I'll admit, I love using ambient backgrounds in my music. Something about a little rain, some ocean, even a gentle creek stream accentuates a song like nothing else. And, ever since I got an iPhone, and as soon as the iPhone was capable of recording, I've been using it to get any ambience I can get my hands on.
The only problem that you run in to with ambiences like rain, oceans, and so on, is that you have to make sure that you get a long enough recording so that you have enough later on, for whatever your production needs are. This can be tricky because you never know when some jack ass will walk by, start running his mouth and ruin your perfect recording. This has happened a few times, and honestly, there isn't much you can say. I mean, it's not like you can yell, “Hey, stay off my rainy, depressing sidewalk, can't you see I'm recording here...?”
It just doesn't work that way!
So, needless to say, I've combed through the app store looking for apps that specialize in ambient recordings... And, I found a really good one: White Noise.
What's White Noise About?
There are very few moments, in my opinion, where an app makes you stop and say, “That is so cool...!” The first time using White Noise was one of those moments for me. I pressed the big record button, and the little timer started moving with the flashing red light. They recommend a good 10-20 seconds for the ambience... That's what I went with.
When I was finished recording, I hit the record button again... What I was not ready for was a small female voice chiming in and telling me that White Noise was editing, normalizing, looping, etc. Once finished, she said, “Completed” and my new ambience began to play... Perfectly looped. I didn't have to do any work whatsoever.
Not only does White Noise work great for recording ambiences, there are also several ambiances that come with it. These can be used for your regular work, or you can also use them to sleep to... Which is another thing I use White Noise for.
Additionally, if you're trying to memorize something, White Noise is extremely effective because anything you record will automatically be looped. Poetry, affirmations, pledges of allegiance, it works for all of them.
White Noise also works with it's big brother product, White Noise Pro, for the iPad. This app really lends itself more to creating a neat environment in your home through sound, etc. Though, I don't think it should be underestimated because it does allow you mix multiple ambiances in stereo, in a very cool way.
Anything you record in White Noise, can be integrated in to White Noise Pro through iTunes, emailing yourself, and so on. If you enjoy having a sonically cool environment in your home, I would recommend the two. If you just enjoy having the occasional, perfectly looped, and recorded ambiances in your music, then... Just stick with White Noise.
Download White Noise for iOS here.