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Steam & Excursion > Rent The Caboose, Of Course!


Date: 02/26/21 12:37
Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: MaryMcPherson

In October of 2012, I headed north to Coldwater, Michigan, to do a couple of days with Little River Railroad 4-6-2 #110.

One of my goals was to do a series of on-board sound recordings in addition to shooting video aboard the train.  The biggest concern with that plan, of course, is the sound of people seeping into the sounds one is trying to capture.  The solution?  Rent the caboose coupled to the tender, of course!

This recording was made with the microphones on the caboose platform behind #110's tender as the train approached the city limits of Quincy, Michigan.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions

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Date: 02/26/21 12:53
Re: Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: wabash2800

Thanks for sharing Mary. 110 is a sweet little engine. Though built for a logging RR, IMO, when you look at her head-on, she looks like a ten-wheeler.

Victor A. Baird
http://www.erstwhilepublications.com



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/21 12:55 by wabash2800.



Date: 02/26/21 13:09
Re: Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: Tominde

Great recording.  That is hard to do with the huge dynamic range.  Rumble rumble of the wheels on rail, joints, chugging and whistle and throw in a little bit, but not too much wind noise.  Well balanced, wll done.  What was your set up and medium in 2012?



Date: 02/26/21 13:46
Re: Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: MaryMcPherson

Tominde Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What was your set up and medium in 2012?

The recorder in question was a Zoom H4n.  As I recall, I used a pair of Shure SM-57 instrument microphones for on-train recordings.  My usual microphones for field work were a pair of Shure PG-81's at the time, but they are prone to distortion when close to a higher pitched whistle.  The 57's are dynamic microphones, and are more able to handle high sound pressure levels.

In editing, I put compression on the recording using Audacity.  This made the recording as heard here much more even, without the whistle overpowering everything else.  I also did a -10db drop on the bass frequencies, as there was plenty of low-end rumble despite using microphone mounts suspended on rubber bands to cut down on noise from vibration.

<Edited to add image of the gear involved>

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/21 13:59 by MaryMcPherson.




Date: 02/26/21 13:47
Re: Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: Frisco1522

Wow, that's a great whistle!   I could listen to that recording and drift off to sleep.  Good job Mary.



Date: 02/26/21 17:46
Re: Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: Tominde

Mary thanks for the terrific explanation of making the recording.  I really appreciate that you share all of these recordings and your techniques. 



Date: 02/26/21 18:07
Re: Rent The Caboose, Of Course!
Author: MaryMcPherson

Setting up microphones on #110's tender, and getting the coal stove ready for use for after the sun went down the evening before... it got a little chilly in late October.  In that third photo, you can see the microphone cables headed toward the door (behind the photographer) and the microphones set up to make this recording.  The recorder was on the conductor's table.

Mary McPherson
Dongola, IL
Diverging Clear Productions



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/21 18:10 by MaryMcPherson.








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