Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Writer Roundup: MyNoise



Here we are once again, and today, I have an interesting little website for you. It's called MyNoise.net, and it's a personal ambient noise generator, which is wonderful. There are a number of studies showing that ambient noise, in spite of what anyone might think, actually allows the human mind to focus better on the task at hand (I'll link some down below for you to look through at your leisure.). And if anyone needs help focusing, writers need help focusing. There's only so much your mind can handle, and writing tends to be a push toward the outer limits of that, depending on the day. Anything to help us get through those next two, three, or ten thousand words is good by me.



When you first go to MyNoise.net, you'll want to do the personal calibration. Go to the Online Noises tab and it should be in the top left box. That will take you to the calibration screen. All you do there is turn your volume up (I had to have mine all the way up, but I also don't use headphones, just my laptop speakers; please don't do anything that might damage your hearing.) to where you can hear the static it's producing, and then you'll adjust each slider to where that particular frequency is just barely audible. The hit done, and MyNoise will actually save all that calibration info for you, so it's there every time you come back (While I'm not fully sure of the mechanism involved in that data storage, I'm pretty sure they use cookies. So if you have cookies disabled, it most likely won't remember you. Fair warning.). Since over ninety percent of the sounds on there can be calibrated, it's worth the two or three minutes, I think.

MyNoise has more than a few generators. As a rough estimate, I would say 25-30, but don't quote me on that one. And, at the top of the Online Noises page, they give you a little legend that gives suggestions on the quality or effect of each noise generator. Eerie, meditation, noise blocker. My personal favorites, as of right now, are the Cat Purr, the Rain Noise, and the Himalayan Bowls.

Now, if you'd like to donate to them (they provide this whole service for free), please do. Not only does it help out, but it allows you to get the new sounds before non-contributors have access to them. Which makes me jealous, since they have a coffee shop generator in the works. I may have to donate and get that one.

And on the subject of coffee shop noise generators, I have a couple alternatives, as well, if you don't like MyNoise. The first one, Coffitivity, is a web app, but can also be downloaded onto Droid and iPhone/iPad (at one point, it could run on the basic Mac OS as well, but when I looked into it, the link was broken. If anyone knows otherwise, let me know and I'll edit the post accordingly). Coffitivity is a collection of recordings from various coffee shops all over the world. On the web app, you get three: the morning coffee run, the lunch rush, and a collegiate café.

The other one is Rainy Café. It only has two sliders to control—rain and café—but it's surprisingly useful. To boost my personal creativity, I prefer to crank the rain up really high and keep the coffee shop murmuring about halfway, maybe a little less. I guess white noise just works better for me.

If you have any other noise generators you love like this, particularly good ones that can run on Windows, let me know. They're some of my favorite productivity tools. If you want to hear what else I have to say, hit subscribe up on top of the page.

Articles:
http://99u.com/articles/16711/turn-it-up-how-the-right-about-of-ambient-noise-increases-creativity

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/how-the-hum-of-a-coffee-shop-can-boost-creativity/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

Voss

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