jim pastorius posted:

You guys crack me up !!  It is a big, noisey, smelly steam engine, not a symphony.

Beauty is in the eye (or in this case, the ear) of the beholder.

Jim, if you have never heard truly GOOD steam locomotive audio, there are no words that can explain what we're talking about. You have to hear it for yourself.

And I definitely consider it a "symphony."

Rich Melvin

HW: thank you for digging through the archives to find Sonic Booms 3.   I will keep an eye open for it. Not on Youtube, disappointingly.    My sound equipment is only marginally above the orange juice can and piece of string level, so I probably won't enjoy as great an experience. But always nice to hear a Burlington whistle!

The best Symphony I heard was in August of 1991, Lima Ohio. The 765 was there and the 1225 came in to join up. It sounded like dueling whistles, on who could out do the other. I had a man running the Burro Crane loading coal in the tenders, who was enjoying it. He later came to me to see if we could upgrade his horn to the steam whistle.

I also rode the 765 out of town and was amazed at the power it had and loved watching them play on the horn so to speak. 

 

 

Gene

 

 

Gene posted:

The best Symphony I heard was in August of 1991, Lima Ohio. The 765 was there and the 1225 came in to join up. It sounded like dueling horns, on who could out do the other. I had a man running the Burro Crane loading coal in the tenders, who was enjoying it. He later came to me to see if we could upgrade his horn.

I also rode the 765 out of town and was amazed at the power it had and loved watching them play on the horn so to speak. 

I was not aware that either the 765 or the 1225 had "horns"!

Yes, HW, I will put my expertise on various subjects, not just trains, any time. Actually, I posted that more as a joke but nobody here seems to joke. I think I would rather listen to my bagpipe music than steam engines. I rode in the cab of a steam engine from Cumberland to Frost burg and it didn't  sound like a symphony.

I agree, I have a movie theater grade surround sound system in my basement of my home and often take my recordings and play them there. They sound amazing. Really puts the viewer trackside and IMO, as someone with a long musical background, resonance and bass frequencies are what make the recordings "feel" authentic. You can almost feel the attack of the exhaust against your chest as if you are actually there watching. 

One of my favorite steam recordings is Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate by North Jersey Recordings.  Released in monaural back in the early 1960's it featured numerous cuts of NKP steam performing various tasks along with an onboard recording of NKP Hudson 175 pulling an NRHS fan trip in May of 1958.  One band of GTW steam and, for the finale, a recording of DM&IR Yellowstone 230 hauling iron ore out of Two Harbors MN with the old style foghorn sounding out in the harbor.  Pretty spectacular stuff for the era.  I also have a few of Brad Miller's recordings in my collection and they are certainly keepers.    

Personally, I find most train sounds a symphony, even modern.  we are about 1/2 mile from the closest RR tracks, and my favorite sound while going to bed is the horn blowing in the background and low echo there after.  I also find the sounds of the freight moving over the crossings quite relaxing when I am close by.

To all those who compare the sounds of a steam locomotive to a symphony, there actually is a symphonic piece from the 1920's by Arthur Honneger that attempts to capture the power and speed of a steam locomotive... It's entitled "Pacific 231."   Here's a link to a performance of it by the Utah Symphony.  The poster has added initial commentary to the video explaining what a Pacific 231 actually is and unfortunately says the name comes from its 2 guide wheels, 3 drive wheels and 1 trailing wheel.  I think he meant axles, but that's what you see from one side.   I also wonder whether the video he has added to the music adds to or distracts from the piece  Many of us on this forum will undoubtedly notice all the wrong shots he has used to "match' the video.  But that aside, give it a listen and see if you think it captures the power and speed of a steam ,locomotive.  That's one heck of a challenge for a symphony orchestra.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfysyex_DAk

"To all those who compare the sounds of a steam locomotive to a symphony, there actually is a symphonic piece from the 1920's by Arthur Honneger that attempts to capture the power and speed of a steam locomotive... It's entitled "Pacific 231."  

