"Stand clear of the closing doors please: _______"
February 26, 2012 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend: where can I get a clean recording of the NYC subway "door closing" chime? Ideally it would be something better than just a field recording with background noise etc. The cleaner the better!
posted by hermitosis to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Here (try #8).

Here's a noisy one.
posted by John Cohen at 10:12 AM on February 26, 2012

The first scene in Old New York in the Futurama episode "The Luck of the Fryrish."
posted by griphus at 10:16 AM on February 26, 2012

This one is a little cleaner.
posted by cazoo at 1:34 PM on February 26, 2012

If your friend doesn't mind staying up late at night, I'd suggest recording the sound from the far end of the avenue H Q stop sometime after 11pm on a weeknight. It's aboveground, so there won't be an echo, the neighborhood is houses so it'll be quiet at that time of night, and there will be few people on the train.

All this, of course, assuming your friend can't find it online.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:53 PM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fun question! So: the sound hasn't changed since I moved to NYC in 2000. It's extremely likely it's an old analog mono sound already. At the MTA, it may have gone through generations of analog copying; there may not be a meaningfully 'clean' original available to anyone anymore.

And unless your friend finds the person at the MTA actually responsible for maintaining the copies of the audio (or finds someone else who found that person, got a copy, digitized it and shared it online), it is gonna be a field recording.

Ocherdraco is right that an aboveground station, in a residential neighborhood, at a quiet time, will produce the best possible field recording. I'll wager finding the human at the MTA, even assuming they'd let you make a copy, would not produce meaningfully better results than that. :)

Final thought (can you tell I do sound work): would a cleaner version, not recorded as heard through an actual MTA car's cheap mono speakers, actually evoke the recognition / have the effect the friend wants in whatever the final product is? This is a case where too 'clean' could actually be less useful.
posted by kalapierson at 9:47 PM on February 26, 2012

« Older How can I get strong without getting big?   |   Help me help my teenage sister get help. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.