Traffic thunder and ambience. Duration: 30:00. Recording date: 22 May 2014. Description: Thunder is a wonderful sound to record as it rolls around the universe, especially when there are no buildings in line-of-sight to the microphones for at least a good few miles. The recording was taken from my ninth-floor balcony and as traffic passes below, and as people go about their daily business, we get some wondrous booms as nature does its thing and impresses us with its might. It's a Thursday afternoon close to 4 PM, so we get a lovely mix of run-of-the-mill traffic, plus the occasional group of school children on their way home. Despite the noise of thunder however, I believe it wasn't raining at the time, so there's none of the frenzied rushing around you'd normally expect from people huddling under their umbrellas and jumping in and out of cars to save themselves from the torrid downpour, which is somewhat of a London standard. Recorded in Cambridge Road, Kilburn. Technical details: Olympus LS-100, Jecklin disk, Cad M179 microphones.
Euston bus stop ambience. Duration: 4:30. Recording date: 7 September 2014. Description: As I was waiting for a cab to arrive, I thought it would be quite a good time to record London on a Saturday evening in a location I don't often visit. The time is about 10pm, so it's not the usual sound of daytime traffic, and it's not rush-hour either. I can't remember the last time I was in a situation like that, not surrounded by hordes of people talking and potentially ruining my recordings, so I took advantage of the situation. Of course it's London and it's Saturday, so there's the obligatory drunk or just very happy? Person roaming the streets on the other side of the road from me, but that gives the recording a sense of location. Additional: There's also something to my left that I'm not altogether sure what it is. I believe it's a sign that rotates to show different buses but perhaps You will set me straight on this, if you know exactly where I was at the time I was put here by a well-meaning passenger. I came out of Euston railway station and crossed a road. There's a bus shelter behind me with anti-bog-standard, rather comfortable seats instead of the long, irritating plastic bench fair at most bus stops, and if I walked forward any further, I'd be directly in the road. If this helps to narrow down the location on the map, I hope that will help place the recording better. Sorry I can't tell you more. Technical details: Equipment: Zoom H1, Sound Professional SPBMC-3 clip-on microphones.
No more cash on buses. Duration: 0:10. Recording date: 26 June 2014. Description: I'm going home from the West End on a 98 bus, and soon, TFL will disallow cash payments on buses entirely. This, rather sudden to me anyway, announcement that cropped up from time to time on my journey is one such notice. Technical details: Sound Professional SPBMC-3 clip-on microphones and Zoom H1 recorder.
Sounds from the Jubilee line. Duration: 3:00. Recording date: 26 June 2014. Description: These trains are similar to the sound of the Central line, but have a distinctive sound in their own right. The doors are similar, but the engine noise means that it is easy enough to distinguish the line. In this recording, I started it just before Bond Street, to get a recording of the automated announcement, as it differs from other lines to my knowledge. As I was getting off at Green Park, I wanted an entire stop before to get some sounds of the train in motion and when I did leave the train, we hear people entering and exiting, along with another line in action to our left. Technical details: Sound Professional SPBMC-3 clip-on microphones and Zoom H1 recorder.
Plane bird ambience. Duration: 2:30. Recording date: 20 November 2013. Description: This is another recording from my balcony with the big Jecklin disk, with Olympus LS-100 recorder. I particularly like this clip due to how well you can hear the plane and the bird flying overhead. There seems to be some true 3D audio going on here, and that's why I thoroughly enjoy using this setup. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Leicester Square to Covent Garden. Duration: 1:30. Recording date: 30 May 2014. Description: This is the one-stop between Leicester Square and Covent Garden station on the Piccadilly line of the underground. I am standing right next to the door, and we hear it open, people alight, automated announcement, doors close and the train pulls off. Another announcement while the train is still in motion, train slows, doors open, and I exit the train so we get a snippet of ambiance at Covent Garden station itself. Technical details: Zoom H1 with Sound Professional SP-MS-BMC-3 small-diaphragm microphones clipped to my shirt collar.
Covent Garden lift. Duration: 1:15. Recording date: 30 May 2014. Description: The lift in Covent Garden station is pretty big, and it's also rather necessary unless you want to climb all the stairs from platforms, to street level. On the day in question, there were a great many people wanting to go up, so we had to take it in shifts. This is one such trip from platforms to street level, including the automated speaker telling us where we are. Technical details: Zoom H1 with Sound Professional SP-MS-BMC-3 small-diaphragm microphones clipped to my shirt collar.
