pleasure in the smooth whirring of a well-balanced fan, or a sewing machine. It's the idiosyncrasies and inefficiencies of a complex machine that we anthropomorphise and derive pleasure from.

I bet even the Tesla drivers love to hear the quiet whine of the motors spooling up during a quick acceleration. If it were completely silent, it just wouldn't be the same. I personally hope that machines so closely coupled with their operators never go completely silent, even if the sound is artificially generated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
'' I personally hope that machines so closely coupled with their operators never go completely silent, even if the sound is artificially generated.''

There was an English motorcycle, called the Velocette, that was SO quiet, that you had to be very careful when crossing the road, because it was very quiet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
http://www.motoringfile.com/2014/03...-s-uses-active-sound-to-enhance-engine-noise/

we now have MINI using Active Sound to subtly enhance the in-cabin engine noise on the Cooper S. The option is only available on the Cooper S with the driving modes option – standard in North America. Let’s look at what the system is and how it works.


The system uses a small speaker in the left rear of the car that is tied to the engine revs. The system gives the car a slightly throatier sound up and down the rev range without going noticed. So subtle in fact is the system that when I drove the car a few months back I came away with the opinion that MINI had either decided not to have Active Sound in the Cooper S or the system wasn’t turned on. I’m now told it was and it’s just that subtle. However it’s worth noting that the system only is on in sport mode.
I guess that's the price we have to pay for a well insulated cabin, with Mini's new found love for luxury and refinement i guess they had to reach some compromises. i just wish you could also get the pops fed into the interior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
'' I personally hope that machines so closely coupled with their operators never go completely silent, even if the sound is artificially generated.''

There was an English motorcycle, called the Velocette, that was SO quiet, that you had to be very careful when crossing the road, because it was very quiet.
Wasn't there an issue with one of the hybrids-- it was so quiet that meddling politicians wanted the manufacturer to add noise generators OUTSIDE the car to warn people that the car was coming?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Wasn't there an issue with one of the hybrids-- it was so quiet that meddling politicians wanted the manufacturer to add noise generators OUTSIDE the car to warn people that the car was coming?
Yup... nearly all of them, in fact. I first remember hearing about it on... I think it was Top Gear (the real one, not the crappy US version).

There's a detailed and really interesting Wikipedia article on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_vehicle_warning_sounds

The TL/DR version:

"Japan issued guidelines for such warning devices in January 2010 and the U.S. approved legislation on December 2010.[1][2] The European Parliament approved legislation that requires the mandatory use of "Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems" for all new electric and hybrid electric vehicles within 5 years.[3]"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Wasn't there an issue with one of the hybrids-- it was so quiet that meddling politicians wanted the manufacturer to add noise generators OUTSIDE the car to warn people that the car was coming?
Indeed. There was talk about making them mandatory on the Prius, but neither of the ones I owned had a system like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,189 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: uke

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
I think BMW really screwed up with the Sport Mode exhaust popping... it should also throw half a foot of blue flame out the pipes.

Kiddingggg kiddinggg... well maybe a little serious... because that would be pretty cool at night...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
I think BMW really screwed up with the Sport Mode exhaust popping... it should also throw half a foot of blue flame out the pipes.

Kiddingggg kiddinggg... well maybe a little serious... because that would be pretty cool at night...
Indeed. Except California would most quickly go up in flames thanks to the MINI-induced conflagurations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
I think BMW really screwed up with the Sport Mode exhaust popping... it should also throw half a foot of blue flame out the pipes.

Kiddingggg kiddinggg... well maybe a little serious... because that would be pretty cool at night...
Indeed. Except California would most quickly go up in flames thanks to the MINI-induced conflagurations.
Details, details...
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top