This blog keeps me connected with all of you, supporting the myNoise project. The website truly runs thanks to your contributions. You all are incredible! I'll be happy to share some "behind the scenes" stories here, and more pictures there. Just keep in mind that English is not my native language, and will probably be the thing that really sounds bad on this site ;-) Stephane
Nov 18th • I am so busy creating fresh audio contents for myNoise, I forget to keep this blog updated! So, what are the recent changes and my current concerns? • First, I added a succinct help section that displays in a separate browser window when you press 'h' on your keyboard while a sound generator is playing • With the addition of the Dolphins Colony soundscape, myNoise reached the amazing number of 200 soundscapes available online today! Plus the magic generators, plus the custom generators... The offer keeps growing but will never sacrifice quality over quantity. Such hard work is rewarded by a steadily increasing traffic on the website, which served over two millions pages last month • With the traffic increasing, I monitor the hosting costs. The little infographic created in 2016 became obsolete.
Old (April 2016) v/s New (October 2019) Infographics
While in 2016 a $5 donation covered the costs of one access point for one month, the traffic quadrupled in the meantime; so that same amount will now cover one week. The good news is that donations increased too (almost doubled) - so we are covered, although there is a tendency for the traffic to increase at a higher rate than the donations. But it is OK for now. For those who are concerned about the health of the project, I came with a new page that shows the status of the donation level for the last month. You will see that everything is running smoothly at the moment • More and more I read people complaining about having to pay for the patron web access when they bought the full mobile app package (USD 9.99) - and the other way round. I updated the FAQ to explain why it is so. Offering a universal accesses - as requested - is often associated with subscription services. myNoise works with one time, lifetime purchases/donations instead: you pay for the platform of your choice, but the web version is virtually free. Don't be mad at me. Since myNoise is attractively priced, paying for all supported platforms still represents a cheaper alternative than any of the subscriptions competitors typically charge. There are legal and technical reasons for this, but the prevailing reason is financial: the money donated on the website cannot cover the costs of developing the mobile apps. So, each platform has to fund itself to exist, while the website provides substance to both itself and the project contents (the sound generators). This situation may change when the website donations increase to the point of covering the costs of a full time mobile developer. I don't think it will happen soon, but it something I am already open to, as shown here • Let me end with a big thank you to all of you who support the project! <3
June 27th • myNoise is committing to offset the carbon footprint of the traffic generated by all its users, both paid and free. Many online businesses propose that their users to pay extra to offset their own carbon footprint. When booking a flight for example, you might be suggested to compensate for your flight's footprint. It remains your own responsibility, and the company won't do it for you. myNoise works differently: it will compensate for its entire website footprint, no matter if its users are following or not. But if you do, I appreciate it of course! Become a patron of this website, either by visiting the donation page or using the drop down menu below. myNoise planted 6,000 trees in 2019, for a total budget of USD 1,700. Read more about it.
March 19th • Amazon's Alexa - the personal assistant that launched with the Amazon Echo smart speaker - completely dominates the US market at the moment, for smart speakers. As a result, many users from the US have requested to make myNoise accessible from Alexa. The website already keeps me so busy - and that includes adding new sonic contents regularly - that I couldn't imagine finding the time to take care of yet another platform. The frustrating experience with the Google Play Android app - still going on - explains that feeling. But, when I was kindly offered help by BotTalk - a small German startup that specializes itself in creating voice interfaces - I couldn't refuse. It was clear they knew what they were talking about. I then met BotTalk's founder Andrey Esaulov in Cologne last year, and we got along well. Couple of months later, the results of our encounter is now available as the myNoise skill for the Amazon assistant. Only available for English countries at the moment; localization will follow later. If you are in the US, UK, AUS or India, please have a try on your Amazon assistant : Alexa, open myNoise. The skill comes with five ever evolving soundscape at the moment. More will come if the it proves to be successful. Help us getting popular by leaving a positive review on the myNoise's Alexa Skill page. Thank you!
Feb 6th • Due to the lack of participants - less than a dozen people in total - the I Love You project has been cancelled, at least for Valentine's day this year. As promised, I picked up the participant who sent the largest number of contributions, and this was Aline, from France. Your recorder and custom binaural microphones are on their way to you!
Nov 19th • Time for a little update. While new generators have been published on a regular basis, I've been working on some other issues. All user settings appearing in each noise generator's testimonial section, have been normalized. It means that you can now load everyone's settings by clicking their associated hearts, without fearing of drastic sound level changes. All user settings should now play back at the same level settings as the regular myNoise presets. Then, I've booked two new sampling sessions for spring 2019. One in Madeira - Portugal - to record coastal sounds, dolphins and whales! And one in Finland, to keep recording unspoiled nature sounds, plus... a surprise (thanks to a myNoise fan living in Finland). These sampling sessions are only possible thanks to the patrons supporting this website. Without their help, I wouldn't be able to offer original contents. At last, I've just released a major new feature on the site today : custom generators! That feature is answering a huge user demand. These generators allow you to pick any stem on myNoise, collect ten of these, and render your own composite generator. You can even give your custom generator a title, share it with others even if they are not patrons of this website, and publish it on myNoise itself. This new feature will become a favorite the RPG community, always looking for sounds that perfectly fit their storyboards. And at last, please make sure to read the post below. So far, I only received three contributions :(
Oct 12th • What about an 'I Love You' themed generator for next Valentine's day? A sound generator where you could feel the love from all around the world, with lots of people saying ILYs to you. We are aiming at covering the widest variety of voice colors, intonations and accents. Let's join our forces and create THE Walla of Love! Help me collecting sound recordings for that project. Details are available here. Thanks! <3
July 13th • I will be performing at O.Z.O.R.A. this summer - the famous psy-trance gathering taking place in Hungary every year. Join me at their brand new Ambyss stage for a sound journey. I will be performing twice, on Wednesday August 1st and Thrursday 2nd, 6PM. If you're a fan of myNoise and interested in a free beer, please drop an email to me so that we can meet there ;-) Cheers!
June 22nd • The myNoise YouTube channel is slowly growing, with almost 5k subscribers now. I just finished a trailer for the channel, with the kind help of Mike Paul a fan of myNoise and voice-over talent.
Please subscribe to myNoise on YouTube if you like it, as I will publish audio there that may not always be available on the website. Don't worry, I do not intend to shift the myNoise presence from the website to YouTube, but simply try to reach a wider audience, as the website has experienced stagnation over two years now (sad but true). Plus, YouTube allows to publish audio that can't fit into the 10 colored sliders concept. For example, I can publish longer chunks of audio recorded during my sampling sessions on youTube, than what my sliders can reasonably accommodate. Though the website still remains and will remain my priority, I'd love to see you on YouTube as well ;-) Enjoy!
March 23 • I am currently uploading all the myNoise audio albums, to YouTube. It will take a couple of days, if not weeks. I will probably create specific contents for YouTube as well, once I have a sufficient follower base there. If you like that idea, please subscribe to the myNoise YouTube Channel. I will be posting sounds mostly - myNoise sounds playing on top of a static image, that is - not videos. They might be boring to *see* but you are not supposed to look at my sounds anyway ;-) The static image trick helps keeping a lower bandwith, which translates into a better sound quality as the whole bandwidth will be dedicated to the sound, not the moving images. To get verified by YouTube, I need at least 1000 followers. If you have a YouTube account and you are a fan of myNoise, please help me by subscribing. Thanks!
Jan 15th • Happy New Year to all of you! Today, I am introducing a new feature that took long to implement as I had to wait browsers to all migrate to the modern Web Audio API. The feature is called Tape Speed Control and is available to all my Patrons, under the Preset list of every sound generator. Tape Speed Control changes the speed of the recording like an old tape recorder, and as it does so, also changes the pitch of the recording. The slower you go, the lower it gets, and vice versa. Practically, on tonal sounds, this new feature allows to transpose the sound to a different root key. Musicians will appreciate! On the other noises, such as natural noises, you can use that feature to create variations that aren't possible just by tweaking the sliders. For non-tonal sounds, there is even a Shuffle! option, where tape speeds are set differently for each slider, randomly. In practise, it changes the tone of the recording, as if you were listening to a new recording. Take Japanese Garden, for example. Each time you hit Shuffle!, the chimes will play a different tone, cicadas will change their pitch, birds will sing differently, and the brook will run slower or faster. It creates the illusion that time has elapsed, and that the environment changed. Have a try! (And become a patron if you aren't yet).
Dec. 6th • A new sampling session has been booked! It will take place at the end of April next year, in Sweden, in a quiet Natura 2000-designated area. The spot is rich in forest and wetland wildlife. There, I will likely be able to record a recurring request of yours: loon calls. If you are looking forward to these recordings, please help me fund the sampling session with a donation today. Total expenses will be around EUR 1200 (USD 1400) for 5 days ($250 for the flight, $200 for a rental car, and $950 for the lodging, food, and assistance of a professional naturalist that will help me find the best recording spots). Thanks for your kind support.
Sept 28th • Time for a little update...
