Let’s make a Sound Map of Preston! #uksm

Posted on - 27th September, 2010 - 9:50am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Campaigns, Observations, People, Recreation, Things to Do in and around Preston, What's On in Preston

Preston is a diverse city. Culturally, geographically and demographically. A city filled with many different sights, smells and pertinently, sounds.


The British Library have recently created the UK Sound Map. It’s an effort to create the first ‘nationwide soundmap’. You can take a look at it by clicking on the image below:

As you can see, Preston is looking quite bare, so this is a chance for Blog Preston readers to get involved and post their sound recordings from all over the city. The platform that we’ll be using is Audioboo, an online service that lets you post recordings up to 5 minutes, either uploaded from your computer, or directly from their iPhone or Android apps. Here’s a quick guide on how to go about posting your recordings.

Step 1: Sign up to Audioboo

Step 2: Record and upload your recording, and add ‘uksm’ as one of the tags. This means your recording will automatically be put on the map (after 48 hours), without this they won’t appear, so don’t forget!

Step 3: Have a listen to what others have posted!

How to record and publish

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you can download the Audioboo app. This allows you to record sounds directly from your phone and upload automatically. If not, you can record from a dictaphone/sound recorder and then upload from your home computer instead.

Here are a couple of video guides to get started.

Upload via your smartphone

Intro to Audioboo from Mark Rock on Vimeo.

Upload via your computer

Audioboo browser upload & record from Mark Rock on Vimeo.

Things to record

Just record your everyday surroundings! What do your home, leisure and work environments sound like?

What sounds define these places and how do they make you feel? Some may be restful, some unpleasant – tell us why.

Does the sound of these places differ during the day? What are the differences and why?

Where are the noisiest or quietest parts of Preston?

What makes some areas very noisy? What can be heard even when it’s quiet?

What to avoid

Any workplace recordings should be made only with the employer’s permission.

Staged or recorded performances (musical or spoken word) will be subject to copyright, and shouldn’t be recorded.

Avoid touching the microphone during recording to reduce any unnecessary noise.If you make a recording outdoors, even a gentle breeze can cause unwanted noise. Avoid this by protecting the microphone from wind or cover it with thin material before you start recording

Feel free to make as many recordings as you like at different locations and times, and each recording may be up to 5 minutes long. All recordings tagged with ‘uksm’ will automatically be put on the British Library map, and if you tweet any of your sounds then be sure to add the ‘#uksm’ hashtag. That way it’ll be picked up by the British Library Twitter account as well.

If we get a good response then we’ll post our own city map here on Blog Preston, with more indepth profiles of why each sound has been recorded. I’ve started off by recording some birds chirping at Samlesbury Hall last week:

Don’t forget, this relies on your involvement, so get recording!

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