Saturday, August 19, 2023

Japanese Railway Melodic Ambient Soundscape & Video

About 2 years ago I used my Zoom H1 and recorded an hour or so of local railway and station sounds. I didn't go into the station at that time, and got many train sounds from along the local park along side the rail line to Osaka.  That is far enough away from a rail crossing to not get the DING DING DING of the bell when a train is coming and passing.   But there is such a crossing next to my local station, so any recording of a train coming into or leaving the station taken on the platform gets that included. FOR FREE!    

After pulling out those old files and putting together an initial track, I decided to ride the train, and get on platform recordings on the platforms and in the train at our, and the next much larger station. While I was there got some environmental sound in the Mall as well.   And had a small Frappuccino. I find it strange people here will spend so long in a Starbucks. I much prefer being at home, and always sit outside, even in the heat or cold.

The wind shield on the recorder probably looked like I was torturing a small animal...

For this type of thing I generally have the mixed and mastered track WAV file looping at a really low level for an hour or so. If something stands out and annoys me, I go back and fix/ change what ever it is, then repeat the play on loop while doing something else.  It is annoying small noises or sounds, or the way a melody goes seem fine until you do this loop play thing.

I  revised this track 10 times today.  I just upload it again and say "it is what it is". It will take me many weeks away from it to get any perspective on it.  I must be 80% happy with the way it is at the moment.

I put a steep notch filter on local platform recordings to suppress the main DING to clean them up a little, but used other announcements this time when a train wasn't arriving or leaving, that didn't have the DING.

The motion graphics video uses this railways route map graphic element. I pulled it out of a PDF of their route map.  Shows what speed trains stop at what stations. It is pretty too.  Four copies of that graphic element was animated in MOHO Pro 12. I initially tried using pictures of the railway lines trains, but the result wasn't interesting or abstract enough. For something where the music is the main element, I think it works well enough.

The track is in our Spirograph Album on Bandcamp.

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology

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