Many people listen to music streaming services nowadays, and this, through an ever growing range of 'connected' devices, including a brand new trend: home assistants (e.g. the Amazon Echo). Providing myNoise sounds on all these devices, would be a nightmare for me; many different technologies I have no idea how to address, combined with the lack of time to investigate, and lack of budget to outsource the development. Now, if I could provide myNoise sounds as part of these streaming services' catalog, that would address the issue of making myNoise contents accessible from many devices I do not support at the moment. And that is possible. This is the reason why I've been working on producing audio albums, and released them on Spotify • iTunes Music • Deezer and Rdio. If you already a subscriber to one of these services – and it's likely you already are – listening to myNoise there will come at no additional cost, while saving bandwidth on my server. Plus, it will support my work since I will get paid when you listen to these tracks. Most services allows you to download songs, and make them accessible offline. Or, you can purchase the complete albums if you prefer. They are available on iTunes • Amazon
• Google Play (and more). To find these sounds in your favourite store, search for the artist named... myNoise.
A new 'Speech Blocking' preset has been added next to the list of spectral colors available on calibrated generators, such as white, pink and brown. I've found that none of these classic colors was optimized to block speech, the typical open-office scenario that interests many of myNoise visitors. The optimal color in such a case, is the one that corresponds to the average spectrum produced by a group of a dozen people, chatting about 5 meters away from you. That spectrum I have measured, and made it available under the 'Speech Blocking' preset. At same perceptual level, it outperforms all other presets. I was amazed to realise how much difference it makes, and now wonder why I didn't add that preset sooner. Have a try. Select one of the calibrated noises first – such as White Rain – click 'Speech Blocker' under the Preset section, then increase the slider levels until you can't hear your colleagues chatting around you anymore. Magic.
Recurring donations. At last, from time to time, people ask me if I could set up a Patreon account, or accept monthly donations. I finally added that option, via PayPal. Now you can contribute with a fiver every month, and stop anytime via your PayPal console. That option is available under the calendar icon on the donation page. Thank you for helping me to keep myNoise alive!
July 11th • This blog entry is intended to a marginal fraction of myNoise users, but I have no idea how to reach them other than reaching the global community. Lately, I've been aware of an increasing number of abuse, especially on youTube. Let me write it again: myNoise sounds are for PERSONAL/PRIVATE use only unless you have received my permission. This is clearly stated on the website. I've been too kind so far, by personally contacting the offenders and asking them to stop. Some of them have used my polite asking, to cover their bases and making it more difficult to me to assert my rights. So, from now on, there will be no warnings anymore; people will be cought in the act, by the legal means to my possession. It is my deepest regret to play that sort of game, and to devote precious donation money to legal issues. But at this stage of the myNoise project, I realise that I can't keep adding sounds, pay for the development costs, travels, sampling sessions, musicians, singers, and have my sounds harvested by other sites as soon as they are released. I would like to thank all my patrons for their understanding, even if their support is used for other (important) issues, than adding new sounds.
PS. To make it clear, I am very fine with 'Fair Use' of my sounds, especially when used by creative minds. If you feel concerned about this blog entry because you posted some videos online with myNoise playing in the background, ask yourself if you deliberately used myNoise sounds to add value to your video (e.g. a 'sleep' video made of one single static image and a myNoise soundtrack) or simply because myNoise was playing in the background live in your room, when you recorded the video (vlog entry). Technically, both videos have myNoise sounds playing in the audio track, but one is abuse, not the other.
June 26th • When I developed myNoise, people kept asking me for a purring cat. Unfortunately, the audio engine on myNoise was not designed to play that sort of sound. But the requests kept coming! At one point, I realized that I was spending more time answering emails explaining why "a cat purr" wouldn't work than it would take for me to design one! This is how the cat purr generator on myNoise came to exist. Though successful – over 1M views – I have never have been particularly proud of that sound, and I can hear the many shortcomings coming from the inadequacy of the myNoise audio engine. Sooner or later, I had to come with a better purr generator. Time has come. It is now available at Purrli.com. Internet finally got a cat! :D
May 29th • A portable recorder has been sent to Oli - a myNoise fan and marine engineer - who started a contract on an oil tanker, and is now leaving solid ground for a couple of months. He got the idea of recording all the noises around the main and auxilary engines, pumps... and possibly alarms, over the length of his contract. It's an exciting idea, since these will be areas one cannot easily have access to. By the way, sending equipment is only possible thanks to those users supporting this website. Thanks to those who did so far!
April 26th • Thanks for the support. I noticed a light increase in donations since my last blog entry! Today, I would like to introduce the changes that happened on the website lately. Cosmetic changes – did you notice? - and the new functionalities, such as generator suggestions on every generator page, and new (slider) animation schemes. I received a lot of feedback regarding the lack of control over the animation feature. So far, only animation speed could be modified. People kept asking me if it was possible to add minimum and maximum positions for each slider, for example. That idea was nice, but I was afraid it would clutter the sober user interface. So, I postponed the implementation of that feature until I could find a satisfactory solution. That happened three days ago. I first switched from textual to graphical buttons below the player, to save some space, then I added one more control - Animation Mode - under a button that looks like a little rotary switch. Along with the Animation Speed button, they offer control over the slider animation feature. When Animation is turned off, both Mode and Speed buttons are still active - that is, your can still change their values - but you won't hear their effect until Animation is turned on. When their effect is inaudible, Mode and Speed buttons are circled by dots instead of a plain line. If you try to modify them, Animation will turn on automatically.
Animation speed is self-explanatory : it offer a wide range, from 4x slower to 4x faster than the default speed.
Clicking the Animation Mode button will take you through 7 different algorithms.
By Default, the slider animation is constrained by a percentage of the slider height, namely 50% to 125% of its value. So, if a slider is at zero, it stays there (50% of zero, is still zero, and so is 125% of zero). This means you can easily mute sliders and force them to keep muted during animation. Non zeroed sliders will move anywhere between 0.5 (50%) and 1.25x (125%) from their value set before animation started. That is the default mode. The two next modes are Subtle and Deep that works exactly the same, but with different ranges. Subtle is 80-110% and Deep is 0-150% of the slider value. The Deep setting is what the original animation used to be be...
Next mode is Minimax. There you can set the minimum and maximum levels for the sliders. Min and Max are global values. You cannot set individual values for each slider. It's a compromise that allows to keep a clean user interface. Min and Max are simply taken from the sliders positions, where min is read from the lowest slider, and max, the highest. Zeroed sliders are excluded from the set, so zeroed sliders will keep muted, and zero will not be taken as the minimum value for the other sliders.
Keep clicking the Mode button and you will arrive to the Extreme setting. That one is like a random toggle. Either a slider plays at its full initial value (100%) or muted (0%). As it closely mimics the 'Meditation Room' feature that was available for Patrons, that 'Meditation Room' features has been removed now.
Next comes the Shuffle mode. That one is really powerful and versatile. The idea is simple: during animation, each slider can take another slider's initial value. That won't work when all sliders are set to the same value before starting animation; however, if you turn one single slider to zero from there, each other slider will then have a 1/10th probability to get zero on the next animation snapshot. If two sliders are turned to zero, then, that chance increases to 20% (=2/10). Of course, you are not limited to muting sliders, any value will work and produce interesting results. To best understand how it works, start with a flat slider setting, with a couple of sliders set to different positions. Unlike the other modes, zeroed sliders are part of the equation this time, and can have their value set to other slider values. If you want to keep zeroed sliders muted, select the next animation mode, called... Shuffle, zeroed excluded.
That's it. It's simple yet complicated at the same time. And it's a huge imporvement over the original animation feature.
PS. Slider positions that serve as a reference for the animation process are grabbed when animation is turned on. So, when you switch animation modes while animation is running, the new animation mode will still refer to these reference positions grabbed earlier, not the current animated slider positions when mode has been switched.
April 19th •If you are a patron, please skip this blog entry. I am not asking for contributors to contribute more, but more people to become contributors. And you already part of my supporting users. Thank you so much! I do not understand why this is happening. Support is getting low these last weeks. The "Please support this website" banner that is supposed to show up only sporadically when funds are low, looks like a sticky now. And that is getting me a little nervous. I even de-activated the banner at the moment, because, honnestly, it depresses me. Of course, I should keep calm, as there will always be up and downs... but here is the thing: myNoise is getting popular, around the 7500th most visited website in the US now. Its number of visitors keeps increasing, and so are the costs associated with running the website. The continuous bandwidth required to run myNoise.net almost tripled over last year (see graph). It jumped from 10Mbit/s to 25Mbit/s (continuous, not peak). The associated costs with the hosting doubled (myNoise got a better pricing, as a premium client). But I am facing other issues too, like fixing a monetary reserve to defend my intellectual property rights as a growing success also means a growth of abuses around the site. Plus the costs of recording original sounds, which sometimes implies travelling abroad. Despite of the number of visitors increasing, the number of new contributing visitors has dropped. I cannot exaplain why. Maybe it is a side effect of the support banner keeping constantly lit: people do not pay attention anymore. So, please, if you regularly use this website, if you are not a contributor yet, and if you read me now, consider donating something. Unlike you may think, not many people donate. Less than half a procent. So, do not rely on others to keep the site running. With love and passion, Stéphane.
January 10th • My greatest pleasure to officially announce the release of our (long-awaited) Android myNoise App. We've rolled it out quietly before the week-end, and checked if it was solid enough to be officially announced... and it is! It is version 1 at the moment – still basic – but it will get more complex over time and future updates. Please download it, rate it, and share it!