The drumming and the horns. Duration: 19:45. Recording date: 14 May 2010. Description: I used to live across the road from the church in Colville Square near Portobello road market. Occasionally there would be very interesting happenings there. Sometimes weddings, sometimes funerals. I was able to hang microphones out of my kitchen window and obtain this recording at one such time. I have never heard anything quite like it before or since, and thought it was worth capturing. Technical details: Iriver H140 recorder with custom-made small diaphragm microphones.
Ethereal suitcase music. Duration: 9:30. Recording date: 30 December 2013. Description: On Monday December 30th, I took a trip to Estonia from London Gatwick. I thought I'd put microphones inside the suitcase to see what kind of sounds happen when nobody knows there's sounds to be heard. What we hear confuses, baffles and amuses me in equal part and I think it's worth sharing here. For the interested parties, I clipped a pair of Sound Professional MS-BMC-3 small diaphragm microphones to the straps of the suitcase as close to the lid as I could manage. These go to a single 8th inch (3.5 MM) jack, which was connected to my Olympus LS-100 digital recorder. I spread the microphones out as much as I reasonably could given the obvious constraints of the conveyance they were housed in, and let the recorder's battery run out. This recording starts very soon after I say good bye to the suitcase and send it on its merry way to the plane for stowage in the hold. Since I am personally not with the case at the time of the recording, I can only guess at some of the strange noises. Technical details: Stereo. 2 x Sound Professional MS-BMC-3 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Charing Cross Bakerloo line. Duration: 2:58. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: This is the sound of people and trains coming and going at Charing Cross underground station, as though we were waiting to board. The first train is from right to left and is interspersed with people coming and going from the train, and a station-wide announcement that there is good service on all lines. That train then leaves and a few minutes later (edited together for speed) comes another train this time from left to right. A similar thing occurs, sans the station-wide announcement. The doors then close and the train leaves the platform. Technical details: Stereo with Jecklin disc. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Train announcement and approach at Queens Park. Duration: 0:23. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: The train being announced is the one I caught to Euston station. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Much ado about beeping. Duration: 2:00. Recording date: 15 June 2013. Description: It's Saturday night. It's gone 11pm, and for whatever reason (I still don't have the tiniest of clues) people are driving up and down beeping as if the world's about to end. I'm one of these strange people that has a recording setup for almost every occasion, and I have microphones on my balcony on a permanent basis come rain or shine or I'd probably have missed this one. I fired up the laptop that they're always connected to, and let fly. Of course I had to capture something like this. Technical details: Stereo. Samsung NC10 netbook, Sound Professional SPBMC-3 microphones permanently hanging out of balcony window.
London ambience. Duration: 17:10. Recording date: 5 May 2013. Description: It's a quite warm Sunday afternoon, and I've set up the Jecklin disk on my balcony to capture the local ambiance. Living near a main road, the traffic is varied depending on what day it is, the time of day and local weather conditions. This recording is 17 minutes and 10 seconds long, so there's a great deal to hear in it. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Zoom H4 recorder.
Fast-passing train at Queens Park station 2. Duration: 0:25. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: Waiting to catch a train to Euston, I recorded this train passing from left to right with my Jecklin disk at Queens Park station. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Fast-passing train at Queens Park station 1. Duration: 0:20. Recording date: 19 November 2011. Description: Waiting to catch a train to Euston, I recorded this train passing from right to left with my Jecklin disk at Queens Park station. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Timelapse recording at Paddington station. Duration: 3:15. Recording date: 25 November 2012. Description: I'm waiting for assistance as I've just gotten off a long train journey from Wales. Paddington are short-staffed on this particular Sunday afternoon, so out comes the trusty recorder and we get some glorious ambience of passing trains, people and announcements. The unedited recording was some 30 minutes or more, so I timelapsed it into just over 3 minutes but haven't edited any of the sections beyond that. Technical details: Stereo. Sound Professional SPBMC-3 clip-on mics and Zoom H1 recorder.
