GENERAL SOUND MAPGRIDWATERWAYSESTUARY

Recordings of background atmospheres and incidental noises from all over London. Many form part of a sound grid series recorded at evenly-spaced points across the city, each marking the centre of a square on the map below.

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1 1 1 1 6 5 4 12 11 3 8 1 1
2 3 11 6 3 5 5 14 4 4 1 1 3 1  
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1 3 5 7 5 24 39 49 26 9 6 3 2
1 1 2 7 6 9 8 28 13 5 1 1 4
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Above: graphic based on a daytime satellite image courtesy of the Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. Each red grid square is 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers across.

Adam and Eve Mews W8 April 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 21 April 2013

Time of day: 3.40pm

Location: Adam and Eve Mews off Kensington High Street, west London.

Description: Fairly quiet auditory scene with traffic passing along Kensington High Street 2–300 yards to the north, voices of people sitting on a roof terrace overlooking the mews.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Lexham Gardens W8 April 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 21 April 2013

Time of day: 2.25pm

Location: North side of Lexham Gardens, west London.

Description: Fairly quiet auditory scene with a jogger running past, the door of a house slams shut, faint voices, a child at play in the private fenced-in gardens, birdsong, occasional traffic.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Warwick Gardens W8 April 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 21 April 2013

Time of day: 1.40pm

Location: Warwick Gardens near junction with Pembroke Gardens, west London.

Description: Traffic rushes along Warwick Gardens, a police car passes while sounding its siren, faint footsteps as someone crosses the road.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Abingdon Road W8 April 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 21 April 2013

Time of day: 3.15pm

Location: Junction of Abingdon Road and Abingdon Villas, west London.

Description: Voices and clattering sounds from a nearby restaurant, occasional passing traffic, slamming of car doors, a taxi drives off.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Kensington High Street W8 April 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 21 April 2013

Time of day: 1.15pm

Location: Kensington High Street near junction with Abingdon Road, west London.

Description: Loud traffic with buses and cars close by, voices and footsteps of passersby.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Antiques arcade Portobello Road 2:40

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 February 2013

Time of day: 3.15pm

Location: Inside an antiques arcade off Portobello Road, west London.

Description: Atmosphere recorded inside one of the antiques arcades off Portobello Road. The arcade consists of a warren of passageways lined with traders' booths. The recording starts and ends with the bustle of the street outside. In between are the voices of the traders and their customers, and a man tries out a violin before deciding whether to buy it.

Technical guff: In-ear binaural stereo. Soundman OKM II Classic/Studio mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Holland Park voices 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 18 August 2012

Time of day: 4.15pm

Location: Near Holland House, Holland Park, Kensington.

Description: Voices of clusters of people out in the sunshine in Holland Park.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Shepherds Bush Market voices 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 28 July 2012

Time of day: 1pm

Location: Shepherds Bush Market, west London.

Description: Voices of shoppers and stallholders recorded while walking southwards through the market.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics, Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Shepherds Bush Westfield voices 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 28 July 2012

Time of day: 1.30pm

Location: Westfield shopping centre, Shepherds Bush, west London

Description: Voices and footsteps of Westfield shoppers, faint clattering noises from nearby cafes and restaurants.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics, Sony PCM-M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Regents Canal Little Venice 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 15 July 2011

Time of day: 6.15am

Location: West side of Little Venice, north of Paddington.

Description: A narrowboat's propeller churns the water as the boat makes a turn, background traffic with emergency services siren.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x DPA 2006C mics, Sound Devices MixPre-D preamp, Sony PCM M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Grand Union Harrow Road 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 30 June 2011

Time of day: 2.30pm

Location: By the footbridge between Harrow Road and Kensal Road, west London.

Description: Constant traffic on Harrow Road, music from a cafe by the canal, a man talks loudly on his mobile phone, sound of hammering in the distance.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x 2006C DPA mics, Sound Devices MixPre-D preamp, Sony PCM M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Grand Union Westway 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 30 June 2011

Time of day: 2.45pm

Location: Under the Westway a short distance east of the Great Western Road, west London.

Description: Constant, loud traffic from the Westway overhead, a curious hollow tone sounds briefly from 0:22, source unknown.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x 2006C DPA mics, Sound Devices MixPre-D preamp, Sony PCM M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Grand Union Westbourne Green 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 30 June 2011

Time of day: 3pm

Location: By Westbourne Green Open Space, west London.

Description: Voices of children from Westbourne Open Space and of drinkers at The Waterway pub on the opposite side of the canal, birdsong, traffic passing along the Westway.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x DPA 2006C mics, Sound Devices MixPre-D preamp, Sony PCM M10 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pink Floyd Westfield 2:35

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: January 2011

Time of day: Not known

Location: Westfield shopping centre, Shepherds Bush. west London.

Description: Echoing interior ambience with hubbub of shoppers' voices, Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here plays over a PA before fading out to make way for a more blandly upbeat tune.

Technical guff: Zoom H4N digital recorder.