PS. To thank our Android users for their patience, we've temporarily added the excellent 'Warp Speed' to the free bundle.
January 2nd • A Happy New Year to all of you... and a surprise for those who returned to work today: a fully featured and brand new website called Noises Online.
Noises Online is my second website/experiment that aims to offer an online noise machine that is more intuitive to use than myNoise. Unlike Calmy Leon introduced a couple of weeks ago and which excels at producing sounds that always change, Noises Online focusses on static background noises only. It relies on the sounds I've captured during my Sampling Sessions for myNoise, but uses some sources that haven't been published yet! So, if you are curious, please visit Noises Online, and if you like it, please help me to promote it, maybe with a Facebook post, or a Tweet. Thank you very much!
November 23rd • My greatest pleasure to annouce the release of a new website called Calmy Leon – the calm chameleon – at CalmyLeon.com.
For a large number of visitors, myNoise is too complex to handle at first glance: too much text, too much links and too many choices (what are all these sliders for???). Overwhelmed, they only stay a couple of seconds then leaving, not even giving a sound generator a try. On the other hand, the regular users like how myNoise is articulated: a well organized chaos. Instead of trying to change the design of myNoise, I came with the idea of introducing new websites, build around the same collection of ever-growing sounds, but with a different user interface.
Calmy Leon is the first of these websties to be released. It plays sounds that are always changing, and relies on the techology developped for the myNoise radios. It's free, but open to donations like myNoise. If you are a regular myNoise donor and have 5-stars associated with your account, you will be given a patron account on Calmy Leon as well (claim your access here). Why the 5-starred myNoise patrons only, and not all my patrons? Because Calmy Leon streams audio data from my server continuously (exactly like the myNoise radios), while regular myNoise generators load the sounds in your computer memory before playing them. Constant streaming has a cost, and is only viable with a minimum amount of support. There is no way I can offer a full Calmy Leon access for USD 5,00 a lifetime, for example. But I am happy to offer a Calmy Leon patron access to my users here, when their contribution cover the costs of a streaming access.Now, the free version of Calmy Leon will already provide the visitor with countless hours of listening pleasure, without ads, and without constantly begging you for financial contribution. So, like on myNoise, the people that are contributing, help to keep the site running for those who cannot afford a paid access (e.g. young students). And that I like.
His name is Leon, and he is very calm. Have a listen at CalmyLeon.com. If you are a 5-starred myNoise patron, claim your privileged access here. Enjoy!
October 2nd •I've been receiving messages from users, complaining about audio issues lately. These issues may affect a large number of users, including patrons :( If you are experiencing problems right now, please do not donate. Donating will not help, and will make you even more frustrated.
Unfortunately, reports I received are vague and I am unable to find any problem at my side... so, it is extremely hard to fix. Therefore, I am calling anyone experiencing problems with audio playback at the moment, to contact me (support 'at' mynoise 'dot' net) - so we can further investigate the issue and hopefully fix it in a near future.
It could be related to Safari (OSX). It seems that the sound will play fine for a couple of minutes, followed by a long break, and fades ins and outs. Some buttons like Animation and Timers may appear as disabled too.
October 2nd • Android Beta 2 released! This new beta is light on features but fixes most of the bugs found during the first beta, and we also entirely rewrote the audio engine. It's faster, more battery-efficient, and the audio files we use now are even better than before! If you are willing to help, could you give us feedback on audio quality? Pops, changes in volume... We have change a lot of things under the covers and some phones seem happier than others... More info available on Bitbucket. Make sure you visit the myNoise Beta Program on the Google Play Store (on your phone preferably) to enlist.
Sept 22nd • Long time since I posted an update here. Things are going well (almost), visitors' support is doing well, and Android is doing well. And that last one is a joke, of course. Actually, it's not going that bad, but we have no other choice than keeping postponing the Android Beta 2 release, and keep working on it, trying to make it compatible with the largest array of Android devices. Array is a polite word, it's the craziest jungle we've met. Now, we just found out that certain new devices, just don't want to play as many audio streams as needed to play our myNoise generators. As a consequence, we have to redesign our audio engine, which leads to a new delay. When will it be available? Well, no one knows. Not even me. But Santa asked us if the our Android App would be something he could put in his bag, so Florian, our developer, is doing his best to meet that deadline. • On my side, I kept adding new generators... but right now, I spend my days coding again. Not for myNoise, but a brand new website that should be ready in a couple of weeks. I am very excitied about it; it sounds amazing! ;-) There will be a walkway between that new website, and this one: if you are a 5-star myNoise patron, you will be granted a full access to the new website when it gets released! After, I will keep dedicate most of my time to myNoise again (myNoise will always remain the Mothership). The image shown on this entry is related to that new website...'nough said for the moment... More teasers to appear soon...
June 13th • My pleasure to announce the release of a major new website feature: myNoise Radio.
June 9th • Let's throw numbers today, with a topology of my current users. Non-contributing members represent the majority of my visitors. That is no surprise, though their proportion could be surprising: 99.7%. The remaining 0.3% represent my non-non-contributing visitors, the people who are helping me financially to keep the site running and growing. My first impression? Engineers are very poor marketers (a conversion rate of 0.3% is a poor performance indeed). My second impression? I am super grateful to those of you who are donating. Although you represent a tiny fraction of my visitors, you are the fraction that matters the most, for obvious reasons. And guess what? 10% of you... just keep donating! Wow! (That is 0.03% of the total number of visitors, probably the natural fraction of the people dealing with memory loss - just joking). You are the pioneers behind myNoise. Those I should really really care about. To express my deepest gratitude, I am designing a brand new killer feature for you - just for you. Still refining my current prototype at the moment, but as it starts to look nice, and to sound nice, let me share a sneak preview. Soon, live, on myNoise!
May 18th • Do you know that your donation gives you credits that can be used to order custom audio files? Just follow the links labelled 'Order as an audio file' found on every generator page — and now, on each magic generator page too! I used to work on these custom orders manually, hence the relatively high prices set to limit the demand. Now, I have invested in a dedicated computer — an Apple Mac Mini — and programmed scripts that are supposed to take care of what I did manually. As a result, I have lowered the prices for these custom orders, drastically. A 5-minute audio file won't cost you more than what you are used to pay on iTunes or Amazon, anymore. And remember, these audio files are made to order! That is a technical performance I am proud of ;-) Enjoy! PS. These audio files use my master recordings, and should sound better than what you would get by recording your computer's audio output while playing a generator. So, please support my website, instead of resampling one's generator output. Thanks!
April 30th • I just came back from a 4-day sampling session in Poland, with a lot of sounds in my bag! The theme was the 'Natural Elements', such as the Earth, Air, Water and Fire. I would like to thank Marta — a Polish myNoise fan — for organising my staying. She opted for a hostel in the middle of the woods without electricity, and that was just perfect... for me and the budget allocated for this session. She also took care of the most impressive of the elements mentioned above... fire! Marta is a fire dancer indeed. Anecdotally, she also helped finding some 'lost' audio equipement. I have the habit of hiding recorders behind me when hiking in natural landcapes such as woods in this case, and have them continuously record sounds for 24 hours. When it was time to find out what has been recorded, I couldn't remember where one of these recorders was hidden. But Marta did. It's with her help that you will soon hear a lot of new birds recordings on this site!
For those who are asking — you can't stop, can you? I am receiving a lot of emails on this topic ;-) — the Android App is (still) progressing at slow but regular pace, thanks to the help of three developers now. A beta should be available to the public before this summer.
When I came back from Poland, I was surprised to see my CDN provider - CDNSun asking me if myNoise.net could be listed among the 'Premium Users' on its website frontpage. A CDN service provides the bandwith necessary to serve files on the internet. CDNSun takes care of all the audio files for myNoise. Although I feel honoured my CDN provider is willing to highlight my website on its homepage, it also means that my site has grown to the size of a big website... and this means that my monthly bills have gown to a 'Premium User' too. As I checked how big myNoise is now, I realized it is now listed among the TOP 10,000 most visited websites in the US (according to Alexa, a Amazon.com company). Knowing it started around the 3,000,000th position, three years ago, this is quite an achievement. Time to celebrate this, with all of you who made this dream come true, by contributing to this website, and helping me to pay the bills. Without you, myNoise wouldn't have been so far, or possibly cluttered with jiggling advertisementsno that I will never do. Love you! ;-)
March 21st • I've been writing lately, more than programming sounds... A German doctor started to associate the word 'mynoise' with his own tinnitus therapy, charges for his services, and tries to capitalize on the reputation of this 'mynoise.net' website. And it all happens on 'mynoise.com' ← the difference did strike you immediately, right? I asked Dr. Uso Walter to stop confusing users with his mynoise therapy, but so far, he is ingoring my request. So, I will do it this way: I wrote a page explaining the differences between the .net and the .com website, and my philosophy behind sound healing. This page will exist for as long Dr. Uso Walter continues to use the mynoise trademark in a way that can only bring confusion to my website, the mynoise users, and his therapy. Read the full story here. Spoler alert: that page's subtitle only makes sense if you keep on reading till its last section! ;-)
Jan 5th • Happy New Year to all of you! My trip above the Arctic Polar Circle, has been a wonderful experience and a success. The previous post showed a Northern Light picture, as found on the Internet. This post shows the one that Mother Nature lit on my last evening, just before returning home. What a gift! It really felt like she wanted to thank me for living so close to her for five days, enduring the cold (-26°C) and the darkness, living in a wooden cabin without electricity, nor running water •
Mission accomplished. I came back with the sounds I was looking after, and more! A short preview is available on my SoundCloud account. It will take time before turning these recordings into soundscapes for myNoise. There is a lot of selection and edition work to perform first — I haven't started yet. My recorders were running all night long, on various locations, to maximize the chances to capture the wolves I was looking (hearing) for (yep, that was it). As a result, I have dozens of hours of audio to process. Thank you for waiting. • 2016 should be a memorable year, with the release of the long-awaited Android App. We — our mobile App dev, Florian Doyon, and I — have decided to hire extra people, to fast-track its development. Yet, I want to remind all of you that programming mobile apps was not my initial plan, when I started this website. Priority is given to this website, and adding fresh contents regularly. Mobile apps should be considered as neat bonuses, resulting from my dedication to answer my user's requests. I receive many emails asking about the status of the Android app. Believe me, I am frustrated by the time it takes, too. But there is nothing we can do other than doing our best... Hopefully, this year, our patience will be rewarded.
