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Thread: What are you guys using for studio quality sound in your cars ?

  1. #1
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    What are you guys using for studio quality sound in your cars ?

    Having worked as a sound engineer and written a lot of music, i have used a lot of studio monitors, PA rigs for my everyday listening. This has led me to become a pain in the *** about how i would like to hear music in the car. It has to be crisp midrange sound, with strong PA like overtones, sold kick and warm smooth sub bass extention that does not resonate. The sub bass should sound like its floating through you. When a good bass player is playing no note he hits should resonate.

    thus far i had not hear a mid priced car system that i liked the sound of, (but i have not hear that many). those i have hear the bass resonates, the sound is stiff, often thrashy without the dynamics and midrange kick that makes you want to listen to tracks again and again.

    So to achieve good sound i have been installing stuff like PA gear and active studio monitors in the car (genelecs) running on inverters with the best mp3 player i could find that had warm bass extention. (iRiver clix) but its still got certain bass frequencies which resonate. The best bass extention i had with no sub bass resonance from digital were unusual devices. A cheap nokia mobile phone, which was useless in higher frequencies was one.

    Now that i have a car system which has a basic level of standard i can live with, without having to pay a top end autosound dealer 2000 in the hope i might get something acceptable, i am curious as to what other sonic fusspots are using to get studio quality sounds in their motors.

    SO i guess i am asking this.

    Are you also hooked on the sound quality you get from top end studio set ups ?

    What did it take to get this into a car ?

  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate Uraijit's Avatar
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    Being that you're familiar with studios, you are surely aware that no car can ever be like a true studio setting. The odd shapes, different materials, and different acoustical attributes of a car cabins are just not conducive to a studio-like experience.

    Have you looked at dynamatting your vehicle, to address some of your resonance issues?

    I'm no audiophile, though I have spent some time in a studio, I just don't have the money or the time to be dedicating to high-end audio in multiple vehicles. But I am the kind of guy who will take SQ over SP any day.
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  3. #3
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    I'm all about SQ, and try to be conscience of this in my car, budget allowing

    I have a pair of Xonar D2 sound cards, run active, analog out, to a pair of TRU T4.65's, then out to 2 pair of Pioneer Premiere 720PRS 2 ways...
    I have a single, 10" Aurasound sub in a sealed enclosure driven off a 400watt Alpine 2-channel amp...
    I use Audiomulch for all my DSP...all my processing is done at 24 bit resolution and 96Khz sampling...
    I made my own interconnects and VenHaus speaker wire...
    I try to eliminate cable shielding and get as close as I can to open-air where ever possible...also minimal length.
    95% of my media collection is lossless, and I have a small collection of 24 bit/96Khz DVD-A's
    My car uses 3 types of sound deadening, about 65% complete...
    No compression, no EQing, no filtering, no noise reduction...

    That's the basics anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uraijit View Post
    Being that you're familiar with studios, you are surely aware that no car can ever be like a true studio setting. The odd shapes, different materials, and different acoustical attributes of a car cabins are just not conducive to a studio-like experience.

    Have you looked at dynamatting your vehicle, to address some of your resonance issues?
    The vehicle i installed the active studio monitor is a camper, so its pretty well insulated anyway. I built a second floor and installed the active monitor just between and behind the front seats under the floor. So its not firing at anything reflective like glass doors or glass, everything sounds as good as in a normal room.

    But its mono.

    so now time to consider swapping over to a 12 volt system. The primary point is to facilate studio level surround sound mixing in a camper van.I'm curious as to what other people consider is the brands of car audio gear to get near studio level quality.

    I moved somewhere where i could not turn up speakers, it was getting frustrating having a pair of 1500 monitors and not being able to use them, so i thought why not install these things in the vehicles instead. With a camper i can go anywhere, and have it as loud as i want, the windows can be blocked off, and i can sound insulate the whole space, which will also add the double benefit of being able to camp in a town and sleep without putting in earplugs.

    Perhaps i ought to be looking at van studios.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    I'm all about SQ, and try to be conscience of this in my car, budget allowing

    I have a pair of Xonar D2 sound cards, run active, analog out, to a pair of TRU T4.65's, then out to 2 pair of Pioneer Premiere 720PRS 2 ways...
    I have a single, 10" Aurasound sub in a sealed enclosure driven off a 400watt Alpine 2-channel amp...
    I use Audiomulch for all my DSP...all my processing is done at 24 bit resolution and 96Khz sampling...
    I made my own interconnects and VenHaus speaker wire...
    I try to eliminate cable shielding and get as close as I can to open-air where ever possible...also minimal length.
    95% of my media collection is lossless, and I have a small collection of 24 bit/96Khz DVD-A's
    My car uses 3 types of sound deadening, about 65% complete...
    No compression, no EQing, no filtering, no noise reduction...

    That's the basics anyway
    Sounds like high quality ...i saw pics of it on another forum. Seeing as the sound is flat and 24 bit..how would does it compare with home studio or cinema setups ?

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    this van studio looks good.



    I wonder how much the insurance is ?

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    Tasty

  8. #8
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerharris View Post
    Sounds like high quality ...i saw pics of it on another forum. Seeing as the sound is flat and 24 bit..how would does it compare with home studio or cinema setups ?
    That's a tough one to answer...
    I know how MY car sounds...comparing it to anything else is somewhat relative...not to mention apples to oranges a bit too in comparison to a studio
    With speaker placement compromises that cars inflict on the 'stage', it's hard to overcome the shortcomings...
    However, ambiophonics can be a very nice solution if implemented properly...
    I'll be experimenting with it some more this summer...

  9. #9
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    Being both a sound engineer and now an acoustic consultant, I feel I must say that your gonna be pretty lucky if you can get your car to sound anything like a studio. It will cost you tens of thousands!

    However, my advice would be to employ bass trapping methods in the corners of your camper, look at bracing all the surfaces.
    The fact is that a good studio can run off relitively cheap monitors, the genelecs you have will have been designed for use within an enthusiasts studio.
    If you have a lot of spare time and money I would recommend, considering the shape of the van, a LEDE (Live End Dead End) approach.
    If you want to do this properly then you need to do a Modal Analysis using SIR (software) and find the problem frequencies that are resonating and then filter them out with a EQ. Also lots of absorptive materials e.g. thick rugs, carpets, bean bags will greatly reduce the RT of the van.

    Finally mp3's? I don't care what anyone says, use lossless compression if you must, prefferably no compression remember people can still hear a difference between uncompressed sound and 192,600 samples per second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey7415963 View Post
    Finally mp3's? I don't care what anyone says, use lossless compression if you must, prefferably no compression remember people can still hear a difference between uncompressed sound and 192,600 samples per second.
    Beat me to it, I was going to say that too. Have you tried plugging in a CD player just to see the difference of what you're feeding into the system? The problem might not be the system at all!

    I'm not so fussy about my mp3's, but I do encode them at 384 / 256k where I can. I do notice a difference between that and the standard.

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