Recorded by: Michael Gallagher

Additional notes: Many thanks to Michael Gallagher for sharing this recording. It originally appeared on his personal blog in the post titled Wish You Were Here.

Hammersmith Library 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 5 May 2010

Time of day: 4pm

Location: Hammersmith public library, Shepherd's Bush Road.

Description: Constant tapping on keyboards by visitors using the library's computers, faint voices and other sounds within the library, traffic.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. 2 x MM-HLSO/Sennheiser MKE-2 mics and Edirol R09-HR digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Grand Union Canal Kensal Green 1:34

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 6 February 2010

Time of day: 1.30pm

Location: By the Grand Union Canal, opposite Kensal Green cemetery.

Description: Brief aircraft noise, birdsong from trees flanking the canal, occasional calls from ducks, distant traffic.

Technical guff: Stereo. Audio Technical BP4025 mic and Fostex FR-2LE digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: Thanks to Ed Lawrenson.

Notting Hill pub 1984 0:55

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: August 1984

Time of day: Not known

Location: A pub near the Notting Hill Carnival area.

Description: Pub ambience with a group of men discussing buying football tickets.

Technical guff: Cameron writes: "I used a Sony WM-D6C cassette recorder with a Sony ECM-939LT condenser microphone. I digitized and expanded the track with a PEAK LE software."

Recorded by: Cameron McNall

Additional notes: Visit Cameron McNall's Electroland website.

Maison Souss Shepherds Bush 1:06

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 15 August 2009

Time of day: 9.45pm

Location: Inside Maison Souss, an Algerian-run coffee shop overlooking Shepherds Bush Green.

Description: A man opposite stirs his tall glass of coffee, staff and customers' voices in conversation, sounds of the coffee machine, an oscillating hum from the air conditioning system.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics and PA-3SX preamp, Edirol R09-HR digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Shepherd and his flock 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 15 August 2009

Time of day: 9.15pm

Location: Inside the 'Shepherd and his flock' pub on Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush.

Description: Laughter, voices and recorded music playing inside this small pub. A man orders drinks from the barmaid.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics and PA-3SX preamp, Edirol R09-HR digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Portobello Road 2:47

Grid square: Hammersmith, Kensington, Shepherds Bush

Recording date: Summer 2004

Time of day: Not known

Location: Portobello Road, west London.

Description: "A walk through the Portobello Road street market in London, summer, 2004. Lots of crowd noise, a street vendor at the beginning ("'ave a look!"), a train passing overhead in the middle of the clip, and a number of people talking as they passed me. Many of them were talking Russian, for some reason. Music from a vendor's boom box in the background of the last half." – barredowl

Technical guff: Sharp MD recorder (MD-MT90) with SoundPro stereo mic.

Recorded by: barredowl

Additional notes: Recorded by Freesound Project contributor barredowl. License: Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0.

North along Portobello Road 2:19

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 13 June 2009

Time of day: Around 11pm

Location: Walking north along Portobello Road, reaching the Westway by the end of the recording.

Description: A man sings briefly, footsteps and voices of passersby, music from bars and nightclubs, metallic clattering from men clearing away market stalls near the Westway, occasional traffic.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics and PA-3SX preamp. Edirol R09-HR recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

TQ 2439 8067 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 5 June 2009

Time of day: 3.30pm

Location: OS grid reference TQ 2439 8067. Lansdowne Road, near junction with Lansdowne Rise.

Description: A residential street of large houses. Traffic in the distance, and sounds from a building site further down the road, and a noise like brakes squealing from somewhere else. A car passes nearby along Lansdowne Rise.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics. Edirol R09-HR digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Shepherds Bush market 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2009

Time of day: 2.00pm

Location: Shepherds Bush market, walking due south from Uxbridge Road.

Description: Traffic sounds from Uxbridge Road recede and shoppers are heard thanking a stallholder. Electronic noises from a toy stall, a Hammersmith and City line train passes along the viaduct which bounds the west side of the market, then indistinct background sounds. A quiet day at the market.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics and PA-3SX preamp. Olympus LS-10 digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Westfield shopping centre 1:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2009

Time of day: 1:00pm

Location: Westfield shopping centre main hall, Shepherds Bush

Description: Walking through the main hall of the new Westfield shopping centre, a sentimental pop song plays over a PA and recedes, replaced by music coming from inside shop units and the voices and footsteps of shoppers.

Technical guff: Head-worn stereo. Sonic Studios DSM-6S/EH mics and PA-3SX preamp. Olympus LS-10 digital recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

About sound map recordings

Sound map recordings fall into two kinds, shown by the filenames they're given.

A sound grid recording has a filename beginning with the letters 'TQ', followed by eight digits. These are the Ordnance Survey co-ordinates for where the recording ought to be made. Each is part of a regularly-spaced series of recordings covering London. More about them, including graphics showing the resulting city-wide patterns of sounds, can be found on this page.

Other recordings have more descriptive filenames and these are simply of curious or distinctive sounds heard in different places.