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White Noise and White Sound – difference and playing techniques for your gong

White Sound – maybe you’ve heard of it before, or maybe you’ve created the unifying sound on your gong. But do you know exactly what makes this special sound and how it differs from White Noise? In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of White Sounds and White Noises in more detail and introduce you to how they can work. We’ll also show you how to use Olli Hess’s gong mallets to create these sounds and which mallets are best suited for them.

The effect of white sounds and white noises

White Sound and White Noise – both have the special ability to calm your mind and relax the body. The monotonous noise allows a deep immersion into the powerful soundscape and other sounds or noise are not perceived at all or subjectively less. This can lead to a state of meditation and inner peace, helping you to relieve everyday stress, improve your sleep or enhance your concentration. Many people also use White Sounds and White Noises as background noise while they are working in order to concentrate better on their tasks.

White Sounds and White Noises in particular help with this:

  • Stress Management
  • Sleep support
  • Deepening meditation and relaxation
  • Relief for tinnitus
  • Improvement of short and long term memory
  • Better concentration and focus
  • More effective learning
  • What distinguishes White Noise?

The term “white noise” originally comes from sound therapy. It refers to a sound quality that most people find pure, soothing, and particularly harmonizing. Science attributes the calming effect to the fact that the noise can mask almost all other sounds in the environment. The ear and cerebral cortex are saturated by the steady tones, and the rest of the sounds cannot overcome this auditory barrier.

Similar to white light, which contains all colors of the spectrum, white noise contains all tones of the audible sound spectrum in equal intensity. Unlike music, white noise follows no sound pattern and contains no variation. It always remains the same and monotonous, with a constant frequency, and is reminiscent of, say, a heavy rainstorm, roaring waterfall, or humming machine.

So in theory, White Noise should always sound the same. Since each frequency range has the same energy contribution, a uniform sound is produced. However, differences in recording technology or the equipment used for playback can lead to variations. Especially if you go searching for white noise recordings on the Internet, you will find that they sound minimally different depending on how they were recorded and played back.

White Noise, Pink Noise, Brown Noise – what’s the difference?

Over time, in addition to white noise, other mixtures of frequencies were developed to achieve a relaxing and calming effect. This includes, for example, pink noise – also called pink noise – in which the high frequencies have been limited. This makes it sound less shrill and is therefore perceived as more pleasant by many people. Pink Noise is therefore also often used to calm toddlers and babies and can lead to better falling asleep and sleeping through the night.

The so-called “Brown Noise” is a significantly deeper noise that is more reminiscent of waterfalls or thunder sounds. The lower frequencies are emphasized even more here, making it sound a bit harsher than pink noise. Many people therefore also find brown noise more soothing and less disturbing than white noise.

What distinguishes White Sound?

White Sound – in German “Weißer Klang” – is also a continuous sound that contains many frequencies, very similar to White Noise. The big difference, however, is that they are not distributed with equal intensity across the entire audible spectrum. As a rule, White Sound is produced with a sound instrument, whereas White Noise is usually produced electronically. A large gong is particularly suitable to create this harmonic and at the same time very penetrating sound. The multitude of frequencies and harmonics created during a White Sound meditation with a gong can be relaxing and calming, much like listening to White Noise.

So White Sound doesn’t always sound the same. Depending on the playing technique, the sound instrument, the setting and the mallet used, very different sound worlds can be created. Basically, you can say that White Sound is richer and more complex in its sound structure. White noise, on the other hand, is perceived as an even, flat sound. White Sound is widely used in sound therapy and many other areas to promote relaxation and health, in addition to sound meditations.

Which gong is best for creating White Sounds?

In sound therapy or sound meditation, large gongs are usually used to create white sound. Rimmed gongs, such as the tam-tam gong and all ollihess gongs, with a diameter of 36 inches or larger are best. The rim and an appropriate gong size are what make it possible in the first place to produce the rich and broad sound that contains various frequencies and overtones and thus fills entire rooms.

Olli Hess plays a gong

Which ollihess mallets are suitable for creating White Sounds on a gong?

Olli Hess has developed the new “Direct Line”, a special series of gong mallets that have been specially tuned to produce White Sound. Professional Gong Mallet Direct Line differs significantly from other gong mallets: The inner ball made of cork, which was coated with natural rubber, was not covered with additional insulation as is usually the case. This design allows for particularly powerful sounds. Due to the special strength of the core, the noise on the gong can be maintained for a long time.

How to create White Sound on your gong

Choose a spot where you want to strike the gong first and move from that spot in a circular motion across the entire surface of the gong. If the sound begins to fade, play the gong again a few centimeters further. At the beginning you play the gong very slowly. Over time, you increase the tempo so that more and more the steady noise is created and the vibrations intensify. Be very mindful of this – especially if you’re not playing just for yourself, you should pay close attention to how the powerful sound comes across to the people who are still picking it up. More experienced gong players have a good sense for this. However, if you are just starting to play White Sound, you should always approach it carefully and with extra attention. As a sound maker, you have a not insignificant responsibility that you should not abuse at any time.

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