Audio Field Recordings

Audio Recording in Heritage

Audio recordings are an effective method of recording history, heritage and storytelling. 

With smart phones, audio field recorders and the free web platforms we can easily create an audio project to preserve knowledge and traditions or share experiences with the world. 

The power of Audio

Audio alongside photography is some of the most accessible media content available. With a smart phone we have access to all the podcasts, audio books and music available.

For heritage and storytelling we can add to this lexicon of content using our phones or an field recorder/microphone setup for high quality recording.

Getting Started with Audio Recording


Desired Equipment :
  • Field Recorder or Microphone Setup
  • Headphones
  • Computer for editing
  • Audio editing software
Basic Setup :
  • Smartphone
    • Most phones are capable of audio recording & editing

Recording Audio

There are many options for starting out with audio recording but the most accessible is to use a digital field recorder such as a Zoom H1N.

A digital field recorder is a handheld device that can capture high definition quality digital audio in stereo via built in microphones. Entry level models are simple to operate at the press of a button.

Recording Tips:

  • Place the recorder close to the subject with the microphone aimed at the sound source.
  • Set the audio input levels to avoid clipping the sound (default settings are usually fine)
  • The closer the microphone to the subject the higher the recording level will be (less background noise)
  • Avoid bumping the recorder while recording.

Audio Editing

Once you have your recording you can edit via some computer software. The most popular free audio editor is Audacity.

Editing audio is relatively easy with some practice. Recordings can be edited as tracks within the software.

Tracks can be :

  • cut/copied/pasted to edit the length and content
  • volume adjusted
  • faded in/out
  • equalised to boost audible frequencies
  • various effects added


Creating a Audio History Collection

SoundCloud is a popular free platforms for hosting audio. It is used by musicians and audio enthusiasts the world over.

The platform is browser based with a simple interface to upload and host your content. You can add images/artwork and organise your recordings into collections.

SoundCloud is browser based so can be accessed from any device with internet access.

SoundCloud Guide

CINE Donegal Audio Histories Collection