Anti-white noise?
May 27, 2010 2:15 PM   Subscribe

How can I keep the white noise from the AC unit from zoning me out all day at work?

I think the white noise from the window-unit air conditioner in my office is making me space out at work. Besides listening to music with my earbuds, do you have any suggestions on how to combat it? Is there such a thing as anti-white noise? (Besides the sound of car crashes, screaming babies, etc.)
posted by thekilgore to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You need a random noise generator. A simple way of making something like this would be to create a bunch of sound files; a dog barking, birds tweeting, a distant car honk... basically stuff that is inoffensive, but ear catching, and turn them into individual mp3 files, and then take a sound editor and arbitrarily add 5 to 10 minutes of silence to the beginning/ end of them. Dump them all into a folder, and have an MP3 player play that folder on random.

The net result is that every couple of minutes (mostly randomized based on the silences you added), you'll hear one of the sounds, hopefully breaking the spell.
posted by quin at 2:53 PM on May 27, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, quin. Great idea. I do miss that random noise that I usually get from the regular office setting.
posted by thekilgore at 5:32 PM on May 27, 2010

Droning noises are what active noise canceling headphones are best at. I wear them on long trips to get rid of the plane/car/train drone and I have a lot more energy at the end of the trip. They're lousy at intermittent noises though, so the regular human noises still get through.
posted by Ookseer at 6:45 PM on May 27, 2010

I didn't know other people were zoned out by noise like that. I've lost entire afternoons from such things.
posted by Goofyy at 8:59 AM on May 28, 2010

Drone sounds are the bane of modern day existence. I'm amazed that manufacturers are not held accountable for how they've completely changed the soundscape of our lives.
posted by fantasticninety at 7:29 AM on May 29, 2010

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