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. Keep in mind that English is not my native language, and will probably be the thing that really sounds bad on this site ;-)
14 Sep 2023 • In the realm of the Internet today, it's often hard to find a place that doesn't bombard you with advertisements or push for subscriptions. I've always envisioned myNoise to be more than just a commercial venture. I think, or at least I hope, you can feel this sentiment the moment you arrive on the website. The absence of ads, the wealth of free content, and the friendly, pay-what-you-want model are designed to reflect these values. It's a commitment to make myNoise not just a tool, but also a project that inspires building a better future.
While these might seem like grand statements, my intent isn't to be pretentious and I may not have used the right words to convey what I mean. So, let's try again. What I mean is: just because an action might seem insignificant doesn't mean it's not worth doing. We all have the responsibility to try making a positive impact. And although each step might seem small, collective action can have a ripple effect, eventually causing waves of positive change.
Part of this philosophy, myNoise has been offsetting the carbon footprint of the website traffic by 🌱 planting trees. I did this in 2019, 2020, and 2021. However, I hit a roadblock in 2022 when I discovered the sources I had been relying on for my carbon footprint calculations were inaccurate. The miscalculations led to over-compensation by a factor of 8! I had spent $5,250 for planting 18,000 trees then. This mistake, coupled with the growing awareness of how unpredictable factors like forest fires can negate the benefits of such actions, left me a bit disillusioned. The upside of the miscalculation is that myNoise should be carbon-neutral for the next several decades :) ... assuming that the forest stays intact. If the forest were to catch fire, all the stored carbon would be released back into the atmosphere, voiding the whole carbon offsetting concept :(
The break in 2022 gave me time to think and arrive at a more balanced perspective. It's 2023 now, and I've taken up the cause once more by 🌱 planting 2,000 trees in Madagascar with the help of Graine De Vie, a, organization I fully trust—especially since my brother is a volunteer there, and I have full confidence in him. And it's not just about planting trees; it's about contributing to a larger, meaningful cause. The action of planting these trees in Madagascar is multi-faceted. On one hand, it serves the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide. On the other hand, this initiative also serves the people as Graine De Vie helps provide a source of income to some of the most impoverished individuals on the planet. By paying local communities to plant and care for these trees, the initiative supports people to rise above poverty. This is something that not only benefits the environment but also enriches human lives.
What makes Graine De Vie trustworthy in my eyes is its commitment to making every euro count. The organization operates out of Belgium with a team of dedicated volunteers: no overheads, every person involved in the Belgium chapter volunteers their time and skills. This ensures that a significant amount of the funding goes directly to the cause itself: planting trees and improving lives in Madagascar.
Another wake-up call came from my recent health incident. It reminded me that while global actions are important, immediate concerns can sometimes take precedence. I understood the importance of healthcare workers, those who give so much of themselves to help others regain their autonomy and dignity. That moment was a reminder that while we focus on large scale issues, there are also concerns on an individual level that require our attention. So, this year, I decided to support Jangada as well, an organization in my neighborhood. Their mission is to include people with reduced mobility in the community, and it's a cause supervised by a good friend of mine who has my complete trust again.
Both organizations received a donation of EUR 1,000 each (approximately USD 1,100). You may find these sums substantial or perhaps not. For me, they are only small pieces in a larger puzzle of need, but significant numbers at the scale of myNoise. The generosity behind these donations isn't mine; it's a collective effort made possible by all of you who have supported myNoise. Your backing was particularly heartwarming during my long stay in hospital. I'm pleased to channel that kindness back into organizations I trust and believe in. Giving money is the easy part; the real heroes are those doing the groundwork every day.
As you see, the kindness and generosity I've experienced through people donating on this website, has a profound impact on myself, nudging me towards becoming a better person, or at least, to keep trying. It inspires me to give back, not just through myNoise, but by supporting other worthwhile causes.
Some may call it naive, but I firmly believe that each one of us has the power to create ripples of change that can collectively improve the world for everyone.Thank you for being a part of this shared vision for a better world.
PS. This might sound like an early Christmas message, but rest assured, December 25th hasn’t been rescheduled. Keep the reindeer on standby!
PS2. As you can see in the photo, I'm getting better and stronger, particularly if you look at the earlier picture from March 23rd below. You may find my face puffier though, more turkey than pigeon, courtesy of my ongoing corticoids dosage ;-)
16 Aug 2023 • I don't often talk about it, but we've put much work into the mobile version of myNoise. My son Rémy and a skilled developer are working on it. They have worked almost a year, and they have made big progress. They hope to launch it on Google Play Store for Android in October 2023.
Long ago, we first made the myNoise app for iOS with help from our main developer, Florian. But out collaboration has become difficult over the years. Although he receives part of the apps monthly revenue, Florian has gradually stopped actively developing the applications. Slowly, we have reached a stage where the Android application is unusable for many users, while the iOS application is still performing well but ageing rapidly.
Last September, Rémy gave Florian a chance. We planned for a new dev to make the Android app and Florian to update the iOS app to match the brand new experience that would be offered to Android users. Today - almost one year later - we can say that Florian did not take the chance to get aboard that challenging project, and we ended up in a situation where even a minor update of the current iOS version has become impossible with Florian. This is a situation we deeply regret, but we have to deal with.
What do we do next? Fixing the Android app is a priority as the current version doesn’t work for many phones. It’s even gone from the Google Play Store for new phones! Luckily, the new app for Android looks very promising. Guillaume, our new developer, is working very hard on this challenge. We are proud of the first results, and the beta test is going well so far. The myNoise Mobile for Android should be on the Google Play Store by end of October.
The great new is that because of the technology we use, much of Guillaume’s new code can be used for iOS too. In November, if the Android launch goes well, Guillaume will begin to look at how to move the code to iOS. Until the new iOS app is ready, the old one, made by Florian and called V2, will stay available in the App Store. We might even keep both versions available on iOS, the current V2 and the brand new port from Android.The Android port will be better in many ways. But some things that current iOS users enjoy might not be there, like stacking 5 generators, which needs a lot of CPU. So keeping both makes sense. Hopefully, Florian will keep working on V2 to keep it alive for as long as possible.