Nov. 16th • In one month from now, I will be chasing fresh sounds for this website. Fresh, they will be, ice cold actually. My location: the north of Finland, above the Artic Circle, during the polar night. With the help of a local women, Tinja, and her husband Alex, I will stay there for a week, living without running water nor electricity, only by candle light, and the warmth of a log fire. So do Tinja and Alex live. Sled dogs will be our means of transport in the great all-white wilderness. I will make sure to carry enough batteries to keep my recording equipement powered up during my whole stay! Tinja loves the idea of recording sounds around her place. She will be an amazing guide. The theme will be the cold, ice and snow, and what keeps you warm in those conditions. I will work on one of the most recurring user's request there too; an iconic sound that isn't featured on myNoise yet...
October 12th • Time for a few updates • myNoise celebrated its 100th generator last week, with Palm Garden, the first generator of a series recorded in Morocco earlier this spring. myNoise is throttling around a new generator a week, and that keeps me busy • If you have clicked that second orange link, you should have been taken to a photo album. From now on, I will add more visibility to the sampling sessions carried abroad. These pictures will help visitors to understand the efforts made to come up with original sound generators on this site. I thought that publishing these pictures would end up increasing my donor rate — that is the reason why I published them in first place. Unfortunately, it did just the opposite! That is the interesting thing with myNoise: nothing should be taken as granted! I am learning every day. Maybe these beautiful pictures give the impression that myNoise is a wealthy business, and doesn't need any contribution anymore (?) Anyway... Here is the link to all photo albums • As I am referring to sampling sessions, I am planing one special at the end of this year. I will work on one of most recurring user requests. I will announce it soon, probably through a banner on the main index page. I am excited about it, and will have to prepare myself to withstand the cold.. Yep this is a hint • The Android App is now available as a (very early) beta on the Google Play store. It tests the robustness of our audio engine through the myriad of different Android devices. You can enroll to our beta program with a Google account here. That first beta should put you at ease regarding the future availability of an Android App. It can take a couple of months from here, before being completed though • We are also working on a myNoise iOS App update — version 2.1 — that will add some more functions, and correct bugs. We need to test it on the newer iPhones first, but no release date for the 6s is announced yet in Belgium...
July 23th • It isn't much visible: from any noise generator page, there is a link that can be used to order a custom audio file; an mp3 derived from the particular sliders settings that are currently playing. I do charge for this service to bring some funding to the site, but also because these files require valuable resources to produce, and I have to find a way to limit the demand. Not offering these files for free, is very efficient at limiting the demand! ;-) Orders are processed on the computer I am working with. With an order such as the one-hour animated file, my computer's CPU hits almost 100% for about twenty minutes! Obviously, I can't start produce those files all day long. Or maybe in winter time, when I need to heat my office.
Today, I introduced some interesting changes to this service.
The first change, relates to the prices of those audio files. Shorter files are way cheaper now, and the longer one — especially the animated versions — more expensive. Yet, the cheaper prices are still more expensive than the audio you are used to download online. Remember, these are custom files, generated from your own settings. Downloading pre-rendered myNoise tracks at cheaper price, is possible too. If you want to do so, have a look at an artist called 'myNoise' on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play or Spotify.
Then, the other change, is that you have to be a patron to order these custom audio files now. And there is a reason why: your donation is now used as a credit to order mp3s. In order words, you receive audio files for free, up to the same amount as your donation. So, there are chances that won't have to pay anything to order a custom file. Those who didn't donate in the past, but only purchased audio files, will now benefit of a lifetime membership to this website. I think bot patrons and non-patrons should be happy with this new scheme.
And if everyone is happy, I will be happy too.
July 14th • Today, a new project of mine has been just released! A project that took almost one year to complete. I am exhausted, but happy — it just feels like when I released myNoise.net two years ago. I am a bit nervous too. Releasing a website that plays audio in a non-conventional way is not guaranteed to work seamlessly in every browser, and every platform.
The website is called Rain.today and aims at generating naturally sounding rain noises, but in a different way than myNoise, and any other rain noise generator available online! myNoise excels in the way it shapes the spectrum according to your exact taste — i.e. the ten color coded sliders. Rain.today takes the lead when it comes to make the sound evolve over time, in unpredictable ways. Its main use is as a noise blocker, but you can use it for meditation, anxiety relief or sleep too. Both sites — myNoise and Rain.today — are complementary, and shouldn't compete with each other. When developing a new generator for myNoise, sometimes I feel frustrated by the constraints imposed by its custom sound engine. Rain.today shows what can be achieved, when both the sound engine and the sounds themselves, are optimized towards a particular use. Unfortunately, working on both engine and sounds takes a lot more time to complete, than just adding a new generator on myNoise.
Like myNoise, Rain.today is entirely free, and offers a clean user interface, without ads. Enjoy!
June 15th • Time for an update! Thanks to users helping, fabulous sounds have been added to the site lately. I am thinking about Alexandre Bartos with the Prehistory soundscape, and Pascal Pirotte with The Sound of Paragliding (just released today). But there are other users who occasionally contribute to this website, by sharing interesting recordings with me. These sound sources are dormant on my hard drive, until one day, the right soundscape comes into life. This is what happened with Mike Paul and his lovely chicken peeps on the What The Farm generator.
Version 2 of the myNoise iOS App is finally out! What a relief. Credits to @NSMustache for the hard work! Version 2 adds the super-generators and two of myNoise's best soundscapes build-in : Spring Walk and Temple Bells - if you have updated the app without performing a complete re-install, these two generators will be available from the download tab (for free). Furthermore, v2 adds a search function, fixes a lot of bugs, and adds brand new ones! Hopefully, crashes are now reported back to us, which means that we will now be able to build rock stable app in the course the upcoming weeks. Last but not least, battery life has been much improved. A Google Play App (Android) is on the starting blocks, with a release planned for later this year.
Regarding the website, the newest generators are still all unlocked, and will keep unlocked from now on. I got used to it, users too, and the website looks so much friendlier now. Visitors donations are decreasing: that was foreseen, now that all new generators are unlocked. I decided to keep it easy. I don't want to get anxious about it: support is still sufficient to keep the website running, and to add new generators on a regular basis. Just the extra-ordinary sampling sessions - those who need a budget - will be paused for a while.
Don't forget to promote the website around you. Increasing the number of website users is the best way to compensate for the marginal donation rate (less than 0.1% over last week-end). With love, Stéphane.
May 11th • Today, I received a very kind email from Terri Reid, the author of fantasy novels. I enjoyed reading her mail, and so you will. Quoted with her permission.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for wonderful auditory adventures you provide through myNoise. I initially found your site when I adopted two slightly feral kittens. One of them did not trust humans at all, and was frightened by every noise and movement. I found your Cat Purr and had it play through my computer, it was amazing to see the difference. He was calmer and slowly came around.
I am an author of paranormal and fantasy novels and I often use your site for background noise in order to block away the rest of the world, but also enhance the atmosphere where I am creating.
I have gratefully donated to your site – but I never took the time to thank you. However, something happened last night that has prompted me to mend the error of my ways.
We live on five acres of land in a rural setting. We have a variety of nocturnal wildlife – owls, coyotes, raccoons – all around our land, all potential predators of kittens. Yesterday we had company over and Boo, our feral kitten, who is only about eight months old, was accidentally let out of the house. I didn’t discover his disappearance until late at night. We had had thunderstorms come through the area and some of the company also brought their dog – who is not as polite as he should be - so I knew that poor Boo was probably terrified.
My adult son and I searched and spied the reflection of Boo’s eyes near one of our outbuildings. Unfortunately, when my son approached, Boo took off, horrified. My son tried to catch him, but it only further frightened the poor kitten.
I sent my son inside while I searched all over the five acres. Finally, I located him hiding in a large pile of tree trunks in the corner of the property. He was deep inside the eight-foot deep pile and even bribing him with his favorite treat didn’t work. Then I realized I had my phone in my pocket and the mynoise app on it. I opened the app and clicked on the Cat Purr sound. Within fifteen minutes, Boo was in my arms and safely traveling back to the house.
