Teslas are famously feature-rich automobiles—to an increasing extent, they can even drive themselves. But let’s not forget that we tend to spend a lot of time sitting in our cars while stationary—waiting for the kids to emerge from school, for our partner to finish shopping, or simply for the Supercharger to fill up the fuel tank with a fresh batch of electrons.
That’s why Tesla has provided a selection of in-vehicle apps that can satisfy our modern human need to be entertained at all times (and keep our canine friends comfortable while they wait, too). Of course, entertainment needs differ—some enjoy the nostalgia trip of playing the cheesy video-arcade games that were all the rage when we (and Elon Musk) were teenagers, while others are perfectly happy exploring the possibilities of Fart Mode.
For those of us who prefer more creative pursuits, Tesla released a multitrack music-creating tool called TRAX in 2019. Those of us in the music racket refer to this kind of software tool as a digital audio workstation, or DAW. Actually, it’s a bit generous to refer to TRAX as a DAW—by all accounts, it’s less sophisticated than entry-level DAWs like the popular GarageBand, and a far cry from the systems the pros use (like ProTools or Cubase). As Engadget put it, it’s like a musical notepad—a tool to capture a flash of musical inspiration that strikes in the parking lot—rather than a suite you can use to track and mix a musical opus.
That said, hip-hop music producer The Hyphenate seems to be having fun making beats in his Tesla. In a 2020 video, he demonstrates how to use the TRAX software to lay down a “dope drum track,” and build a complete (if basic) beat on top of that. Jack White from The Raconteurs (and The White Stripes) has also toyed around in his Tesla to record music.
The latest artist to create a mini-masterpiece at Studio Tesla is Grammy award-winning producer Diplo. He used TRAX to remix his new Silk City song with Mark Ronson and Ellie Goulding, New Love. As Kiss FM’s Catalina explains, Diplo’s a man on the go, and a “man’s gotta make beats wherever he can.”
We Americans are famous for doing everything in our cars, and as cars increasingly take over more of the driving task themselves, the list of things that it’s feasible to do while rolling down the highway will expand. It might sound far-fetched today, but someday, when an artist says their latest album was recorded on the road, they may really mean it was recorded on the road.
Written by: Charles Morris