Sound and noise

Sound and noise is the same? Commonly, sound is connected to something pleasant, while noise is connected to something unpleasant. … If the vibrations are regular, we have a sound; if they are irregular, uneven, we have a noise.

Commonly, sound is connected to something pleasant, while noise is connected to something unpleasant. Do you agree with this observation? So is the squeak of a door, in your opinion, a sound or a noise? And the beat of a drum? The rustle of leaves? The roar of an engine?

 DefinitionSound corresponds to a wave with pressure at periodic intensity, that is, it behaves regularly at least during a certain interval of time.The noise corresponds to a sound wave with irregular pressure and oscillating at very different frequencies.
 Behaviour Behaves regularly Behaves irregularly
 How it is perceived Nice Unpleasant

What we call a sound effect is the result of movement or, rather, the vibration of a body (a string, a rubber band, a piece of wood, etc.). Once the movement ends, and the consequent propagation of vibrations, the body no longer emits sound noises.

What is a sound:

sound is produced by the vibration of a body, such as a string, a membrane or, as in wind instruments, (trumpet, flute, etc.), a column of air set in motion by the sound of the person playing.
Also our voice is the product of a vibration. When we speak, the air leaves the lungs and vibrates the vocal cords, small membranes within the larynx. If there is no medium like air that spreads vibrations, there is no sound.

The spatial vacuum is the quietest place we can imagine, because in a vacuum vibrations cannot propagate. The sound source, that is, the body that emits the sound, vibrates, compresses and decompresses the air next to it, generating the waves that propagate.

When these waves reach the ear, they cause the eardrum to vibrate, a thin membrane, this vibration is amplified by three tiny bones beyond the eardrum, after which the vibration is transformed into an electrical signal that is transmitted to the brain, and only here it becomes a signal. Without air or brain there is no sound.

What is a noise:

Noise means a sound that causes an unpleasant , annoying or intolerable sensation . Sound is a mechanical disturbance that propagates in an elastic medium (gas, liquid, solid) and is capable of exciting the sense of hearing (sound wave).

If the waves have a frequency between 20 and 20,000 Hz and an amplitude greater than a certain entity, which depends on the frequency, the human ear can perceive them. Determining the frequency content of a certain sound is called frequency analysis or spectrum analysis.

How is sound or noise measured?

For the measurement of sound or noise , the logarithmic scale or the level scale is used. The level, expressed in dB , is equal to ten times the decimal logarithm of the relationship between a given quantity and a reference quantity, homogeneous between them.
If the vibrations are regular, the same between us we have a sound. If they are irregular, uneven, we have a noise.


In the musical field, however, the distinction between sound and noise fixed by acoustics is, in some respects, obsolete. A noise, in fact, can become sound if it is well organized , that is, if it is inserted in a project that makes it meaningful: this is what happens very often in the compositions of contemporary musicians.

Sounds and Noises for Acoustics

The acoustics , ie, the science that studies how sound effects spread, how they spread and how to reach our ears, sets precise difference between sound and noise based on vibration analysis.
Summarizing
For acoustics, the distinction between sound and noise is linked to the quality of the vibrations: if they are regular we have a sound, if a noise is irregular. A noise can become sound when inserted into a well-organized composition. Noise is in fact a sonic dimension of our time and it is not surprising that many contemporary musicians use it in their compositions.

Sound or white noise

But that’s not all: have you ever heard of sound or white noise ? White noise is noise to which it seems impossible to attribute a precise height, yet it has a constant amplitude. It is so called because a radiation of the similar spectrum, within the visible light band, will appear in the human eye similar to how white light does.
Many people have a habit of sleeping with the television on. They say that without this background noise, sleeping is much more difficult. The explanation for this is found in the concept of white noise, which became popular and is obviously used by many people.
Background sound from the TV not tuned to any channel is an example of white noise. As well as that of a radio not tuned to any station or that of air conditioning. What they have in common, from a physical point of view, is that they are continuous and monotonous sounds. They are said to have a calming effect.

In this sense, the neuroscientist Seth Horowitz stated that “white noise is literally a wall of sound energy, without patterns.” And the idea that it helps you sleep has become so widespread that there are already technological applications to reproduce it.

Advantages and disadvantages of sound or white noise

Just as there is no scientific evidence yet on the benefits of white noise, there is no research in the opposite direction. However, there are a lot of people around the world who use it for better sleep. It has been shown to be very effective even with newborns and is sometimes used to study with greater concentration.

Meanwhile, he has also started talking about noises of other colors. One speaks, for example, of ” brown noise” , that produced by a waterfall in the distance, the more general it is a monotonous and relaxing sound, but natural. There is also talk of ” pink noise”, which is less regular. An example is the rain. All of these noises would have similar effects. The “black noise” is the so-called sound of silence and it is a sound that covers a small frequency spectrum.

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