I know that if it hadn’t been for the calming cat purr, I would have either spent a lot more time sitting on damp ground in the dark of the night, or Boo would have run even further away and encountered a horrible fate. Thank you for creating sounds that “soothe the savage beast.”
With much gratitude,
April 27th •Today, I decided to run a little experiment, and turned all the individual generators to public access for a while.Viability on the Internet is related to visibility, and visibility greatly depends on users sharing the resource around. I was actually shooting myself in the foot every week, by releasing new generators that were locked for 99.99% of my visitors. I was missing a recurring opportunity to gain a larger audience, or even go viral. From now on, people will be able to share the new generators, as they come out. Offering a public access to all the generators will probably lower the donation rate, but boost myNoise popularity. At the end, one will compensate for the other. I hope so. That's what the experience is about. So, please be part of it, help me to make myNoise more popular, share your enthusiasm (and site links) with everyone around you! And donate a little something, if you haven't yet ;-)
I came back from the Sahara two weeks ago, with new sounds in my bag. It will take a while until they will turn into generators though. Sand ruined some of my equipment, but it was worth it! I've been hiking through fantastic mineral landscapes and slept under the stars. Desert was dead silent at night - something I didn't expect - but when wind blows, every single object starts to sing wonderfully! I'd like to thank Youssef - the guide - and Larsen - the camel driver for sharing their great Berber spirit with me, and the camels for carrying the tents, water and food for many days. And last but not least, thanks to all of you who support this site, and help me funding sampling sessions like this one. Next one will be in two weeks, around Mareille, France. I am invited to spend a couple of days with a fan of this site, owning and playing a wide range of unusual music instruments!
April 3rd • Briefly... myNoise turned three, and entered the US TOP 10,000 according to the Alexa ranking. That was a nice birthday present! • myNoise's iOS App Ve2 is entering its final stage of development. In a couple of weeks, you will understand why you had to wait so long! • The development of the Android App has just started. The plan is to offer an app that is close to the current iOS App (ve1) in terms of functionality • Don't expect any new generator over the next weeks. I will be collecting new source material instead of programming new noises. My next sampling trip will be dedicated desert landscape sounds, in the south of Morocco. I would like to thank all the people whose contributions made that trip possible! ♥
March, 17th • Time for a little update! • First, I have no idea what happened over the week-end, but the daily support meter jumped to five stars, and seems to stick there! Wow! Thank you! • Next, I am happy to report the new "bandwidth-efficient" scheme introduced last month makes a real difference (see previous blog entry). This, combined with the increased financial support, got me to think about offering a fast speed CDN access for everyone! Let us thank the supporting visitors, who do not only compensate for their own footprint, but the footprint of others as well! I will be testing various CDN providers over the next days. You may encounter speed ups, or slow downs as I am experimenting things with them. Soon though, it should end up with an increased speed for everyone! Patrons will still have access to a dedicated "Patrons Only" server, if the main site ever becomes clogged. • Regarding the iOS App, we (=@NSMustache+me) are right in the middle of the development of Version 2, which will be a major update. The release gets delayed, as it requires more work than initially planned. However, believe me, it is worth the waiting! • People keep requesting an App for the Android market. Developing apps for Android is though, and not really exciting. There are so many phone models. What works on some of them, crashes on others. This is not easy to tackle. Even a small fraction of the users complaining, on the Android market, means hundreds of complains. Let me tell you frankly: Android is a risky release, that may consume a lot of resource, and give the site a bad reputation. Basically, I don't want to enter that territory. But the demand is strong. I am trying to compromise. If an Android version ever get released, don't expect it to be as complex as the iOS version. We will restrict ourselves to a basic functionality, trying to be compatible with the widest range of Android devices. • Two new sampling sessions have been planned for this spring: Desert Landcapes will be the theme of the first one (hiking in the Sahara, sleeping under the stars). Then, I have been invited to spend a couple days with a fan of this site, a musician who owns and plays a wide range of ethnic instruments, in the south of France. He gave me the permission to record his private collection. More about him in a future post! • As you see, myNoise is moving full speed ahead, thanks to the help of everyone! Have I ever told you how great your are? ;-)
Feb, 13th • I have been working on a new scheme to preserve bandwidth on my server side. The strategy I will now describe only applies to non-contributing visitors, that is to say, the vast majority of the users, namely 99.8% ;-)
Instead of blocking the use of multiple simultaneous generators as I did before (which didn't make much sense I admit), I am now working with short preview files (15-second audio that loops). When a user switches between different generators faster than one generator every 30s, loading the full engine for such a short period of use doesn't make sense. The generator then automatically falls back into 'Preview' mode, using the short audio file instead. This new behaviour should have a positive impact on the overall bandwidth strain on the servers I use. A full generator requires 5-10MB of data to load, while the preview mode only requires 250kB, typically.
Now, if the generator loads in preview mode - but you did want to access the full generator - just wait a moment (likely 15 seconds or so) then reload the page. I hope you all will be able to accept such little annoyance.
I think this new scheme makes sense, and I will now monitor its effect in the upcoming days. If it significantly impacts bandwidth in a good way, I may consider migrating the whole site as a CDN access, sooner than envisaged. Cheers!
PS. As an outcome of this new scheme, there is a preview now running on all locked generators! Enjoy!
Feb, 7 - ... • User's wish list, in its current state...
• Pond with Frogs
• Dungeon RPG
• Islamic Pray Call - Fajr, Maghrib
• Birds / Woodpecker / Bellbird
• Forest Walk
• Orchestra Tuning
• Hospital / MRT Scan
• Server/Computer Room - Data Center
• Factory Noise
• Night, crickets
• Vacuum cleaner / Broom sweeping stairs / Cleaning
• Pseudo Tomatis
• Tavern RPG (Boisterous guests
- Cooking fire
- Sounds of wooden tables chairs drinks being moved.
- Hushed conversations
• Star Trek Entreprise
• Laundrymat - Washer, Dryer
• Soda Fizz
• Sonification Actual Space Data
• Elements - Sand, Stones, Pebbles
• Super-Shepard tone
• Pen on paper, writing
• Sailing Boats
• Number Radios
• Bowling Alley / Pool
• Night-time / Owls / Light wind and rain
• Coffee Shop
• Temperate Forest
• Coffee Shop
• Gregorian Chant
• Sewing Machine
• Office noise
• Fish tank
• Typing noise
• Mechanical keyboard presses
• Thunder (only)
• Stronger Winds
• Dr. Who
• Busy Road (w/ horns)
• Dovecot (soft pigeons murmur)
• Sunn 0)) Black One
• God Is an Astronaut (Dark Rift)
• Refrigerator / Ice Machine
• Air Duct
• Hot air balloon trip
• Science Lab (Jacobs ladder, computer hard drives and beeping, bubbling beakers, high voltage arcs etc.)
• Volcano (Rumbling, bubbling lava, hissing steam, dinosaurs stomping, earthquake, rocks... )
• Car (from passagner's perspective)
• Steam Engines (boat, pumps, ...)
• Steamboat on the Mississippi (steam whistle, bells, waterwheel turning, engine noise, river noises)
• Hypnosis (affirmations)
• Medieval village (wooden mill sound, sheeps, distant dogs barking, chatter in the market, a cart wheeling by, a distance blacksmith)
• Enchanted Forest
• Octave test tones (ENT)
• Exam session room
• Lake at dawn
• Camping at night / open window
• Japanese garden (Shishi-odoshi)
• Public transportation
• Stuck in traffic
• Public bath (reverb, splashes...)
• Kids playing (schoolyard)
• Streets of NY / London / Paris / Tokyo ...
• Cinema sounds... without the movie (pop-corn, etc).
• Distant city sounds (at night)
• Car interior in the rain
• Gaz / Flame
• Ticker Tape Machine
• Bathroom Shower
• Strange sounds (from Hell)
• Volcano (rumbling, bubbling, hissing)
• Rain on a tin roof
• Pousseur (Gambi)
• Cooking / Kitchen (dishwasher, fridge...)
• Library (pages turning, etc)
• Ski slopes, lift
• Construction work
• Calm wind + wind chime (garden style)
• chickens (little ones and adults)
• Clothes dryer
• Tombstone days (saloon / 1880)
• Beeps and Bleeps
• Love You ASMR
• Driving (highway/freeway)
• Horse Riding
• Amusement Park
• Loon Call
• Natural binaural beats (e.g. singing bowls)
• Night / Owls
• Car interior in the rain
• Car interior (sound of trees and cars flying past, ...)
• Breakfast (sizzling)
• High-Speed Train
• Marble Runs
• Vocoder Sounds
• Gongs (only)
• Night time (foxes yapping, whippoorwills, owls, the symphony of bugs...)
• ASMR Wishlist
• Real brown noise for fun (toilet)
• Sonar pings and returns
• Ici, Londres.
• Cochlear Implant
• Lounge/Bar (chatter, bartender, ice in glasses, pouring drinks, people walking, ...)
• Tropical island beach hammock
• In a cradle
• Go / Chessboard
• Old '80s games (PacMan) / Luna Park
• Blacksmiths working
• Guinea pigs / rabbits
• Breathing / Presence
• Car Wash
• Pandora world (alien growls, dinosaurs...)
