2009-10-18: Recordings from our second Golden Gate Bridge walk. Samples are downloadable and licensed for remixing.

Flushed with early success, we 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 01. 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.

Audio files in MP3 format are available for re-use and mixing on our pages. The mp3 previews were processed using MOTU Digital Performer. The only operations were (1) normalization to maximize levels and (2) re-export in non-interleaved format to reduce the file sizes. Higher-quality compressed formats are generally available on freesound.org. Each text link below points to the download page for the file.

Further processing and incorporation in derivatives is, of course, up to you. If you absolutely must have the originals in all their pristine flaw-fulness, contact us. And if you do re-use the work, please comment with a trackback to your new composition and announce what you’ve done.

Jacob JL Dickinson was the photographer for Golden Gate Bridge Assay 02. See his photostream on Flickr for more.

Sights and sounds

October 18, 2009

At the Golden Gate Bridge, near south-east approach, Jacob and Dave make preliminary observations. Interleaved stereo from the Sony built-in mics.

File GGB A0201 opening remarks at freesound.org

The Bridge in typical SF morning weather, seen from the south

Jacob at the Golden Gate Bridge south tower

Placing the Schertler mic on Joseph's hollow form

The fidelity of the Schertler is appreciably better than our previous rig

At the south tower, we started miking a few different things, including the bay side of the tower’s east leg and the sixth lamp-post past it.

File GGB A0212 tower SEE at freesound.org

File GGB A0213 lamp-post at freesound.org

At the center of the span, we took two samples of the main (catenary) cable overhead.

File GGB A0214 main cable at SE63 at freesound.org

File GGB A0215 main cable at SE63 T02 at freesound.org

Art Brut. The south tower tempts us with visions of vibrating catwalks

Art Deco. The view from the tower base towards Marin County

We walked back to the south approach and then drove to the Marin side, where we proceeded to walk south. At the north end, there is a pedestrian access way underneath the roadway, which is a very loud area with a distinct character.

File GGB A0216 under north approach at freesound.org

Now we gathered our first set of samples heading south, starting with the main catenary where it emerges from the concrete bulkhead and continuing to suspenders 2, 7, 12, and 17 heading toward the north tower.

File GGB A0217 main cable at NE pylon at freesound.org

File GGB A0218 suspender NE02SW at freesound.org

File GGB A0219 suspender NE07SW at freesound.org

File GGB A0220 suspender NE12SW at freesound.org

File GGB A0221 suspender NE17SW at freesound.org

The north-side cables had just received a new coat of paint.

The north-side cables had just received a new coat of paint

The north tower looms above traffic, hosting a pair of security cameras. We became a minor tourist attraction here while working our way around the base of the tower and miking the access hatch.

The session wraps up with seven recordings taken from the skin of the east leg of the north tower. The complex nature of the tower structure, with varying steel sheet thicknesses and widths placed at different angles to the roadway, probably added to the breadth of timbres here.

File GGB A0222 tower NEW at freesound.org

File GGB A0223 tower NEW T02 at freesound.org

File GGB A0224 tower NEW T03 at freesound.org

File GGB A0225 tower NEW T04 at freesound.org

File GGB A0226 tower NEN at freesound.org

File GGB A0227 tower NEE door at freesound.org

File GGB A0228 tower NEE at freesound.org

The north tower looms above traffic, hosting a pair of security cameras

A minor tourist attraction at the north tower

Creative Commons License
All audio files on this page now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 2009, 2020 D A Ayer.

Photos this page ©2009 JJL Dickinson. More photos and contact info on Flickr.

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