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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?

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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.

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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:

http://designingsound.org/2012/12/recording-impulse-responses/

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:

http://www.mcdsp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=317

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 Jul 19 '13 at 21:20
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Trying out the plugin Speakerphone would be the obvious answer....

  • Ahh, Mark beat me to it lol – Andy Lewis Jul 19 '13 at 19:48
  • Beat me too ... It's easy and it works. – Chris Assells Jul 19 '13 at 22:15
  • Yeah... sorry about that, definitely the easiest choice! – Mark Durham Jul 19 '13 at 23:17
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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.

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