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.
(2) Sound Devices 702 | Sennheiser MKH-8040ST | Sennheiser MKH-8040 | Sennheiser MKH-8050