I want to take some spoken word recordings I did on a decent mic in my home studio and make them sound like they are coming from a car radio. I have played with EQ and distortion in Pro Tools, but I'm not quite satisfied with the results. Anybody have any tips or tricks for achieving this effect?

4 Answers 4


Save your money. Put them on CD, play them on your car stereo, re-record it with that decent mic.

Unless you really need Speakerphone or Futzbox.


I think the most elegant way would be to take an impulse response of a car stereo and run it through that. That way you will not only capture the characteristics of the speakers, but also the space of the car. Worth reading this:


There is also a plugin called speakerphone which models various speakers and spaces. Not sure if they have a car interior (anyone?), but you could use that. It's expensive, but good.

You could also check out Futzbox:


They have a demo available. I expect that getting the reverb right may be a big factor here, so you may need to work on that.

  • @mark could you elaborate on taking an impulse of a car stereo? I've read the designing sound ir article. But I'm still confused on how you would do that for a car stereo? Play a loud transient sound through the car stereo and record that sound from inside the car? THANKS!!
    – Jake
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 21:20

Trying out the plugin Speakerphone would be the obvious answer....

  • Ahh, Mark beat me to it lol
    – Andy Lewis
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 19:48
  • Beat me too ... It's easy and it works. Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 22:15
  • Yeah... sorry about that, definitely the easiest choice! Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 23:17

heavy use of a high and low pass filters on an EQ should help do the job. Then adding the infamous smiley face EQ curve by removing the mid range a little.

I personally like using an impulse response of a terrible speaker... Like poundshop/dollar store? toy speakers.

I generally keep my speaker IR's clean so then for the car I would add a tiny bit of dull delay to use as the reverb. Or even think about reamping in a closet. Though if its available, reamping using an actual car speaker system would take less work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.