Rémy is managing these problems well. Without his help, I would have totally given up the mobile side of myNoise. I think Rémy has the ability and tenacity to see this project through. Something I personally no longer have, or never had.
As the Android app's release date comes closer, I will keep you updated on how things are going and when it will be out! Lets keep our fingers crossed.
17 Jul 2023 • Slowly but surely, my condition is improving. I can now work for an entire day, though my day is still organized around physiotherapy sessions and other activities that assist me in regaining my physical strength, like walking my dog Ness. I have set a personal goal: to carry out a new sampling session for myNoise in the wild by the end of August. I'm training to become fit for hiking once again. At the moment, my autonomy is around a two-hour walk.
I will take the opportunity of attending my daughter’s graduation ceremony in Montreal to extend my stay at a secluded spot in Quebec known as l'île-aux-lièvres. This nature sanctuary is situated in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River. There, with the assistance of my daughter and her friend, I plan to hike and hide recorders to capture a sonic map of this unique environment. Not only will this contribute to expanding myNoise's collection, but it also allows me to immerse myself in the beauty of nature and take a refreshing break while still pursuing my passion for sound sampling. As you can see, I am gearing up to get back on (audio) tracks.
In the meantime, I've introduced a few new features and sounds to the website. New slider animation schemes have been added - Duo and Trio - and with the help of Substan, a new ambient track has gone live today. Intangible Substance marks my return to playing the electric piano. The piece has very simple lines, but it's something I couldn't have imagine of doing just a few months ago.
Wishing you a fabulous summer for my fellow hemispherians, and a wondrous winter for those of you on the other side of the planet.
June 23rd 2023 • I've been working on two sound generators lately. Each one is unique but connected to the same personal experience. One reflects my recent difficult past, while the other represents a brighter future.
Time Still may appear to be a simple drone, but symbolizes a complex and personal journey. It's the soundtrack of a chapter of my life that was marked by struggles and resilience, pain, and unexpected strength.
Back in the comfort of my home, I wanted to create something more positive and cheerful as a counterbalance. A New Day was born. Visualize this second soundscape as the first light of dawn, morning rays of sunshine promising a wonderful day ahead. Enjoy the uplifting chatter of birds - a recording taken from an earlier sampling session - and their melodies entwining with the underlying drone tone. There you will find the sound of my voice too, singing in overtones. At a point, singing became so exhausting that I couldn't keep practising anymore. But the once silent voice found its tone again! :D A New Day is a celebration of life and a hope for better days. It also expresses my deep thankfulness for my fresh start, acknowledging that not everyone is so fortunate.
These two sound generators symbolize life's dualities. The drone represents the darker days we all must endure. The second generator embodies the light at the end of the tunnel, the hope, the resilience, the joy that makes the journey worthwhile. Together, they create a sonic representation of life itself in all its complexity and beauty.
25 May 2023 • A new generator has been released! Well, it is not 'new' since it dates back from last year but its development had to be paused due to well-known circumstances. Finally, it's here! Discover Silent Countdown.
In addition, a new slider animation feature has been added. To learn more about this feature, refer to the missing manual, or simply type 'h' (help) after loading the generator. In a nutshell, the slider animation can now be managed using a single button – a change that will certainly simplify the experience for newcomers. The functionality of this button is controlled via the Side Bar.
I've also managed to fulfill a popular demand: adding individual animation ranges for each slider. You can set these ranges using two profiles, one for the lower limit and another for the upper limit. During animation, sliders will only cycle through values within these limits. To maintain a steady sound with no animation on a slider, simply set the same level in both profiles.
If setting profiles isn't your thing, don't worry. By default, each slider will be assigned a range of 50%-125% when the animation starts...
May 9th 2023 • As mentioned in my previous post, I am now back to working on myNoise daily. Though I still attend physiotherapy sessions at the hospital every weekday and maintain a slow-paced lifestyle, I am steadily improving. I haven't added any new sound generators yet, but I'm excited to work on that soon. For now, I've addressed a series of long-standing issues.
First, I updated the website's main entry page to include many additional use-cases. Next, I switched to a new content delivery network provider - Cloudflare - to not only save costs but also enhance the website's overall performance. This caused some disruptions to the generators a couple of weeks ago, but everything should now be back to normal, and the generator pages should load faster than before.
I've also thought about a way to fulfill a regular request for a monthly email newsletter, which will provide subscribers with a summary of the latest website updates. This newsletter is now implemented, and linked to the accounts of donors who opted for a monthly donation. If you're a recurring donor, you'll receive it the next time your monthly donation is processed. I like this system because it may encourage more people to support me monthly, and it helps me avoid sending unnecessary emails. The confirmation email for your monthly payment now doubles as a newsletter, keeping your inbox clutter-free.
Additionally, I'm laying the groundwork for new versions of the myNoise mobile apps, which my son Rémy is overseeing with the help of two developers. While I'm not directly involved in this, I need to ensure that the website data provided to the apps follows stricter guidelines. I've also taken this opportunity to improve some generators, such as Take It Easy, which now offers more variations over time.
One remaining task is to enhance the slider animation feature, making it easier to program while also increasing its capabilities. After that, I'll take a break and focus on what I enjoy most: designing and releasing new sound generators!
17 Apr 2023 • Time for celebration, I'm back home!
Thank you for all the "wishing well" messages I keep receiving. Many of you encourage me to take the time to heal first: there are already so many soundscapes on myNoise; I don't need to feel worried if my comeback takes longer than planned, you say. This makes me feel at ease and helps me prioritize my health over my "job". If I were a regular employee, I would have received a medical certificate covering an extended leave from work. But as a freelancer, that certificate is meaningless. It is your ongoing support that truly matters to me. And your support is still there, even after a couple of months of absence. Thank you so much to every patron!
