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January 21, 2011


Amsterdam Centraal Station

by soundlandscapes

This blog is mainly about capturing the street sounds of Paris. But sometimes I have to remind myself that there is life outside of this wonderful city and that other cities have their street sounds too.

Earlier this week I found myself in Amsterdam, a city full of character – with tall, thin, houses and canals.

And, of course, Amsterdam is also a city of bicycles which, during the day, seem to concentrate in swarms rather like bees in a hive.

Having completed my business in Amsterdam it was time to return to Paris so I found myself at Amsterdam Centraal Station (yes, Centraal is the Dutch way of saying Central) waiting for my four hour high-speed Thalys train home.

I never go anywhere without a sound recorder – I record anything and everything – so whilst waiting for my train it was quite normal for me to record the sonic environment around me.

Railways stations are guaranteed to provide a rich sonic environment – and Amsterdam Centraal is no exception.

So, share with me the sonic environment I found there earlier this week.

Platform 14a Amsterdam Centraal Station

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jan 22 2011

    Wow, the sounds of the train departing in the first 20 sec, and then another arriving and breaking at the 3 minute point are ripe for mixing somehow. Your recordings are always so clear. What kind of equipment do you use for them?

    • Jan 22 2011

      Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.

      I always keep editing to a minimum. It’s all about keeping the ‘sound map’ in your head and anticipating the right moment – looking for that Cartier Bresson, “Decisive Moment”.

      I use a Nagra LB (the broadcast radio reporters sound recorder of choice) together with a matched pair of omni-directional binaural microphones. But the equipment is only a means to an end – the sounds you record are only limited by your imagination!

  2. Jan 26 2011

    Hi, great blog and great recordings! I’m italian and one of my greatest passions it is field recording ,i collect the sounds of rome,my city, but also sounds from many other sound sources. I’ve got a blog dedicated to this medium. Here’s the link: . Thank tou very much for this recording from the amsterdam train station, i really love the speaking voice in the beginning of the track! bye Guido
    P.s.:scuse me for my terrible english!

    • Jan 26 2011

      Hi Guido,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope that making street recordings of Rome gives you as much pleasure as recording the sounds of Paris gives me.

      Don’t apologise for your English – it has to be better than my Italian!

      Good Sound Hunting,


  3. Jan 28 2011


    that’s a great piece of footage of the train station by the way!

    Theres some fantastic high current induction noises made by modern trains and they work really well in stereo as your take reveals!

    Keep up the good work!


  4. Jan 28 2011

    WOW! Perfect recording.
    This sounds like a nice music.
    It should be released on CD 🙂

  5. Aug 6 2012

    I was introduced to your blog via your Parisian Fields comment you left a day or two ago. I found your sound and pictures truly invigorating and I felt transformed back to Europe. I have now subscribed to your site and look forward to more experiences.
    I used to have an old vinyl record lasting about 30 minutes of the sounds at a beach on the South of France Coast somewhere. I would put it on when I went to bed at night and was transformed back in time. I would soon drift off to sleep to the sounds of people talking, children playing and an occasional boat going by.

    • Aug 6 2012

      Thank you for your comment Richard. I’m pleased you like the sights and sounds you’ve found here and thanks for following me. I hope that you will find much to interest you in the future.

  6. Laura
    Sep 9 2012

    Thank you for taking me back to Amsterdam, even if only for 4 minutes 🙂

  7. Apr 10 2013

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already
    😉 Cheers!

    • Apr 10 2013

      Thank you. I’m pleased you enjoyed this post. I’m not sure I shall become famous, but I certainly enjoy producing this blog.

  8. Dave
    May 7 2013

    May I please use a small portion of this wonderful recording for the intro of a song I’m producing?

  9. May 7 2013

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is an extremely neatly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.


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