About White Noise MP3s.com
The world makes its own music, but we rarely listen with naive ears.
White Noise MP3s.com is a digital audio depository of simply spiffing environmental white noise soundscapes, monotonous drones, and soothing ambience, incorporating select sounds created both by nature and industry — rainshowers, waterfalls, streaming rivers, leaves being rustled by the wind, air conditioners, fans, office equipment, appliances, sleepy machinery hums, et al. — dedicated to creating ever-calming sanctuaries of sonic solace for those short on sleep, tinnitus relief, and ambience to write their doctoral thesis to.
As is often the case with environmental white noise, what seems simple to the ear is in fact deceptively complex, a delicious micropolyphonic tapestry delicately woven of tiny individual acoustic phenomenon.
White Noise MP3s.com is solely owned and operated by Karen Ramirez in Toronto, Canada. I take a personal interest in the satisfaction of each and every customer. I personally guarantee satisfaction to every customer with a 60 day no quibble money back guarantee or free replacement. I may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have purchased an MP3 and are unsatisfied, please contact me – I won’t bite.
It is the policy of White Noise MP3s.com to give you the opportunity to preview each MP3, so that you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re buying. A free sample preview of about 15 seconds in length is offered for every MP3 download so that you can get an idea of what it sounds like – before you buy.
Me, Myself, and Music
White Noise MP3s.com is solely owned and operated by Karen Ramirez in Toronto, Canada. She is the person responsible for this mess. She is a composer and conceptual sound designer based in Toronto, Canada, currently doing freelance audio production work for various studios and AAA game titles by day, and a keen hobbyist photographer at night. Karen has been involved in electronic music for over 8 years as a musician, composer, producer and sound designer, and her sound design and production music has been broadcast on TV worldwide. She graduated with an Honours BFA in music from York University with studies emphasizing sound design, electronic composition, recording and mixing. While on campus she composed, recorded, engineered and produced music for a radio show, Donut Soda, for 3 1/2 years and interned at Electronic Arts. She works primarily with sound composition, production and installation and produces and works on projects extensively throughout Canada and the US as well as Europe.
Her areas of interest include film sound, found object sounds, acoustic sounds, site-specific sound installations, phonography, environmental sounds, sound and performance, composing and processing acoustic sounds, collaborative sound exhibits, location sound, video game ambience and effects foleying, experimental music, sound art, acoustic sound exploration, stochastic noise, sound spatialization, timeless voids, site-specific interventions, ambient decay, and extended tonal/atonal drones.
Since the early naughts she’s explored a number of approaches to sound generation, recording and production. Her techniques and methods range from the capture of various acoustic phenomenon through “found sound” and environmental field recordings and the construction of her own zany inventions to digital multitracking and manipulation. Often, the resulting compositions are studies in juxtaposition, experimental contrasts and similarities, alternate scoring techniques, and extended evolutionary wacky zany permutations of each selected set of sound sources. These select sources can focus on unique properties of sound emanation and instigation that can range from the overtonal resonations from a set of pliable metallic strands stretched across a room to the textural cadenced animation of inanimate objects or a closed-air mechanical ferromagnetic noise field.
Throughout the naughts Karen had developed hyperacusis and tinnitus from a noise trauma incident where the sound from the airbags deploying in her car reached over a zillion decibels when she was hit by a magnificent drunk driver at a red light. Apart from being dazed, she didn’t really notice much afterwards – but in the weeks to come, she had developed annoying ringing sounds in her ears that just wouldn’t go away whenever she tried to sleep or whenever it was completely silent, unless something in her vicinity was generating sound.
Why am I talking in the third person? Sleeping was extremely difficult and hampered for me unless there was a constant, soothing hum running to relieve my tinnitus – such as from an air conditioner/fan/shower/faucet. Around this time I started to develop an incredible passion for ambient, atmospheric phonography and environmental white noise. I am an avid field recording enthusiast, and am almost always found with a portable recording device nearby.
The freelance I do (effects foleying, music production, sound design, commissions, and an unholy buttload of everything else) keeps my juices running with white hot pumpedness as many of the sounds I capture invariably become raw material for new soundscapes and musical concepts, and refining recording techniques, updating studio and recording equipment is always a continuous process.
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me. I read all my e-mail. (Due to volume, however, I may be unable to answer every message)
Binaural Recording Techniques
I have designed a head-related transfer function (HRTF) microphone baffle on which to mount my mikes and attach to a camera tripod in the canoe. The goal was to record the small acoustical clues of frequency response, time delay, and volume differences that each ear receives as a result of their positioning, and shape, as well as the shape of the head. These small, precise differences are what the brain uses to determine the direction of different sounds; so if these differences can be exactly recorded, then the result during playback is the perception of a full three-dimensional placement of sound, instead of the boring linear placement of sound (a straight boring line between two speakers) of a conventional stereophonic recording.
