Song Work

Help grow the Song Work library by submitting your sounds. Send us your hums, whirs, clicks and drones.

The kinds of recordings we’re looking for include the sounds of tools and machines in action, and the ambient noises of any space in which work happens. Factories, farms, workshops, warehouses, artist studios, construction sites, hospital wards, science labs, kitchens, office blocks, home offices, and childcare. Share with us the sounds that make up your working day, however you choose to define it. 


We want all sounds in the Song Work library to be free for everyone to use and enjoy. Typically, most sounds you’ll want to share won’t be copyrighted. But there are some things to look out for. 

For example, does your recording feature music of any kind? Then I’m afraid we can’t use it. Anyone’s voice that could be identified? Nope. 

If you’re planning on visiting a workplace to carry out a recording, please ask permission from the proprietor first. We’ve designed a simple consent form you can download and use so it’s clear for both parties how the recording will be used. 

Here are a few simple guidelines you should follow when submitting sounds:

Only upload sounds recorded by you. 

No effects please! Sounds should be as they were recorded. You can select a section of sound for listeners to focus on, or clip a few seconds off the start and end for neatness. But no reverb, no delay, nothing. 

We prefer flac, wav, and aif files. But we also accept mp3, m4a and ogg.

Sounds can be of any duration, but ideally no shorter than a minute, and no longer than ten. Uploads are currently limited to 500MB


By uploading your sounds, you’re giving Song Work consent for your sound to be used in electronic media for creative, education and research purposes. Some sounds may be shared with our partners for permanent preservation in The National Library of Scotland Sound Archive, and may be used for publication, lectures, broadcasting, public performances, displays and exhibitions. 

All sounds are moderated and must be approved by Song Work before they will be added to  the library. Usually this won’t take long. But when things are a bit busier, it might take a few days, so please be patient. 

Thanks for your contribution!

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.