That's a pretty good interpretation for a symphony, but, Sly and The Family Stone's "I Want To Take You Higher" conveys the sheer power of those N&W articulateds heading upgrade!

One thing worthy of consideration is that while there are many artistic attributes and perspectives when it comes to audio recordings, they can also be considered documentary and historical in nature. A recording from the 1940s or 50's is just as insightful to history as a photograph or 16mm film. This is how it was - regardless of one's interpretation on the artistic or musical merit. 

jim pastorius posted:

I think I would rather listen to my bagpipe music than steam engines. I rode in the cab of a steam engine from Cumberland to Frost burg and it didn't  sound like a symphony.

Sounds like you just have no understanding of what you're hearing. You don't know what the sounds are, what creates them and what differentiates them. Which is understandable coming from someone who hasn't spent a lot of time in a steam locomotive cab.

Steve

 

To add another suggested work of Brad Miller to listen to, I would recommend 'Green Board South' which is a recording for the Southern Railway steam engines used in the early '70's....4501, 722, 630, and 750.  Some of the recording were made during the NRHS convention in Charleston, SC (maybe 1970 or '71?).  This is the first steam recording I heard as a kid and when we would ride on the Chessie and Southern trips, my dad would wake us all up by cranking it up instead of a boring alarm clock.

I was able to find a copy a few years ago and get it onto my Ipod (what would Mr. Purdie think of that!).  The first track is of the 722 leaving Augusta for Charleston and after she slips a couple of times, the engine hits a rail joint and you can hear the vibrating 'ting' in the rail if you have on headphones or are using good speakers.  if you close your eyes and just listen, you can 'hear' the train go past you in the speakers.  Also, you get to hear some whistling by Walter Dove, who, hands down, could play a whistle like nobody else I have ever heard. 

A friend of mine, who knew Brad Miller and worked on the Chessie and NS steam programs, tells a cool story of Miller taking a recording of the 2101 to an audio and stereo show.  Every set of speakers that they tried to play the recording through at 'true volume' either blew out or couldn't handle the sound.  His recordings are the best.

Will Sadler

 

Pennsy Pride, thanks !!!!!!!!!!

When the Nickel plate 765 (767) came to Altoona PA about 3 years ago on Memorial Day weekend my wife wanted to know if I wanted to ride on the train because she would purchase the tickets before the rides were sold out.

I told her no due to the fact I just wanted to hear the 765 as she made her way thru Altoona up over Horseshoe Curve and then roar out of the tunnel in Gallitzin.

I realize that this did not pay for the Locomotive to make an appearance and ridership did, but this is a sound and sight that I will remember for a long time.

The 765 was the first large steam engine I have ever seen in person out on the rails.

Watched many of video tapes, but nothing compare's to being right there trackside and listen to the engine go by under steam.

Call it music or just an old steam engine to me it is one of the greatest sights and sounds on earth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to all that makes these resurrected engines of days gone by, live and operate for all of us to watch and listen !!!!!!

Mark Strittmatter

TCA#14-69917

Indiana, PA 

nathansixchime posted:

One thing worthy of consideration is that while there are many artistic attributes and perspectives when it comes to audio recordings, they can also be considered documentary and historical in nature. A recording from the 1940s or 50's is just as insightful to history as a photograph or 16mm film. This is how it was - regardless of one's interpretation on the artistic or musical merit. 

I agree completely Kelly. I feel that old steam railroad recordings have an "aurora" about them. For example every time I listen to Link's Christmas Eve recording I can't help but be taken back to that rather random, now momentous moment to think what it would be like on that cold evening as a J class came rumbling by to a stop and then barks off into the eery night sky during the last years of N&W steam.

You're NKP 765 recording, that paid homage to Link, gives me the same feeling of nostalgia even though the recording was made well after the days of steam on the Nickel Plate. 

PennsyPride94 posted:
nathansixchime posted:

One thing worthy of consideration is that while there are many artistic attributes and perspectives when it comes to audio recordings, they can also be considered documentary and historical in nature. A recording from the 1940s or 50's is just as insightful to history as a photograph or 16mm film. This is how it was - regardless of one's interpretation on the artistic or musical merit. 

