Under the Bridge Downtown Part II

As a resident of NYC, I’m always looking for ways to get out of town.  Thanks to my in-laws, the Missus and I have a place upstate New York to get away when the grind of NYC starts to get us down.

We get the opportunity to spend a tremendous amount of the weekend watching the Delaware River roll by.  The section of the river that we spend time on divides two small towns in New York and Pennsylvania respectively. If you want to cross state lines you have to cross this bridge:

It is this great old metal bridge that has a metal surface that sort of looks like a cheese grater.  It lets out a great low rumbling hum when cars pass over it.  Back in the winter I made some recordings with hydrophones in the water below, but I wanted to return and record it with my Schoeps MS pair above the water.

In this recording I positioned myself under one end of the bridge and let the traffic roll over me.  This is just a snippet of a place I could spend hours lost in thought.  Who knew cars could be so soothing?

Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5’s setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96

Pool Hum

Lately I’ve been working on a series of underwater and hydrophone based recordings for a sound library.  One of my first stops was my brother-in-law’s pool for some scuba sounds.

He’s a trained diver and he was nice enough to let me come out for the day and put him through his paces.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get started until late in the day because of this sound:

I consider it a happy accident.  Initially I was really frustrated because I couldn’t figure out where this low frequency sound was coming from and I needed to record scuba sounds!  I kept looking around and there definitely wasn’t a nuclear sub in the pool!  My brother-in-law and I quickly discovered that a neighbor down the block was having his driveway ripped up and repaved.  All of that low frequency information was traveling from down the street and under the pool.  So what do you do when you have a loud hum?  We went out for lunch and then I took my nephew and niece out for ice-cream.  By the time we returned to the pool we were free and clear of construction hums and we could make all of the bubbling sounds we wanted.

Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of 2 Aquarian H2a Hydrophones. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96

Roof Drone

A few weekends back I got out of New York City with the Missus and headed upstate.  It was a beautiful weekend, but it did rain for a while, which gave me an excuse to do some recordings.  Some family friends have a beatiful old barn on the edge of their property that I have been dying to record in for some time.

The barn has old wooden beams, a metal roof, and a small bat population.  When it started raining, I ran over to start recording, thinking that the metal roof coupled with the acoustics of the interior would lead to some interesting results.

Unfortunately, the rain was a little too light and constant for the impacts on the metal roof to be that interesting, so I was not hopeful when I set up the recorder.  I didn’t think I would get anything worthwhile unless the pattern of the rain shifted.  However, when I got home and started sifting through the recording, I discovered the rain was not the coolest part.  It was the roof itself!  If you listen closely, the roof shifts in the wind and generates wobbly low frequency sounds. Can you say “Roof Drone?”  I had thought I would go home and trash the recording, but am glad I spent the time sifting through all of the content.

Now, I have to go back on a windy day to get just the sounds of the roof moving against the rest of the barn.  In addition, there are occasional bat vocalizations, a few birds, and a couple of planes that are all filtered through the roof and the barn.  It might not be the best result, but it turned out to be a worthy and interesting experiment.

Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5’s setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96