Claremont Metro Station, Wednesday, February 13, 3:36 P.M.

Train Arriving

Train Picking up Passengers

Train Departing

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Location: Claremont’s Metro Station is an outdoor station situated in-between streets near 1st Street and College Avenue. Providing public transportation to passengers, the train travels up to 90mph (132 feet per second) and weighs approximately 450 tons. There is a parking lot for passengers to park their cars, a shopping center, and a dog park nearby. During this recording, there were about 3-5 people waiting for the train in the afternoon.

Recording Setup: (Recording device: TASCAM-40). Recording was done near the ticket machines on a bench. Microphones were set up in opposite directions approximately 5ft. away from the train. The train was coming from the left side of the recorder.

About the soundscape: Before the metro arrived, two railway-crossing signs, each within approximately one block away in the vicinity of this station, signaled nearby vehicles to stop with 2 distinct, quick and repetitive bell-like sounds and railroad crossing gates. The train then blew its horns: two long, one short, and one long. When the train was one-half mile away from the stop, it gradually began to slow down, making an overpowering screeching noise that overrode the bell sounds. Once the train came to a complete stop, the doors opened for the passengers and an announcer made announcements. After all the passengers got on board, the doors closed and the train departed. The noise created from the acceleration of the train’s engines dominated the soundscape. However, once the train left, the soundscape consisted of people making noises.

Keynotes: Since this metro station is situated in an outdoor atmosphere and in-between streets, the keynote is composed of the everyday sound that nearby vehicles, pedestrians, and any other common organisms make; for example, people talking, their footsteps, the sound of passengers rolling their baggage, nearby car sounds, etc.  The soundscape was recorded on a windy day, so the sounds generated by the wind can also be identified as a keynote.

Soundmarks: The main sound from this soundscape is the horn: two long, one short, and one long. The train’s horn sounds are loud enough to be heard on Pomona College’s South Campus dorms such as Lyon, Harwood, etc.

Signals: The rapid bell sounds that the railroad crossing signals make and the horn of the train can be identified as signals of the soundscape. Both sounds signal the passengers that the train is about to arrive.