I agree completely Kelly. I feel that old steam railroad recordings have an "aurora" about them. For example every time I listen to Link's Christmas Eve recording I can't help but be taken back to that rather random, now momentous moment to think what it would be like on that cold evening as a J class came rumbling by to a stop and then barks off into the eery night sky during the last years of N&W steam.

You're NKP 765 recording, that paid homage to Link, gives me the same feeling of nostalgia even though the recording was made well after the days of steam on the Nickel Plate. 

I believe the word you want is 'aura': noun; the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, place, or thing. But I get what you mean!

Glad to see all the comments. Another couple of records from Mobile Fidelity (Brad Miller), would be Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies. This record beats his other recording of steam and thunderstorms! My first album was Hear that Whistle Blow, and I was hooked. Spent many Saturdays going downtown to Boston Store's record Dept. to see if there were any new albums...and many times there were.

 

Allegheny48 posted:

One of my favorite steam recordings is Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate by North Jersey Recordings.  Released in monaural back in the early 1960's it featured numerous cuts of NKP steam performing various tasks along with an onboard recording of NKP Hudson 175 pulling an NRHS fan trip in May of 1958.  One band of GTW steam and, for the finale, a recording of DM&IR Yellowstone 230 hauling iron ore out of Two Harbors MN with the old style foghorn sounding out in the harbor.  Pretty spectacular stuff for the era.  I also have a few of Brad Miller's recordings in my collection and they are certainly keepers.    

I too liked this album, for another reason. I have the builders plate off of DM&IR #230.  I also have the reel to reel tape recording of the same album. For years I could not listen to the tape as I no longer have a reel to reel, but I read the liner notes and found out that the recording of the Yellowstone was engine #230. When an album became available I bought it!

Of special note the tape was used for sound effects for the attraction known as MINIRAMA. One of the cuts was that of #230 used for one of the trains at this attraction. And how ironic that the builders plate hung in the exhibit, while the actual sounds of that very locomotive were played over the speaker system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff B. Haertlein posted:
Allegheny48 posted:

One of my favorite steam recordings is Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate by North Jersey Recordings.  Released in monaural back in the early 1960's it featured numerous cuts of NKP steam performing various tasks along with an onboard recording of NKP Hudson 175 pulling an NRHS fan trip in May of 1958.  One band of GTW steam and, for the finale, a recording of DM&IR Yellowstone 230 hauling iron ore out of Two Harbors MN with the old style foghorn sounding out in the harbor.  Pretty spectacular stuff for the era.  I also have a few of Brad Miller's recordings in my collection and they are certainly keepers.    

I too liked this album, for another reason. I have the builders plate off of DM&IR #230.  I also have the reel to reel tape recording of the same album. For years I could not listen to the tape as I no longer have a reel to reel, but I read the liner notes and found out that the recording of the Yellowstone was engine #230. When an album became available I bought it!

Of special note the tape was used for sound effects for the attraction known as MINIRAMA. One of the cuts was that of #230 used for one of the trains at this attraction. And how ironic that the builders plate hung in the exhibit, while the actual sounds of that very locomotive were played over the speaker system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff:  I have an open reel recorder that still functions and the ability to create a compact disc recording from the taped material.  I never knew that Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate was available as an open reel tape.  Is it stereo by chance?  If you would consider allowing me to create a CD from this my email is in my profile. 

 

Borden Tunnel posted:
PennsyPride94 posted:
nathansixchime posted:

One thing worthy of consideration is that while there are many artistic attributes and perspectives when it comes to audio recordings, they can also be considered documentary and historical in nature. A recording from the 1940s or 50's is just as insightful to history as a photograph or 16mm film. This is how it was - regardless of one's interpretation on the artistic or musical merit. 

I agree completely Kelly. I feel that old steam railroad recordings have an "aurora" about them. For example every time I listen to Link's Christmas Eve recording I can't help but be taken back to that rather random, now momentous moment to think what it would be like on that cold evening as a J class came rumbling by to a stop and then barks off into the eery night sky during the last years of N&W steam.

