White Noise: no people
Duration: 65 minutes 46 seconds, Size: 90.3 MB.
It is the year 2035 and scientists are currently constructing the Large Hadron Cuddler as a surrogate to its haplessly failed predecessor, the Large Hadron Collider.
Though dauntlessly so as with previous experiments in the never-ending search for the elusive Higgs boson, particle physicists had presumed vacuously that the brash colliding of opposing particle beams would serve as the ultimate vehicle in the discovery of its existence.
However, recent groundbreaking studies have gleaned towards a brilliant new theory suggesting a different, rather peculiar ordinance to producing the inscrutable mass-endowing Higgs: particles must not tussle and collide, but rather, be subjected to a far less forbidding assay — they must gently caress and cuddle.
Members of CERN’s technical division are hard at work 100 meters below the surface of the earth, diligently installing the superconducting quadrupole and cyrodipole electromagnets and pumping them full of liquid helium cooled to just a tad below 2 kelvin required for mass operational cuddling. Amongst the muted roar of underground turbines spinning at nine thousand RPMs are distant, intermittent, unencroaching mumblings from the control network that can be heard through the public address system via the overhead intercom.
A hauntingly soothing sound litany of moderate fluctuations in temporal underground space, infected by the occasional far from equilibrium interventions to diversify the stasis — reverberant rubbings, vesperal sighs, microcollisions, metallic asperities, elemental debris and tiny fragments elegantly recombine into a wordless score, perfect as an aural backdrop for writing your next thesis on how you shall unravel the mysteries of the universe’s sexy exciting hidden dimensions.
Our ears are caressed by resonant acoustical poetry as we take a virtual vacation into the quietly hectic construction site of this handsome hyperparticle supercuddler from the not too distant future. Best for masking rumbling noises and medium-level distractions.
Duration: 63 minutes 45 seconds, Size: 87.5 MB.
Babbling Creek was digitally recorded using my binaural recording technique on a calm, cool, summer afternoon at Sinclair Creek in Kootenay National Forest. It’s late summer, the sun is barely peeking through the trees, and deep down in a valley that sports some of the most exquisite western red cedars home to some of earth’s rarest flora and fauna and most spectacular landscapes, the sound of rushing water here against the rocks and valley walls proves all but phenomenal.
I have to step and hop from rock to rock to carefully position my microphone baffle in the middle of where there is a water drop of about 1 foot (0.3 meters) as the creek then finds four paths to arrive at a small 4 foot (1.21 meters) wide pool. There it pauses a bit as if to gather itself together to flow further into a larger rocky pond. The natural, musical sound of playful little pitches is of both peace and seclusion.
Duration: 63 minutes 27 seconds, Size: 87.1 MB.
Deep and bassy is how you like it. With increased low frequencies and decreased higher, this MP3 creates a sexcellent warm atmosphere for aid in dozing off.
Duration: 64 minutes 03 seconds, Size: 87.9 MB.
Robust yet tempered zephyrs stir and sift through the densely congregated treetops of towering pines and firs that soar shoulder to shoulder. The air is fresh, alive, and vibrant with a brisk zest of its own that you can smell right through your headphones. The tree needles and branches modulate the blowing wind and become alive with dance and song. It is a cleansing time as well, because old needles and branchlets are offered to the winds.
Pristine omni-directional birdcalls echoing back and forth create an ever gentle reverie of peaceful, soothing, calming sound to aid you with those long trains of thought that just warrant for deep, meditative contemplation and painstaking mental effort.
Mountain Valley Breezes is a form of natural white noise, the sound of serenity. As the leaves rustle and dance and the branches billow, we are reminded of the leisurely days of summer warmth and relaxation, beneath blue skies of meandering fluffy white clouds.
Slip on a pair of sound-isolating headphones/earphones (I recommend the Sennheiser HD 380 PRO headphones, and Etymotic Research ER6i earphones) and try listening to this while you’re reading or working.
Duration: 64 minutes 27 seconds, Size: 88.5 MB.
The tropical rainforests of the Amazon Basin — home to the highest diversity of plant and animal species than anywhere else in the world. These sacrosanct jewels of the Earth comprise the world’s largest pharmacy; nearly half the medicines we use were developed from rainforest plants — including the painkiller ibuprofen, synthesized from a vine prevalent in these very forests called the monkey ladder tree.
Without ibuprofen, the disparity proves incalculable in the department of productivity when the abject misery of physical pain overrides our willpower to do what must be done.
Yet we’d still be rubbing our foreheads and miscellaneous extremities in futile effort were it not for rain, arguably the most critical ingredient of the grand gestalt that has given seed to such beneficial monkey ladder trees and the astounding myriad of exotic wildlife in these most biologically diverse sanctums of mother nature.