Many people also thank me for the positivity that radiates from the earlier blog posts, which they find inspiring. There is a trick, though: just stay quiet when you're not feeling positive! :D
Like everyone else, I experience highs and lows. During my low moments, I hold onto a firm belief that everything will eventually be okay, but patience is key. I believe that our minds can construct traps that imprison us. I don't want to get caught in a situation that feels impossible to break free from. Thus, even when we're not at our best, it's crucial to maintain faith that we'll eventually awaken in a more positive state of mind. And be patient. It will happen, it is a certainty.
Also, I realize the kind of fantasy I built when I was at the hospital, around the happiness of "walking with the dog again", enjoying each step of the walk in full consciousness (see blog post from Feb 24th). I envisioned myself at that time, in a state where I was completely healed, feeling great, enjoying every step with my dog. I am walking with my dog today, but not as I imagined. I am finding it difficult to walk, feeling tired, and sensing the numerous weird signals sent by my nerves when I move. That too, depressed me at first: it was not like I imagined. But I also realize that I am already forgetting the lesson from my severe illness: be happy for what we have when we have it. I am home, and I am walking! Let's enjoy that moment, and look forward to the additional progress as they come.
For those curious about my current condition: I am still on the original dose of corticoids, and this will continue as long as my nerves are regenerating. During that process, these nerves send weird signals to my brain. Each movement, each touch, sends electric currents through my body, like ripples on the surface of a calm lake. This increases when I am physically tired, or when I am anxious. It is not a calm lake with ripples anymore, but more like "a bathing with electric eels" experience.
Typing on a keyboard is one strange experience too; even on a flat smartphone touchscreen, each press sends a little electric shock at my fingertips. (It is not painful, just frustrating: these shocks are not even able to charge my phone battery - haha)
Everyday, I return to the hospital for physiotherapy sessions. They represent the first part of the equation, the one where I need to recover muscle strength. The other part of the equation is time. It takes time for nerves to regenerate. This means that for certain movements, no matter how hard I try to build muscle strength, the problem still lies in the nerve that doesn't pass the information as quickly or efficiently as it should.
I can walk the stairs and access the second floor of my home again, where the myNoise studio is located. Playing the piano keyboard or operating synthesizers and recorders is possible but impractical: there are many mis-presses when it comes to buttons, and rotating knobs feels like they are mounted on dented wheels when they used to feel smooth. The keyboard of an acoustic piano is heavy to operate, which means I can play but slowly and imprecisely.
Even casually, interacting with the creative tools I use for myNoise is tiring. However, so are my physiotherapy sessions – and these sessions make me feel good. With that in mind, I have decided to gradually resume working on myNoise. So, it's official: I am back! ;) I still need to strike a balance between accepting my current limitations and challenging them. And it's important to remember that there's a part of the equation I cannot control at all: the time required for my nerves to regrow. Therefore, expect things to start moving again around this website... but at a slow pace. Be patient, just like my brave dog during our walks.
And finally, I want to express once again my gratitude for the love and support I receive from the myNoise community. You have truly become a source of strength and motivation for me during this challenging time. Stéphane
23 Mar 2023 • It's been a month now since I started making daily progress, and I'm so happy to share this good news with you.
Thanks to corticoids, my nerve connections are gradually healing, and my daily physiotherapy sessions are helping me regain muscle strength. This means that I can now stand on my legs and even walk with the help of sticks! I am still at the hospital, as it provides the ideal environment for a speedy recovery, complete with four intense physical therapy sessions every day.
As for my neuropathy, I'm still experiencing a loss of peripheral sensations. My fingers and toes tingle but no longer feel ice cold. After each intense exercise session, my entire body feels like I'm swimming with electric eels. No shocks, just a constant, intense, electrical buzzing throughout my body. There's actually a YouTube video that perfectly describes my current (pun intended) condition – you should check it out ;-)
My next goals are to keep improving my walking abilities and ditch the sticks once I return home in a couple of weeks - that's the plan indeed. From there, I'll continue attending physiotherapy sessions at the same hospital as an outpatient. It'll keep me busy and tired, and it will be too soon working on myNoise again. Plus, all the internal buzzing makes it difficult to focus for extended periods. That electric eel is definitely playing with my nerves, both literally and figuratively. So, I kindly ask for your continued patience. I will continue to provide basic support to my patrons, and ensure that the website keeps running smoothly, of course.
I also want to express my deepest gratitude to all the users who recently became patrons. The myNoise project is my only source of income, and I can't put into words how amazing it feels to have the support of such a caring community. Now, more than ever, I realize that so many people are willing to help not just the project, but also me personally. Your patience and loyalty mean the world to me. It's your trust that helped me through some tough times recently, along with wonderfully supportive family and friends.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Stéphane
February 27th, 2023 • myNoise turns 10!
Look how it started in 2013 and compare with the 300+ interactive soundscapes now offered on the full index page.
Strange circumstances to celebrate this though, as I am still hospitalised. But I am feeling better and ready to tackle the next 10!
I would like to thank all of you who contributed to the project and made it possible for me to work full time on something so closely related to my passions!
Screenshot courtesy of the Internet Archive.
24 Feb 2023 • I'm taking a break to rest (see previous posts for context). I cannot remain silent though, when I see how much love the community of myNoise users is giving back to me. Thank you for all the kind messages, and for keeping supporting this website in this period of trouble of mine. As I regain a little energy, I want to share my gratitude and say a little 'hello' from my hospital room, to all of you.
I entered with crutches three weeks ago; I am now writing from a wheelchair. I condstantly have touyse the backspace key (I didn't in the first part of this sentence as a proof of concept) because my typing becomes more erratic too. Symptoms are spreading to my whole body, but at slower pace now.
It all started nine weeks ago. If it was a classic Guillain-Barré syndrome, I should be in recovery phase for a couple of weeks now. Therefore, doctors kept investigating. They dismissed a series or creepy diseases (so relieved) - and ended up with a new diagnostic earlier this week : CIDP (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy). Sort of GB with a slow attack and release. With that new diagnostic came a new treatment based on corticoids. It started three days ago, and can see already some encouraging signs of recovery, though my body is still sending contradictory signals to me at times. CIDP is known to have its ups and downs. I have to be prepared to be fooled again, but as I write now, I feel confident. The nocturnal neurological pains that prevented me to sleep, are gone. This is already a huge improvement - and the fist necessary step towards recovery!