Notting Hill drumming. Duration: 3:54. Recording date: 28 August 2005. Description: When I lived in the area, I made it a policy to stream to the internet, whatever would happen out of my bedroom window during the two days of the famous Notting Hill Carnival. I didn't have to leave the house to go to it, it came to me at home live and uncut. From 2005 to 2011 I pretty much have the two full days of the event, containing music, people, the hint of food and other ambience. In this instance the microphones were hanging out of the window as usual and it was the end of the day. Nearly all the sound systems had packed up for the night and people were looking for afterparties to visit. I distinctly remember thinking that it was probably time to stop the recording and luckily I didn't, as I caught this passing drum group. Sadly, I don't know the name of the group and have been unable to find out in the intervening years. Technical details: Stereo. Toshiba laptop, Iriver H140 in record standby acting as a microphone preamp, set of Radioshack small diaphragm microphones hanging out of bedroom window on 3rd floor.
Bond Street to Marble Arch Central Line. Duration: 1:40. Recording date: 27 April 2013. Description: This is the one-stop between Bond Street and Marble Arch on the Central Line. I recorded this because I like the sound of these trains. They sound fast, powerful and no-nonsense, and the doors on these things are just great. Technical details: Stereo. Sound Professional SPBMC-3 clip-on mics and Zoom H1 recorder.
Jecklin bells. Duration: 4:50. Recording date: 5 May 2013. Description: The local church rings its bells on Sundays and Mondays and I thought to capture this sound from my 9th floor balcony. This recording has a lot of ambience in it also, in the form of birds, the nearby traffic light, passing cars and people shouting. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Zoom H4 recorder.
South Hampstead to Euston station. Duration: 6:44. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: This is a sound of a London overground train to Euston. It's just one stop, but this recording is rather interesting in terms of what it contains. Initially we hear the sound of the train's air-conditioning unit activate, followed by a slow beep, and a faster beep to signify the doors are closing. The second beep is quite normal but the first beep I am unsure about. Throughout the journey the air-conditioning switches on and off at irregular intervals, and there are the other sounds of people chatting to our left and right as expected. The sound of the train on the tracks is typical of the area for the most part, though I believe this train is possibly newer than most, and thus the sounds are somewhat muted from times passed. Technical details: Jecklin disc stereo. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Queens Park announcement overground. Duration: 0:27. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: Typical of most London stations, automated announcements have taken over from humans for the most part. This is a recording from an automated station. Technical details: Stereo with Jecklin disc. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Tottenham Court Road ambience. Duration: 1:40. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: Here's an everyday sound to most people in the UK we probably take for granted. Our traffic, people and general background however, sounds bog-standard to us, but for those living elsewhere, it probably doesn't. So what is boring to us may not be for them. The constant beeping in Mumbai is likely to cause everyone to leave their cars and start cursing in London, there it's but a way of life. Here, traffic usually goes about its business in a stately manner, at least for the most part. From an idling vehicle on the right, to somebody passing us with a suitcase, these are the sounds of the city. Technical details: Stereo with Jecklin disc. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
The Strand ambience. Duration: 3:49. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: Clunk clunk, goes the manhole cover on your left, clunk clunk (slightly quieter) goes the other manhole cover on your right. You are standing on an island in the middle of the road with lanes of traffic on your left and right, thus a side-on view of the sounds around you. Naturally, this is not a position you normally take while crossing a road, but to obtain the best ambiance, I thought it would be interesting to stand with traffic on both sides. Technical details: Stereo with Jecklin disc. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Euston overground station concourse ambience. Duration: 4:24. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: We are standing on Euston station's main concourse facing the information board. People are going about their business, taking or getting off of trains, looking up information about incoming/outgoing trains, perhaps getting a bite to eat. We start with an automated announcement which echoes clearly around our heads, and this sound is certainly indicative of London's larger train stations. This recording contains quite a collection of sound, you can hear people passing the microphones both in front and behind, and the buggies used to ferry passengers requiring assistance around the station. Technical details: Stereo with Jecklin disc. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
Charing Cross station walk. Duration: 4:00. Recording date: 19 November 2013. Description: We captured the plethora of sounds you'd expect to hear when walking from the ticket barrier, down the escalator and onto the Bakerloo line. Should you be wearing headphones, you may even feel the wall of the station passing you by on the left-hand side, and be able to tell where the openings are to different parts of the station. The person in front of us on the escalator turns and looks back up the stairs at some point, his voice becomes much more clear and this is definitely captured in the recording. Technical details: Stereo with Jecklin disc. 2 x Cad M179 mics and Olympus LS-100 recorder.
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