Song Work

When users download a file from SONG WORK, the recording they receive will be in its original uncompressed state, just as it was when submitted to us.

The kinds of sounds we hope to archive include field recordings of machinery, background or ambient noises of factories and other industrial environments, the sounds of hand-making processes in workshops or studios, and so on. Typically, these kinds of sounds will not come from a source that is copyrighted, but please ask permission from the owner or proprietor of the workplace you are visiting to carry out field recording, then download and fill out our online consent form.

Please do not submit recordings of interviews, singing (even in in the background such as from a radio), or sounds that include human voices, other than incidentally (for example, the sound of unidentifiable individuals speaking in the background). We won’t be able to use them. This is in part to keep things simple with copyright licensing and consent. But also, it’s not the main focus of the project.

Guidelines for uploading your recordings:

Only upload field recordings made by you. To allow us to archive and share your audio, you must have recorded the sound yourself.

Because of their higher quality, we prefer flac, wav, and aif files. But we also accept mp3, m4a and ogg.

Recordings can be of any duration (ideally no shorter than one minute), but uploads are currently limited to 500MB.

Recordings should be unprocessed. That is, they should not be stretched, slowed down, sped up, or have any effects applied to them, such as reverb or delay.

Uploaded recordings are moderated and must be approved by SONG WORK before they will appear on the website.

Download consent form

Please complete the fields below before submitting your recording:

DESCRIPTION (max. 150 words.) 

This will also form the title of your recording, so please provide a full description of the main sound or ‘focus’. Be as specific as possible: if your recording is of machinery, please include the name or function of the machine, its manufacturer’s brand name, and/or the type of work being carried out (e.g. ‘Cop and spool winding machine’ or ‘Pressure washer on silk screen’):


Where the recording was made, including the name of the workplace, then the town/city and country where it is located separated by commas (e.g. ‘Michelin Tyre factory, Dundee, Scotland’)



DURATION (mins./secs.)


The device(s) used to make the recording, including the make and model of microphone, e.g. ‘Sennheiser MKH-416 shotgun condenser microphone’ or ‘Zoom H4n Pro’:


The type of permission you give others as to how they can share and use your recording in the future. At the moment we offer one of two Creative Commons licences, CC0 (Zero) or CC-BY (Attribution):

An automated graphic translation of each sound file will be used to identify each entry in the online archive interface.