(formerly the Federation of British Tape Recordists)
In The Beginning
Established in 1958 as the Federation of British Tape Recording Clubs, the BSRA is a nationwide group of individuals and clubs with a common interest in creative sound recording. Members' activities range from drama realisations and documentaries to wildlife and high quality music recordings, the results of which would shame many commercial recordings. With the increasing availability of portable equipment there is a growing interest in creative video recording.
As well as organising the British Amateur Recording Contest (BARC), the Association provides a range of facilities and activities for the benefit of members.
The BSRA's own CD sound magazine lets you share your recordings with other members, and you can also listen to award-winning tapes, items from the Sound Archives and general reports on the recording scene.
The BSRA's journal is published quarterly. The magazine features reviews, reports and technical features as well as contest results, letters and general news about the Association.
Recording News is now being published by the Cardiff & District Recording Club. For more details contact recording_news at soundhunters.com.
The Association's own contest is restricted to members and entry is free. It is run to the same rules as the BARC, to which tapes go forward if the entrant wishes (and pays the BARC entry fee). The winner holds the Barry Cole Shield for one year. Unlike the BATRC, all entrants receive a marking sheet which gives a full critical appraisal of the entry with constructive comments where appropriate.
The BSRA is affiliated to the Fédération Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons (FICS) which has member organisations throughout Europe. FICS runs an international amateur recording contest, IARC, which takes place in a different country each year. The Association ran the 50th Contest at Cardiff in 2001 and most recently the 2009 Contest in Banbury.
The British entries for the IARC are selected from the finalists in the BARC. The IARC is supported by media, hi-fi and professional audio companies who donate valuable prizes.
The Annual General Meeting is a small part of a weekend of recording activities held in May. There is often a theme for the various talks, demonstrations and practical recording sessions.
During the weekend the prizegiving of the BSRA Recording Contest takes place.
The BARC is organised by the Association and is open to amateur sound and video recordists resident in the United Kingdom. There are classes for speech and drama, documentaries, reportage, live music, electronic music, wildlife, technical experiment, set subject and video. Special prizes are awarded for the best entries from schools, handicapped people and voluntary groups such as talking newspapers, hospital radio, etc.
We hold a one-day meeting in November, which incorporates the prizegiving for the BARC and IARC. A talk or demonstration is usually arranged for the morning session, and all members are invited to attend. Lunch and accommodation are usually available at your expense.
The licence permits you to make, subject to certain restrictions, live sound recordings of musical works which have been issued on record by members of the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society. It does not permit the copying of commercial recordings.
The Association is a member of the British Association of Sound Collections (BASC) which is organised under the auspices of the British Library. We maintain a library of recordings which includes the winning entries in the British and International contests as well as each edition of Soundtrack. Set programmes are available to members at a fixed charge. The Sound Archives catalogue is available to all members and is updated from time to time. Sound Archives programmes will be available on CD.
You can download a Sound Archive Insert (PDF) for a Snopake A5 translucent binder (available from Staples).
Last updated 27th May, 2012