• Heavy steel work (industrial)
• Rain on a lake
• Old movie in a "Living Room from the past"
• Digital noises /artifacts
• Whispers (many different, all in one)
• Steel Guitar (like this)
• Epic Ambient (like this)
• Sushing / Mother humming
• Singing Glasses
• Computer Tower
• Proteus-like soundtrack (like this)
• Old World cartographer's study (sounds of large pages/pieces of paper being turned, quills scratching on paper, soft footsteps)
• Thunderbold 1003 Air Raid Siren
• Machine Thinks-like soundtrack (like this)
• Early 20th Century Main Street (early automobiles w/ ooga horns, horse & carriage, cobblestone/plank board walking sounds, townfolk chatter)
• Gold Rush Town (Horses clopping, blacksmith, miner chatter, saloons, whistling wind, distant gunfire)
• Titanic (smoking room: hushed voices, occasional laughter, book pages turning, cards being played, a bartender dropping ice into a whiskey glass, a crackling fireplace...)
• Sprinklers (gardening)
• Matches ignition domino
• Shooting Range
• Hair Salon
• Harbour at night (e.g. Boston)
• Grocery / Supermarket
• Room tones
• Paper folding, cutting, ...
• Prime numbers
• RPG Sci-Fi
• Motivational warrior (like this and this)
• From A Distant Intelligence (Prime numbers)
• Sport Drills (Soccer, ...)
• Pyramids (making of : grunts workers, big blocks, ropes, devices...)
• Market Place
• Luna Park / Circus / Fair
• Crunchy slime
• Various languages (priming children)
• Stephen King Beat (like this)
• RPG-like Open-Market place
• Game-like soundtrack/fx (e.g. Starcraft)
• Fruit picking
• Aum ( this explains the sounds)
• Positive affirmations (examples)
Everything is kept in mind, but only implemented when I am amble to find/record convincing source material, and if the end result sounds convincing.
January 7th • For this year's first blog entry, let me NOT wish you a Happy New Year! Happiness is often a state of mind. If you don't want to be happy, my wishes won't change anything. And if you want to be happy, you won't need my wishes: you already have the key to succeed! ;-)
Let's fill halved glasses of champagne all together, raise them in a toast, and cheerfully say : half-full is exactly the same as half-empty, but tastes so much better, indeed! Cheers!
There will be some great changes in 2015. I received my notice at the Belgian Defence. The research project I've been working on, is now over, and there won't be a next one this time. This is great news : remember the half-filled glass. Actually, it's really a good news! ;-) Soon, I will have plenty of time to develop new generators and think about making this site even better. And have more time to travel and record new sounds. If your generosity keeps growing, I may even not need to find another job. So, my future belongs to you, dear myNoise visitor ;-) Think about donating something, once a year. USD 5 is really great. If everyone is playing fair like this, I would only need to care about the noise generators, not the money. Being trained to see glasses half-full at this point helps... because - when it comes to donations - it's not even about half... but half... of the half... of a procent (seriously).
Let me tell you from the heart : keeping designing sounds for this website, without having to rely on another job, would be my dream come true. I do think that sound can help people in the many little worries of their daily life, in a very simple and humble way. Although the Internet is full of sounds, people keep telling me that myNoise is different. I guess it is the passion, but also the deep understanding of sound processing behind each generator that makes the difference. And... the myNoise user community! Without your help, myNoise would have just remained like it was, when it started two years ago, with just a couple of generators.
I will be pleased to keep working for you, this year again, full time if I could wish something to myself. <3
PS1. After reading this entry, Frank Hell pointed me out that the glass is always 100% filled. It just depends on what substance you regard to!
PS2. The picture above was taken during the Slovenian water sampling session, last year. For you, blog readers and contributors, here is a link to a generator that hasn't been released yet. It is one of my favorites so far. This generator is still in progress; minor changes may still occur before it appears on the index page.
November 21st • There has been a lot of minor (but neat) cosmetic changes to the website lately: the parallax scrolling, the testimonials carrousel on the index page, and the little blog and news icons that now turn orange when you have unread items...
November 7th, 2014 • Back from Ireland for a week now! Due to bad weather, I could not embark on the sea as early as planned, but had to wait until the conditions cleared up: the swell was higher than 2 meters, and my skipper would not let us go on his 9 meter long embarkation. Hopefully, I could afford to stay up to four days on the location, in the hope that the weather would improve. In the meantime, I explored the coastal line, and made many useful recordings. But, on the evening of the second day, I received the "now or never" call and we embarked the next morning, in the early hours. What an experience! Before leaving the harbour, my skipper explained how to activate the SOS radio signal and transmit our GPS position if anything would happen to him. It was just a safety procedure, but what a mood-setter ;-) The sea was rough, indeed. Wind, water and rain in our faces, big bumps... and seasickness as soon as the motors where shut down to perform the underwater recordings. But this paid back, although I didn't realize it aboard: we have recorded some fin whales signals! Fin whales where indeed spotted two weeks before my arrival, but we couldn't see them. Because of the storm, spotting activity was stopped for a while, and my skipper had no clue where to look for whales. Also, the high swell made it difficult to spot them visually. The whales signals were totally inaudible during the recording - they are very low in frequencies, almost out of our hearing range - and were totally masked by all the sounds of the waves around our boat. So, you can imagine my surprise when I came back home and discovered signals I didn't hear. Low frequency sounds, in the water, can travel over very large distances. The whale I recorded, was probably a few kilometers away from our embarkation.
So, I can say this trip was a success! I would like to thank all of you who have contributed to this website, again. Without your help, I wouldn't have been able to do this. Now, let's share a first soundscape with all of you, taken from this Irish coast sampling session. Let's embark together! En Route!
Novermber 3, 2014 • Last August, I got interviewed by re=form's chief editor.
Sarah C. Rich: Can you tell me first a little bit about yourself? I read your bio but would love to hear a bit more about how you got interested in sound and how you connected or focused your academic studies around sound.
Stéphane Pigeon: I learned to play classic piano when I was a kid. As a teenager, I became fascinated by synthesizers, which are capable of creating their own, unique sounds. Musicians can modulate the sound of their acoustic instrument, by varying their playing techniques, but only in a constrained sound space: an acoustic piano will always sound like an acoustic piano. Musicians are bound by the sound crafted by their instrument's manufacturer, and by the long history behind their instrument. If they want another sound, they have to learn to play another instrument. Talented musicians do this.
Synthesizers give you access to numerous sounds, through a single user interface : a piano keyboard. And this was the interface I learned to play with -- what good luck! Synthesizers opened my ears to new sonic worlds. Despite my 10 years of piano education, I was not particularly talented. With synthesizers, I could design both sounds and music. And little by little, I naturally compensated for my lack of playing skills, by programming complex sounds. Today, I realize I've just achieved the ultimate shift: some of my sounds are so complex that they will only need one note to create something pleasant to the ear that can last for minutes, the length of a song -- just one single note!
In parallel, my scholarly education has been oriented toward engineering. I followed in my father's footsteps. Little by little, I realized that there is a lot of mathematics hidden behind music and sounds. Not the pseudo-science thing (this could be an interview on its own) but the real nature of sounds alone, physically. Most of the time, sounds are artists' playgrounds. The engineer's mind will develop an understanding of what an artist often naturally feels. But with that understanding comes the ability to manipulate things at their core.
October 14, 2014 • Donations help to keep the site running... and more! When donations exceeds what it costs to run the website and add new generators a couple of months ahead, I feel comfortable... and can't help but spending a little of your money for a treat. A new sport car? Definitely not (donation level is not up to that level yet, and this is not the kind of treat I am after). A new musical instrument... mmmhhh... you are getting closer. A new microphone? No... A PAIR of new microphones, YES! ...and the trip that goes along ;-)
Thanks to your nice support, I have been able to buy a pair of hydrophones, i.e. microphones that can be submerged and record sounds underwater (Aquarian H2a-XLR). And for testing them, Ireland is probably one of the best spots in Europe to meet whales and dolphins. Ireland is also easily accessible from my place, without spending too much money. Being able to record whales is left to chance though. I am not even sure to be able to embark on the sea, as it will much depend on the weather. A small boat has been already booked, for private use, so I can ask to stop motors anytime, and start recording sounds quietly.
Even if hearing underwater life fails, there will be always many sounds to record around... The theme for this sampling trip will be "Coastal and Sea Life". At worst, if weather is really bad, it will turn into "Wind and Heavy Rain" with the sound of rolling waves in the background, which actually could be nice too! So, in either case, I will be happy to travel on your behalf, recording new sounds for this website!
The picture shows my typical sound recording setup, during final checkup, before packing.
October 1st, 2014 • During my last family holidays, I met Oscar. Those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook have already seen his picture, posted last summer when I was still on vacation, and just got a spot of wifi network! I have to thank my son Rémy at this point... he did find the spot... It is amazing to see how the new generation is able to sense and find those electromagnetic waves, everywhere, even in what seemed to me the most distant village one can find in France (yep, I did it on purpose). I guess it comes down to survival, just like our ancestors were able to spot sources of fresh water in the wild...
Back to Oscar. Today, you will have a chance to hear him. You will hear him grassing 'only', but he can talk too - I assure you! This will be for a future soundscape. But now, enjoy the grassy fields and his inhabitants: Oscar the Pig, Esperanza and Dune the two horses, and then a lot of Goats (hi Princesse, if you read me) and other critters... Welcome to Grazeland.
