Waiting for Sandy

I’ve been known to record a few ambiences from my Brooklyn apartment over the years. Hurricane Sandy is on her way, and there is not much going on outside … yet.

Here’s a bit of ambience I recorded last week during a short rainstorm:

Light rain was falling, a small bird chirped away, and the occasional car rolled by on the street. This recording was made around rush hour, and I’m struck by the relative quiet. We’ll see what Sandy brings tomorrow.

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 with a Cooper CS–104 as a front end.

Grand Central Terminal

photo credit: flickr/mike_fleming

A few weeks ago I had a meeting in midtown Manhattan at Grand Central Terminal. Grand Central Terminal is one of those iconic New York buildings that tourists and commuters flow in and out of every day without stopping to take a listen or a look around. It is a gorgeous building that went through a major restoration in the 1990s and should be explored repeatedly. I’ve lived in New York twice and I still don’t feel like I know the building at all.

I made it to my meeting early so I decided to do some recording. I planted myself along a wall near one of the larger stairwells and just relaxed for a little while. The first thing that is immediately striking is how reflective the space is. Since the Terminal is cavernous and covered in hard surfaces, it is not surprising, but always striking.


Recording Geek Note: Recorded with DPA 4060’s head-mounted with the stereo image narrowed a fair bit in post. It was tracked to a Sony PCM-M10 with a Sound Devices MP-2 as a front-end.

St. Marks Farmer’s Market

I love farmer’s markets for the ambiance. One of my favorite markets is the NYC farmer’s market every Tuesday outside of St. Mark’s Church.

When I used to live in the neighborhood, I often sat on the benches on warm days just to kill some time and listen to the activity of the market.  For me, one of the ultimate signs of winter in New York were the last few markets in December before it shut down for the season.

As you can hear, the promise of $1.50 cider and fresh cabbage could not get many New Yorkers out on such a cold day.

The recording and the photographs were made just weeks before the New Year and the close of the market.  This winter, NYC has been under what seems like constant cover of snow.  I don’t think I’ll be sitting on that bench again until the spring.

The beautiful photographs in the week’s post come from my brother Dave Raphael and I highly recommend you check out his blog.  I say this not because he’s my bro, but because I think he is super talented.

Recording Geek Note:  Rig consists of a pair of DPA 4060 mounted stealthily in a hat.  It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2