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White noise

Posted by Bob on July 10, 2001

In Reply to: White noise posted by Gary Martin on July 10, 2001

: : : Anyone heard of this? -- "white noise".

: : Just as white light is light that is made up of all of the different colors (frequencies) of light combined together, white noise is a combination of all different frequencies of sounds.
: : This combo of noise is used to drown out other sounds.
: : Sorta like being in a room with hundreds of people talking. You cant hear anything but the white noise.

: Pink noise is another variant - with a slightly different frequency make-up.

: I worked as a recording engineer in the 1960/70s and often bumped into Ray Dolby. He came up with an idea at the time to reduce the amount of white noise (aka tape hiss) introduced when tape recording music. He figured that some frequencies are easier to hear than others, so why not increase the volume of those frequencies when recording and then reduce them on playback. The net result is that the tape hiss is reduced. Simple idea, and it made him multi-millionaire rich.

: Gary

There was a time when dentists were using white noise, at higher volumes, as a form of anesthetic. The patient would wear headphones, and the noise would (it says here) block the pain. Don't know if anyone still does this.