This soundscape has been recorded using my custom build microphones and is really worth listening though quality headphones.
September 26, 2014 •
From now on, shorter news - such as the release of new noise generators - will be published as short news snippets, accessible from every page by hovering your mouse across the "speech bubble", top left of the screen, right below the feather/blog icon. This means you will be able to catch up with the news very easily. This also clean up this blog which now will be used as initially conceived, that is to say, to share some 'behing of the scenes' stories with all of you.
September, 16th 2014 • It is amazing to see how people do not only enjoy cracking the code, but also proudly publish their hacks to the public AND insult the people they've just stolen their intellectual property from. I totally feel I deserve that! So, what shall I do now? Try to develop harder schemes to protect the couple of myNoise generators and features locked for patrons only? This is not what I enjoy the most... So, I will keep devoting time on developing new generators instead, to the benefit of a whole community, not designing harder locks for trying to block a few.
On the other side, I think it is a good practice and exercise for the younger generation, to look into somebody else's code, and find where it fails, if it does. This is a great way to learn things and I would encourage students to do so. Enjoying passing the head through a door that has been fraudulently opened, could be fine with me (although very debatable) - there must be a kind of reward to the hard hacking work - but man - don't leave the door open, invite the public to enter, and insult the owner! Respectable hackers - most are - will contact the website owner at that point and possibly discuss strategies to fix the weakness they have just found. This could build a long-term relationship, where the hacking skills could (should) be valued and rewarded, in a way or the other.
What my code cracker ignores, is that I have his full name and address, despite the fact he has been hiding behind a pseudonym. It would have been so easy to post it here, and have a future employer searching the internet for references, find a page that refers to my guy linked to a story where he didn't play very nice. But this is not how good people should behave. So, let me do this instead: if you ever read me, A..y K..e from Edmonton, Alberta, you now realize that I am not cheating, here is something for you: it is never too late to become a good hacker! ;-) Cheers!
November 6th, 2014 • This story is over. After reading this, that person contacted me, and apologized.
September, 13th 2014 • I told you I had evil plans in mind... here there are. First, I've been working on a new RPG (Role Playing Game) generator lately, that will be released shortly. Here it is already for you, blog readers: Evil Charm. Then, I made some evil changes in my code too! From today on, only one generator will be allowed to run at a time, unless you are a patron. With the growing success of myNoise (this is a good thing), I now have to think about strategies to save bandwidth at my server side (this is not such a good thing). Ideally, I want to migrate everyone to the new and much faster CDN servers. Unfortunately, this network has a cost and I cannot afford switching everyone there. So, I am only switching people who contributed so far, and trying to reduce the bandwidth on the main public server at the same time. Turning myNoise into a forced subscription-based service - which would allow me to migrate everyone to the CDN - is something I really don't want to do. I like allowing everyone to contribute to their will and means, or welcome people that don't want to contribute, probably for a good reason. However, as I don't want to run ads either, I have to be creative to find a viable solution. I hope non-donors will understand why they are now be restricted to one single generator at a time (this was the original idea of the website anyway, until people realised they could open many different sounds in different windows!). I hope these people will think about contributing instead of sending e-mails complaining about the new restriction ;-) Thanks for your understanding, and... support! <3
September, 10th 2014 • Will soon switch back to the design of new soundscape... I have some evil plans in the making... (you will soon understand). As you have realised, I've been working on the User Interface these last days: tooltip have been added everywhere, including around the sliders (now revealing their contents as you hover the mouse). Today, I've coded icon highlighting on the main index page: clicking an icon turns all associated sound generator links in green. And remember, there are keyboard shortcuts too: [M] for muting the sound output, [A] to animate the sliders, and so on...
September, 8th 2014 • The Super Generator Tool has been released today! You can now create your own Super Generators. And we have a brand new myNoise Subreddit group to support them too. Join us there, and share your custom settings with everyone! (and up vote for your favorite ones)
September, 4th 2014 • Back home for a week now, after spending refreshing family holidays in a working farm (see previous post). Kids were happy (even my two teenagers!) - wife was happy (there were dogs too cuddle) - and dad was happy as well (to spend some time with his new custom-made microphones). In short, everyone was happy, and you will be happy too, when you will hear the new sound samples collected for you!
Working on new generators will be for later this month though, because there are some very interesting new features coming along next... You will love them. Actually, one has been just released yesterday, a major one... the switch to a CDN network, that will make downloading times much faster!
A CDN network replicates the contents of a website in many places around the world, and automatically connects users to their closest hub. Users from the US, CA, AU and Asia will notice a difference, as they were accessing the myNoise server located in Denmark before.
Connecting to such a server has a cost... which I am ready to pay for... but only for those who contributed to this website, right now. If you are reading this, you are in the list! (the blog became public in the meanwhile). Don't hesitate to send a little message to me, if you have ever noticed some differences in downloading speeds lately. This would help me to judge if the money has been wisely spent. And don't forget to keep contributing at your will.
A CDN costs about USD 100 per 1TB data transfer, which means about 1 week of traffic for a site like myNoise. I can't complain about the website success, but I now realize that my initial idea of having users contributing to their will, may become a challenge for me. Most website owners would start thinking about putting monthly subscriptions in place. But I want to stick to my initial philosophy. Cheers!
August 11th, 2014 • Don't expect much activity around the website and new generators in the next days, I'm out on a sampling session for myNoise. The theme will be domestic animals, the big ones, those living outside in the fields. I will indeed share the life of a working sheepfold in France for a week.
To hold on until then, here is an exclusive preview of a generator soon to be published: Stardust (we are all the children of deceased stars). Enjoy!
User testimonials have been updated today. Thanks for the kind words!
August 7th, 2014 • 'myNoise' miniature microphones are out. Built by myself, for myself, to record high quality sounds 'on the go' with the Dictaphone I always have in my pocket (the Sony ICD-SX1000 nowadays)... Now available to anyone interested too, as I built a couple of pairs.
Read the full story behind these microphones here: mics.myNoise.net. Interested donors will receive a discount, or will even get them for free if they are able to record noises and sounds I couldn't have access to myself.
These are high-quality, hand-made, unique microphones, and have a cost to produce (both money, and time!). So, I can't give them away to everyone, and people who do not have basic sound recording skills. If you already have an audio recorder, and know what "manual recording level" means, you will probably pass the test though. ;)
August 6th, 2014 • Another request has been fulfilled today... Enjoy a boat ride in the brand new Fairy Pond
In my life, frogs are associated with the first present I gave to my wife. As she opened the package, its contents suddenly flew away by a frightened surprise, as she realised what it was. To her credit, this frog was wonderfully crafted, and could have been mistaken for a real one. Fortunately, it was built of solid wood. From that day, I found what kind of present really surprises my wife, and since, we have the tradition of bringing back a frog each time one of us, or both, comes back home from a distant trip abroad (this is how it started). My wife still doesn't like frogs, but we have plenty in our living room now! (see picture)
July 29th, 2014 • A final rush... before taking a break soon. New feature alert... only for donors: 'Enter the Meditation Room' (under the Random section). What it does? Well try, wait and listen. (It randomizes the sound streams while keeping the slider settings. It ends up in an animated soundscape, but different style from the Animate button. More psychedelic... a kind of audible version of the lava lamp...). Enjoy!
July 19th, 2014 • Keeping you updated with what is going on... No new generator has been added this week, although I am currently working on a couple of new ones, simultaneously. But none, has reached the quality for release yet. The most completed so far, is a soundscape that will be close to Winter Walk, but walking in a forest, in spring time (released today, on July 23rd).
A big part of my time is devoted to the building of my own microphones. I completed the binaural one, which sounds amazingly good. Have a look at Mike, my new assistant ('mike' in studio engineer jargon means 'microphone', but it is also the name of a good friend of mine). I am working on my own 'matched pair' pencil microphones too. Once completed, this will allow me to send these microphones over the world, and have users record sounds at 'myNoise' quality standards, when they ever want to contribute to this site. This will be for later this year. These would be microphones of the highest quality standards, and the deal would be (I still have to think about it): if you have recorded something that made a soundscape online, you kan keep the microphones for you (in the hope that you would still send recordings to me ;-). What do you guys think?
July 11th, 2014 • Cave Water was introduced as the first of a series. Here is the second sound generator based on our karst cave sampling session.
Among the many recordings, other watery noises could have been chosen, but there is one very special sound I am eager to share: a sound associated with a natural musical instrument, whose manufacturing began 100,000 years ago!
July 2nd, 2014 •
Some of you asked for a cheaper alternative to the custom noises that are available for sale as audio files. I've been told they are too expensive, but people forget all these orders are processed and mixed by hand. These last days, I worked on a generic noise tracks and made them available for instant download through most major online music services, as a first trial. More of these 'albums' will be produced, if this answers a demand. Have a look here.
June 24, 2014 •Didgeridrone has been just released today. It plays in the same key as the other soundscapes, and plays along very well. Have a try with the Tibetan Choir.
June 17, 2014 • New feature for donors: Animation Control. Animation can now be constrained by three slider snapshots. Defaults are Brown, Pink and White presets, but it can be assigned to any slider settings. Enjoy!
