NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
18 Apr 1995
- Tsukiji Fish Market
- 35.66139 139.76972
- SONY TCD-D7
Stereo=1; XY Stereo; Neumann RSM 190 (decoded) through Sonosax SX-M2 preamp into Sony TCD7
Subject: Tokyo log part 1
Log of first main tape of Tokyo Fish Market, Tuesday April 18 1995. Two-digit numbers are PNOs; five-digit numbers are ATime in HMMSS format. Tape also has Time of Day encoded, not logged here but available if needed.
01 00000 slate ID first tape with RSM190, 3:40am. This tape is all straight XY stereo with Neumann RSM190 (decoded) through Sonosax 'SX-M2 preamp, into D7 line inputs.
00110 big clank as front loader passes by right...more machinery rattles past (stronger in right than left)
00220 Kunio says they're unloading inside, we go in
02 00230 relatively mild indoor ambiance, some idling truck engine. Rolling
cart passes. 00330 quiet.
03 00350 first dropping tuna from back of truck. stereo image: fish drop out of truck in right ch, roll/drag to left where scale is. Doesn't last long before I start jockeying for a better position
04 00520 dropping fish starts in earnest. Image reversed as mike is upside down: fish land in left channel, slide/bounce to right. (Some early drops go above DAT 0, clipping occurs... levels get better after several clips.
still clipping occasionally at 00720.)
05 00820 dropping stops for awhile, picks back up again around 00900.
06 00940 more drops, still clipping occasionally. Boy, those D7 meters sure don't react as fast as the D10 meters I'm logging on!
07 01120 going around to other side of the truck to get more dropping tuna. This dropping doesn't clip as much, but it's not as dramatic either.
08 01310 first truck is finished. Good scale rattles and laughing workers. Good cycle of rattle of scale as each fish is loaded on...adjustment of scale weights ... call out weight...haul it away, next one on the scale.
09 01550 going to axes cutting tails off frozen tuna
10 01640 more distant perspective of scales weighing scene
01720 back to good axes, good multiple hits 01750 on. (so far, not much interference from trucks etc....sounds are pretty much in the clear, even indoors.
11 01840 dual scene: cutting on one side, scales action on the other. Gradually goes to just cutting tails. still not very active.
02100 some good axes into tuna tails
12 02200 talking with the head of one of the fish companies. Tuna is going for anywhere from Y500 to Y5000 per kilo...there'll be 2600 (?) frozen tuna sold here today. Auction to begin 5:40am.
13 02420 a little running water, some ice sounds, we're over in the FRESH TUNA section, not the frozen ones. Scales at 02530.
14 02550 fresh tuna on scales...don't make much sound.
15 02640 lD previous section, more ice sounds, putting ice inside fresh fish to keep them fresh. Done by 02800 Go back outside to see if they're unloading out there? Nope, we stay in for a while.
16 02848 some good dropping tuna, a bit more tire sound here than before, levels are lower, no clipping. Some good bounces ...a bit more active background too. Bigger hits at 03115.
17 03200 a few big drops clip...with the clank of the scales and the increasing din of dropping fish it sounds like pinspotting machines at the bowling alley.
18 03250 good sound of scales reader with fish bouncing around the scales.
19 03350 lD previous, staying inside for good distant perspective of hacking, scales, voices.
20 03550 now going outside onto the canopied dock area. Truck engine starts up distant R ch, hacking sounds, throat clearing sound,
21 03630 another truck arrives left, shouting voice, then quiets down a bit. Truck again, gentle backup signal, it's a front loader scooping and dumping frozen tuna.
03910 five beeps on truck horn, then backup signal. Someone whistling in the distance. Distant ambiance continues.
04050 closeup of scales, good bouncing tuna, good rattling scales, scales caller miked closest yet. Big rattles at 04200
22 04230 lD, waiting for truck to unload. Good general dock ambiance.
04345 good big bouncing and dropping tuna, good roll from right to left, best bouncers yet_ Some occasional clips, may be editable in the Sonic. scales weigher voice to the left in mid distance as drops continue. Good one at 04520. at 04620, get closer to scales, bouncing gets a bit more distant.
