Neat spots to record in Portland, OR
August 30, 2010 1:51 PM   Subscribe

Do you know of any sweet, kinda secluded spots in Portland, OR that might sound cool if one were to record music being played in them?

I love recording in places with neat sounds and reverbs. So far I have only recorded in various stairwells and a sauna. I'd love to find spots around Portland that are a little out of the way where I could record without bothering too many people or breaking too many laws. Places like under bridges, or tunnels or stairwells, or anything that might be fun. Other advice like knowing certain spots are completely empty at 5 AM is super helpful, too! Thanks for your help!
posted by Corduroy to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As I was riding downtown on Interstate yesterday, I heard the MAX approach from behind me as I was passing under the Broadway Bridge. It made this really cool, eerie, stealthy, metallic sort of WHOOOOOOOSH sound and I thought "damn that'd be cool to record and do something with if only I was talented".

So, yeah, N Interstate Ave under the Broadway Bridge might be a cool spot.
posted by pdb at 2:06 PM on August 30, 2010

The basketball court on Mount Tabor.
posted by pickypicky at 2:08 PM on August 30, 2010

See if you can't find someone who lives at 255 SW Harrison, the stairwells in the building have an amazingly easy to reach resonating frequency.
posted by nomisxid at 2:09 PM on August 30, 2010

You would need permission, but the stairwells and elevator landings at the Multnomah County Library downtown are very echo-y.
posted by Danf at 2:16 PM on August 30, 2010

I always wanted to record my friend playing sax in the rain in one of the bus shelters on the NE 39th and Glisan roundabout. I love the sound of the cars going by there in the rain.
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 2:43 PM on August 30, 2010

Some weird sound stuff can happen at the Vietnam memorial in Washington Park - it's circular and sort of ascending. It's not too heavily trafficked...but I would try to do it on an overcast weekday or something, so as not to offend people who may be there for other reasons.

It'd be cool of course if you could get permission to record in the Shanghai Tunnels.

Under the Steel Bridge. On the little walkway.

I bet it'd be fun to set-up your gear in an elevator in the US Bankcorp tower, then hit every floor and record your song as you go up, getting little bits of floor sound at every stop. The lawyers might not like it....
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:51 PM on August 30, 2010

The Washington Park MAX boarding platform, underground! There are all kinds of eerie sounds in there just from people and the trains (which, coincidentally, don't show up until just after 5 in the morning). I'm not sure about permissions, but it's a wonderful space.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 4:29 PM on August 30, 2010

Response by poster: These are great! Thanks for all the ideas. Now if only recording in front of people weren't so nerve wracking.
posted by Corduroy at 10:28 AM on August 31, 2010

Now if only recording in front of people weren't so nerve wracking.

If seeing someone recording outside in odd places is the weirdest thing someone in Portland sees that day (or the weirdest person), they're doing something wrong.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:40 PM on August 31, 2010

What do you play and do you want some musical accompaniment or help recording? I meMailed you.
posted by MonsieurBon at 11:02 AM on October 19, 2010

Um, MonsieurBon and Corduroy...weird 'we record in strange places' Portland rock band? Yeah, you know how to memail. In!!!
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:43 PM on October 20, 2010

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