The sound design process is always one of compromise, but that does not mean we need to compromise our principles. There is no job with unlimited budget and placement options. We are the sound experts. We have a duty to inform others about how their design decisions affect the sound quality. It’s up to us to inform them that hiding the speakers in soffits is the most expensive downgrade available. Then we can reach a suitable compromise or creative solution based on the weight of all factors. Our decisions have both positive and negative effects. How can
TANSTAAFL Science fiction author Robert Heinlein penned TANSTAAFL in his 1966 novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress . This term (pronounced “t-ahn-st-ah-ful”) is an acronym for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” The concept is applicable to decision-making in all walks of life. Every decision comes with a cost, some form of tradeoff. A simple illustration: two overlapping speakers in a point source array. Increased overlap yields higher power capability but raises the ripple variance. Decreased overlap yields less power addition and minimizes ripple variance. The freelunch option (maximum addition with minimum variance) is not on the menu. Take the power option for AC/DC and opt for minimum variance for Les Mis .