The weather of the jungle in the middle region of the Amazon Basin is usually well flecked with rains and deep bellowings of thunder — but most of which are far too obviously joyful and life-giving to be regarded as storms. I was trekking deep in the jungle, entirely engrossed with its riotous beauty, when I peered up and over towards the sky — and suddenly, without warning, a massive wall of incipient dark thunderclouds had loomed above me.
A range of bossy grey cumuli had taken possession of the sky, huge domes and peaks rising one beyond another with deep canyons between them, bending this way and that in long curves and reaches, interrupted here and there with white upsurging masses that looked like the spray of waterfalls. Sharp zigzag lances of lightning followed each other in quick succession, and the thunder was so gloriously loud and massive it seemed as if surely an entire mountain was being shattered at every other stroke.
Though, in spite of that, I do trust that no mountain or mountain range — however divinely clothed with light — has a more enduring charm than these fleeting mountains of the sky — floating fountains bearing water for every tree and creature in the jungle, for the denizens of its macrocosmic interwoven plexus, for the buoyant spirits of its streams and lakes and rivers; brooding in the deep azure, or sweeping softly along the canopy as they linger with cooling shadows, refreshing every languished flower, every withering leaf, and soothing raucous ranting birds with a gentleness of touch and gesture wholly divine.
I ecstatically arranged my recording equipment and tarried in place as I surveiled the storm’s debut. Down came a cataract of rain. Swift katabatic raindrops sifted through the dense arborescent canopy, plashed and pattered upon the jumbled assortment of reticulate green flora, and poured down the sides of trunks and vines in a network of grey, bubbling rills.
In Rain and Thunder in the Amazon Basin, we listen to the robust hammering of rain pellets against the lush foliage of the forest floor, understory plants and upper jungle canopy of emergent trees as thunder resonates and rumbles and roars and occasionally crashes and booms and circles about us.
In these forests, scarcely a raindrop can fail to find a beautiful mark: on the tops of arboreal thoroughfares of twisting columns and spiraling lianas, on the smooth chest-high fronds of verdant efflorescing fern, on the curves of slippery brown moss-enveloped logs, on the thousand forms of tropical forest sculpture with their tender beauty of balmy, flowery vegetation — laving, plashing, glinting, pattering; some falling softly on meadows, creeping out of sight, seeking and finding every thirsty rootlet, some falling with blunt tapping sounds, drumming on the broad leaves of trillium, cypripedium, granadilla; some falling straight into fragrant corollas, kissing the lips of lilies, some into the lakes and rivers and lagoons — patting the smooth glassy levels, making little dimples and bells and spray here and there and everywhere.
Everything is refreshed and invigorated, a steam of fragrance arises, and the storm is finished. Good work and happy work for these merry forest raindrops, each one of them a brave fall in itself, rushing from the cliffs and hollows of the clouds into the cliffs and hollows of the jungle; away from the thunder of the sky into the thunder of the roaring forest rivers; saturating all and fountainizing all with the melodious energy of nature’s renewal.
As a cautionary note, I do not recommend this recording for sleep mainly because the occasional thunderclap can be startling, but rather, as a natural drug-free stimulant and thoroughly energizing auditory backdrop for accomplishing tasks and getting things done.
Digital stereo binaural recording. No fade-in or fade-out at the beginning or end is included. Bitrate encoded at 192 kbps for a rich listening experience!
Duration: 63 minutes 8 seconds, Size: 86.7 MB.
This clean minimalist recording of pure unadulerated rain sounds (and nothing else) was recorded in a small courtyard area between several houses. There was a concrete porch with a very small awning. The rich textures in the recording emanate from that concrete and the bermuda glass that surrounded the area, which adds a touch of granularity to the aggregate auditory spectacle.
The DSM-1S/H’s are amazing microphones and a lot of this recording’s magic I feel come by the subject’s movement in the sky and the static nature of the rain by which my DSM’s did a fantastic job capturing. I found a cute little rock and snapped up this photo. His name is Bunkerwuggy.
Nothing but Rain is pure peaceful refreshing rain. No birds, no thunder, no wind and no man-made sounds to distract. No music has been added. Bitrate has been encoded at 192 kbps for quality audio reproduction. Edited digital stereo, binaural-baffled HRTF field recording.
Duration: 73 minutes 48 seconds, Size: 101 MB.
During my travels around the globe, I have come to see the Earth differently. For me, it is quite eloquently a solar-powered jukebox.
The more sunlight that is readily available for plants to grow, the more available energy there will also be to power a particular ecosystem’s bioacoustics. Sunny places are, for the most part, louder places (for example, tropical rainforests). Ergo, darker places are quieter places. To put it in a nutshell — as you go towards the equator, the Earth gets louder; as you go towards the poles, the Earth gets quieter. (This effect is also naturally complemented by the fact that sound travels faster in warm air as compared to cold air; and sound just as well travels farther in humid air as compared to dry air.)