It will be a life-changing event for me for sure. It makes you feel aware of all these things that you take as granted, in your everyday life, but are actually so precious. I am looking forward walking with our dog again, in full awareness of a privileged moment.
Fortunately, you don't have to wait for a life changing event, to appreciate the life you already have. You can start now, and have no excuse not to do so, if you are in good health. Take the time to enjoy that moment.
Yours sincerely, Stéphane
PS. Noémie, Célia, Rémy, Charlotte : love all of you too - not just the dog ;)
12 Feb 2023 • I am sorry I cannot share good news yet, but -hey!- I can still type on a keyboard :) Read previous blog posts for context.
After the 5-day immunoglobin treatment I received between Jan 23rd and 27th, things didn't stop degrading. A couple of days later, at home, my legs stopped being reliable enough to carry my body. As I fell to the ground and had a hard time getting up again (imagine me doing the slug dance on the floor trying to reach the nearest sofa) - I decided to enter the hospital for the second time. This time for good.
Nights are painful and days see me in a good mood, but I am tired. Tonight, I feel the energy to update this blog. I am writing you from my hospital room, sitting in a wheelchair. Here, they have been monitoring my vital signs closely, and I feel safe. However, my condition is still worsening, not dramatically, but steadily. At this stage, I know I will need weeks of rehabilitation in the hospital in order to walk again - that is if my current condition remains stable. I am not there yet. I received a booster shot of immunoglobin two days ago. The next few days will show if it worked.
So, be prepared to see this website hibernate in its current state of development for a long time - no new soundscapes are expected to be recorded or produced in the upcoming weeks or even months. To those who have been waiting for new sounds, I apologize.
To those who expressed their concerns about the costs of the treatment, I can reassure them that in Belgium, everything is covered by our (mandatory) social insurance. Usual donations are still welcome though, since I have no other income than from the myNoise project. This message is not addressed to people who already contributed, but to the vast majority of people using this resource for free. I hope that as they understand the troubles I am facing, they will consider supporting the project even in the absence of new contents. Their support will help me to keep an income during the time which - with much regret - I have to take a distance from the project.
But don't worry, I will come stronger than ever, and myNoise will keep surprising you on a regular basis one day again. I am just asking all of you a little patience.
Yours sincerely, Stéphane
23 Jan 2023 • I can barely walk this morning. I will enter hospital today to start a series of complementary tests and hopefully begin an anti-anti-bodies treatment from the next day on. Expect me to be away from my keyboard until further notice. Stéphane
January, 19th 2023 • I have two pieces of good news, and one bad one. The first good news is that the migration to the new website code is completed. The latest addition, and little icing on the cake, is a handy realtime sound level [V]isualizer that can be activated once a generator has loaded by typing [V] on your keyboard. Furthermore, as I worked dusting off the lower code levels of the website, new ideas emerged. Expect feature improvements in the future! The slider animations scheme, for example, will be made simpler and more powerful.
Now the not-so-good news, which could explain why it all took so long to complete. I've not been feeling well for weeks. As I started to get trouble doing simple things like walking, it urged me to seek medical advise. One week ago, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune desease, the Guillain-Barré syndrom. It's the mild version fortunately, but still, it is a bit frightening to live from the inside. The antibodies generated in response to the flu I had in December last year are still active today and attacking my nerves. The flu virus likely had a signature that mimicked my nerve envelopes...
My feet and hands are tingling. Walking is problematic, and climbing stairs is a challenge. I can barely reach the top level floor of my house where all my audio equipment and computers are located. Each day is getting worse, not much worse, a little worse. Today's surprise was to start having difficulties typing on a computer keyboard or playing the piano.
This is why I decided to share my condition with all of you. As this blog is about the backstage of myNoise anyway, you might be interested to know what is going on with its creator. Imagining that I could be "away from the keyboard" for a while, without having a chance to explain what happened, made me feel panicked. I hate to imagine people getting mad at myNoise because the support ceased to respond, or people who are on a recurring donation, being upset because no new contents are added.
But there is good news, a wonderful one! The syndrome is fully reversible. We don't know how high it will peak, nor how long it will peak, but we know that these two stages are followed by a third one: a complete recovery. In synthesizer sound design, my speciality, we call it a ASR enveloppe - ASR stands for Attack, Sustain and Release. So, there is no need to panic. We just need to be patient. This enveloppe can take as much as 6 months to complete, but could be much shorter too. Let's all hope for the short version!
This was your captain speaking. I will keep you posted via this blog most probably, and will definitely come back to you when we have safely landed. Yours sincerely, Stéphane
4 Jan 2023 • Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year! This year is shaping up to be full of delightful surprises with myNoise. Once I am finished migrating the website onto the new code base - a tedious task - I will be releasing many new soundscapes. Lo-fi hip-hop aficionados, rejoice - there are going to be sounds inspired by the lo-fi hip-hop vibes of Youtube's Lo-Fi Girl channel. If you prefer nature's soundscapes, there will be original field recordings from Quebec released soon. There is also a sampling session planned for spring, dedicated to the Arab world. Additionally, V3 of our mobile apps should be available across iOS and Android platforms in the second half of 2023 after being completely redesigned from the ground up!
I decided to revise my copy, and only use artwork that is public domain on that channel. Of course, subscribers dropped because they wanted to see more of what AI could create on its own. But I am grateful to those who helped me change my mind. I am still fascinated by AI art, and feel more creative using it, than just using public art - isn't that ironic? But I cannot ethically use it in its current state of implementation.
PS. The image used as an illustration was generated by humain intelligence, by William Frederick de Haas in 1872.
December 22nd, 2022 • With the release of The Art of myNoise, the new YouTube channel of myNoise, a user kindly asked me :
As a content creator, don't you feel conflicted about using AI-trained on the work of others to create content for your channel?It is an excellent question, and a challenging one. If I did create that channel, it is because I didn't feel any conflict indeed. How strange is that? Time for a little introspection.
