R&D – UK Field Recordings

Since returning from São Miguel I have been using the Ambeo VR to record in in the UK. I had some work in London so took the opportunity to test it in some busy urban soundscapes. All of these recordings were made with the mic in hand using a Rycote pistol grip and lyre mount and their Baby Ball Gag and windjammer. This setup is ideal for city recording on the fly as it is compact and portable and not too conspicuous. I use it on pubic transport and seldom does anyone ask what I’m doing. Mind you I did get approached by a policeman in London Bridge tube station, but he wasn’t particularly bothered once I explained what I was up to.

The original A format ambisonic files were converted to B format and then decoded to binaural for web listening. Headphones are necessary to experience the spatial dimension of the recordings.

Euston Station

Euston Station London - geograph.org.uk - 1309275 

These recordings were made in and around Euston Station. The first is the sound of busy traffic on Euston Road. I was stood on the central reservation at a crossroads so the traffic was moving around me in all directions.

Euston Road Traffic

This next recording begins just outside the entrance to the station then I move inside to the centre of the main concourse.

Euston Station exterior and interior

This recording begins in the main concourse then I descend a rather squeaky escalator into the underground ending up on one of the platforms just after a tube has departed.

Euston Station concourse and underground station

Thames Walk

In this recording I am walking east from Tate Modern on the footpath by the river Thames towards London Bridge. It’s a popular spot for tourists and buskers – on this occasion guitarists.

Thames walk

Borough Market

Londres - Mercat de Borough 

I could have done with a mic stand for this next recording as I spent over an hour recording from the same position in Borough Market. The market is located directly underneath the brick arches and iron bridges of the railway viaduct leading to London Bridge station and you can hear the wonderful sounds of the trains rumbling overhead every couple of minutes. The market is right next to Southwark Cathedral and in this recording you can hear the brief quarter hour chime from the clock tower.

Borough Market and trains overhead

As I had arrived late afternoon I decided to make a long recording to capture the end of trading as the stall holders packed up and cleared out for the day. In this recording you can hear the traders packing up their stalls.

Borough Market and trains overhead 2

All of the traders had left with the exception of one who you can hear packing up her stall. With the space now empty the pigeons had moved in for scraps and the shoppers replaced by occasional pedestrians passing through. Just at the end of this recording you can hear the tapping of stone masons working on repairs to Southwark cathedral off to the left. 

Borough Market and trains overhead 3

London Bridge Underground

I arrived at London Bridge underground station in the middle of rush hour. This recording was made standing in the ticket hall busy with people making their way home from work.

London Bridge Underground