Shanghai is a fascinating and lively city, full of contrast – a mixture of old and new, with towering skyscrapers looming over winding residential lanes, with streets full of rattling old bicycles and electric scooters, with noisy trucks rolling alongside almost silent electric cars.
The elevated highways that cross the city give certain areas a dense, constant rumble, while the city’s many parks offer a range of sounds, full of people and activity during the day, and generally quite empty at night – offering a diffuse, distant sonic perspective of the environment.
This library contains many of the everyday sounds of the city, with a variety of on and off-street recordings, interior and exterior walla, park and bird atmospheres, restaurant interiors, traffic, and even a range of metro recordings. While some of this library’s sounds are quite specific to Shanghai, the majority could be used in other large city environments, particularly in but not limited to those cities where Mandarin is the most common language.
All recordings were made with a pair of Lewitt LCT 540s microphones in an ORTF configuration. These microphones have extremely low self noise and a wide, balanced frequency response, allowing for the detailed capture of a range of sounds, from distant and quiet to close, loud and chaotic, from the deep rumble of engines to the supersonic screeching of brakes. Recorded at a sampling rate of 96kHz, these recordings contain detailed information above 20kHz, expanding the possibilities for sound manipulation by slowing and pitching down the recordings.