I understand the concern. I, too, as a content creator, get mad when someone steals my work. Some of my sounds made millions of views on YouTube channels that ripped out my contents. I thus know the feeling.
As a person, I try to be consistent. I won't do things to others that I don't want done to me. So, how can I use AI to generate art without remorse?
I am a doctor in applied sciences, and a musician. My mind has always been split between being an academic research engineer and an artist, though officially, I am an engineer ;-) Midjourney bridges those two parts of me in a fascinating way.
As an academic research engineer, I've been trained to share my knowledge with others. With students, when I was an assistant at university; with my peers, as a researcher. Today, I keep trying to do so. Some people can fix a dripping faucet. I can't. But sharing knowledge and ideas, that's what I do. And when I have competitors of myNoise on the phone, this sometimes gets me into trouble, as you can imagine. But that’s me, that’s what I’ve been conditioned to be.
With science, you learn from others, infer and discover by yourself, then share your findings back to the community. You are part of something bigger than yourself. You contribute the best you can, and let others build on top of your work. We work as a collectivity. Like a big brain made of smaller ones. This philosophy has been deeply engraved in my mindset.
I've been scraping information and digesting it my whole life. But it's not just me, all humans do this. This is the power of Homo Sapiens.
The goal of artificial intelligence (AI) is to mimic human intelligence (HI). Right now, AI is catching up with HI, with processing speeds and capacity that are both fascinating and scary. There is no turning back. Fortunately, we humans still have the lead in creativity. We are able to think outside the box - or "outside the training set," if you want. But how long will it last?
Back to Art.
When I listen to a piece of music that touches me, it will influence me, both consciously and unconsciously. The conscious part can be controlled, somehow: I can refrain from using the same melody of a song I remember. But the unconscious?
Listening to music I love and looking at a painting I admire is food for my unconscious mind. Just like when AI is trained on a set. When I create a soundscape for myNoise, it will be influenced by all the information digested by my unconscious mind. Will I therefore create just a copy? As I consciously try hard not to do so, I would answer no. But if the melody I just wrote sounds good to me, it could be because my unconscious mind knows from its "training set" that it's a good one. Maybe it's reminiscent of one that gave me chills down my spine long ago, back to a time my conscious mind does not even remember. In that sense, what I create are copies; altered copies of previous experiences.
As you can see, we - as HI (or AAI as I like to call it - we, the artificial artificial intelligence) - are facing the same problem when it comes to being trained on other people's work. The problem arises with intelligence: the ability to learn from training and create from what we learned without even thinking about it consciously.
I am tolerant with AI because it replicates what my brain does on a daily basis, I guess.
So, how would I feel if AI scraped my audio files?
They probably already did it, anyway. Knowing how easy it is to pull audio files out of myNoise, I wouldn't be angry. Unless I find exact copies of my recordings, of course. But if the algorithm is intelligent and has creativity on its own, I would be amazed, I think.
Would I be flattered? Definitely not. There is no reason to be flattered. The AI didn't collect my data because it was good data, but simply because it was just data. And in AI, there is no better data, than more data.
Anyway, we have no choice, there is no turning back. If one day, AI was making convincing soundscapes, I would have to embrace the technology and use it to make myNoise sound even better. AI could help me generate content that would take a lot of time and effort to do on my own, and let me use my intelligence to make creative things. Or I could use AI to suggest ideas to me that my limited mind would never have imagined.
Because this is the real deal, AI gives ideas and inspirations. AI can come up with ideas that we would never think of. We - as humans - are limited by our life experiences. The training set of an AI goes well beyond what a single human can collect in a life. We usually don’t know what we don’t know and we cannot imagine beyond the limits of our own mind. AI does. And for an artists, this is a gold mine.
There is no doubt that AI is rapidly evolving and growing more sophisticated every day. With this increasing power and ability comes the responsibility to use AI ethically and lawfully. When it comes to training AI, this means using only legally acquired data, such as public domain content or content that has been cleared for use. This not only protects the creators of the content, but also ensures that the AI itself is not learning from or perpetuating illegal or unethical behaviour. If AI do not respect licenses and legaly-binding contracts, why should humans bother respecting them? There are many ways to keep creators in the loop and ensure they are properly compensated for their work, so artists who have authorized their works for AI training should be rewarded accordingly.
PS. The image used as an illustration was generated by AI being asked oo paint, in the style of a watercolor painting, a landscape made of mountains and forest, with a lake, and a reflection that resembles to an audio waveform, in the colors of blue and orange.
December 21st, 2022 •Migrating the entire website to the new html/css code base takes (too) long, and is not finished yet. It's tiring to translate every page's html code by hand, and not very creative. I needed a break, and I needed to make something creative again. In my mind, I came up with the idea of creating a new YouTube channel... combining myNoise sounds with my fascination with artificial intelligence. Discover The Art of myNoise. If there are enough subscribers, I will keep that channel going.
November 15th, 2022 • Since the last blog post, I've been constantly working on the new UI/UX for myNoise. I've tested many different options, but every time, I came back to the old design, which - despite its vintage look - is a design many users of the site like. While testing new layouts, I found ways to improve my old code, dating back from almost a decade ago. From today on, I will slowly deploy a new version of myNoise, starting with the individual noise generator pages. You will recognize the pages that have migrated by the shape of their main menu icon: a classic hamburger for pages that have migrated, Belgian fries (see blog post below) for the pages still in transition. If you notice any glitches with the new layout, please contact me.
September 29th, 2022 • Since myNoise debut in 2013, I’ve been obsessed by adding contents to this website. Today, more that 300 generators are available on this website. As each of them is made of ten original tracks, that is more that 3000 individual audio recordings total!
I have been preoccupied with building a big catalog, but never compromised sound quality. Actually, the sound quality got even higher with time. And this also explains why I do not add generators as frequently as I did before. But there is another reason why releases may slow down in the upcoming weeks or months.