Jukebox Earth plays a variety of different tunes. Select any given set of latitude and longitude and you will hear an entirely different melody. The more time that any given location has had to further evolve to develop more complex, more ecologically intertwined relationships, the more symphonic the music becomes. Glaciation, logging, and other forms of devastation drastically reduce the composition back to elemental forms, where the composition begins to slowly rebuild again in rhythm, diversity, complexity. I’ve met people who have the uncanny ability to correctly identify a place, the corresponding season, and time of day based on the environmental sounds alone.
Plant life is essential to understanding the distribution of natural sounds and how sounds behave in such environments. Fauna is so dependent on flora for survival, it can be said that the vegetation can be interpreted as the musical score. From the plants and vegetation alone (i.e., structure and composition), it is possible to predict the kinds of animal sounds and other events that are likely to occur at other times of the day or year. I like to pretend that the plants themselves have voices, and this illusion is helpful as a conceptual sound designer when I am given only a photograph or video clip and must correctly apply the respective sounds.
The Earth is music, spinning in the deafening silence of space; and nowhere is this heard ever more clearly than in the Amazon Basin at daybreak. The sun has just risen, mist is flowing and swirling in the humid morning air above the warm jungle canopy, and the first rays of light can be heard as the stillness of chirping crickets and rasping cicadas grows punctuated by the resonating songs of birds at dawn.
Distant howler monkeys eagerly join in the forest’s awakening chorus, insect-like calls of poison dart frogs and whistled notes of wrens and antbirds permeate the atmosphere, and surround-sound is being recorded as deep cries of wild animals parley amongst one another in 360 degrees around my binaural omni-directional microphone pair.
This forest is remarkably clean — constant ticks and snaps and thuds of distant branches can be heard falling to the ground as they climactically concede to the rainforest’s warm temperature and humidity, favorable conditions for decay which keep the forest looking fresh and forever young.
What you hear is the interaction between fauna and flora, untouched by human development, which has formed from tens of millions of years of complete ecological symbiosis. Every inch of the forest is alive, and the closer you listen, the more life you will hear. Everything moves, everything breathes. Everything is animated with music and energy. Listen long enough, and you begin to hear the gentle side of the always-awake jungle spirits.
Daybreak on the Amazon Basin features a long 15 second fade-in/fade-out at the beginning and the end. Encoded at a bitrate of 192 kbps for better listening quality. Listen with headphones!
Duration: 62 minutes 55 seconds, Size: 86.4 MB.
Nothing but Crickets — perfect for sleep and tinnitus relief. Includes only the sounds of serene shrilling crickets — there are no other sounds of birds, animals, people, wind or water.
Nothing but Crickets was binaurally recorded in Canada at night on a grassy forest meadow, under a star-swept dome of glistening white dots. We are miles deep within this secluded virgin wilderness, at complete isolation from the modern world of bustling crowds and bellowing cars.
A symphony of serenading gryllidae harmonizes beautifully throughout the recording in a constant cadenced chorus of see-sawing chirps and long, low, simultaneous hums. One group chirps, and another hums. The sound is mesmerizing, soothing, sublime — this was the perfect lullaby I needed for sleeping under the stars. (And packing up my recording equipment afterwards, as I lied there in my bivy sack I witnessed a shooting star — truly one of life’s greatest moments!)
The shrilling of these crickets is an intimate performance nevertheless — it is the males who sing, either to attract the female crickets (and to repel the other males) or to broadcast their post-copulatory bliss to the heavens (the resulting “happy hum”). This is called stridulation — and the crickets do this by rubbing the top of one forewing against the teeth of their other forewing, resembling the act of one playing a violin.
The crickets’ noise level remains constant all throughout, never stopping to rest as they take turns cricking and rhyming their nightly ballad. Adjust the volume to your taste to control a sense of distance and proximity.
Nothing but Crickets 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: 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: 62 minutes 50 seconds, Size: 86.3 MB.
You are completely submersed underwater, a flowing silk scarf adrift the ocean current. In the distance is a school of meandering fish, humbly going about their carefree existence.
Why are fish so smart?
Because they live in schools
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: 67 minutes 40 seconds, Size: 92.9 MB.
Under the moonlit skies and chill atmospheres of a midnight, the world attunes to a less active pulse.
Midnight Surf vividly recalls the peace and seclusion of being at the beach in the hushed stillness of the darkened air.
Play at a low volume to relax to the sounds of a constant shore ambience, or slip on your headphones to be invigorated with the gentle throb of the ocean’s mellifluous midnight melody.
No sounds of people, music, birds, animals, ships, planes or cars are included — only the soft sweeping cadence of water washing up onshore.
Midnight Surf is a non-looped natural soundscape composed of edited omni-directional binaural field recordings. 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: 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 34 seconds, Size: 87.3 MB.
