White Noise: the sound of one hand clapping

White Noise: the sound of one hand clapping

All MP3s under the sound of one hand clapping:
Devil’s Pool
Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls White Noise MP3     

Duration: 66 minutes 48 seconds, Size: 91.7 MB.

Victoria Falls — the Seventh Wonder of the World; the largest waterfall in the world.

Victoria Falls is a natural source of “brown noise” (a lower-pitched and less irritable form of “true” white noise) that is ideal for sleep and masking unwanted background noises. It is a powerful, thundering, and expansive recording that relaxes the listener with a full-spectrum spacious sound, apt for masking both rumbling and high-pitched distractions.

While Victoria Falls is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is claimed to be the largest. This claim is based on the fact that it plunges 108 meters (360 feet) over a width of 1,708 meters (5,600 feet) into a basalt lined gorge, forming the largest sheet of falling water ever to be discovered by man (and thus, the largest concentrated source of environmental brown noise).

In March and April of 2009, record rainfalls in the watershed created an extra volume of water that had to be released over the falls around April 12th. This recording and photo were taken at that time, from the eastern cataract at the Zambian side.

Victoria Falls features no fade-in or fade-out at the beginning or the end, so there are no distractions in sound volume when played on repeat. No sounds of people, birds, animals or planes are included. No music has been added.

Extensive testing conducted through many years of travel has led me to conclude that Victoria Falls combined with the Sennheiser HD 380 PRO at 85% iPad volume provides seven times (7x) the sound attenuation of merely using foam and silicone earplugs alone. This MP3 is literally a bedroom for one’s ears. Get yourself a pair of over-the-ear headphones with ample amounts of bass response, take a seat somewhere in a boisterous coffee shop or relax in a hotel room with adjacent noisy neighbours, and then play Victoria Falls. You will hear the sound of one hand clapping.

Victoria Falls is a natural white noise soundscape composed of a non-looped digital stereo quasi-binaural field recording. This recording technique produces a 3-dimensional audio portrait when listening with headphones. Encoded at a bitrate of 192 kbps for quality listening.

Companion field recordings: Top of the Chasm, Devil’s Pool

Devil’s Pool

Devil's Pool White Noise MP3     

Duration: 67 minutes 31 seconds, Size: 92.7 MB.

The world-famous Devil’s Pool — the most dangerous natural infinity pool on Earth. Recorded in late August of 2009.

The Devil’s Pool is a naturally formed pool located right on the edge of Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. Because the water level was low, I was allowed to explore areas of Victoria Falls that were usually under heavy rushing water — so instead of overwhelming brumes of mist soaking me to the bone, I could see the cliff faces with steep scary drops to the mighty Zambezi River underneath.

Nevertheless, loud roaring caterwauls of forceful moving water was everywhere around me, everywhere I turned. The falls were spilling over only half of the gorge while the other half was somewhat dry for the moment, and I hiked along the edge. Just a few months after this recording took place, tremendous amounts of violent rushing water will be storming over my footprints. After a 40 minute hike along and through the myriad boulders and creeks, my arrival at the Smoke that Thunders was greeted by a man in khaki shorts who approached me with an exciting offer — and before I knew it, I was wading into the water with my recording equipment safe and sound in my Pelican 1500 waterproof case.

For a nominal fee you can dive off a rock at the edge of Victoria Falls into a naturally occuring eddy pool called the Devil’s Pool. But it is literally right on the edge — on the lip of the edge — of the waterfall, and you jump into a pool of surprisingly unperturbed water. But just before the river’s current washes you over the edge, you’re stopped right on the brink — mere inches from the chasm — due to a natural rock wall just below the surface of the water that stops your progress. You can only do it in the dry season though (mid-August through January or February depending on rainfall), lest you wish upon yourself a terminal freefall descent into a jaggedy rock grave — any other time of the year and the sheer volumes of water will be entirely too much for you to stand your ground.

My guide performs a running dive straight into the pool, pulls himself up and stands on the extreme verge of the waterfall. One minuscule nudge from the tip of my little pinky finger and he’d have been a goner! He hollers over the trumpeting cacophony of deafening white noise and signals for me to hop in. My heart is pounding like a kettle drum. I lay my Pelican case onto a flat-faced rock, assume a steady stance, and — GERONIMO! — lunge forth into the world-renowned Devil’s Pool.

It really is true — I’m stopped by a naturally formed barrier of petrified basalt submerged just a few inches below the surface of the water, and it protects me from tumbling into the river gorge far below. He’s proposed to dangle me over the edge. Heck, why not! I crawl ever so precariously closer towards the lush miasma of thundering smoke, the vast void of milky white floating mist — until my belly button passes over the dead-end margin of the falls and runs perpendicular to the cliff’s face.

He takes hold of my legs, and — I stoop my head to witness a bevy of beautiful double rainbows as soft squiggly rills of water trickle down my back and off into the Zambezi river chasm below.

I skipped a heartbeat. My stomach lurched. Adrenaline raced through my veins.

Amorphous liquid monoliths coalesced below, eminent and imperial.

It was such an amazing sight to behold — and such a long, long, long way down. Certainly an electrifying experience for the more acrophobic-inclined.

The constant turgid sea of broadband brown noise produced by the aggregate activity of countless collocated swiftly cascading rivulets of water stretched wide across an entire mile — married the simultaneous explosion of stratospheric pink noise bursting from neighboring waterfalls of the immediate vicinity; and the sound was like the snarling yawn of ten thousand slumbering gods — vociferously soothing with a degree of enjoyable vitality: invigorating and mesmerizing, voluminously robust and fretlessly bassful.

I swam my way back to my carefully reclined case of safely ensconced electronic paraphernalia, set up my headband-baffled omni-directional binaural microphone pair, laid prone atop the Devil’s lip and pressed RECORD — my Sound Devices 744T audibly preserving the world’s loudest infinity pool to its mechanical will. I snapped up this photo afterwards.

Devil’s Pool is a non-looped natural soundscape composed of an hour-long on-location digital stereo, omni-directional 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. Includes no music and no sounds of voices or people, birds or animals, planes or cars. The full hour-length MP3 includes no fade-in or fade-out at the beginning or end, so it can be seamlessly played on repeat without any distractions or sudden change of volume.



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- Karen Ramirez BFA