Fire and Friends
Sennheiser MKH 60
Boom pole array
I had previously missed out on recording the flame towers at Crown Casino on the day I recorded the bells at St Paul’s Cathedral. The weather had been very ordinary and they generally don’t bother activating them in poor weather. To explain to people who have never witnessed the towers; Melbourne’s casino is situated on the banks of the Yarra river with a promenade running along the river banks. Placed at intervals along the promenade are towers approximately 10 meters high that at night time on the hour spew out giant gas flames. Its quite a visual spectacle albeit a huge waste of gas. But more importantly from my point of view the igniting of that volume of gas makes a very impressive and bloody loud noise. I arrived about ten minutes early and decided to record a bit of general city ambiance while I waited. When the actual show started I was alerted by the sound of gas being pumped under pressure into the towers. This gave me time to set my levels and get into a good position. I decided to use both rigs to maximize the material I recorded. I have recorded these in the past on older equipment, but I thought it was well worth getting newer samples. The show as I remembered it was spectacular and I captured a fair bit of good material.
After the casino I had organized to meet a friend at the newly upgraded and newly named Southern Cross Station at the edge of the CBD. This is Melbourne’s main train Station for country and interstate travel. I was actually pretty impressed with the new layout and wandered around recording a few of the trains. I was disappointed to miss the start-up sound of the train to Sydney. I was just unwrapping my gear when it fired up, but I couldn’t get the F4 up and running fast enough. I did record the train idling and heading off, but I think the start-up was the most interesting part so it was annoying to miss it.
My friend works on the station driving a small buggy around helping elderly and disabled passengers, so I spent a short while with him recording the general ambiance of the station as well as the buggy sounds specifically Again I got some good material.
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Stephan Schütze has been recording sounds for over twenty years. This journal logs his thoughts and experiences