One of the more frustrating aspects of product design is the quest to eliminate mistakes and problems. Your team works as hard as it can to squash the bugs, correct the errors, cancel the faux pas and hope for the illusion of perfection.
If you get close no one notices.
It’s the mistakes we pay attention to.
I am reminded of this paradigm as my book, 99% True, sits (yet again) in the hands of another proofreader. This will mark the 3d proofing of the manuscript looking for misspelled words, grammatical missteps, and violations of the Chicago Manual of Style. And if they get it right no one will notice.
Not noticing is the point.
Intellectually we understand perfection is unachievable.
The best we can hope for is mistakes so minor or buried so deep they don’t stand out like sore thumbs.
Mistakes matter. They can often offer character to a product or work. As creators, we just hope they aren’t the center of attention.
I went to the RMAF last October and found that the European speaker manufacturers products had a soft sounding mid-range presentation. I asked a few of their reps about this and they explained that the listening rooms over there are smaller and made of very hard materials. No wall to wall carpeting etc. I must say, I preferred the softer sound.”
Thanks, Roger and I love this thought because t brings up something near and dear to my heart. The way we tailor our sound system to match our environment.
If you take the 50,000-foot view of this notion that manufacturers of speakers in countries with smaller rooms soften their products it might cause you to scratch your head. Why not simply make flatter speakers that work for everyone and ask the hometown folks to add a little carpet or sound deadening to their walls?
The answer to that question goes deep to the heart of what I love about our industry. The great manufacturers build products that work in their homes. This, in contrast to the big consumer audio companies that homogenize their offerings, is a key component in what separates high-performance audio from the oatmeal vendors trying to cater to everyone and being remarkable to no one.
High-End Audio is personal.