Junk Cars is a collection of on-board multi-channel recordings of old, barely-functioning European cars. The first car in the library is a 1995 Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Astra with a 1.6 liter Petrol engine, a broken exhaust and in a very sorry state. It wasn't roadworthy when I found it, but with a little help from a car mechanic we managed to get it on the road.

We wired up the Astra with a pair of DPA 4060s in the cabin, a pair of DPA 4061s in the engine compartiment, a DPA 4061 and a Sennheiser MKH8040 on the exhaust, and finally another Sennheiser MKH8040 taped to the car body facing the ground. Multiple trips were recorded on the Sound Devices 633 and Mixpre-6 recorders. Each perspective sounds different and can be layered for creative vehicle sound design. The recordings cover more than 31 minutes of driving on gravel, dirt and tarmac, both on country roads and on busy motorways. The library includes many honk horns, several engine starts and stops, idling, revving, accelerating, decelerating, driving slowly and driving fast.

The cabin DPAs sound incredibly creaky and rattly. The engine recordings sound weak, letting in a lot of outside noise because of the poor insulation. The exhaust mics picked up a lot of low end and vibrations from the broken tailpipe, making the car sound much more aggressive than it looked. Finally, the ground perspective MKH8040 manages to provide a separate and unique recording of the various surfaces that the car drove over.

Important! More cars will be added to the collection as they are recorded. Get your copy now and you will receive all subsequent updates for free.

At a glance:

  • 7 mono synced .wav files, 31 minutes each
  • recorded and presented at 24 bit/96 kHz
  • 3.3 GB .zip archive/3.5 GB uncompressed size
  • recorded on Sound Devices 633 and Mixpre-6 with DPA 4060, DPA 4061 and Sennheiser MKH 8040 microphones
  • free lifetime updates

Library graphics: