Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
As one of her last official duties in Japan, my partner needed to travel to Aomori for a farewell function. I also needed visit Aomori city as well so it was a convenient occasion for us to travel up and stay over night. While the official function was on I had about 3 hours with which to walk along the Aomori foreshore and see what I could find of interest. I recorded some fairly interesting wave sounds beneath a large concrete fishing wharf. Some good natural reverb as the waves hit the concrete was an interesting result. I needed to explain to some local fishermen exactly what I was doing and why, which was slightly tricky with my broken Japanese, but they either got my point, or just put it down to me being another crazy foreigner which pretty much amounts to the same thing.
Like Hachinohe there are a lot of industrial and shipping areas along the coast near Aomori City, but because it was late in the day most of them had shut down for the week. The highlight of the walk was a large tugboat sitting idling next to one wharf. The engines on those beasts must be massive because I couldn’t get close to it without maxing out my recording levels, even with the levels set very low. In the end the sample I added to the library was one taken still about 5 meters away. The tug had a great low end rumble to its engine sounds so I was really happy to have a chance to record it.
In all, I walked almost non stop for three hours recording as I came across things of interest. I probably covered about 15Km and it occurred to me that if I could spend most of my time just walking around and recording sounds it would be good way to pass the time for 10 to 20 years. The only really excellent sound for today was the tug boat, but if I get one sound of that quality and interest out of 3 hours of walking and recording then I consider it a success. There will always be lots of more common sounds that I will capture along the way, and I am never going to run out of material to add to the library, but one really good sound makes he whole day worthwhile.
Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences