Does music affect your driving?

Jan 13, 2015
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Music does things to our brain (e.g. Good music stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain). That's what I've read at least. But how does it affect driving? Racing games are known to have soundtracks ranging from rap, rock, eurobeat,etc. In the case of Assetto Corsa though, it has no in-game music so you guys might be playing your favorite driving music in the background. Does it have an effect on your performance though?

I tried listening to eurobeat (my favorite genre for competitive driving music) and did a quick-race in Spa. I was a bit "braver" in the corners and I had the tendency towards late braking more then usual. Then again, it might be just me. I've yet to see the actual telemetry.

I know we have the ACTI tool for getting telemetry from races and I would very much want to see your opinion and findings regarding this topic. :)
 

Sky

500RPM
May 17, 2014
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i find music massively annoying if i'm racing. i don't mind it on something like eurotruck sim
 

Lorenzo Bonder

Wah wah.
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Apr 5, 2015
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If I'm doing qualify laps at the track or practice laps, I usually listen to electronic or a up tempo rock music to loosen me up and try to help me find a good lap or find the track apexes. But during race, it's me and the engine sound. That's it. Nothing else.

In other games like ETS, I listen to music no problem. It makes time pass by quicker.
 

Óscar Melero

Foxtochop
May 7, 2014
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It's like hearing 2 songs at the same time.

I MUST hear the car engine clearly. If not, I just go sideways.

Don't ask why but it happens to me.
 

Brandon Wright

I may not be fast, but I'm wide!
Nov 14, 2014
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Your brain can only focus 100% on one thing at a time. Having music playing while doing a task will reduce your brain's capabilities to focus 100% on a particular task. Basically, playing music while trying to drive on the limits will have some kind of negative impact on your performance and lead to distraction. It could also prevent you from falling into the "zone" where you almost become one with the car/track and forget about the rest of the world.

That being said, I'm one who has to always have music on when I'm doing something, especially while driving my real car. But in sim racing I have no music except the sounds of the car as I find it incredibly distracting and it prevents me from focusing on all the small details of driving at the limit. Sometimes music can be a benefit, but with intensive tasks like performance driving I find it to be a distraction.

Taken from this: http://www.sparringmind.com/music-productivity/

Music seems to interfere with learning
When it comes to absorbing and retaining new information, distraction in any form is a huge no-no.

According to this research, music is no exception. Participants had a much more difficult time recalling a complex task when they had listened to music.

Music demands too much of your attention—even when the sounds are subtle—to be listened to when you are trying to learn or analyze new information.

Imagine trying to “read above your level,” or reading material that is outside your expertise, while being pulled away by the sound of music. It makes an already difficult task nearly impossible.
Driving a car on a track at the limits is basically a learning exercise, you're trying to learn the nuances of the car, the subtleties of the track, and how the two interact with each other. If ever there was a "complex task", driving at the limits is it and listening to music would be a hindrance. But luckily, since lives and property aren't on the line, we can sim race with the music blaring if that's one's preference. It will keep you from reaching your ultimate best, but for some that may not matter. :tup:
 

Ben Eastman

250RPM
Jun 26, 2011
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Your brain can only focus 100% on one thing at a time. Having music playing while doing a task will reduce your brain's capabilities to focus 100% on a particular task. Basically, playing music while trying to drive on the limits will have some kind of negative impact on your performance and lead to distraction. It could also prevent you from falling into the "zone" where you almost become one with the car/track and forget about the rest of the world.

That being said, I'm one who has to always have music on when I'm doing something, especially while driving my real car. But in sim racing I have no music except the sounds of the car as I find it incredibly distracting and it prevents me from focusing on all the small details of driving at the limit. Sometimes music can be a benefit, but with intensive tasks like performance driving I find it to be a distraction.

Taken from this: http://www.sparringmind.com/music-productivity/



Driving a car on a track at the limits is basically a learning exercise, you're trying to learn the nuances of the car, the subtleties of the track, and how the two interact with each other. If ever there was a "complex task", driving at the limits is it and listening to music would be a hindrance. But luckily, since lives and property aren't on the line, we can sim race with the music blaring if that's one's preference. It will keep you from reaching your ultimate best, but for some that may not matter. :tup:
I agree for the most part except I do find when testing setups for hours, a little bit of chilled/ambient does wonders. Nothing with lyrics or partcularly distracting to be fair, but it helps me get in the zone.
 
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Jan 22, 2015
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Music while driving my s2k in real life is fine. When I actually race it or race in game I find it completly distracting and annoying.
 
Feb 26, 2010
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IRL, I always have music blaring in my car. Although I won't have any on a track day.

In-Game, if I'm cruising on a Touristenfahrten server, I might put music on, not going for laptimes and even if I drive at the limit it's ok... If I'm properly racing however, no music.
 
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Stereo

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Dec 22, 2009
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Music helps me stay focused, if I'm just driving around with no music then I start thinking about other stuff and get distracted from driving well. It does take some of my focus but it's like, 90% all the time is better than 100% dropping to 20% when I notice something else interesting.
 

Jimlaad43

Nice apex, I'll take it!
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May 2, 2010
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I just have a massive playlist of my favourite songs from the last 10 years or so. I play that while racing, mainly to stop me getting ear bored. In one AC Club race, the sound died for AC, and I had to do 30 laps of Spa in a GT2 car without any engine noise. Thankfully, I had the music to keep me focussed/interested.
 

Sun Levi

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Dec 7, 2012
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When I play alone most of the time I have music playing in the background. Cruising at Nordschleife in AC I always have my music playing.
 

Kurei

100RPM
Mar 21, 2015
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I was actually doing this yesterday, having grown tired of the silence of AC's menu.

I had Pandora opened in Firefox and was Alt-tab'ing back-n-forth to skip tracks and adjust volumes. I went to Imola for the first time with the P1, and while doing recon-laps I had music playing, but once I had my FFB adjusted and had the tires warmed-up with the track rubber'd-in, I ended up turning it off while trying to set some hot laps.

Like mentioned above, I can really only focus on 1 sound source or the other, and I ended up turning the music-side off once things got serious.
 

Dux

Simracer since 99 / 3D Engineer & Game Developer
Oct 14, 2012
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Interesting topic :thumbsup:
I wondered the same thing myself. The thing Senna described as "different dimension" ?
I was once in that type of 'hyper' driving. Not thinking on other things but going faster and faster and faster and i was way beyond the laptimes i did at that time. I was listening music in the background. It was none other but Hans Zimmer instrumentals. Unlike guys above, with electronic or trans or what not, i never listened those songs nor i know which one will have certain effect on me. I just got inside the music in way, and concentrated on nothing else but the drive, like, now its the time now or never. Like 1 million people are watching you and you have to show off, kinda feeling.

However, once i found that music also can be disturbing. Disturbing when i race against others. When you have low visibility behind you for me sometimes its very crucial to hear the sound of the other car to know where he is what is he doing or what might be doing in the next 2-3 seconds so i can act accordingly. Because in racing, what others do its very important for you. Its not you and the track or the time, but you and the others. And when i have music at some level that will prevent me from hearing the car which is behind me i might have problems and i found out that i really did had. So racing against others, i don't prefer it, but when i drive alone, i wont mind it.
 
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Lorenzo Bonder

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And I always thought this was an Eurobeat music, no joke:

Sounds like I was wrong lol.

EDIT: I forgot to mention. I'm never bring Darude - Sandstorm references again. Unless it deems necessary.
 
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