Does white noise really help with concentration? Several studies seem to support the notion that it really does. Here are my thoughts on the effects of white noise for concentration.
White Noise for Concentration
Duration: 66 minutes 57 seconds, Size: 91.9 MB.
A steep descent in the riverbed has this swiftly moving jungle river rushing, roaring, raging and rumbling through the Amazon rainforest with torrents of surging water, violent gushing eddies, turbulent white bubbles and tempest-like currents. It echoes across the jungle and off the nearby cliffs in thundering resonance, adding a spacious feel to the soundscape and a strong bass presence that conveys a solid physical milieu.
Special attention was given to the choice of the river’s recording location to portray the most spacious sound, yet still have the listener be able to hear and enjoy the close-up sounds of splashing water.
Compared to synthesized white noise, this soundscape has a distinguished natural variability which gives the recording extra life and substance, making it easier to listen to over long periods of time.
I’m sure this river was full of hungry piranhas and sneaky candirus, but recording it was a thoroughly vested thrill. Making this recording was extremely fun and risky.
Includes no sounds of birds or animals. Includes no fade-in or fade-out. Jungle River Rapids is a non-looped natural soundscape composed of an hour-long on-location digital stereo binaural-baffled field recording. This recording technique produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. Bitrated encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.
Duration: 62 minutes 39 seconds, Size: 86.0 MB.
I know what you are thinking.
I bet you are thinking, “Where are people’s refrigerators? Why is there not a site that lets me keep track of their refrigerators online so that I always know where the nearest one is????”
And the answer is because I don’t have any venture capital.
Duration: 64 minutes 01 seconds, Size: 87.9 MB.
Imagine treading through a perilous wilderness blizzard with an oppressive rucksack and heavy pair of winter boots. Its gales are bitingly cold and numbingly knifelike; its windchills a blistering -40°C. Your body temperature is plummeting, frostbite is imminent, and it isn’t long before some random starving Yeti emerges from the pale to devour your flesh.
Your face is raw and gellid, and it feels as if it is reverting itself into a sumerian votive statue. A miasmic tendency to fatalism overwhelms you as you hesitantly accept your impending frosty doom. Suddenly, as if through divine intervention, a faint gray silhouette in the distance paints itself into the corner of your eye, onto a glaring white canvas of snow.
Squinting your eyes and trudging a bit closer, it appears to be a small stranded cottage. You are instilled with a glimmer of hope, and you let out a brisk sigh of relief. With jollity and high spirits, you trek down over towards the providential edifice and as you arrive upon its doorsteps, a sign reads, “Ye Olde Cozy Cottage – Free cocoa inside!!!”
Seeing as how it can only stand you in good stead, you take refuge in the mysterious abode, shut the door behind you, and you feel your ears slowly thaw as a light cascade of warm air emanating from the roaring fireplace gives a soft, gentle applause to the concert of crackling timber.
Safe and secure within this warm cozy cottage, stifled blusters of 90 km/h winds from the terrible snowstorm outside can be heard howling across the hills.
Casting your gaze about the resplendent furnishings of this sacrosanct haven, a dozen sizzling mugs of hot creamy cocoa vie for attention atop the kitchen counter.
Full of jubilant delight, you slip off your clumsy boots and gloves and set aside your wilderness paraphernalia, and you nab a tantalizing mug of cocoa adorned with soft white miniature marshmallows, flop yourself onto the couch next to the hearth, and pensively sip away the hours beside the cozy glowing embers.
Listen to Ye Olde Cozy Cottage under a warm blanket on a cold winter day or at a low volume to break up the encroaching tedium that comes with working in the silence.
Duration: 65 minutes 53 seconds, Size: 90.5 MB.
Top of the Chasm was recorded where the steep rocky cliffs of the Zambezi River Gorge reverberate with the sounds of rushing water. Recorded at the top of the chasm, overhanging the river far below, the sound of running water is blended and modified by the morning air and multiplied by echoing cliffs yielding a unique river gorge sound.
The deep gorge is a result of waterfall erosion that takes thousands of years to create. It is an ongoing process that we can only participate as reverent observers because the magnitude of the forces and time the process requires are beyond our intuitive comprehension. This unique peacefulness of the gorge sound is a result of a natural merging of the effects of vast volumes of air and water.
Behind a bend in the gorge and half a kilometer away, the waterfall still plummets, as the geological process is never-ending. That ancient presence is represented in the recording as a sub bass rumble at about 10 Hz (10 Hz is the same frequency as alpha brain waves), created as the massive amount of water tumbles down 108 meters (360 feet) and shakes the earth.