Lately, I realized I also have to work on another aspect of the site: its user interface and user experience. Some kind users with an experience in UI/UX design approached me in recent times, to kindly make me aware that the user experience on myNoise.net was horrible... as if I didn't already know :D Though I think long time users have learned to deal with the intricate structure of the website, I also think that new visitors may be discouraged to even just consider to enter into a site that looks like a wall of text. There is a reason to that intricacy: I always wanted myNoise to be like a candy shop, or an Ali Baba's cave. A place where you would be surprised every time you come back.
I often had the idea to re-design the website, but I like its textual interface. Over the years, it became a sort of trademark of this site, and helps to convey a lot of information in a small space. It also helps to keep a personal contact with the users of this website, mostly through the sound generators descriptions and this blog. This personal contact is of extreme importance, because this site relies on its users to run and grow. The donation model only works when users feel close to the project. By the way, if you haven't seen them yet, check out the photo albums...
People often suggest I should work on video capsules to show my work, but it would take me a lot of time to do so. I am still obsessed with adding fresh sounds on the website. So, my priority is to dedicate as much time as possible that task, and not anything else. But...
I am too aware of the UI/UX design problems now. I think I should take the time to properly address them. I will do so from now on, incrementally, over the next weeks. Don't expect big cosmetic changes; the site will keep its look that is reminiscent of how the internet looked 20 years ago! I like that feeling, because, 20 years ago, the internet was full of hopes. It was a time where paywalls didn't exist, where your personal data wouldn't be harvested by requiring you to open a user account first, where ads were present indeed (and they were even annoyingly blinking in bold, red, capital letters) but then, you still could find sites that would not embrace that model, and would stick to the spirit of the internet pioneers: sharing quality information and resources for free, just for the sake of being helpful.
So, I started thinking about UI and UX, and pushed a first change today: gone all the obscure menus that were located on the upper left, upper right and bottom of the screen. We are now using a single 'Universal' menu, on the top left corner of the screen. I learned during the design process, that menu icons all have food names, like the famous - US-style - 'hamburger menu' (three horizontal lines), the Turkish 'kebab menu' (three vertical dots), the candy box (a 3x3 dotted matrix)... These variants also include Belgian specialities, like the 'chocolate' menu (a squared version of the candi box) and the French fries: an horizontal pile of fries shaped like the bars inside the myNoise logo, but horizontally. I am Belgian BTW, if you didn't know yet. And French fries are actually Belgian :D
Fries-shaped menu will be displayed on the pages that still have to migrate to the new html code. Pages that have been migrated, will have their menu shaped like the classic, and easily recognizable, Hamburger menu.
And if you are one of my beloved patrons, you should know that the new 'Universal' menu also provides a direct access to all your favorites generators on the website! Enjoy!
September 13th, 2022 • Welcome to the Meditation Room! I had this idea in mind for a long time: running guided meditations on myNoise. It made sense to me, as so many users come to here to relax.
I once had a stressful time in my life and found relief in voices guiding me to achieve relaxation. Compared to passively playing a relaxing sound generator in the background, taking a mediation engages the listener to fully commit to the session. This is where the power of guided meditations resides. Plus, it is easier to shut down the monkey mind - that little inner voice you hear all the time - when you are not left on your own, but given instructions to follow. This is actually what I found the most effective
There are plenty of apps available offering this, and it made little sense to implement guided meditations here, on myNoise, if I couldn’t implement them differently. I imagined mediations where every session would be different. These mediations would also rely on the high-quality sounds already playing on myNoise. Instead of creating a separate section on myNoise, these mediations are offered as an extension of every sound generator.
The Meditation Room doesn’t have its own page, but is accessible from each generator page, right below the iEQ settings. The current version is still a beta - but should be fully functional. I opted for a short, 10-minute long format. Have a try, and share your experience with me, and suggestions for improvement.
August 29th, 2022 • Though users come and go, some of them have been here since the early days, and keep returning regularly. With time, we get to know each other, mostly through e-mail exchanges. I get to discover such kind people, and so many interesting ways of using myNoise. If these long-time fans remain loyal to the project, there must be a reason and an interesting story to tell. This is how the idea of users' interviews came to life.
The first interview has been published. Discover it here : Meet Arend.
If you too have something to tell about myNoise, contact me - Stephane at mynoise dot net - to arrange a brief talk.
Despite of all the hard work dedicated to myNoise, the audience of myNoise doesn’t grow. I am constantly trying to attract new listeners to this website and it's not easy. This time, I am investigating the Podcast world, trying to appeal to students with specific contents formatted to the Pomodoro technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management and study method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It uses a kitchen timer to break work into intervals, typically 25 minutes, separated by short breaks. The idea of the myNoise Pomodoro Sessions podcast, is to replace the timer with background sounds that will help students to focus by masking the distracting sounds around them. These background sounds have a duration of 25 minutes, the length of a Pomodoro session. The podcast will also serve as a huge contents preview for myNoise, featuring hundreds of sonic abstracts in the long term.
Right now, I need to build an audience first. And this is where you can help by subscribing to the podcast, even if it is only temporary. Thank you!
Dec 11th, 2021 • Discover a 20-minute long interview made by Marilyn Janssen and available as a podcast, on YouTube or elsewhere. The episode starts in German, then switches in English (sort of) after two minutes. Good headphones are recommended to make justice to the audio examples that are spicing up the dialogue.
Sept 23rd, 2021 • Sound generators on myNoise have been intentionally designed to mix well together. Musical tones, for example, all share the same key. Therefore creating soundscapes mixing varied elements on myNoise, is always a rewarding experience for the user. This is also a problem for me, as a creator of these sounds: by mixing these elements by himself, the listener on myNoise may feel like an artist creating an original piece of music. But they do not realize that the puzzle they are using, is a gimmick: pieces always match (almost).
This is one of the reasons I always have been reluctant to share my magic pieces with others. The time and efforts spent to create these original sounds are hard to imagine. Like a treasure you discovered after such a long and tiring quest, you want to keep it your own. Here with the copyrights.