For those of us that like our air conditioners with a little flavor:
Hint of Rattle™.
Delicious. Shake well before serving.
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: 62 minutes 13 seconds, Size: 85.4 MB.
While spelunking through the cave of Waitomo in New Zealand I had wandered off and found this magical little spot. I was not the first to discover it, although no path led to it. There was a sign, handwritten with charcoal that said this was a sacred site. In the corner there was a fire pit and beside it lay a sleeping mat woven out of palm fronds.
Just outside the cave entrance is a waterfall and a tree, a perfect perch for morning doves and a view of the rising sun.
Cave by the Waterfall is a place that only one person can go at a time… a private, deep, hard-to-explain, and astonishingly memorable soundscape.
Duration: 63 minutes 50 seconds, Size: 87.6 MB.
Duration: 65 minutes 34 seconds, Size: 90.0 MB.
I personally prefer the sound of an air conditioner, though back then when I was in university I had to babysit a toddler — about nine or ten months of age — for a friend.
The precious little bugger wouldn’t quit squawking and was upset that mum had gone out to work. I tried to calm him down and even offered some strawberry-flavored yogurt but he just threw it at my face. Ow!
I had a lot of homework to do and a major math exam to take the next day so I didn’t have much of a choice but to turn on the vacuum cleaner to drown out his incessant squabbling.
As luck would have it, after about half a minute I shot a quick glance over my shoulder to check up on him and before I knew it he was on the couch sound asleep… humbly drooling over his plush polar bear. Fart!
I’ve also heard success stories over the years from friends and moms lulling their babies to sleep by turning on the vacuum cleaner:
Thus I’ve recorded this as a somewhat sensible alternative to burning out your vacuum cleaner’s motor — the model is a progressive upright Kenmore.
Because vacuum cleaners are so boisterously high-pitched, personal preference and past empirical conditioning (some parents use them to get their children out of bed in the mornings) are large determining factors in their effectiveness as a source of white noise sleep aid. Some people hate it, some people love it.
Duration: 64 minutes 2 seconds, Size: 87.9 MB.
Ever wondered what pure environmental brownian noise sounds like? Here’s one thing for sure: this room is huge. The sound produced here is very broadband and spacious, which makes it great for sound masking.
This + headphones = complete auditory isolation. Contains no voices, people, or distracting pops or creaks.
Duration: 65 minutes 34 seconds, Size: 90.0 MB.
When a gas furnace in a home is running, it produces a fantastical, warm, and comforting, low rumbling drone that could knock you right out into a nappy catnap. It’s just a thoroughly entrancing sound.
There are a few nuisances however — the thing is, if you wanna hear it right at the climax of your siesta, the reassuring hum is probably way too quiet to hear from your bedroom (assuming you have one, of course). And if you do have a furnace, it only runs in 5-10 minute intermittent spurts.
Fret no more, furnace lovers — this MP3 is a continuous 65 minutes of fat juicy furnace goodness. No overheating, no gargantuan gas bill!
Duration: 64 minutes 23 seconds, Size: 88.4 MB.
One of the first lessons that one learns when recording environmental white noise, especially rain and thunder, is that every moment is unique. Showers ebb and flow. No two soughs of thunder sound exactly the same. No trickle of water is the same vibration of frequency from one moment to the next. When one starts to add up all the little events that are happening simultaneously in a particular rainscape, then the possibilities seem bally well endless. I find myself going out with almost always two packs of Sudafed in my Portabrace pouch and recording 3, 4, 5 hours of rain or more to find just the right fitting nuance that invokes the feeling of “being there”. Ideally I try to have a finished product of about 65 minutes long with no looping.
Sometimes though, nature does not cooperate when all you want is rain and thunder to kick back, leave the day behind, and contemplate life. Many animals, particularly birds and amphibians, become vocal at certain times of day, or when environmental conditions such as temperature or amount of daylight backslide into their comfort range. This can limit the length of time that a rainscape is free of distracting animal sounds.
Recorded in the evening on the high alpine meadows of Opal Hills in Jasper National Park (the largest national park of the Canadian Rockies), Hillside Thunder is an atmospheric and spacious stereo binaural field recording of the powerful omnipresent forces of nature, sans the mating calls and testosterone rituals — here it’s just thunder, rain, and deep, laryngeal mumbles of thunder. A beautiful dusk embraces a summer evening. Delicate copper sunshine is poking through fluffy clouds and across dewy blades of grass. The sound is drifting through blue sky and the still cool air. Ah… one of the nice things about summer here is that the nights are always cool.
Although rain falls steadily throughout this exclusively natural soundscape, I do not recommend this for sleep mostly in part due to the slightly closer lightning strikes, but rather as a palliative chillaxed ambience to cool yourself down and chillax to.
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- Karen Ramirez BFA