Recording studio

Convert your car into a recording studio with this audio equipment

Car and driver

The new cars are quieter than ever, which means they’re soundproof enough to become mobile recording studios. This is not the intention of double-glazed windows, laminated windshields or all the yards of foam, carpet and armor inside a modern vehicle, but as we are running out of parts in our homes these days, and there’s nothing better to do — why not set some rhythms in your Lexus?

The material listed here is primarily entry level from trusted audio brands. Audiophiles and professionals alike should look away; it is for beginners and honest hobbyists who want to have fun. (We’re not mixing T Swift’s next album.) And before we start, don’t use these cars as the basis for your studio. They are quite loud.

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Condenser microphone

AKG is in the new Cadillac Escalade, and it’s a big name in real recording studios. A condenser mic captures the widest range of frequencies and detail, but note that this one is intended for vocals, not instruments.

Preamp / DAC

Use a condenser mic with a quality preamp and digital-to-analog converter, which processes the signal before it reaches your computer. This M-Audio unit has a 24 kHz / 192-bit DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for one microphone and allows you to control the mix from the microphone input and output from your computer.

USB DAC

It looks like a USB stick, but the DragonFly is a fancy DAC that bypasses laptop sound mistreatment and makes music really pop. It is an output-only device and reduces distortion when playing at high volume.

XLR cable

Shielded XLR cables are standard in the music industry, so take a short set like these.

Listeners

Forget about headphones, noise canceling, wireless, or anything made by Beats. You need clean, unfiltered sound to monitor your studio, and this mid-range model from Audio-Technica does just that.

Microphone stand with pop filter

Any small stand can fit on your center armrest, and a pop filter is a perfectly plausible tool you need to produce portable audio. Try to record that previous sentence without a single one, you will never do it again.

Audio software

The M-Audio preamp comes with a free version of Pro Tools, but if you’re splurging, get the full version of this super powerful recording software.

Laptop

A lightweight, rugged laptop like the Dell XPS has all the power you’ll need, plus a touchscreen that can fold up 180 degrees.

Storage

Large file sizes are accompanied by hi-fi audio. Data storage is cheap and fast these days, so grab a USB 3.0 drive.

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