Coney Island Cyclone


Lately, I have been toying around with my tiny DPA 4060 microphones. I’ve been trying to find interesting places to mount them to record a variety of sources in order to get a better feel for them. I’ve owned them for a few years now but I’ve never really pushed them all that hard, so I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to get out and record more.

photo credit: flickr/spatch

It’s almost summer in New York City and a lot of folks here consider Coney Island a great escape.  I wanted to record a couple of  pass-by’s of the famous Coney Island Cyclone before it got really crazy out there.  In just a few weeks the ambience will be filled with crazy amounts of music blasting from all over, so I decided that a mellow weekday was good time to try to capture the rattling and creaking of the historic 1920s roller coaster.

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I was happy to record it, but I am never getting on that damn thing. Would you?

Recording Geek Note:  I stood alongside the coaster with the DPA’s head-mounted and slowly tracked the movement of the coaster with my head. It was tracked to a Sony PCM-M10 with a Sound Devices MP-2 as a front-end.




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  1. This is great. I was at Coney Island in May to try and record the same thing but I could not find a place without music blaring and I left empty handed. Nice work finding a sweet spot.

  2. Wow, very cool and evocative. That last pass-by with no voices was especially clean. From one perspective,one could find it a little bit eerie because one hears screeches and screaming, but little talk and no laughter. Wooden rollercoasters FTW, and thanks for a recording of one of the most famous!

  3. Nicely done Michael, I like the details of the mechanics upfront and the screams verbed out. It’s like if the screams where morphed within the squeaks… Quite jealous of those recordings 😉

  4. Nice work – you must’ve been positioned really well to have the sound of the roller-coaster ebb and flow like that. Ironic that it sounds more erie the way it lacks the usual screams.

Michael Raphael June 17, 2011