Top of the Chasm is a natural soundscape composed of a digital stereo binaural field recording. Recorded above the Zambezi River downstream from Victoria Falls in southern Zambia, Africa. Encoded at a bitrate of 192 kbps for quality listening.
Companion field recording: Victoria Falls
Duration: 65 minutes 36 seconds, Size: 90.1 MB.
Melt your cares away right beside the fireplace with a mesmerizing symphony of ebullient flames and soft crackling timber.
A harmonious combination of crackles, crinkles, rustles and pops, the signal-to-noise ratio for this cozy glowing soundscape is kept at a bridled low so as not to occupy or engage one’s attention when concentration for deep, pensive thought is critical.
Cat not included
Duration: 65 minutes 37 seconds, Size: 90.1 MB.
Something nobody has ever said in a movie:
“that font is large… TOO large.”
Duration: 63 minutes 25 seconds, Size: 87.0 MB.
Thunder rolls seamlessly across the tops of the clouds accompanied by a summer evening lightning show that continues for hours. Distant Thunder Billows is distant and non-threatening with a unique rumbling sound. It is ideal for relaxation. A gentle rain falls throughout forming a high counterpoint to the bass and sub-bass of the thunder. As the rain gently increases in intensity, the thunder continues to have a gentle, delicate rumble rather than startling crashes. There is a comfort and enjoyment of hearing nature’s power from a safe distance.
There is such an unusual and alluring sense of musical space in this recording — unlike any I have heard before or since. There is a gradually undulating tempo that relaxes me, with such sanguine harmony and muffled resonance of timbre, until I am completely calm, if not asleep. If I could only listen to one recording before bed, this may well be it.
Also, this recording has a good sub-bass presence for those who have the equipment to reproduce it.
Perfect for ambience, creating a mood, masking external rumbling sounds, or as a simple reminder of those long relaxing summer evenings.
Duration: 67 minutes 26 seconds, Size: 92.6 MB.
A bubbling pulsation flickers at the periphery of a small secluded snow-capped river islet during the deep calm and enveloping silence of a winter.
The overall mood is delicate, unhurried and pensive, yet frolicking water resounds through the forest air with festive mien — a charming counterpoint to the quieting force of these wintry northern landscapes.
Lush liquid melodies are peppered with surging regions of natural white noise rummaging across the vast riverbed, and a delightful level of sonic enthusiasm is consistently maintained throughout the frequency spectrum.
The binaural microphones were centered above the river about 5 feet (1.5 meters) in height. A full 360-degree audio portrait of constant running water is the result.
In the short, chilled, crystalline days that accompany the winter solstice, we find ourselves a quiet passage on the prolonged journey into spring.
We reflect on the accomplishments of the year just past, and make plans and goals and resolutions for the one to come. It is a period of active reflection, an interim for looking both inward and outward… at once.
Winter River Tarry — white noise hydrology for sleep, concentration, relaxation and tinnitus relief. Includes no birds or animals, people, planes or cars.
Winter River Tarry is a natural soundscape composed of a non-layered unprocessed digital stereo binaural field recording. This recording technique produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.
Duration: 63 minutes 40 seconds, Size: 86.5 MB.
It’s very well known that both babies and children find themselves lulled to sleep by the soothing low rumble of an ordinary car ride. The deep, low, bassy frequencies that encapsulate you as the motor steadily hums along and the wheels gyrate and spin a zillion times per second creates a dynamic, yet completely pacifying, sleepy comforting soundscape.
Buckle up and strap yourself in as I spend my entire life savings on gasoline to chauffeur you down the majestic asphalts of the Trans-Canada Highway for one full hour. Destination: Snoozeland!
If you’re bored of the monotone low-pitched white noise alternatives, give this a try.
Non-looped soundscape composed of immaculately edited digital stereo binaural field recordings to exclude all audible distractions from the interior (sounds of me flipping the turn signal, sounds of contact on the driver’s wheel with the grip of my hand, sounds of contact on the pedal with my foot). Encoded at a bitrate of 192 kbps for quality listening.
Duration: 63 minutes 53 seconds, Size: 87.7 MB.
A whirling fairy fabric of rapid white spray and rushing comet masses passes through a craggy incline and down a shingly pair of precipices.
Rushing across minor taluses, moderate moraines and exquisitely sculptured flood washes, jostling from side to side by the rocky slopes upon which its groves are growing, Tiger Leaping Gorge teaches the world the language of running water.
Now, Yunnan legend has it that this river gorge was named after the circumstance of a tiger leaping across the river at its narrowest point, in order to escape from a pursuing hunter.
Many people make the journey to the edge of many a swiftly flowing river rapid, but are often held at bay by a river’s final challenge. In order to cross over to the opposite side, the determined adventurer must possess skill with which to leap across rivers.
