Special Reports

Last updated: 21 july, 2009 - 16:32 GMT

Sound Scavengers

There are so many sounds out there to be captured. So to give you a helping hand, we are setting some Sound Scavenger challenges.

Police car

Police cars with flashing sirens in New York

Sirens and alarms

From ambulances to police cars, and fire alarms to clock radios – sirens and alarms are designed to catch your attention!

There are many different siren and alarm sounds around the world and we’d like to collect them for Save Our Sounds.

Endangered Sounds

Street market scene

Are markets sounds disappearing in your part of the world?

Acoustic Ecology is all about preserving disappearing sounds. Why not have a think about the sort of sounds that might be lost in the future. Is there anything that you can hear now that won't be around in 10 years time?

Have a go at recording them and be sure to send us a good description of what the sound is.

Tell us why you think that these sounds could become extinct. We look forward to receiving your disappearing sounds.

Bells

From clock-towers to cowbells, and dancing bells to church bells.

Belfry in a church

Bells ringing from a church belfry

Get thinking about all the things that ring in your life, and send in your recordings.

Ring-a-ding-ding, what a lovely range of bells you sent in! From a "last orders" bell from a traditional British pub, to one of the Japanese bells of time. The rag-and-bone man's bell, rung to signal his presence as he goes down the street collecting scrap metal - is followed by the sound of church bells ringing out, and the rhythmic sound of a San Francisco cable car bell too.

To make sure you're all awake, this short mix starts with the fire alarms at BBC Bush House - aka Save Our Sounds HQ!

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With thanks to Andrew Stuart, Ian Birch, Dallas Simpson, Lou Lesko and Ollie Hall for sending in their bell sounds.

Technology

The insistent march of technology means that many new sounds are being created. Especially with the advent of new computers, new portable devices and new gadgets.

At the same time - many familiar sounds are being lost.

Fax machine

Fax machine

Help us collect the sounds that are slipping away.

Some of your sounds might be featured on the BBC's Digital Planet programme.

Here are some of the sounds we're looking out for:

A fax machine, a 56k modem, an old telephone, sound of a ZX Spectrum loading, floppy disk drives, and dot-matrix printers.

We asked for the sounds of technology and you delivered. Have a listen to a 1920s Typewriter, a 56K modem, a traditional ringing phone and then revel in the nostalgia of a ZX Spectrum loading a game. (Many thanks to Nick Beland, Ervin Tagoe, Andrew Stuart and John Duffy for these sounds.)

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Animals

It could be your beloved pet or the sounds of wildlife.

Whatever the noise, we'd like to hear from the animals around you.

Snow geese (©Ian McCarthy)

Snow geese in flight

Barking dogs, singing birds, laughing hyenas, or hooting owls - there is bound to be some sort of animal life nearby that you can record.

Sound Scavengers you’ve done well! Listen to a collection of some of our favourite animal sounds you’ve sent in so far!

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(Flying Foxes from Australia sent in by Roger Mills; Yang Cheng-Hsiung’s cat purring in Pitong, China; Frogs recorded in Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State, USA by Derek Ecklund; Wolf-whistling bird from Pavacachi, Equador - thanks to JC, and laughing hippos from Tanzania – many thanks to Frank Hinrichs for those).

My Street

We are interested in hearing the sounds from where you live.

So why not pop out onto your street and record us 30 seconds of ambient noise?

Street scene

Street scene in Hong Kong

The everyday sounds that you take for granted will form an important part of our audio map.

We wanted to get an idea of the sounds you hear on the streets around you. Here is a short selection of sounds from around the world. Thanks to Pete Stollery for his New York street, Alan Bamford for his contribution from Cao bang, Vietnam, and John Macedo who recorded the beeps of a pedestrian crossing in Dublin, Ireland.

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Please keep checking here for the latest Sound Scavengers challenge!

click Back to the Save Our Sounds map.

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