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
The other day, I took a ride onto the Brooklyn Bridge on my road bike to record some ambience. The Brooklyn Bridge has a wooden walkway that sits above the vehicular traffic and is subdivided into two parts: one side is for pedestrians and the other is for cyclists. I’m a cyclist and I think that, when it comes to bridges in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge is a bit of a death trap. It is full of tourists admiring the view who constantly walk into the bike lane. But, alas, this post is not an inditment of pedestrians. It is about the sound of the bridge.
I planted myself in front of a bridge support so that I could record the sound of bikes passing on the right, pedestrians passing on the left, cars below, as well as whatever else came my way.
I went out with my compact rig, which consists of a pair of DPA 4060s powered by a Sound Devices MP-2 tracked to a Sony PCM-M10. It is small enough to be discreet and not draw too much attention.
The DPAs have a surprising amount of low end, and I am consistently impressed with what those little guys can do. If you listen closely, you can hear the constant creaking of the bridge, occasional voices, and the familiar sound of a bicycle bell warning the wayward tourists.
Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of a pair of DPA 4060s mounted stealthily on either side of a backpack on top of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10, with Sound Devices MP2 as a front end.
This past weekend, I found myself upstate New York with my hydrophone and I got inspired. My in-laws have a getaway house right on the Delaware River, and, what’s even better, there is a cool bridge with metal grating ten minutes down the road.
I could have just recorded it, but I’ve been inspired by the recent hydrophone recordings of Noise Jockey, so I said to myself, “I’m not only going to record underneath this bridge, I’m going to record the sound of this bridge underwater.” While I was down there, I ran into two guys fishing . . . I thought that these guys fishing under a bridge in 30 degree weather were crazy, but then I realized I had just tossed a hydrophone in the water.
Initially, I didn’t think the recordings were all that hot, but when I got back home to edit I was pleasantly surprised. Next time I get up there, I am going to have to record above the water and see how that sounds.
Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of 1 Dolphin Ear Pro hydrophone and it was all tracked to a Sony PCM-M10 with a Sound Device MP2 as a front end, while trying not to fall in.
I am still exploring my new adopted borough of Brooklyn, NY, so don’t be surprised if you hear and see a lot of recordings from that locale on the blog. I recently explored some of the parks around both the Brooklyn and Mahattan bridges. On warm weekends you can see tons of kids playing and adults leisurely reading their newspapers. It is one of the more relaxing and mellow places to hang in that area, but unfortunately since I have moved the weather has been drab and rainy on most weekends.
This recording is from one of those overcast days in Brooklyn Bridge park where I planted myself under the Manhattan Bridge to record the subway cars passing overhead. I like a lot of the detail in the recording, but the only unfortunate elements are a few rain droplets that began to fall, and they sound like little clicks of handling noise. They drive me nuts, but I do like some of the reflections off the supports of the bridge. I excerpted a fairly clean segment recording, but I would like to go back when the weather is a bit nicer. So in the meantime enjoy a short recording of some traffic and the N train passing overhead.
Recording Geek Note: Rig consists of Schoeps CMC5 setup for MS, with the MK4 as the mid. It was all tracked to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.