23 04645 good closeup scene of scales, with weigher voice in R ch, good clank of scale-measuring weights. Has a nice rhythm to it.
24 04750 my question: how many on a truck? We'll find out. More ambiance at 04830. Things are getting more active, though not quite dense yet.
25 04850 good ambiance, hacking, trucks
26 04930 better hacking in left ch, scales action in right. 05030, several guys grunt to lift a big one. 05050, bigger grunts for a bigger fish. This one knocks a weight off the scales when they lift it on! More scales in middle with hacking left and right.
27 05200 ID back announce big grunts...get the weight? We get it later by
reading it off the fish 28 05230 good general mid-distant dock area ambiance ...hacking, trucks, distant scales, voices
29 05430 Kunio says 9 ton truck can carry about 120 tunas. I get clarification: each producer may consign to several different wholesalers 30 05555 closeup truck sounds, clatter of equipment
31 05640 Kunio again with more info, then it gets QUIET for a minute. 32 05715 boost levels for more distant ambiance from out on dock. Has a bit more depth to it. Good basic bed to build other elements of this time period on.
33 05950 looking for water sound at dockside ...not much there, so go back inside. Hacking sounds, motorized runabouts. 34 10120 close to back of truck. Loud clatter of doors
35 10200 General ambiance, fairly quiet, waiting for next truck to unload 36 10417 hacking in left ch, gentle truck engine right. In distance is a scales weigher with singing repetitive call. Gradually get closer to him.
37 10640 good close perspective of singing weigher, clatter of scales, background hacking. Rattle of scales at 10750. Even closer to his voice at 10800.
38 10850 singing weigher voice moves to L ch as I shift position, gets more distant, other voices talking...then I have him in close perspective again with him in L ch, hacking in right, scales center.
11030 several good major hacks, clean, with little else around them 39 11100 leave this scene, I talk to Kunio ...business is slow, he says.
Trucks are at -50 degrees c. 40 11200 back to hacking, rattle of scales 41 11303 ambiance hacking continues, with voices in the background.
Motorized cart goes by in distance, more singing weigher 42 11500 good sound of non-motorized cart rolling by...then a motorized one. 43 11600 4:54, it's quiet as appraisers are looking at fish. 44 11620 Going back inside. Some folks are washing the frozen fish down with
water hoses, others are brushing the encrusted frost off the fish. 45 11720 sawing into tails of fish with a big broad knife. Not much of a
sound given what's going on around it...gets better at 11810. Then to general indoor ambiance. 46 11910 ID indoor ambiance, describe previous cutting process. 11938 starts
long ambiance bed with active truck pass, voices. 47 12000 Kunio shows me who the bidders are. Business is very poor due to
sarin gas scare in Tokyo over previous weekend (another attack had been forecast but didn't happen
48 12035 ambiance distant
49 12100 more of the same, but ice sweeping sounds coming closer to me in the ambiance. Motorized'&srt 'passes right to left. Sweeping and water hose sounds get closer, more noticeable as general ambiance gets quieter for a while. Another cart passes right to left.
50 12315 carts pass, sweeping ice off fish still there, hacking is back, hose sounds more noticeable. Good bed to build a scene on. Noisier truck pass at 12420. Noise level in general starts to rise. Horn beep at 12500. More hacking, more carts pass
51 12550 sweeping finally gets close...some bumps of microphone. Good sound of sweeping ice off fish (though you wouldn't know that just by listening), marred by noisy machinery in background.
52 12706 I announce that we're going to change tapes. We're walking back out to the dockside changing table. Good truck sound, running and backing up.
Put gear down on table, still running, multiple horn beeps, I head off to change other tape machine which is sitting atop wall nearby. Good general dockside ambiance, hacking, truck beeps and motors, Kunio has conversation in Japanese with someone within earshot, then back to ambiance. 13100, level jumps suddenly as I change batteries in Sonosax preamp. Then some good hacks at 13225 ... some later ones clip as Sonosax levels are still higher than before
53 13328 end this tape at 5:11:36 AM