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Find me! Call DAP at 214.350.7678 or email rene@dallasaudiopost.com. Also check out echocollectivefx.com for custom sfx, and tonebenders.net for my podcast.

Sunday, November 27

an unconventional train recording

A while back I scouted out a remote train recording location along a track that I knew to be under pretty regular use by the freight lines that run through downtown.  Its amazing sonically, but not in the nicest part of town so I have to choose my times of day carefully since I don't want to be out there after dark.

The unique thing about this location is the fact that its right over the trinity river basin and has perfect access to the underside of the train bridge.  This presented a golden opportunity to both record a train by from a unique perspective (underneath) and to plant some contact mics on the rails and see what those things would hear.  I also wanted to do a very wide perspective since so many train bys that I hear and record lately are of the very closeup variety.

As I was still getting set up a train ran up over me and surprised me.  I panicked a bit, rolled on the audio, fretted about my contact mics not being set up, grabbed my handheld recorder, and looked for the video button on my phone.  The rest is in the vid below.

you'll notice that about halfway through I had to flip the video because I was holding my phone upside down, which made the train go in the wrong direction on the vid. good times.

 Here's a more detailed look at the setup:
Contact Mics

Mics under rails

Mics ORTF aimed up in the blimp

and here are the sounds from up close: The contact mics yielded surprisingly little sound and none of it really ended up being very interesting. On my next run I may try them on the wood rail ties. In all it was a pretty good shoot despite that, but I certainly feel as though I can get more and better sounds if I keep coming out.

As a side note, I will be posting the high res files of both the close and wide perspectives on two train passes to The Sound Collector's Club for download.  All you need to do is sign up and post a train recording of your own to get them.

Join in the fun!


Anonymous said...

A quit lovely sound to hear on a dark monday morning.. thanks:)

Steve Urban said...

Dude, Careful! If you're worried about dodging bullets by night, be worried about dodging trains by day! Great sounds though...

Rene said...

it was a little unnerving to be that close to the thing as it was going overhead. actually a lot unnerving.