These are some of the early file posts from back before ccHost. Reusable files for sampling, editing, and remixing are now available on our wikiGong sounds pages.

Golden Gate Bridge

The initial project for this site is the ongoing catalog of the sonic content of the Golden Gate Bridge with as much fidelity as we can afford.

Golden Gate Bridge assay 1—2008-12-28

Now in travelogue format on our wiki pages.

The first walk across the bridge yielded these 24 approximately 1-minute samples in 96 kHz 24-bit .wav format. A hand-held Sony PCM-D50 linear PCM recorder was used along with a Fishman V100 piezo ceramic violin pickup and a modified viola bridge. The bridge had a rubber bumper added where the strings normally go, allowing the feet to be pressed manually against the target; the idea was, if the bridge made sound, we’d buy a better mic. We didn’t know how close we could get to the cables or how large they were. The audio is sometimes scratchy as the feet of the viola bridge slip and click against the cables and other metal. Occasional bits of passing conversation appear, along with the constant strumming of the whole structure by vehicular traffic. It was early morning and a little cold. Not too much traffic yet.

Golden Gate Bridge assay 2—2009-10-18

Now in travelogue format on our wiki pages.

Flushed with early success, we’ve purchased a Schertler pickup designed for “ethnic instruments.” Early experiments with viola and tabletop were very promising. And here, at last, are the results of our second bridge walk. Other variables besides the microphone itself? More traffic—probably since we spent four hours this time and left close to noon—made the bridge far louder than on Assay #1. Sound quality was better overall; since the mic was adhered and not hand-held, there are fewer clicks and pops. And the files are smaller, since we dropped down to a 44.1 kHz 24-bit sample and bounced down to monophonic after downloading.

Old WNIU radio tower—2009-07-20

Now in travelogue format on our wiki pages.

An even earlier inspiration, the DeKalb, IL WNIU radio tower support stays have a distinctive sci-fi ray gun sound when plucked. We recently got back to sample these after nineteen years and to see whether the sound is as cool as remembered. Maybe less variety, that was the only real disappointment. The tower, decommissioned in 1988, was demolished along with adjacent Kishwaukee Hall in late 2009, a few months after our final visit.

The five samples are of different length cables, but end up nearly indistinguishable except for the time the plucked impulse takes to travel up and back over the wire. The trusty Sony PCM-D50 was used with the Schertler DYN-E-SET pickup.

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