Recording advice

Not everyone has access to a dedicated portable audio recorder – though if you’re associated with an educational establishment or other organisation it’s possible there will be one you can borrow. If you can’t get your hands on one of these, you can use your smartphone.

Recording tips

  1. Don’t worry about there being a bit of background noise, but try and find somewhere out of the wind and fairly quiet from which to make your recording.
  2. Try and get as close to the source as reasonably possible – but don’t feel you have to be inside the bell tower!
  3. Set your recording device down on a soft surface rather than holding it in your hand.
  4. If you have an option, please record to a WAV file at 44.1kHz. If you don’t have an option, or aren’t sure what this means, don’t worry – we can still use your recording.
  5. Peals of bells are welcome as well as single bells.
  6. If possible, please include in your recording a few seconds of the ambient sound before or after your bell.
  7. Within reason, any length of recording is fine – we can use anything between 30 seconds and around 3 minutes.  Different bells resonate for different durations, and often the bell will strike again before the first strike has faded away.  Just include as much as you feel captures the character of the bell and we'll do the rest. 

If you're recording on a mobile phone

  1. The ‘voice memo’ app installed by default on most smartphones tends to be a bit lo-fi, but there are a range of free apps available. PCM Recorder Lite is one such app available for both iOS and Android and is set up by default to record in high quality WAV format.
  2. Switch your phone to ‘airplane mode’ so you are not interrupted by an unexpected call or text!
  3. If your phone is in a case, remove it before recording so the microphone is not muffled.
  4. For increased quality phone recording, you can plug in an external microphone if you have one.

Supported by:

SCO Connect Make Music Leverhulme Scottish Government University of York City of Edinburgh