Thus far man has demonstrated meager cunning in the execution of this endeavor. The placement of such obstacles forces one to covet the tiger’s acrobatic aptitude.
If ever a time comes that the feline wages war with man, it will always have safe respite beside Tiger Leaping Gorge.
I want to have carbonated tiger steak for dinner.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is a non-layered natural soundscape with no sounds of people, birds, animals, planes or cars. On-location digital stereo binaural field recording. This recording technique produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.
Duration: 63 minutes 50 seconds, Size: 87.6 MB.
Duration: 65 minutes 58 seconds, Size: 90.6 MB.
At the foot of the environing grassy hill-dome meadows of Mount Elbrus in Caucacus National Park, a blissfully soothing mountain valley brook is heard plainly speaking and singing its pebbly words and songs across a green sedgy glade.
A perfect array of atmospheric binaural imaging blends with sedate percussive notes of water to generate a palpable tranquility.
This mountain meadow brook slowed in a wide bend, and the recording location narrowed my attention to the small drops beating on stones, glinting on angles of jutting rocks, whispering, cooing, plashing, throbbing in one waterful song — the resulting white noise ambience boasting a very delicate auditory texture combining both soporific harmonics with meditative introspection.
Meadow Brook Meditation is a publication of nature’s own written music, music derived from the rush and trill of a thousand untraceable sources — the whole air vibrates with myriad liquid voices blended that we cannot analyze.
These such natural wilderness waters are always ever varying, always so remarkably compounded. Miles of drip are distilled from humble fern moss and minerals, and no two streams are alike. Meandrous mafficking mountain water is one thing, languorous exogitative listless lake water another, rumbling rambling rabblerousing rivers another — while town water, deadened and lost, is nothing — not water at all.
Meadow Brook Meditation is a natural white noise soundscape composed of a non-layered, unprocessed, digital stereo binaural-baffled field recording. This recording technique produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.
Duration: 66 minutes 20 seconds, Size: 91.9 MB.
The afternoon wind was a mere soft breathing, and this roving rivulet of rambling water caught my ear as the loch emptied its way down the valley of rocks and boulders.
The sonic texture of this natural music is flavored with the distinct aura of a non-distractive outdoor spaciousness that has its bubbles spinning and dancing along with the expanding delicacy of nimble swirling eddies and a thousand glittering rills.
The resulting composition is soothing, yet still capable of bubbling and bobbling with delightful incentive.
Rocky Fjord Rännil is a birdless, voiceless, natural white noise recording consisting of pure flowing water. There are no sounds of people, planes, cars, animals or music.
Rocky Fjord Rännil uses a binaural-baffled recording technique that produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.
Duration: 65 minutes 31 seconds, Size: 89.9 MB.
This is a one-hour uninterrupted conglomeration of gentle soothing rain and the occasional growl of thunder. Recorded right on my friend’s patio in a quiet secluded woodland area, there is no music and no sounds of animals, voices, or industry.
It is late May, at the end of the warmest and sunniest day of spring so far. The ice has left the lakes. The first needles and leaves are just starting to open on the small trees and shrubs, the grasses sprouting, and ferns are beginning to poke their fiddle heads through the mosses and leaves.
The sun has set and as the last vestiges of daylight peacefully fade from a mesmerizing firmament suffused by lavender brumes and amaranthine clouds, a shift of activity occurs among the night crickets while water trickles down the walls and down onto the rough consortium of rocks and cement.
Intended less for intense listening and more for scene-setting and sipping your favorite beverage to, the concluding audio portrait is a cleansing cooling rainshower that leaves a sublime state of calm and relaxation.
Duration: 64 minutes 19 seconds, Size: 88.3 MB.
A late winter evening on a stranded secluded rocky pine island. Life slows its pace as a heavenly pulsation of effervescent ocean surf immerses the mind with currents of emotional ambiguity.
Unified waves of liquid sound flow into expansions of mammoth proportions, filling the mental universe with their calming effect.
Mesmerized, the binaural listener moves without motion, subconsciously searching through synapses triggered by the psychosomatic response of oceanic oscillations stretched to the point of infinity.
These efferent waves of natural white noise achieve an unfurling that is hidden in the soothing nature of the melodic evolution of the elements. This unfurling produces somewhat of an inspirational effect, as the sonic mood effortlessly carries the listener into contemplative regions — and the listener’s inner consciousness finds itself expanding in direct ratio to the ocean tide’s intangible growth.
I set the binaural microphones into the shoreline rocks of the eastern end of this small (but relatively steep) island. Rolling Surf can be utilized as an invigorating, simultaneously unintrusive background ambience to facilitate concentration.
