White Noise

White Noise

What is white noise?

White noise is what you hear when you are tuning your radio and that hissing sound appears when you come across an unused frequency channel. Due to our sensitive hearing, white noise can sound high pitched and on its own can be quite unpleasant and unnaturally bright.

A common analogy is to liken white noise to white light, where you can say that pure white light contains all of the colors within the visible spectrum. White noise contains all of the frequencies within the human hearing spectrum, and it is not as high pitched as we naturally perceive.

The technical description is that white noise is a sound that holds all frequencies, of which humans are capable of hearing, at equal amounts of amplitude (volume). This includes all high, medium and low pitch sounds within the 20Hz and 20kHz range.

However, white noise can be used to great effect in music production. You can generate white noise within a synthesizer and with the addition of filtering and signal processing, various effects and textures can be created such as wind-type sounds, crashing waves and rumbles.

White noise is also handy for creating ambient layers, percussive beats and producing bigger buildups and drops in and around a chorus section of a song, a popular trick used in the dance genre. With a little imagination, white noise can be a useful tool when producing music.