Tag Archives: Natural sounds

Amusing Monday: Enjoying the many sounds of water

I’ve always enjoyed listening to sounds, whether it be easily identified natural sounds or mysterious sounds that are hard to figure out.

Soundsnap

When I was kid, I was given a tape recorder, which I used to collect all sorts of natural and unnatural sounds. I would play back the sounds and ask people if they could identify the source. Even as an aging adult, I enjoy listening to the sound of a flowing stream, breaking waves or falling rain. I also like to listen to bird calls, and I keep telling myself that I need to learn how to identify more of them — but that’s another story.

For this blog, I would like to return again to this idea of natural sound and share some websites where you can listen to your heart’s content and sometimes shape the sound itself. Since this is a blog about water, I’ve tended to focus on rain, streams, oceans and such things, but these links can be just a starting point.

Soundsnap is a website that boasts of having 200,000 sounds in its catalog, including 6,000 sounds of nature. Included are 249 sounds of rain, 117 sounds of the sea, 1,065 sounds of water and 298 sounds of ice. These sounds can be downloaded for a fee, but it costs nothing to explore Sound Snap’s website.

At the other end of the spectrum is a single 11-hour YouTube video featuring the sound and images of ocean waves. I have not listened to more than a few minutes of this video at a time, so I don’t know what happens if you turn on this video to go to sleep and then leave it on all night. But the sound coming from the video is certainly more pleasant than the nightly sounds that some people learn to tolerate. The video, embedded on this page, was posted by YogaYak, which has several videos of a similar vein.

If you would like to download a sound to save it or use it in a video project, Sound Bible is a royalty-free site with a large collection of sounds. I downloaded the files below from collections called “Sea Sounds” and “Water Sounds.”

      1. Babbling brook.
      2. Rain.

I also found a sound generator that one can play with or simply leave on as background noise. Called “My Noise,” the website features an ocean waves noise generator.

If you would like to share your favorite sound website, please add it to the comments section below.

Amusing Monday: The sounds of imagination

I’ve always been interested in how things sound, sometimes more than how they look.

When I was a child, someone gave me a little tape recorder for some occasion, such as my birthday or Christmas. I went around recording everything from flushing toilets to my dad snoring to cats drinking milk from a bowl.

One of the first record albums I ever bought was one that contained dozens of sound effects. My younger brother and I used that album and also made up our own sounds while putting together radio plays, which we recorded on a massive reel-to-reel tape recorder.

I’ve always taken great pleasure from music, the sounds of nature and other pleasant noises, such as wind chimes. But it has been years since I’ve done anything with sound just for fun. Recently, I began playing around, just for amusement, on a website called Nature Sounds for Me.

About the sound players on this page, you can start them by clicking on the big arrow. To stop them and start them again, click on the little speaker at the bottom.

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