the second bridge walk

…in which we explore the Marin end and our new contact mic.

Well, it happened! Sunday, Jake Dickinson and I spent four hours walking the bridge again, putting the Schertler mic to the test and shooting beaucoup rolls of Fuji 400 color print film. The weather cooperated nicely, starting with a gently clearing mist that segued into first sun and then a cloudy-bright grey ceiling.

My cold didn’t get any worse, though it didn’t get any better, either.

The week since has been spent processing, preparing to upload the audio files, and watching Jake post the photos to Flickr for review. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Schertler is a marvel. The putty really does come off cleanly, and if it’s good enough for Becky’s viola that should be good enough for the GG Bridge, too. It’s really worth a listen to even the hand-held positioning of the mic (02) to hear how quiet it is compared to the rigid viola bridge we used the first time around. We’ll post gear pictures and explanations on a separate page soon.

We ventriloquized through Joseph B. Strauss’ memorial statue using the Schertler, too (2, 3). Joseph in bronze makes an excellent diaphragm and picks up a lot of ambient sound. Listen carefully (and patiently) and the foghorn comes through over the voices and traffic noise.

Jake immediately recognized the cables passing through the concrete pylon—source of the “outer space howl” in Assay #1—for what they are: the safety guide rails! Almost as long as the main catenaries, they of course get to be much thinner. No howl to the south this time, though: the wind was whipping and traffic density much higher than Assay #1, so this is a far more active set of recordings.

Some people made eye contact and smiled. Perhaps that’s because it was warmer or because no video was evident; I can’t claim to look less threatening with Jake in tow than I did with Caitlin!

When we agree on a few pictures ready to post, they’ll show up in the wiki category assays. Meanwhile, here are the sounds! [Update 2020-04-20: see project page Golden Gate Bridge Assay 2 instead.]