When Peter van Cooten - the man behind AmbientBlog - asked me about making a mix from myNoise sound generators, he was clearly heading towards a clear no. But then, I listened to his earlier mixes, and found a talent and an ear. Why not, then? I was already curious to discover what Peter would come with all the sounds and ambiences of myNoise. I knew it would sound good – remember the magic puzzle – so, I was clearly hoping for more: sheer creativity.
Peter didn’t disappoint me. During the one hour of listening, he kept me curious about what would come next in the stream, while enjoying the moment. Peter came with combinations that I would not have chosen myself and – a rare thing with my own sounds – sent me chills down the spine at different transitions.
I am thrilled how the project ended up, and hope you will have as much enjoyment as I did listening to this journey. Maybe even more for you, because every sound will be a discovery, not for me anymore.
Discover the AmbientBlog remix of myNoise - Ambient Daydream - a one-hour long sound journey available at the highest audio quality and even in DTS-surround format! It's available here. Happy daydreaming!
March 10th, 2021 • This is a big update! Now, every sound generator on myNoise - the website version of myNoise should I specify - is able to compensate for your headphones or speaker's deficiencies, and even your hearing! E-v-e-r-y   s-o-u-n-d!
When myNoise started, calibration had to be performed off-line, and pre-rendered in the sound generator's audio files. This is why it only worked with the so-called calibrated generators, a subset of generators whose spectrum was compatible with that pre-rendering process. Thanks to the recent advances made in modern browsers, it is now possible to move that feature from server side, to the client side - your browser - and make it work on all myNoise sound generators.
For calibration to work, your browser needs first to measure the frequency response of your headphones and your hearing. The sound reaching your brain is a combination of your headphones frequency response and the frequency response of your ears, in series. This is why myNoise compensates for both, simultaneously. Calibration data is acquired on the calibration page. This page is where the engineering magic happens. By carefully following the instructions, you will provide your browser all it needs to compensate for unbalanced frequencies.
You need to perform the calibration process only once, unless you are switching to a new pair of headphones. Then, on each generator page, you select one of the three options available under the iEQ section : 'balanced', 'full' and 'apply to sliders'. The last option is only available on calibrated generators, and implements to old way of calibrating a sound on myNoise.
If your hearing is perfect, but your headphones aren't, the 'full' option is the best. It then will fully compensate for your headphones deficiencies. If you are using good headphones, you won't hear much of a difference. If your headphones are poorly balanced, the result should be more neutral. Nature sounds will suddenly be revealed to you as they were originally captured.
If you own great headphones, but you are suffering from a hearing loss, the full option will probably sound too bright, though it exactly compensates for your hearing loss. Indeed, your brain is now used to deal with this loss. In other words, that loss is now part of what your brain considers to be the baseline, or the neutral sound if you want. Fully compensating for your hearing loss at this point will result in a change that your brain is not ready not accept. This is why the iEQ offers a more conservative setting, which I labelled 'balanced'.
Last but not least, the old calibration protocol reminiscent from the early days of myNoise, is still available when you are listening to a calibrated generator. In such a case, a third option will be listed under the iEQ section. 'Apply to Sliders' will embed the calibration curve to the sliders. With this last method, you don't force your CPU to perform the calibration on the fly. This is why the iEQ will be disabled, once you have decided to move the calibration process to the sliders.
The page is naively designed. As you may not know, myNoise.net is built from scratch, using a notepad-style text editor (with syntax highlighting, please). No framework, no database. And it all runs on a relatively small server. And I am not even a programmer/coder by trade. So, this explains a lot of the design choices, and why I have to keep things simple - I have no other option.
My biggest concern is trolling. Therefore new contents and comments are restricted to patrons of myNoise only. The patrons' community is a wonderful community, and I am confident they will turn that naively programmed experiment into a success. The trolls I had to deal with were always outsiders from the community. Moderation will be achieved by the patrons' community, with their votes, or by reporting inappropriate comments. So, patrons, this is your page. Make good use of it, and enjoy!
Jan 28th, 2021 • myNoise fans enjoy running different generators at the same time in different windows. The result is often rewarding to the ear. This is to be expected: all tonal generators are programmed in the same key – C#. But sharing the same root key is not sufficient to achieve a perfect blending of sound; generators need to share the same scale, too.
A musical scale is a set of notes build on top of a root note. The scale defines the mood of a soundtrack and ultimately the emotions your audience will feel while listening to a track. A major scale feels happy; a minor scale, sad; a pentatonic scale ... oriental, and so on. Each scale comes in its own flavor.
Like ice cream, not all flavors can be mixed together with great results. This explains why – despite sharing the same root note – not every combination of tonal sounds on myNoise works. It is best to avoid mixing happy major and sad minor scales, which will result in some friction between incompatible notes, causing dissonances. When two generators share the same root note (they all do on myNoise) and scale, then we have a perfect match! Like Route 50 and Night Blue for example.
Dec 22nd, 2020 • Pomodoro fans will love myNoise even more! They can now set the Meditation Bell to alternate two timings, for example, 25 minutes study sessions and 5 minutes breaks. This dual setting is available via keyboard input, in the hidden field below the Meditation Bell button. Enter the two timings separated by a plus sign, like "25+5" for a pomodoro session. Even better, there is a keyboard shortcut to activate the Pomodoro Meditation Bell instantly: shift+o. To discover all shortcuts available, type 'h' when a generator has loaded.
Nov 19th, 2020 • Patrons can now order a 10-hour long audio file from their favorite generator. Crossing the 1-hour limit was a challenge for my small server (a Mac Mini!). A 10-hour audio file requires handling 12 GB of raw audio data, then convert it into a big mp3 file. This process takes a lot of time and processing power, about two hours per order running at full CPU. Creating such a extensive file will cost you 15 of your donation credits. Some will find it expensive, but then, I need to keep the server available to serve the many small orders. This price is a compromise trying to deter the people that don't really need those huge files, and to offer a service that is unavailable elsewhere at a reasonable cost, for those who really need long audio tracks to sleep with.
