We all know that there are good sounds and bad sounds. Some sounds give us a headache, some sounds help us relax and feel happy. Some sounds hamper our work, while others can make us more productive. There are some ambient sounds like rainfall, birds chirping, the rhythm of waves etc. that are relaxing and can improve concentration and productivity, especially for professionals like writers or designers, etc.
What are ambient sounds?
As per Wikipedia, Ambient Sound or Background Noise is any sound other than the sound being monitored (primary sound). It is a form of noise pollution that can interfere with the primary sound. Like the buzz of the audience while listening to a recital. Ambient sounds include environmental noises such as sea waves, rain, wind, traffic noise, alarms, bioacoustic noise from animals, and noise from devices like air conditioning, fan.
What’s the use of ambient sounds?
So, ambient sounds are basically background noises. But they have their uses too. When heard at a judicious volume level, some ambient sounds can help you relax and sleep better. They can also help you cut away distracting noises, maintain your focus, and be more productive.
Being an author, I often feel impatient with the surrounding noises. Whether I’m writing a non-fiction blog post or doing some creative writing, I don’t want to be disturbed by distracting sounds. At such moments, I always switch on an ambient sound generator. (I’m listening to one even while I write this post!) Its pleasant sounds block away the distracting noise of the surrounding and help me concentrate on my writing.
How to make ambient sounds?
Well, if you just need a steady background noise, you can switch on the fan or air conditioner. But if you would like to listen to pleasant sounds of nature or pleasant musical melodies, there are many websites providing ambient sounds free. There are also many ambient sound apps you can download on your phone. Some of my favoruite ambient sound generators are mentioned below. So, read on.
Ambient Mixer for pleasant ambient sounds:
This website has a large library of relaxing sounds. The website presents the user with images indicating different sound mixes like rainfall, beginning of thunder, etc. Just click on the image and the sound player will open up with the mixer. Using the mixer, you can adjust the volumes of different elements of the sound mix.
Ambient Mixer has sound mixes in various categories like Nature, Music, and even Movies and TV Series. These categories are displayed on the sidebar. The sound of movies and TV shows is a unique feature of this website. It has sounds of places from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and more. So, if you have to concentrate hard and are wishing for ambient sounds like that of the Hogwarts Library, head to Ambient Mixer and enjoy. It is also available as free and paid apps for Android & iOS devices.
Deepfocus.io – play music with relaxing sounds:
At this website, you’ll find several utilities designed to enhance productivity. These include ToDo List, Countdown Timer and yes, Ambient Sounds.
It is also a pleasantly designed website. The home screen of the website features the ambient sounds with Timer and option to add music to the sounds. There are only 8 relaxing sounds on this website. These are rainfall, café, fire, waves, library, traffic (without horns), white noise, and birds chirping. More than one sound can be played at a time. The volume level can be set for these sounds individually.
Below these sounds, there’s an option to add music. A search bar is given in which you can search using terms like Jazz, guitar, violin etc. to add relaxing music to the ambient sounds. Only one music selection can be played at a time. Adding soft and relaxing music can make the ambient sounds even more relaxing.
Just below the Timer on this website, you’ll find a button that says Notepad. When you click on it, a writing space will open up on the same page. This can be used to scribble down the thoughts while listening to the relaxing sounds. The notes scribbled on this space get automatically saved in the browser. This means, if you delete the browser cookies, these notes will get deleted too.
If you would like to listen to soft music with a mix of simple, relaxing sounds, check out deepfocus.io.
A Soft Murmur – simple website for relaxing sounds:
This is a very simple and nicely designed website. The about section says it was developed by Gabriel Martin because he likes listening to ambient sounds while working. So he created this website where he and other people can listen to relaxing sounds and mix them up as they desire.
The website has 10 sounds. These are Rain, Thunder, Waves, Wind, Fire, Birds, Crickets, Coffee Shop, Singing Bowl and White Noise. You can switch them on or off as you want.
You can listen to more than one sound at a time to create relaxing sounds mix. And you can control the volume of every sound by using the slider under it. If you want more variety, you can click on the More Sounds button near the bottom of the page. You can create your own mixes or choose a random mix as well.
The website also has Meander and Timer features. The Meander automatically makes the sound or sounds selected by you to randomly rise and fall. You can set the maximum volume to make sure the sounds don’t get too loud. This creates a more natural effect with the ambient sounds and also makes the sound effects varied.
Going to the Timer tab, you can set timers for Start, Stop and Fade out. These timers can prove useful if you want to use the relaxing sounds to doze off.
The website is very simple to use. So if you just want to listen to relaxing sounds easily and quickly, check out A Soft Murmur. It is also available as free Android and iOS app.
Noisili is also a very good ambient sound generator. It has a plain and simple user interface with big sound icons on the home page. These include sounds like Leaves, Seaside, Water Stream Coffee Shop etc. What I liked best about Noisili is that it can auto-create sound mixes based upon your requirement. It has Random, Productivity, Relax button on top. When you click on any of these, a relevant sound mix starts playing. You can customize it by using the sound buttons given below.
You can use the sound mixes without creating an account on Noisili. But if you do create an account, you can use some additional features like saving and sharing your sound combos and using the inbuilt text editor.
Noisili is also available As Android and iOS app. You can also use it through a Chrome Extension.
Relaxing Ambient Sound app:
All the ambient sound generators mentioned above have smartphone apps. Besides these, you can also check out other popular apps like Relax and Sleep or Relax Melodies. There are several smartphone apps available that play relaxing sounds. But the drawback of these apps is that they consume smartphone battery.
If you are working on your computer, it makes more sense to keep one of the above-mentioned websites open in a browser tab, instead of draining out your phone’s battery. If you want to use relaxing sounds to induce sleep, then maybe the smartphone apps would work better. As all of these apps and websites are free to use, you can check them all out and see what works best for you.
My favourite Ambient Sound Generator:
Out of all the ambient sound generators mentioned above, A Soft Murmur is my favourite. It is very simple to use and does not ask me to make an account or pay money for extra features. The user interface and sounds are pleasant. It has just enough features to give a nice experience without wasting my time. And I love its Singing Bowl sound.
Let me know which ambient sound generator you like best!