I read somewhere, perhaps on here but I can't find the question or comment, about a project that involved recording a minute of audio for every hour over 24 hours. I'm looking at doing a similar project in various locations, just a bit of fun really but could be really interesting. Once the recordings have been made the final audio will be edited into a 24 minute soundscape, or even a 24 second soundscape.

My question is how to undertake this? I have two options, a laptop with external soundcard and a stereo mic, or a PCM-D50 with either the internal microphones or the stereo mic (depending on location). Both will be connected with a Sound Devices Mix-Pre. Obviously if I choose the D50 route I'll have to press record every hour (which could get rather annoying!). But if I choose the laptop route is there any software that could start the recording for me every hour for a set duration. I have found video timelapse software but none for audio.

4 Answers 4


Andrew Spitz does his with MaxMSP his article is here:


I do mine with the D50 and then just chop/process/compress in post. My stuff in this thread:

How do you tackle time lapsed footage?


Hello! I'm just discovering this website and this forum about Sound timelapse... I'm Sound engineer working mostly in documentary films, and I had the idea of recording 24h in a place, to choose a few seconds each hour, in order to have a 3min sound at the end, a kind of 24hour sound postcard of different places. I can see I'm not the only one thinking about this idea of sound time-lapse... I saw and listen the work of Andrew Spitz and R. Luke Dubois, which are a bit different of my idea... But do you know other experience done? Or some links?

On the technical side, i'm recording the all 24hours with a MS CCM Schoeps microphones, and a 744 sound devices. I want then choose the sound for each hours ( and not do it in a random way).

Thanks for your ideas and links... Sorry for my English!

Felix www.felixblume.com


I realize that this question is almost a year old, but in case you weren't aware.. soundplusdesign recently released a free desktop app called phonolapse that does exactly this kind of time-lapse recording. It records slices of audio and compiles them into an audio file. You can control both the length of the slices and the intervals between recording. I haven't played around with it yet, but it looks pretty cool.

  • Hi Tom Yeah, I downloaded that a while ago. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but i'll get round to it eventually. Thanks for the info anyway.
    – Si Charles
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 20:11

That can be done in Sound Forge, although the standard timed event recording facility is for recording an event starting at the same time and running for the same duration on a daily or monthly basis. It is possible to do it hourly over a 24 hour period - you would just have to set up 24 individual events.

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