Sunday, July 25, 2010

What Color Is Your Noise?

Put the dishwasher in the bedroom? Maybe not as crazy of an idea as it first would seem, according to Ironic Sans:
It makes different sounds in different stages of the wash. Sometimes it’s mostly white noise. Sometimes it sounds like a babbling brook. Sometimes it’s constant, and sometimes it has rhythm like a mother’s heartbeat. But all of it is blissful.
 Personally, I would be all over this if it wouldn't be such a pain to drag dishes up and down the stairs between my second-floor bedroom and the first-floor kitchen. Maybe I'll just stick with running the fan for noise during the night.

The term most people are familiar with and think they understand the definition of is white noise, but there are other colors as well,  include pink noise and Brown noise (Brown noise, by the way, is not named for the color, but rather after Robert Brown, the discoverer of Brownian Motion, thus it is capitalized). There's also blue, grey, and purple noise, too. Click here to listen to some 10-second samples.

Each has specific properties that are, frankly, more than I can or want to learn about. Suffice it to say that white noise is a mix of all frequencies we humans can hear, and sounds pretty much like the static you hear when the TV is tuned to an off-air channel. Pink noise has some frequencies filtered out, and sounds a little lower-pitched. Brown noise has a most of the upper frequencies filtered out, giving it a waterfall- or thunder-ish kind of quality to it.

If dragging major appliances around the house sounds a little too labor-intensive, here are some fine web resources providing free ambient sounds of all kinds.

SimplyNoise Very basic. Click a button to play an unlimited stream of white, pink or Brown noise. Has a sleep timer to turn itself off after so long, and an oscillation feature to gradually vary the volume up and down continually. Aside from selling melatonin, has a few free mp3s of white noise, running creeks,  crickets, storms, etc. Length of sound file between 15-60 minutes.

RainyMood Simply click the big button and a 30-minute high-quality loop of gentle rain will max your chillaxin'.

1 comment:

Top Twenty Lists said...

Interesting post. Thanks