Shortwaves
Frequency-Shaped Radio Noise Generator
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Shortwaves, for long distances

Shortwave radios are used for long distance communications and for broadcasting voice and music program around the world. Unlike the other radio frequencies, short waves are directed to the sky, and rely upon the ionosphere to scatter the radio waves back to earth, therefore reaching areas that are out of sight from the emitter, sometimes half-way around the world!

Changes in ionospheric conditions considerably affect the quality of the reception. These changes happen all the time: every day at night, between seasons, and depending on solar flares. This explains the fluctuating audio quality of these radios, and the presence of strong interferences. Sometimes, radio channels collapse into each other too. These side effects are offset by the benefit of being able to listen to radios all over the world. Shortwave radios are like a window open to the whole planet.

Calibrated Output

This sound generator is calibrated and outputs a pink-like spectrum when the sliders are horizontally aligned. Calibration is unique to this website, and can be used to compensate for your own hearing, audio equipment, and listening environment deficiencies: follow our Calibration Procedure once, then access Your Hearing Curve from the right column.

Testimonials - write yours here

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  Sooo relaxing. Absolutely love this <3

  This is amazing. Actually your site never ceases to amaze me, but Shortwaves is particularly good. It reminds me of being a kid, listening to the static between stations and thinking about all the different places the sounds must come from.

  I really like this generator because when I'm doing school alone in my room, I can start to feel pretty lonely. And yet, the presence of other people can be very distracting. Even turning on the radio for the sake of hearing a voice can break my concentration. The thing I like about this is that there's a lot of indecipherable voices, so it makes it feel less lonely but without the distractions!

  This is my favorite generator, for right now. I wish there was a Shortwaves v2.0 just with more sounds for more variety. I've been listening while I work using animate and the variety is nice. Of course, when you listen to any of these long enough, you'll eventually hear some parts repeat, even if you don't understand the language. Thanks a lot for this website! You *are* crazy, but in a good way.

  This one makes me feel like I'm a agent or hired killer, preparing for a job in Africa or the Middle East in a run down hotel room, above a busy bar.

  Takes me back to cold war days. Listening to the radio at night. Nice job. I remember hearing a lot of things that sounded like they were from South America, but I guess it depends on the atmospheric conditions.

  I combine this with Warp Speed, the spaceship generator. Every time I do it I feel tension I never knew I had just melt away. Other than completely obliterating my tinnitus, this combo appeals on a deeply emotional level. It brings back memories of hearing my dad tinkering away with his ham radio in the garage. The Indian music really resonates.

  ← I use this to fall asleep at night :D (it's cool with the animate on too)

  This makes me feel like hot summer afternoon when you are lying on your back and your thougths flows randomly, just like sounds of old transistor radio. And the best part - no heat!

  This noise is simply my favourite, I never get tired of it. And I find it works surprisingly well with the Saturn Rings (use the Animate option).

  Too bad, I can hear Punjabi songs in the background! The song is "Billo Rani" search for it.

  This one reminds me of Star Trek:TOS. The light blue slider sounds like all the machinery on the bridge like the viewscreen and Spock's scanner, and the dark blue one has a little tune every once in a while and a squeaking noise that sounds really similar to the doors to the bridge opening/closing. I like to imagine I'm listening to a radio version of Star Trek in the background while I work.

  Combining this vintage radio sound, a little white noise, and ocean waves makes it sound like you're stretched out across a warm towel, relaxing on a beautiful, sandy beach in paradise.

  This is one of the best generators to use the 'Animate' option with. It feels like listening to someone idly searching for a station on a hot summer evening. Love it!

  God, I love the 'crosstalk' preset so much, makes me think of the days on Dubai...

  Love the indian tuning and the party upstairs!

  This sounds like a broken radio.

  You are a wandering tourist arrived at Jakarta suburb... or somewhere else in southeast Asia. At the local diner in evening, you are waiting for your dishes to be served, hearing the mixed-up noises including diner's own back ground music, local radio broadcast, old television placed on the corner of the diner, and chatter of the people on the street.

  This sounds sort of like a sporatic radio channel trying to get through, but it's interfering with some other distorted frequencies. It sounds really neat, like I'm stranded somewhere and i'm trying to get hold of someone.

  Really wasn't expecting this from a Shortwave Radio exactly, but when I combined the African Modulation with the Indian Tuning and a little Russian, & then added African Trance and the Digeridoos in the background? Wow. The Drums & Didgeridoos provide a constant, steady beat while the subtle, sporadic "music" of the Radio gives just enough for my brain not to wander too far while studying. <3

  Neighbor to the right playing Indian radio, local news on the left, TV playing in the kitchen, and an Ali Farke Toure album on the floor beneath.

  ← "Satellite Feed"... like tapping in directly from a spacesuit on an EVA mission!

  As an amateur radio operator, this is music to my ears...

  I dont know what it is about this one... but it's very, very cool

  ← Discotheque in the Basement. I actually have an old tape here where I recorded similar AM/FM radio noise back when I was a teen. How cool to be able to go back there with this great new noise. You amaze me over and over again.

  Three days since the Bomb. I rigged-up an old ham radio, I am still trying to in touch with other survivors.

Current Slider Settings

Save in URL
Save as Cookie > Load
Clone as Minified Player
Order as an Audio file    

Presets

African Wave • Indian Tuning • Middle East Modulation • Russian Connection • Number Station • Crosstalk • The Party Upstairs Surprise Me

Brown  •  Pink  •  White  •  Grey
60Hz125Hz250Hz500Hz1000Hz2000Hz4000Hz8000Hz

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Animation Control

Start A B C

Personal

Calibrate First  > Your Hearing Curve

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Usage

Each slider controls a particular audio stream. Adjust sliders to taste and mood.

The Animate! button turns the soundscape into an slowly evolving texture. Use this feature if you intend to listen to the generator over a long period of time!