Oct 28th, 2020 • When myNoise started, the .com domain was already taken, but .net was still available. Therefore, the myNoise project became available at myNoise.net - a domain extension I liked, because it felt less commercial than .com (though the .net sounds for many like mayonnaise - haha). A couple of months later - the .com became available for purchase but for a price I couldn’t afford. It was bought by what would become a competitor of mine, another myNoise from Germany - mynoise GmbH. It wouldn’t have been a problem if the German owner wasn’t offering a product that looked like similar to mine - addressing a use I was already addressing: using sounds to reduce tinnitus. I was convinced that the myNoise GmbH was trying to capitalize on the growing success of myNoise, dot net. With retrospect, I maybe have been too sensitive here, and it could have been a just an unfortunate coincidence.
Shortly after that acquisition, a cold war started between the two myNoise entities, then fighting for trademarks. I could secure the trademarks for the Benelux, the EU and the US. The German owner got one in Germany. Time passed, and frictions disappeared. The German owner is now using another trademark to promote his tinnitus treatment, and even agreed to sell the .com domain to me very recently. I am very grateful to him.
Owning the .com is important to me, as I wanted to protect myself from someone that would use that domain to deliberately harm my business. Many people - when looking for myNoise, do search for the .com in priority. It is easy to use this natural behaviour on the Internet, to harm my project. Would this this happen, it would cost a lot - A LOT - to solve this in court. Acquiring the .com domain was a unique opportunity I couldn’t miss. But at a cost, and one that was still high for an entity like mine. The German owner did not make a profit here. The offer was extremely fair but reflected the price initially paid a couple of years ago, to the business entity that parked the mynoise.com domain to sell it at a premium prices. .com domains made of two short words are easily sold between $5,000-10,000.
So, myNoise.com now points to myNoise.net. It has been quite an expensive investement for just a redirection, but one that takes a thorn out of my foot. I am very thankful to my patrons, allowing me to make this purchase. Thanks everyone for the kind financial support!
Sept 2nd, 2020 • This year again, the carbon footprint of myNoise has been offset. Unlike other projects or companies, I do not ask my users if they want to offset their own carbon footprint. I just do that for everyone, both paid and free users. If you like that philosophy, you can always support myNoise: it is of course, much appreciated! <3
There are various ways to offset a carbon footprint. While the current trend is to promote clean-energy technologies, I opted for the old-fashioned way of planting trees. Through photosynthesis, trees absorb CO2 to produce oxygen and wood. There are two main reasons for my choice. First, I like the idea of planting trees. I've been recording a lot of natural soundscapes, and I am excited to participate in initiatives that aspire to regrow natural habitats such as rainforests and mangroves. Second, my brother volunteers in Graine de Vie (Seed For Life) - an organization aiming to regrow forests in Madagascar. In ten years, they have planted 14,000,000 trees. I appreciate the fact that the founders are working on a voluntary basis and that they travel at their own expenses when supervising the work in progress.
More information is available here.
March 5th, 2020 • Two new features have been introduced recently.
On the main index page, you will now find a little dice icon, right below the rolling testimonials section. Clicking the dice icon will take you directly to any of the soundscapes listed on that page, implementing the random generator function that has been so often requested to me.
A Meditation Timer is now available on every sound generator page. It is a timer, but instead of fading in or out the soundscape, it will play a bell sound at regular intervals. The Meditation Bell offers a sense of time, even when you have your eyes closed such as during a meditation session. It can also be used as a Pomodoro bell (use the keyboard shortcut shift+o to enable that setting directly). And last but not least, the Meditation Timer also offers a random setting, that will remind you to be aware of the present moment at random intervals during the day. You can input your own unconventional interval manually, by clicking to the text field below the meditation bell button. To enter a random time interval, use the following notation min:max. For example, 5:15 will randomly trigger the bell every 5 to 15 minutes.
March 12th, 2020 • Florian, the myNoise mobile app developer, is now working full speed ahead on the release of V3, with lots of new features, including the compatibility with the composite generators introduced on the website lately. The business model on the mobile app side, will change towards a subscription model. After all these years of hard labour, I think it is time for Florian to make a decent living, and for me to take a chance of hiring him full time on the project. Based on friendly prices, one-time unlocks and lifetime accesses, our current model on the Apple App and Google Play stores showed its limits. After 5 years or store presence, with an incredible rating on the App Store and being featured multiple times by Apple itself, we still cannot afford to pay a full time developer. Now, do not panic: we will keep our promise and maintain the lifetime access for those who were offered one, and will be generous to all others! We will offer a lot of free contents and subscriptions will be priced a fraction of what competitors typically charge. The website will keep as it is, (mostly) free and open to donations. I am proud of that model, and have no intention to change. • My youngest daughter Noémie (16) is willing to help me by taking care of the newly created myNoise Instagram account. She will be posting archive pictures first, and then pictures of her dad taken behind-the-scene as he works on myNoise. Follow myNoiseBackstage on Instagram • This summer, I've been invited to perform live at O.Z.O.R.A again. I will play at the Ambyss stage, twice. myNoise fans, please show up after the performance, and let's have a drink all together! • If you want to have an idea how myNoise sounds live, I did an experiment on YouTube yesterday, with a live streaming of a live "soundscaping". Have a listen, and if you like it, leave a comment below the video - or better - hit the subscribe and bell icons, to be notified about future live sessions.
Nov 18th, 2019 • 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 • Then, 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.
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, and the web version is almot 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 in the future, if 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, without your help, myNoise wouldn't exist! <3
June 27th, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2019 • 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, 2018 • 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, 2018 • 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, 2018 • 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, 2018 • 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, 2018 • 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, 2018 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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. 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, 2017 • 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.
June 26th, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2017 • 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, 2016 • 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.
October 2nd, 2016 • 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, 2016 • 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, 2016 • 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 9th, 2016 • 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, 2016 • 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, 2016 • 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 advertisements no that I will never do. Love you! ;-)
Jan 5th, 2016 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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, 2015 • 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
• 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, ...
• 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, 2015 • 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, 2014 • 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!
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. ;)
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!
The sound of Stalactites.
Enjoy the Cave Chime.
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 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.
Enjoy the Crystal Water.
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 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.