Trains are awesome, and train games can be a ton of fun (at least for “railfans“). As you can see from the video above, the sound a train makes is just as important as the train itself.
The audio specialists at Boom Library were asked for good train audio, something they didn’t have, so they did something I’ve always wanted to do: rent a train!
They have a great behind the scenes post on how they setup their equipment to get proper audio recordings.
After that we recorded drive bys. We did some normal microphone settings but also attached one omni mic to the rails for extreme close ups of wheels rolling by. We again tried a contact mic with no luck, it just sounded so much worse compared to the omni duct-taped onto the rail and had no useful special character to it either. We used another stereo set to follow the train extremely close for some nice clacks.
And if all that wasn’t enough:
After this day was done we were able to get a small steam train in England to take us on a trip in the locomotive and a large steam train in South Africa as well as modern electrical trains in Austria.
Maybe the train audio isn’t so hard to get as fun to get.