In August 2013 I had the opportunity to record a rare diesel powered train from the 1950’s. The EMD FP9 was a 1,750 horsepower (1,300 kW), B-B dual-service passenger and freight-hauling diesel locomotive produced between February 1954 and December 1959 by General Motors Electro-Motive Division, and General Motors Diesel. Final assembly was at GM-EMD's La Grange, Illinois plant, except for Canadian orders, which were assembled by Canadian subsidiary GMD at London, Ontario.
This collection includes the sounds from the inside of the locomotive, very close to the powerful 16 valve diesel engine. Because of the noisy time of year and the amount of people outside the train only the interior was recorded. Also included are heavy freight car door open and close sounds.
I placed a MKH-8040ST in the rear of the compartment facing toward the front ever so slightly. I then placed a MKH-8040 up in front of the engine just above the cylinders and a MKH-8050 further forward at the air intake and electrical generator. I ran my cables into the train engineers cockpit and set the recorders on one of the seats. I only used these three microphone rigs as there were many other enthusiastic people that were invited to hear this old beast start up so there was not much room left inside the train. My goal was to record the “intimate” interior part of the train and outside was a bit noisy so I remained focused on the interior sound.
Once the video camera was set up and the mechanics performed all the pre-start tasks we were ready. I gave them the go ahead once I was confident the two SD-702 machines were locked and the video camera was rolling. Looking back I would have preferred to remain outside the locomotive because once they ran the engine up to full RPM it was shaking like crazy… I was a little nervous to say the least. Being inside a old train running at full throttle was a wild experience, my mind started thinking wild scenarios such as: What if the train slips into gear? What if it explodes? What if a cylinder bursts open and metal darts go everywhere. “OK, stop it!” I told myself. The mechanics obviously knew what they were doing so I gave all those freaky thoughts a rest.
Needless to say I got some very unique sounds from a locomotive that is very difficult to record. My favorite part of the sounds I recorded are the throttle downs and the high RPM steady portions. I think all kinds of SCI-FI type of sounds can be designed from this diesel engine/turbine combination. The engine inside this train was the largest piston engine I have every seen and what it takes just to run it is quite amazing. A special thanks to all the guys who worked on getting this beast running and for allowing me to record it.
The files include a MKH-8040ST stereo XY track and 2 (8040-8050) mono tracks. I created tracks with a mix of all the microphones and placed the 2 mono tracks in a stereo track to create a very wide, spacious soundtrack.
In August 2013 I had the opportunity to record a rare diesel powered train from the 1950’s. This was a long time coming but it finally happened thanks to a few friends and the really cool guys who were tasked with making the machine operational. Here is the back story.
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This work is made and sold under license. By accepting this work, you agree to the following terms and conditions. Your use of this work is limited and restricted solely for the purpose of synchronizing recordings there from in timed relation with films, training or marketing presentations, radio and television presentations or commercials, and any other multimedia, audiovisual or computer generated displays, programs or presentations. Neither you nor anyone else may make any copies of any of the recordings on this work, except as may be designated to a single stand alone workstation for the purpose of specific audio and/or visual synchronization at your own facility. Transfer, copying or duplication of the work in whole or in part for any other purpose is expressly prohibited unless specifically authorized in writing by The Recordist. Transfer of one or more sounds to any format allowing network or remote access by two or more end users requires a Multi-user License. Contact The Recordist for details. In the event of a breach of these terms, action may be taken against you directly by Creative Sound Design, LLC., the owner of the copyright. v4.5 11-23-22
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