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General sound map

Recordings of background atmospheres and incidental noises from all over London. Some 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.

1 3 5
2 4 3 3 11
1 1 1 1 6 5 7 16 21 3 18 1 1
2 8 22 11 3 5 5 17 4 4 1 1 4 1  
3 11 4 7 9 6 25 38 21 37 5 1 5    
1 3 5 7 5 48 40 51 38 11 8 3 2
1 1 2 7 6 15 8 40 15 5 1 1 4
1 1 23 2 8 4 1 9 7 1 1
3 4 3 7 1 3 5 2  
6 1 20 6 1 3 1 1
1 1 2 1 1
1 1

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.

Scarsdale Place W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 4.25pm

Location: Eastern end of Scarsdale Place, Kensington.

Description: A car engine idles, slamming shut of car doors, voices of a child and adults outside a nearby hotel, footsteps, the electronic beep of a car locking system, passing traffic, wheeled luggage dragged briefly across a pavement.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Marloes Road W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 4.15pm

Location: Marloes Road by junction with St Margaret's Lane, Kensington.

Description: Frequent traffic passing along Marloes Road, a man speaks loudly into his phone while sat in a car opposite, faint voices and footsteps of passersby, a youth rides a skateboard on the pavement.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Lexham Gardens W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 4.10pm

Location: Eastern arm of Lexham Gardens, Kensington.

Description: Traffic, an electronic reverse tone from a delivery lorry, a man cries out briefly, a scrubbing noise from further along the street, airplane drone, indistinct voices and sounds of desultory activity.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pennant Mews W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 4.05pm

Location: Halfway along Pennant Mews, Kensington.

Description: Constant traffic in the distance, the rush of an aircon unit, noise of a van being unloaded, voices of two women close by.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Cromwell Road SW5 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 4pm

Location: Cromwell Road between junctions with Earls Court Road and Marloes Road, Kensington.

Description: Loud constant traffic on Cromwell Road.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Earls Court Road W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.50pm

Location: Earls Court Road by Pembroke Square, Kensington.

Description: Frequent traffic along Earls Court Road including a bus and heavy goods vehicles, voices and faint footsteps of passersby, music from a car heard briefly and indistinctly.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pater Street W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.45pm

Location: Halfway along Pater Street, Kensington.

Description: Traffic on Earls Court Road, a car passes by along Pater Street playing music, faint voices in the mid-distance, a front door slams shut, footsteps, the clink of a bottle.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pembroke Mews W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.40pm

Location: Pembroke Mews, Kensington.

Description: Footsteps and voices of passersby, constant hum of nearby aircon units, car doors slam, faint voices of adults and children at a nearby infants' school, distant traffic.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pembroke Gardens Close W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.30pm

Location: Halfway along Pembroke Gardens Close, Kensington.

Description: Distant traffic, faint light aircraft drone, noise of a power saw further along the Close, voices of a woman and child heard indistinctly from a nearby house, banging noises.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

South Edwardes Square W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.25pm

Location: Western end of South Edwardes Square, Kensington.

Description: Distant traffic, faint birdsong, a van door slams shut, two men talk as they walk by, several tradesmens' vans pass in succession, airplane drone, the noise of a power tool in the mid-distance.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Earls Terrace W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.20pm

Location: Halfway along Earls Terrace, Kensington.

Description: Loud constant traffic on Kensington High Street, the wind stirs nearby foliage, a tapping sound nearby as a workman inspects a drain cover.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

St Mary Abbots Place W14 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3.10pm

Location: Sound end of St Mary Abbot's Place, Kensington.

Description: Distant traffic, power tools heard in the mid-distance, faint birdsong, a car reverses slowly into a private garage, indistinct voices heard briefly, slamming of car doors.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Kensington High Street W14 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 3pm

Location: Unnamed new road leading into the 375 Kensington High Street development.

