What's White Noise?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by sharmon, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. sharmon

    sharmon Guest

    Hi, just wondered what white noise is and if there is any relevance to recording... I've heard the phrase being used "insert some white noise into the mix" what is this all about?

  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of this before. Usually white noise is used for calibrating or checking a piece of gear. The only noise you should insert is dither.
  3. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    I've heard of people adding a gated "White noise" pulse to a snare track. You would feed a constant white noise signal into the gate, and side-chain the original snare track for the trigger. Then return to a channel, and mix to taste.

    I've never done it, but I have heard many talk of it.

  4. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    The Cars supposedly did that trick on a number of tunes........which ones, I haven't a clue.
  5. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    I think you are confusing white ni\oise with pink noise.
    White noise is a sound that contains every frequency within the range of human hearing (generally from 20 hertz to 20 kHz) in equal amounts. Most people perceive this sound as having more high-frequency content than low, but this is not the case. This perception occurs because each successive octave has twice as many frequencies as the one preceding it. For example, from 100 Hz to 200 Hz, there are one hundred discrete frequencies. In the next octave (from 200 Hz to 400 Hz), there are two hundred frequencies.
    Pink noise is a variant of white noise. Pink noise is white noise that has been filtered to reduce the volume at each octave. This is done to compensate for the increase in the number of frequencies per octave. Each octave is reduced by 6 decibels, resulting in a noise sound wave that has equal energy at every octave. Very useful when setting up a room. White noise on the other hand no so much.
  6. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    ^^^ close

    This is just a nit....

    White noise has constant power spectral density - the same power per hertz - over a defined bandwidth. All frequencies at the same level.

    Pink noise has constant power per octave. Since the definition is power, each successive octave is reduced by 3 dB (not 6) over the defined bandwidth.

    True White or Pink noise sources are continuous - in other words, there are an infininite number of frequencies present - not, for example, 100 different frequencies from 100 to 200 Hz.

    Most noise sources these days are Pseduo-Random digital signals. BTW, a great White Noise Generator is a high-value resistor on the front end of a high-gain amplifier.
  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Why do I have to be Mr pink, why can't I be mister black. Sorry, Just had to say it.
  8. BobYordan

    BobYordan Guest


  9. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Hmm... Mr. Pink? are you referring to the tip of a specific male organ?
    ...And then what is Mr. Black?
  10. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    It's from a line in a movie. Resivour dogs. is that how you spell it? I suck a spelling
  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    He he... I'm so bad at remembering movies, I've seen that one :lol:
  12. sharmon

    sharmon Guest

    White Noise

    Thanks for all the replies. I see the point of setting up a console room and monitors using white/pink noise to make sure one is getting an even amount of all the hz and also adding it via a gate onto a snare or other (mostly percussive) instrument i would guess, is this the only relevance there is to recording?

    Also is this something that is done often or just in some cases where a particular sound is required or if the snare recording is no good? Should i be experimenting with it or is it not that useful?

    thanks much....

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