You're NKP 765 recording, that paid homage to Link, gives me the same feeling of nostalgia even though the recording was made well after the days of steam on the Nickel Plate. 

I believe the word you want is 'aura': noun; the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, place, or thing. But I get what you mean!

LOL! Oops! Thanks for the correction. As you can tell from that use of vocabulary college has made me very "edjumacated". 

Jeff B. Haertlein posted:

Glad to see all the comments. Another couple of records from Mobile Fidelity (Brad Miller), would be Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies. This record beats his other recording of steam and thunderstorms! My first album was Hear that Whistle Blow, and I was hooked. Spent many Saturdays going downtown to Boston Store's record Dept. to see if there were any new albums...and many times there were.

 

I agree, Jeff the fact that Brad was able to capture the sounds of the storm with enough detail and fidelity as to not overwhelm the recording of the train but still present a nice audio "scene" is incredible. It's both eery and tranquil to listen to that album of his. 

nasaracer32 posted:

To add another suggested work of Brad Miller to listen to, I would recommend 'Green Board South' which is a recording for the Southern Railway steam engines used in the early '70's....4501, 722, 630, and 750.  Some of the recording were made during the NRHS convention in Charleston, SC (maybe 1970 or '71?).  This is the first steam recording I heard as a kid and when we would ride on the Chessie and Southern trips, my dad would wake us all up by cranking it up instead of a boring alarm clock.

I was able to find a copy a few years ago and get it onto my Ipod (what would Mr. Purdie think of that!).  The first track is of the 722 leaving Augusta for Charleston and after she slips a couple of times, the engine hits a rail joint and you can hear the vibrating 'ting' in the rail if you have on headphones or are using good speakers.  if you close your eyes and just listen, you can 'hear' the train go past you in the speakers.  Also, you get to hear some whistling by Walter Dove, who, hands down, could play a whistle like nobody else I have ever heard. 

 

Yes! Green Board South! My favorite! My dad bought a copy from a guy that was selling them on board a Southern Steam Special (probably an excursion to Front Royal, VA). He was walking the train doing brisk business. Still have that copy, but no way to get it on my iPod. Will - contact me via email, please. :-)   

mark s posted:<snip>

If you should happen upon any of these recordings at a train show, snap them up !  You will not be disappointed. But you will need something the ancient ones called a "record player" !

 

Vinyl is back. Three of my granddaughters have turntable systems and are out happily buying records. Thinking to unload some of my collection of vinyl onto them...

Jeff B. Haertlein posted:

Glad to see all the comments. Another couple of records from Mobile Fidelity (Brad Miller), would be Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies. This record beats his other recording of steam and thunderstorms! My first album was Hear that Whistle Blow, and I was hooked. Spent many Saturdays going downtown to Boston Store's record Dept. to see if there were any new albums...and many times there were.

 

One of my favorite passages on this recording is lightning striking directly across from where Brad was recording.  You first hear the crackling and then a resounding WHAM!!! picks the listener right out of his seat.  The entire sequence of those tracks literally tells a story. 

Just a fan posted:
nasaracer32 posted:

To add another suggested work of Brad Miller to listen to, I would recommend 'Green Board South' which is a recording for the Southern Railway steam engines used in the early '70's....4501, 722, 630, and 750.  Some of the recording were made during the NRHS convention in Charleston, SC (maybe 1970 or '71?).  This is the first steam recording I heard as a kid and when we would ride on the Chessie and Southern trips, my dad would wake us all up by cranking it up instead of a boring alarm clock.

I was able to find a copy a few years ago and get it onto my Ipod (what would Mr. Purdie think of that!).  The first track is of the 722 leaving Augusta for Charleston and after she slips a couple of times, the engine hits a rail joint and you can hear the vibrating 'ting' in the rail if you have on headphones or are using good speakers.  if you close your eyes and just listen, you can 'hear' the train go past you in the speakers.  Also, you get to hear some whistling by Walter Dove, who, hands down, could play a whistle like nobody else I have ever heard. 

