Recording Ho Chi Minh City Sound Effects
If you haven’t been to Ho Chi Minh City yet then get your headphones ready sit back and listen to the crazy city sounds of the second most dynamic metropole in the world.
Listen To The Ho Chi Minh City Sound Compilation
I am currently in Vietnam and travel two months from south to north on a rented motorbike across the country and record new sounds and sound effects. My goal is to create an even bigger Vietnam library with unique recordings captured in all the regions I am going to visit.
Not only I record in stereo anymore, now in VR (ambix) with two new Zoom H3 VR recorders as well. Stay tuned for this new upcoming library packed with ambisonic sounds from Singapore, Vietnam and many many more.
If you wondering how much I pay for the motorbike it is 500 USD for two months plus 70 USD for a collision waiver insurance. Means, if I crash the bike I still get my deposit back (1000 USD) and don’t pay for the damage. Hopefully, that won’t happen. The motorbike itself is a top notch Honda 150ccm Winner. It is a great bike with no issues yet.
Before I decided hitting the road, I spent four days and nights in Ho Chi Minh City, lived in district 3 and took mostly Grab motorbike taxis to get around the city. It’s cheap and really easy going. I order online with the app and then hop on the next available scooter.
Let me tell you one thing. It was never harder to record sounds for one main reason. Music and blasting loudspeakers. Vietnamese people love Karaoke with loudspeakers that reaching their maximal potential and beyond on.
For example, if I record traffic sounds and just a few streets away a shop turns on the loudspeakers, its over. I can move on to find a different spot. Countless examples and frustration came up but I know I had to power through.
Being challenged in a way brings a lot of fun and if I sit in my room listen back to the sounds that I captured then I know it was worth the struggle and I appreciate even more these recordings. There is another site note I like to mention what can take up quite a bit of time. Most field recorders know what is coming now.
If I have my equipment set up, it doesn’t take long and I have somebody standing right next to me. If I explain what I am doing, it can lead to more confusion or into a very long conversation. In Vietnam, I say “Tôi thu âm” what means “I record sounds”.
What Ho Chi Minh City Sound Effects Did I Record
The cool thing about Ho Chi Minh City is, security is everywhere and always present. Look out for the people in the blue shirts. I almost always record under the eye of a security guard but I never feel unsafe or anything but for me and my equipment is always “Safety First”.
I knew I don’t have much tim roaming around the city trying to find different sounds. This time I told myself to keep the focus on creating a traffic sound library.
You can expect a lot of crazy traffic sounds filled with honkings, motorbikes, trucks, cars drive by, ambulance sirens. Traffic recorded on super busy roads, small side streets, fast highways, from a distance, and very very close pass and drive-bys.
Besides traffic, I recorded a train pass by on a small railway crossing (more train sounds from the countryside are planned to record) with the majestic and loud train horn and the warning beeping signal coming from the barrier.
Crowds? Of course, I got some fantastic soundscapes of crowds and tourists next to the Cathedrale De Notre Dame. Later I recorded inside the Central Post Office of Ho Chi Minh City and went at night time to the train station. Just to get a little bit of variety. If you are looking for market ambience, I have to disappoint you for now. Market sounds weren’t my focus this time, but if you are looking for a sound, coming from the countless “flying” street vendors I included two in this library
One of my favorite recordings are from the container harbor. The biggest part of the container harbor is not in Ho Chi Minh City anymore. I found on “accident” a little sidewalk along the Saigon river and got some fantastic ambience.
I recorded until the darkness. A crane was moving the containers from a ship what already created a industrial, rusty and mechanical sound. While that happens several tug boats passed by. Small ones and big ones. Not only I recorded above the water, I also used the hydrophones and recorded a very unworldly sounding underwater sound effect from the harbor.
Then I thought, “How are the electromagnetic fields here”? I took out the Priezor and “boom” Electromagnetic Fields are just everywhere. You can find all these recordings inside this city sound library.
I end this library with room tone because I get more and more requests i about room tone.
Four days in Ho Chi Minh City are clearly not enough time and did you know that only seven percent of the first time visitors returning to Ho Chi Minh City? I know I will be one them. If I reach Hanoi stay tuned for another big city library.