In the canoe, the baffle performed exactly as planned and the effects were literally stunning wearing headphones. All the audio clues as to front/back, left/right, and up/down are recorded. This type of microphone recording technique is called binaural recording. The three dimensional effect is experienced when listening using headphones. When listening to ordinary music in headphones the music sounds like it is “inside your head”. Listening to a binaural recording is different because all the directional and distance cues the brain interprets are played back as well as the basic recorded sound. This makes the recording sound like it is all around you. For example, listen to Rain on the River and you’ll feel like you’re right outside chilling on a river bank completely soaked in the rain and mud – lurking the waters for a delicious scaly vertebrate friend to cook up and munch on.
The MP3s that are tagged with “binaural” were recorded using binaural field recording techniques. Binaural recordings are compatible with both speakers and headphones — however, while stereo speakers produce a realistic representation of the original environment, stereo headphones will produce a full 360-degree three-dimensional surround sound image as if you were right then and there, in person, experiencing the exact same place and location at the very moment of the recording.
For more info on binaural listening and binaural recording, The Binaural Source is a great place to start. Here’s a link to their FAQ page.
Omni-directional Microphones for Unparalleled Realism
Although directional (dish and shotgun) microphones do increase the S/N ratio (decreasing inherent noise), their drawback is that they remove the soul and the spirit of the sound. In the field, each sound reaches our ears via multiple paths, bouncing off countless things on the way to our ears. Directional microphones greatly reduce the number of directional paths recorded.
Each one of these directional paths has its own unique and individual characteristics of volume, frequency, and time delay — these directional paths result from not only just the particular location, but also the weather, the climate, the season, the surrounding topography, and the time of day.
They speak of hills and cliffs, of lakes, of trees and branches, of dew on leaves, of moss covered rocks, of everything that is present — and that isn’t something that can be reproduced using studio reverbs and delays.
This is a recording of two arrows passing over my omni-directional binaural microphones (in a baffled stereo HRTF configuration). A Sound Devices 722 hard drive recorder set on 24 bit 192 kHz without any filtering was used for the original recording. The sample is MP3 192 kbps. The temperature was approximately 10 degrees celsius with a 25 km/h wind. The distance from me and my bow to the target was 80 meters with my microphones set about halfway between.
The Recording Location is Everything
When out in the field, I choose my locations with the utmost meticulous attention to detail.
I find those unique, special little spots that exude both charm to the ears and facilitation for prolonged listening, as well as individuality and spirituality — the landscape, nearby vegetation, and surrounding topography all influence and “colour” the interaural quality of the recorded sound.
Then, from within those chosen spots, I painstakingly arrange the position of my microphone and baffle to best capture not only the primary sounds of the location, but also the character, pep, and spirit of the location.
I will do some careful listening from different points, facing different directions, and at different heights, to choose my microphone placement. A slight change in position or direction often makes a big difference in what I’ll get.
This process can often take up to two hours of meditative monitoring — such as with End of the Cavern. It took three separate placement attempts to get the recording just right. Each time, only to discover a problem… the wind a bit too brisk, my microphones a little off-center.
Hearing it all in 3-D
Since my HRTF baffle only approximates the size of the human head, and everyone’s head and ears are shaped a bit differently, it’ll take a little listening for your brain to catch on to the spaciousness of my binaural field recordings.
The visual equivalent would be one of those stereoscopic viewers which uses two images of slightly differing perspectives to produce a three-dimensional image. Often it’ll take a couple of minutes to fully visualize the 3-D effect.
So it is with my binaural recordings, and the three-dimensional effect will only shine through when using stereo headphones. You can listen to them over speakers, but you’ll miss out as it’d be like watching a 3-D movie without the glasses.
Payment and Download Information
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After purchase, the link to download your MP3(s) will be sent to your e-mail address. Be sure to double-check that your e-mail address is correct prior to submitting payment information. If you have purchased an MP3 but have made a typo in your e-mail address during purchase, please e-mail me at email@example.com and let me know!
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Your purchase is protected by the White Noise MP3s.com no quibble 100% satisfaction guarantee and policy. If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive either a replacement of your choice, or a full money refund. It is your choice.
If you are not 100% satisfied with a purchase in any way, your MP3 will be replaced at no cost, or your money is totally refunded. The customer chooses whether they want the replacement or a refund.
I also invite customers with concerns or suggestions to write and tell me. Your suggestions are used to help refine or to make new products.
- Karen Ramirez BFA