Location Hachinohe Waterfront Equipment Zoom F4 Sennheiser MKH 60 Boom pole array After 2 weeks of almost full time studying 3D studio max it was good to get back into a day purely for sound recording. With only 2 weeks before we leave I wanted to return to Hachinohe and wander around the industrial and port area. Hachinohe has an extensive industrial area that ranges over most of the north of the city. I recorded various general industrial sounds like large conveyors, various pieces of plant machinery and what appeared to be the biggest rock tumbler I have ever seen. I am not exactly sure what the device was for, but it was a chamber that would have easily been 2 or 3 meters in diameter and about 20 meters long. By the sounds it was making while operating the rocks or objects inside were of considerable size.
Hachinohe Rock Tumbler
I got to experience Japans lack of safety procedures again today. While driving around the docks area I discovered a ship being loaded up with scrap metal. I think the Japanese ship a lot of their scrap metal to Korea. The ship was being loaded by two claw cranes on the docks. I got close enough to record some excellent material of metal movement and impacts. The reality was however that I shouldn't have been able to get even remotely that close to this sort of process. I guess that sounds a bit hypercritical commenting on something that I gained an advantage from, but it was strange. I now have a better understanding as to why most western countries have so many safety regulations in regard to industry.
Hachinohe Scrap Metal
I also visited an island temple just of the coast near the city which has a large population of very noisy seagulls. There were literally hundreds of them on the island and surrounding area. My attempts on the way home to record some flags blowing in the wind did not turn out very well, and I will have to look into a better way to capture the sound without recording too much wind interference.The final surprise for the day was returning home to discover our neighbors had gotten themselves a new kitten which they appear to have left at home on its own. It was sitting at a second floor window meowing constantly. I think it was just lonely, but it was worth recording. I felt bad that I couldn’t comfort the cat itself, but short of breaking into the house there was nothing I could do. A good selection of sounds for the day, and very happy to be back to working on sound material more regularly.
Today was a day for exploring. We decided to travel along the coast north of Hachinohe. We have been south a lot but never north. The northern part of Hachinohe is the port district and has a lot of industrial areas. In one of the older areas an old factory was being demolished. I nearly drove past but it seemed too good an opportunity. There was a large earth mover but instead of the bucket attachment it had what was essentially a giant pair of pliers attached. With this is was cutting entire metal girders in half and then grabbing them and ripping them away from the building structure. I recorded quite a bit of very good material with some excellent bending and ripping metal sounds on a much larger scale than I have previously been able to record.
Wreckers Machinery Hachinohe
I've included this picture just because its a perfect example of some of the strange things you see in Japan. This was on a country back road along the eastern coastline of Japan, north of Hachinohe. The building its standing in front of is a hair dresser of all things.
I parked near an interesting construction site today. There was some large device that I suspect might have been a pump or generator (sounded more pump like) and there was a large crane rigged up to drill some very deep looking holes. I recorded a fair bit of material even though most of it was pretty regular cyclic mechanical sounds. I am glad I did because at one stage the drill must have hit some hard rock or some other snag as the entire array shook quite violently. The sound for this was not quite as spectacular as the entire 100 meter high rig shaking, but it was still a good sound to grab.
Location Hachinohe and Aomori Equipment Zoom F4 Sennheiser MKH 60 Boom pole array
Even in the remote northern area of Japan there are many different train lines. Japan has an extensive and very effective rail network. The unusual thing is that every single line seems to utilize its own unique set of rolling stock. A one hour express train trip from Hachinohe to Aomori City (two main city centres in Northern Japan) gave me the opportunity to record no less than 5 or 6 different engine sounds from various angles and distances. The express train I travelled north on was quick and fairly quite inside however the local train I returned on was a simple two carriage setup with lots of bumping and squeaking to record. Japanese are unusual in that they will often travel long journeys without speaking to each other so I had the opportunity to record many of the train’s sounds that I would only have otherwise gotten if I’d had the entire train to myself. I doubt I will be this lucky in other countries. I will attempt to research the exact model numbers of all the trains I recorded as this might be useful or of some interest to some people.
Trains at Hachinohe
Diesel engine in the snow
This picture was taken earlier in the year when it was still snowing. I did record the engines on this trip, but it was before I started the regular journal entries. Any trip by train in Japan provides the opportunity to see many different types of rolling stock, and they all sound just slightly different.