Rolling Surf is a non-looped natural soundscape composed of an hour-long on-location digital stereo quasi-binaural field recording. This recording technique produces a three-dimensional audio image when listening with earphones or headphones. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for finest audio reproduction.
Duration: 63 minutes 56 seconds, Size: 87.8 MB.
A recording from the lavatory of an A380 airbus. The flight attendants were very nice — they never apprehended me for dozing off on the porcelain wonder.
Duration: 65 minutes 32 seconds, Size: 90.0 MB.
My husband just said “don’t eat paper!” who the heck is he to judge?
Duration: 61 minutes 52 seconds, Size: 84.9 MB.
In the upper mountain highlands of Ontario, in a steep sided but wide spaced valley, a stream meanders from wetland to wetland flowing through a mixed forest of white pine, red maples, and white, yellow and black birches. This is a rocky wilderness of deer, moose, and beaver — although none were captured in the recording.
The stream has a light cerebral character that bears a certain sense of grounding for reflective thought and meditation. The surround-sound recording of water immerses the listener in the stream experience to wash away tension and cleanse the soul, effectively distracting the mind from the thoughts of everyday stress and concerns, allowing the mind (and body) to relax. A friend observed that this recording was ideal in helping her make the transition from a stressful workday to home life. She had also asked when and why I had become interested in field recording.
Hum… if I really think about it, it’s hard to say. I have had access to tape recorders ever since I was a kid and was always fascinated by the process of recording sounds and playing them back. There is something inherently rousing in using recorded sound as a form of sensory feedback.
While in high school I distinctly remember recording a thunderstorm on my boom box. Despite the awful quality, I used to listen to that recording again and again and reflect on exactly what it was that made me want to preserve that entirely natural experience. There was something unique in trying to capture sonic events in the world beyond human control and conscious intention.
In the beginning it’s usually about recording one’s voice then trying to bang on random stuff to make “music”. But simply recording yourself making noise doesn’t always mean it’s “music”. Any produced sound is at first a seed for some form of reflective activity and if the noise develops into a coherent form or simply even a reason to continue the activity, then we might be looking at “music”, which for me is more of a social phenomenon.
From time to time I prefer to use the term “sound capturing” rather than “field recording” (which stems from a rather technical description than an instinctual activity), because of the ephemeral nature of sound, and the need to include the element of human decision in the act of recording. So — we have the “self” and the “field”, or rather internal and external domains where a unique form of exchange happens via the medium of sound along with the technical means to mediate that exchange.
The field is entered and one chooses to use one sense over another. Hearing becomes the tool for a deeper form of listening, the metaphor we know as a form of reflective thought.
So the story continues that every time I was lucky enough to have access to a portable recorder I was instinctually drawn to “the field”, to creeks, forests, lakes, rivers, buildings, crowds and areas of random appliances.
The field is an open system where sound cannot be controlled but rather explored and contributed to. It is the unknown elements, the small surprises and everyday discoveries that keep me going out and listening for more. I’ve always told my clients that the closer you listen, the more you will hear. But that in fact is my very approach to the sounding world in general. From the microscopic events of water ripples and insect behavior to the cosmological planetary cycles, there is an infinitely boundless field in which to play and hear.
Duration: 64 minutes 43 seconds, Size: 88.8 MB.
You’re in stasis inside a space pod floating adrift the cold, vast, empty equanimity that is outer-outer space…
The low, bassy rumble heard inside the space pod as its rocket engine propulsion system is running, combined with the sounds of the heating and cooling systems onboard, creates a complex and soothing aural atmosphere that conveys warmth, comfort, and utter, complete solitude – not a cradle of civilization exists here.
Best heard through stereo headphones with good bass response.
Duration: 63 minutes 05 seconds, Size: 86.6 MB.
Prospectively killing myself is wonderful. I recorded this last June of 2007 right on the edge of the rocks (a truly catalytic experience) at the great Dettifoss. The Dettifoss Waterfall is located in north-eastern Iceland, situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in north-east Iceland.
At 328 feet wide (100 meters) and a drop of 144 feet (44 meters) down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, Dettifoss is reputed to be the largest, most powerful waterfall in Europe — having a flow estimated at between 200 and 500 cubic metres of water per second.
I really like that there are no barriers or railings (at least not yet) except common sense and your own sure-footing. I could’ve been round-house-kicked down into that storming abyss of water by a Muay Thai master right out of the blue.
Duration: 63 minutes 30 seconds, Size: 87.2 MB.
You see… I have this great joke.
An air conditioner walks into a bar and………
bah! I forgot…
Oh well, let box fans be box fans.
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- Karen Ramirez BFA