If you Guys follow my blog then you know I already that I have some really amazing train sounds recorded at the Fullerton Train Station in Orange County and from Germany (Links down below) but that wasn’t enough for me! I always wanted to record this typical American railroad crossing bell sound effect until I finally came across this street! It was a super hot day and around this time we had over 90 Degrees. I drove about an hour around Orange County and finally went to Santa Fe and found this crossing point! A little bit in an Industrial Area I found the perfect spot for this recordings! Super busy street and the traffic is like crazy! Just a few meters behind me is an intersection and cars and trucks coming from all 4 directions!
Here is the exact spot where I filmed and recorded the action!
If you watch minute 5:50 min you can see the gate comes down and a car still drives over the cross. Super dangerous!!
Not only I recorded the train and the level crossing gate, no I recorded the sound of the cars, trucks, and motorbikes going of the railway! This sound had so much power and I loved everything about it! It took about xx minutes and then “ding ding ding”! Perfect timing and I could see the train arriving! On this route are only Amtrak City Train and Freight Trains running. This railway had an ending so it wasn’t the main railroad. Always if trains arrive they start honking so we got this sound too and the conductor give me a wink from the locomotive and I am too 99% sure he gave me an extra horn :)!
About the recording before the train arrives!
In the first five minutes, you have the sound of only the cars, trucks and motorbikes passing me and this sounds fantastic. If you watch the video and listen to the sound I “killed” the microphone rumble and you I have this version for you as well. But if you want this rumble the Original File, of course, available in Stereo and Mono.
The train arrives!
“Ding Ding Ding”! If you listen alone to the bell sound you realize that there is a quiet one in the beginning and after a few seconds later it gets loud. That is because there are two crossroads and the first one is about 100 meters away. This one started ringing first before the one on my street kicks in. You can already hear the honking of the train in the background and it is the locomotive without the containers. Very loud and powerful. I felt like my ears explode. It was so hot and I was going to pack my equipment as I listen to another horn in the background! The Amtrak Silverliner so now I was in a hurry to set up the recorder and the camera again and finally, I got this sound too! I had no change to bring the volume down. Everything went so fast but when this train passed me it was amazing! I am super happy to record this sound but I had only the stereo version of it. Better this than nothing!
I recorded this sound on 3 different microphones as you can see in the photo! I should have placed one microphone behind the other ones but I realized this a little bit to late. We live we learn!:)
So you get 2 Mono Sounds from the Rode NTG 4+ and the Audio Technica 835b.
The Stereo is recorded with the H6!
Overall that was a fantastic day with some create field recordings and if you need more variety of train sounds I have more listed for you in this blog post that you can download for free from Bandcamp!
I like trains. I like their rhythm, and I like the freedom of being suspended between two places, all anxieties of purpose taken care of: for this moment I know where I am going.
― Anna Funder,