 

Yes! Green Board South! My favorite! My dad bought a copy from a guy that was selling them on board a Southern Steam Special (probably an excursion to Front Royal, VA). He was walking the train doing brisk business. Still have that copy, but no way to get it on my iPod. Will - contact me via email, please. :-)   

Hey Jeff,

Looked at your blog to try and find an email address, but didn't.  Seems that you have to have a subscription here in order to send messages, so look me up on Facebook or let me know where I can find your email address.

 

Will Sadler

 

nasaracer32 posted:
Just a fan posted:
nasaracer32 posted:

To add another suggested work of Brad Miller to listen to, I would recommend 'Green Board South' which is a recording for the Southern Railway steam engines used in the early '70's....4501, 722, 630, and 750.  Some of the recording were made during the NRHS convention in Charleston, SC (maybe 1970 or '71?).  This is the first steam recording I heard as a kid and when we would ride on the Chessie and Southern trips, my dad would wake us all up by cranking it up instead of a boring alarm clock.

I was able to find a copy a few years ago and get it onto my Ipod (what would Mr. Purdie think of that!).  The first track is of the 722 leaving Augusta for Charleston and after she slips a couple of times, the engine hits a rail joint and you can hear the vibrating 'ting' in the rail if you have on headphones or are using good speakers.  if you close your eyes and just listen, you can 'hear' the train go past you in the speakers.  Also, you get to hear some whistling by Walter Dove, who, hands down, could play a whistle like nobody else I have ever heard. 

 

Yes! Green Board South! My favorite! My dad bought a copy from a guy that was selling them on board a Southern Steam Special (probably an excursion to Front Royal, VA). He was walking the train doing brisk business. Still have that copy, but no way to get it on my iPod. Will - contact me via email, please. :-)   

Hey Jeff,

Looked at your blog to try and find an email address, but didn't.  Seems that you have to have a subscription here in order to send messages, so look me up on Facebook or let me know where I can find your email address.

 

His eMail address is plainly posted in his OGR Forum "Profile".

Allegheny48 posted:
Jeff B. Haertlein posted:
Allegheny48 posted:

One of my favorite steam recordings is Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate by North Jersey Recordings.  Released in monaural back in the early 1960's it featured numerous cuts of NKP steam performing various tasks along with an onboard recording of NKP Hudson 175 pulling an NRHS fan trip in May of 1958.  One band of GTW steam and, for the finale, a recording of DM&IR Yellowstone 230 hauling iron ore out of Two Harbors MN with the old style foghorn sounding out in the harbor.  Pretty spectacular stuff for the era.  I also have a few of Brad Miller's recordings in my collection and they are certainly keepers.    

I too liked this album, for another reason. I have the builders plate off of DM&IR #230.  I also have the reel to reel tape recording of the same album. For years I could not listen to the tape as I no longer have a reel to reel, but I read the liner notes and found out that the recording of the Yellowstone was engine #230. When an album became available I bought it!

Of special note the tape was used for sound effects for the attraction known as MINIRAMA. One of the cuts was that of #230 used for one of the trains at this attraction. And how ironic that the builders plate hung in the exhibit, while the actual sounds of that very locomotive were played over the speaker system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff:  I have an open reel recorder that still functions and the ability to create a compact disc recording from the taped material.  I never knew that Fast Freight on the Nickel Plate was available as an open reel tape.  Is it stereo by chance?  If you would consider allowing me to create a CD from this my email is in my profile. 

 

I'll check out the tape shortly, and let you know.

 

Jeff H.

Hartman

As for most recordings I've heard, they have too much whistle or horn blowing.  I want to hear the locomotive and the train with a rare whistle or horn blowing.  That constant whistle & or horn noise is just too much..... noise.  And that's MY 2 cents worth.

Dennis

Exactly, and, that is the problem with a lot of model videos too! You can't hear the engine for all of the stupid whistle blowing!

 

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