June 10, 2014 • Even when the website looks quiet, there is still a lot of work going on under the hood. Keyboard shortcuts have been implemented recently. Now, I am still keeping working on new features for donors. One will be the ability to apply your personal hearing curve to a preset. Right now, you can only 'load' your personal hearing curve, but not 'apply' it on a existing preset. It will soon be solved (but needs time and careful implementation, because of the calibration). Another thing I am actively working on, is developing my own microphones, for special recording purposes. Soon, I will have finished 'working' on Mike, and will present him to all of you. Mike will be my new assistant. I will soon post a photo, but still keep the suspense for now... ;)
May 31, 2014 • Many artists use myNoise not only to block disturbing noises while working, but sometimes to find inspiration too. Today, I received a painting - 'The Happy Sound Pigeon' - as a gift from myNoise user Trisha. I wonder where she got the inspiration from ;-)
This present means a lot to me. Donations help keeping running the website while still feeding the family, and are important to keep the project alive. But a present like this, means so much more to me. It means that myNoise is able to impact people on the emotional level. And this is the most rewarding to me.
May 28, 2014 • I've been coding instead of doing sound design. A new feature appeared: variable animation speeds. Enjoy!
May 6th, 2014 • Yet another recording made during the Slovenian water sampling session. This time, not in the underground, but in the open air.
Flowing water remains one of our visitors’ favorite sounds - don't you agree? This babbling brook has been recorded only a few meters from its source (see photo): a puddle in the middle of a calm forest, where water rises barely perceptibly to the surface from underground. It was surrounded by moss, and silence. Almost too perfect to look and sound real.
April 30, 2014 •
Another soundscape relying on our Slovenian samples... This time in the ruins of a castle: Dark World. Not for the faint of heart!
April 27, 2014 •
Every morning - when waking up - I am eager to discover the kind messages posted online. There are about four or five of them every day. So far, 1500+ of them have been sent. When reading these, it motivates me to keep myNoise different, clean, useful, free, and only rely on free willing contribution to keep it growing. I feel like being surrounded by a huge community of incredibly heartfelt people. And I feel that we - all together -can make something huge. Thank you!
The message that cheered me up, this morning: "This entire site is slowly changing my life, relieving tons of anxiety and stress and allowing me to focus when studying and writing for school. These sounds are so beautiful, I can't help but feel completely transported to a place of purity and light."
April 23, 2014 •
Our first noise generator that relies on the custom recordings performed in Slovenia earlier this month has been just released: Cave Water.
April 14, 2014 •Summer Night has been just released! This is the special noise generator I was referring to, in my March 21st entry.
April 15, 2014 • Just came back from Slovenia, with many hours of very unique water sound recordings in my pocket: both in the underground (cave) and in wide open spaces (mountain streams and waterfalls). This will take me days only to audition, and weeks to edit and categorize... Amazing new sounds generators ahead!
April 5, 2014 • Now departing to Slovenia on a field recording trip for myNoise. Will be away and offline a couple of days! Leaving Belgium in such a good mood, thanks to all the positive reviews posted on the App Store related to the new myNoise App release.
April 3, 2014 • This has been a busy day, waking up with the good news that Apple approved our myNoise App, promoting it through social networks (please help me too!) and then releasing a new generator for the main site:
Tomorrow I am packing up all my recording equipment and will take a flight to Slovenia. I will perform some natural audio recordings on the ground (in the woods and mountains) and underground too (in a well preserved cave). This will keep me busy and probably offline for a couple of days. Expect some wonderful nature/spring sounds generators ine weeks to come! Thank you for all your financial contributions that definitely helped me afford this first "custom" recording session for myNoise! You all are fantastic! Truly.
March 27, 2014 •Our App has been submitted to Apple today, for official release! And should be available for download in the next days.
It is now time to tell you a little more about the upcoming App. We've been working on it for half a year now. Releasing a dedicated App wouldn't have been possible without the help of a professional programmer, who turned out to be a regular user of this website too! He knows what noise generator are for, he uses them on a regular basis, he understands how myNoise noise generators work - I told him all the secrets - and he knows how to program mobile Apps, definitely. This ends up in a remarquable App!
Basically, the myNoise App is the equivalent of the website, but without an Internet connection required. It has been written from scratch: it is not just the website embedded in an App. This means - for example - that it consumes less power and less CPU than running the website from Mobile Safari on your mobile phone, or that sliders are more responsive. It also allows us to offer some neat features such as an alarm and a timer, variable Animation speeds, multiple calibration sets, user presets, and more. Last but not least, the App will play wirelessly, through AirPlay!
I truly wished that the App would share exactly the same philosophy as the website: be entirely free, with the possibility of supporting the ongoing work through donations. We couldn't do that, but we are not far away though. Two reasons for this: we have a professional developer that truly deserves a compensation for his brilliant work, and second, Apple strict policy does not allow to collect funds in a way that by-passes its store. Apple wants its commission, that's fair enough. The best compromise we achieved is the following one: the App will be free and budled with our three most successful noises (and free means ad-free too). This in itself offers much value already: many other apps on the App Store try to make profit out of these exact same sounds, and have no calibration yet to propose. Our goal is to offer all users a high-quality toolbox that will help them in many circumstances: white noise for noise blocking, open offices, tinnitus therapy; rain noise for noise blocking, anxiety management and meditation; and binaural beats for personal growth, mind change and sound therapy. The rest will be available as individual In-App purchases, or as an 'All You Can Eat Hear" option (see the screenshot).
March 21, 2014 • iOS App v1 will be submitted to Apple next week (still beta testing). I am working on two new generators in too... One will be amazing, definitely, and seriously fun: I will be using natural sounds to explore the very upper range of our hearing. A soundcape that young people will definitely enjoy using, in order to challenge their parents. And a soundscape that your dog or cat will possibly... hate! Kind of the equivalent of 'mosquito tone' (ask your teenager) but with sounds from mother nature only. March 27, 2014 Update: Ouch... this is harder than I initially thought... and I will need some more time to find the appropriate recordings. In the meanwhile, the other generator I was referring too - Aural Scan - has been released.
March 13, 2014 •
Full speed ahead with the release of the iOS App. Our beta app has passed Apple's validation test. So, next update - that will coincide with the official release - shouldn't have trouble making it through once again. This is a great news and... great relief ;-) The upcoming iOS app takes much of my energy and time, these days. There might be a little delay before a new generator appears online. Thank you for your patience!
February 20, 2014 • I have been working on a new feature, for donors only. It is still in beta stage, as I suspect that it might not be fully cross-browser compatible (your bug reports are welcome). Along with each noise, there is a new 'Clone as Minified Player' option. What it does is the following: it opens the same noise and its current settings in a separate, resized, 'minified' window. Your main browser then will stop playing, and go back to the noise index page, automatically - at least, this is what it is supposed to happen. You can use this function to launch multiple 'minfied' generators easily, and build complex composite soundscapes. Please keep in mind that such an usage may not work with all browsers or computer systems, as it is very resource-consuming. Therefore, it is only offered as a 'bonus' to donors, and is not intended to become part of the stock functions.
February 17, 2014 • I just received the authorization from the Slovenian governement to perform audio recordings in one of the world's most preserved caves, a treasure hidden in southern Slovenian woods, available to a limited number of visitors every year. It's an amazing world of obscurity, water and silence, only accessible by walk and rubber dinghy. Appointement has been taken with my guide, and a flight has been booked. Recordings will take place begining of April. I hope I will be able to reach the cave in its deepest levels, but this will depend on the weather conditions and water level. The picture has been taken during an exploratory visit in 2013. This place sounds incredible!
February 12, 2014 •
Today's recipe: open this link in a new window (right click with the mouse). 'Animate!' it. Open this other link in another new window. 'Animate!' again. Enjoy!
February 7, 2014 •
Thanks to the donations, I was able to work two days on this project this week (while still working during all my evenings too ;-). I have to come with new generators, as it offers my work the highest visibility. However, there are so many other things that still need to be done! Right now, coding keeps me busy: for example, making the website compatible with the upcoming app, requires some changes in the website structure too. The App is progressing very well, with a planned release in two months or so. Once the App will be completed, I will have much more time to devote to new generators and new recordings.
February 3, 2014 •
Some users have been impressed by the depth and quality behind my latest Singing Bowl generator. The quality of the microphones, their position and the silence in the room played equally important roles. Not to mention the quality of the bowls, which - in my case - were handmade in Patan, Nepal. Many microphones positions have been experimented, to finally retain one where each microphone stays on each side of the bowl, separated by the equivalent to the average human inter-aural distance. Doing so simulates a situation that couldn't exist in reality, like if were hearing the bowl on both its sides witch of our two ears (as if our head was hollow with the bowl located inside!) The illusion is superb, and the sound quality when played through headphones, is amazing.
February 1, 2014 •
This blog just started. I really appreciate you all stand behind this project I am so passionate about. It may turn into a full time job, one day - future will tell us - but what is already granted, is my gratitude to all of you, the pioneers who donated from the start! You made me realize that keeping working on this website - all my evening so far - makes sense. When a new generator is just released, people can only see the top of the iceberg. With this blog, you will have a chance to dive underwater, and discover what hides below the surface. As privileged members and contributors, I think you all deserve a special access in the backstage. Hope you'll enjoy! Feel heartily welcome here.