White Noise is created by a continuum of frequencies equally distributed over our whole hearing range; every frequency that we hear is contained in this single sound! Initially, white noise was used by engineers to measure audio frequency responses. Later, it entered the medical field as an ideal signal to retrain the ear during tinnitus and hyperacusis therapies. Today, white noise is getting more and more popular because of its unique properties and applications to our daily live! Discover why.
Because white noise contains all the frequencies, it can be used to mask any other sound. Turn its volume above the nuisance level, and white noise will act like a clean blanket thrown over a dirty place. Then, the human brain is wonderful at ignoring a constant stimulus, only focusing on changes in our environment. Because white noise is static − its sound characteristics don’t change over time − it will be wiped from our conscious perception after a while. So, white noise allows the listener to enjoy a very special silence: a silence made by a noise that gets slowly ignored by our brain, but that still masks the original nuisance! If this sounds too good to be true, experiment yourself. Listen to this synthetic White Noise Generator for a couple of minutes the next time you are focusing on a task on your computer.
The combination of these two properties − the sound blocking and the perception fade out − turns white noise into a powerful tool that can be used more often than one thinks. If you are working in an open plan office, for example, and have a hard time concentrating in such a noisy environment, you should give white noise a try!
Next, we come to rain noise. Just like white noise, rain noise contains all the frequencies one can hear; and just like white noise, rain sounds static. So, all the wonderful properties that have been introduced regarding white noise, apply to rain noise as well. However, there is one serious advantage offered by rain noise over synthetic white noise: rain noise sounds natural! This naturalness translates into a lower fatigue level after a couple of hours of intensive use.
Working in an Open Office • Open offices are often too noisy, making it impossible to concentrate efficiently. Play the rain noise produced by this website using isolating headphones, and you will enjoy being more productive in minutes!
Studying in a Quiet Room • When your working environment is too quiet, the slightest sound becomes a distraction. People suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder know this all too well. Play a gentle rain sound as background ambience to recover your concentration.
During your Meditation Session • The idea that one should listen to music while meditating is very common. However, music imperceptibly imposes its tempo on your body, such as your heart rate or your breathing. If you can't meditate in silence, try a natural sound, such as rain.
Sound Therapy • Sound affects many areas of the brain and has an undeniable effect on the body. Many people use natural sounds to relieve stress or recover from anxiety attacks. Rain noise is often cited as an excellent sound used to calm yourself down.
Tinnitus • If your tinnitus only occurs when your environment is too quiet, chances are that it will disappear if you keep gently stimulating your hearing with a faint background noise. If your tinnitus is permanent, rain noise can be used as a mask, and will provide you with a temporarily but resourcing relief.
You will find plenty of white noise generators on the Internet, and rain generators too (see links at the bottom of this page). But, nothing beats Rain.today when it comes to the most natural sounding and high quality rain noise available online. First, our sound always changes. At the core of Rain.today, a stochastic audio engine generates a realistic rain shower by randomly drawing sounds from different categories such as light rain, heavier rain, thunder, and water sounds. Then, each recording has been precisely sorted according to its frequency distribution. Although rain noise covers the whole frequency range, it does so with various nuances. These frequency distributions are referred to by color names. The white distribution is the brightest, pink sounds more natural to our ears, and brown offers a strong bias in the lower frequency range. Rain.today can produce sounds in each of these categories, either separately or as a mix. Finally, if the gentle and natural frequency distribution of rain doesn't suffice, this website also offers a high quality synthetic white noise generator that can be added on top of the rain noise to achieve a yet higher sound-blocking effect. Surprisingly, synthetic white noise, when added to a certain level of rain noise, sounds way more natural than when played separately.
This is very simple, and doesn't require any money from you. So, please help me: if you like this website, promote it as much as you can. It's just like crowdfunding... but asking for shares, instead of funds!
• You can send a tweet to your followers • Share this URL on Facebook • Post a link on your favorite Reddit sub • Share a screenshot on Imgur • Write a short review on your Tumblr account • Anything that comes into your mind right now...
Will this suffice? I think so. Once this website drives enough traffic, I will be able to envisage developing corresponding mobile apps without facing the risk of failure. And that is invaluable!
• Alexa's TOP 100,000 is a good way to measure a website’s viability. Once Rain.today enters that top tier, I will make the pledge to develop its dedicated apps on iOS and Android • Check this website’s current Alexa ranking here, and compare it to the current ranking of Rainy Mood, a website that also plays rain sounds in your browser.
Listening to the rain is really helping me. I never thought I could be so relaxed while working!
I have severe anxiety disorder and whenever I'm about to go into a situation I'm not comfortable with, I just listen to the sound of rain to help calm down.
Listening to this really helps me to relax and let go of my worries and thoughts. I can literally feel my body slowly relaxing and my thoughts clearing out of my mind.
Rain noise is amazing. I fall asleep to it every night and I can't sleep without it!
Rain is one of the few things that makes me feel better when I'm having an anxiety episode - but since I can't control the weather, I find that coming here works wonderfully. The fact that I can change it to make the sounds of thunder more prominent - the most calming sounds for me - makes all the difference.
This has been great for blocking out office noise while I work. Very relaxing, not distracting and just beautiful.
I use rain sounds to sleep every night. I have had a habit of taking hours to fall asleep all my life, but since I've found this site, sleep has come instantaneously. Actual real life magic happenings right here.
My friend was listening to this while we were studying. When I study, I always listen to music and I felt that was sufficient. I was wrong. At first, I didn't really like the thought of doing work with a single sound, but when I played the rain track, things became clearer. Highly recommended.
Our User Interface is pretty straightforward.
|Click these icons to add or remove a certain category from our stochastic playlist. These categories are light rain, heavier rain, thunder, and other watery sounds, like those occurring once the rain has stopped falling.|
|These buttons turn audio levels up or down, or just mute the audio output.|
|If rain does not offer enough noise-blocking power, synthetic pink noise can be added on top of the rain sounds. Different white noise levels are available: low, medium, and high.|
|White noise comes in various flavors: white sounds the brightest, pink offers an even frequency response for the human ear, and brown noise offers an increased level of lower frequencies. Our rain sounds have been carefully selected with different frequency distributions in mind. This button restricts the play list to rain sounds with a specific frequency distribution.|
|A timer... to be implemented soon!|
If you like the sound of rain, and want to listen to other rain sources, here are a few alternatives to this website.
myNoise hosts a couple of really nice rain noise generators. Every generator can be tweaked to your liking, and — by means of a simple calibration — they can compensate for your hearing loss. You will then hear the rain as you used to, when you were a kid! Discover the Rain Noise • White Rain • Rain on a Tent and Distant Thunder.
Rain For Me plays a rain soundtrack, on top of a sober user interface. Not many controls — just a pause button — but a nice rain sound.
Rainy Mood is probably the oldest rain generator available on the Internet. Recently, it started playing music on top of the rain sounds, with a featured track that changes every day.
Jazz And Rain share the same concept: playing music along with rain sounds. It does superbly well. Nothing beats Jazz on a rainy day!
Simply Rain does what it claims: play rain noise, through a very simple user interface. It's free, but the page is filled with ads.
Rainy Cafe plays both café sounds and rain. Unfortunately, the rain sound is not on par with quality headphone use.
Raining.FM offers a neat timer, but again, the sound quality is mediocre. It does play fine on tiny laptop speakers though.
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• Need to focus? Enjoy some Rain.today, by Snowulf.com.
• This Engineer Designed a Website That Will Wash Your Stress Away, by Name.Kitchen.
© 2015 Stéphane Pigeon - the signal processing engineer with a passion for sound.