Description: Constant traffic on Kensington High Street with emergency services siren at the beginning, bangs and noise of power tools on a large building site immediately to the south, airplane drone, a bell rings briefly.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pembroke Road W8 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 2.50pm

Location: Pembroke Road about 70 yards west of the junction with Warwick Road, Kensington.

Description: Traffic on Pembroke Road and Warwick Road, a van starts up nearby and drives off, shuffling footsteps and voices of passersby, a car door slams.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Beckford Close W14 July 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 2 July 2015

Time of day: 2.45pm

Location: North end of Beckford Close, Kensington.

Description: Noise of aircon units from offices in the mid-distance, distant traffic with emergency services siren, voices of people in a nearby flat, a metallic clattering sound heard briefly.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Stratford Road W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.30pm

Location: Stratford Road opposite junction with Radley Mews, west London.

Description: Voices and footsteps of passersby emerging from a cafe and a health club, traffic in mid-distance, airplane drone, slamming of car doors.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pembroke Square W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.05pm

Location: South side of Pembroke Square, west London.

Description: Distant traffic, a man sweeps the street, power tool noise from a nearby house renovation, slamming of car doors in the square, indistinct voices, helicopter drone, squawking of a ring-necked parakeet.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Pembroke Road W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.10pm

Location: North side of Pembroke Road near junction with Pembroke Villas, west London.

Description: Loud traffic passing close by, airplane drone, footsteps of a passerby, a hissing sound from a compressor or pump, a car pulls up outside flats opposite and a man gets out, faint voices.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Logan Place W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.15pm

Location: Logan Place, west London.

Description: A car drives past, airplane drone, distant traffic, faint sound of sawing, a quiet machine hum.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Lexham Mews W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.20pm

Location: Lexham Mews, west London.

Description: Airplane drone, sounds of activity from a house close by, a bird flies overhead, a crow caws, traffic in mid-distance, voices of an approaching couple.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Lexham Gardens W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.25pm

Location: West end of Lexham Gardens, west London.

Description: Distant traffic, clattering noises from street cleaners at work, faint sound of a power tool, airplane drone, a dustcart drives by.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Iverna Gardens W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.40pm

Location: North end of Iverna Gardens, west London.

Description: Distant traffic noise from Kensington High Street, airplane drone, footsteps from occasional passersby, hammering, a man empties a litter bin, brief whistling, faint voices.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Edwardes Square W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 1.55pm

Location: North side of Edwardes Square, west London.

Description: Faint airplane and helicopter drone, birdsong, a group of three men talk among themselves as they pass by.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

Allen Street W8 February 2:00

Grid square: Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Kensington

Recording date: 11 February 2015

Time of day: 2.35pm

Location: Allen Street at junction with Scarsdale Villas, west London.

Description: Airplane drone, birdsong, vehicles pass along Allen Street, more distant traffic, faint sounds of street cleaners at work, constant aircon hum.

Technical guff: Headworn stereo. 2 x Shure WL-183 mics and Olympus LS-14 recorder.

Recorded by: IM Rawes

Additional notes: None.

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 general sound map recordings

The majority of recordings on the general sound map are simply of curious or distinctive sounds heard around London. Some also appear elsewhere as part of the 12 Tones of London statistical recording project, and here are subsumed into their appropriate grid squares.

These kinds of recordings always have descriptive file names which don't require any further explanation. But just over a hundred others have ones consisting only of the letters 'TQ' followed by eight digits. These are the Ordnance Survey co-ordinates marking the exact centre of each of the sound map's 112 grid squares, and so these file names tell you with some precision where the recordings were made. Reaching each point was done with the help of a GPS receiver and a willingness to scramble over fences and run onto golf courses. The contents of those recordings are summarised in the graphic below:

The key on the left-hand side shows the most common sound categories encountered. The louder a particular sound type encountered at the centre of a grid square, the darker its icon. More than one icon of the same kind means that sound takes up more of the recording's length. Despite the wide spacing of the recording points and the brief duration of the sound files, they seem to do a reasonable job of plotting in outline the common or persistent sound types heard around London during the daytime.