Today, I’ve brought a lovely title, and I’m sure that it got your attention. I’ve attached a few audio samples in the article, so read the whole article.
This sound can be found anywhere.
We hear it so often that we’ve gotten used to it, and it doesn’t feel special any more.
Although we hear it so often, not many people actually notice it. Seems quite normal, but in music, it is indispensable.
You can’t work without it. It’s a part of music, and it became so because it is used a lot.
So what’s the sound I’m talking about?
The sound that I’m taking about is the white noise! I’m sure that it’s wide-spread in the nature.
Tree movement, sea waves, the wind, cascades, the rain, all of them produce this sound. I’m not sure of how it is produced, but I hear it like a continuous hiss.
Even the thunder has white noise, the only thing is that most of it is on the lower frequencies, but from a structural standpoint is the same thing.
What is this the white noise?
It’s hard to explain, but I’ll give it a try.
The white noise is a texture of random sinusoidal which cover all the frequencies that the human can hear. There is no other sound that covers as many frequencies.
If the speed of light is the biggest speed in the Universe, then the white noise is the most common sound in the Universe. It covers all the frequencies in a certain amount of time.
It’s fascinating how relevant a thing that we don’t give that much importance can be!
There will be a few more paradoxes which will amaze you, but we will speak about them in the future articles.
Why is the white noise so important in music?
Let’s not forget that this blog is dedicated to music.
So, I’m interested in how this sound can be used in music. This sound is very used because:
First of all, the white noise is used to create some sounds like the hats, the hi-hats or the close-hats. The drums which occupy a higher spot in the spectrum are usually made of this sound.
The clap is also a sample of this sound, but it gets to sound like this because of some complex processes, which are harder to explain.
Secondly, this sound can be used to complete the spectre of a mix. In a mix you need to fill the frequencies where you need to.
A rich product will always sound better if it has all the frequencies possible and by using this sound it’s very easy because it already has a lot of frequencies.
Thirdly the white noise is also used as a background noise.
The background elements, even though they are lower as volume, are very important because they give style to a composition, so pay very much attention when working with background elements like the white noise, SFXs or other types of “design” that have the purpose of embellishing the creation.
The elegance of a mix depends in a big degree of these background “decorations”.
Fourthly, this sound can also be used when transitioning between two musical parts.
A template of white filtered sound is used to stick two musical segments. I’ve seen it used a lot for the ending of a song, or as a preparation for an intro.
The white noise has a lot of usage.
It’s also used in telecommunications, in radio , and in many other domains, even when jamming some radio signals.
I don’t want to go off-topic, but I wrote these things just to highlight how important this sound is.
What can you compare it with?
Being such a indispensable and an used sound, we could even compare it with water. Even further, it has the same properties. Why?
Because you can overlap it over any instrument without loading it with useless frequencies.
Of course, the white noise must be balanced when used in the mix to get a high quality musical product.
I’ve made a brave affirmation earlier, but is not that much of a secret that the water is an important element for the functioning of this planet.
Same goes for the white noise, which is priceless in music.
Used correctly in combination with other instruments it can generate some outstanding results. In the future I will write an article on this subject just to prove how necessary this sound is in mixing.
Another good comparation would be the one between the white noise and the white light, which is also made of a combination of all the colors the human eye can see.
I will post a few videos in which I will give a few concrete examples to give a practical base to everything that I’ve said.
The white noise is very common among electronic music. If you listen carefully, there are hundreds or even thousands of songs that use this sound.
The sound engineers and the sound-designers know very well the properties of this sound. Like all the organisms on this planet contain water, so do all the mixes have white noise in them.
How is it perceived by the ear?
On the high frequencies you can perceive it as a hiss, on the medium frequencies as a hum, and on the low frequencies as a thunder, or even as a rumble!
This description is as naturally as possible.
I didn’t want to give a complicated definition by using certain technic terms, only so that you can understand and learn it easier.
Now I would like to know what is your opinion regarding the usage of this sound in music. Do you like using white noise in your own creations?
Please leave a comment in the comment section down below, in which you could tell me how do you use this sound when mixing.
Thank You for reading!