Learn how to intentionally include noise, mindful sounds, and inaudible vibrations into your music. Discover how applying these sound healing techniques are beneficial to your health and well-being.
What’s the Difference Between Music and Noise?
Sound is a human’s mental construct of audible vibrations. Generally, our mind will categorize sound as pleasant (music) or unpleasant (noise). Both music and noise are mixtures of sound waves at different frequencies. However, you can simplify music as ordered sound and noise as a disordered sound.
Music also makes sense to the mind and can inspire an emotional response. It offers value and meaning, whereas noise has no meaning and can be perceived as an interruption to meaningful sound. Noise can also inspire an emotional response, though this is usually aggravation or annoyance.
For example, the mixture of sounds in a piece of music can be separated into individual frequencies, with a discernible dominant frequency. Conversely, noise contains every possible frequency in the audio spectrum with no presence of a dominant frequency.
Sound, Noise, and Music
Below further defines the distinctions between sound, noise, and music.
What is Sound?
Sound occurs when an object vibrates. Longitudinal pressure waves then transmit the radiant energy produced by the vibrating object through a medium such as air, water, or solid. Naturally, our eardrum vibrates from the incoming pressure waves and sends these vibrations to the brain. The brain then turns them into a sound we recognize and understand.
What is Noise?
Many perceive noise as a disorganized sound that causes disturbance or chaos. From a physics standpoint, noise is indistinguishable from sound, as both are vibrations through a medium like air or water. The differentiation takes place when the brain and nervous system receive and perceive the sound. Culturally with music theory, we perceive various tones as more pleasant and harmonious when played together. While other tones are perceived to create dissonance when combined. Dissonance is generally associated with noise.
What is Music?
Music is both the art and science of ordering tones in succession and combination in a meaningful way to produce a unified composition. Common elements of music include harmony, melody, rhythm, pitch, timbre, dynamics, texture, and tempo. A shared view is music both expresses and evokes emotion. Music can also take the listener on a visceral journey or tell a story. Musicians achieve this with mere instrumentation, silence, or by incorporating lyrics.
Mindful Sounds and Inaudible Vibrations
Below defines mindful sounds and inaudible vibrations. These expositions will also give you a better understanding of how to incorporate mindful sounds and inaudible vibrations into your music.
What is Mindful Sound?
The terms “healing sounds” or “sound healing” has been growing in popularity. There are a variety of ways to experience the effects of sound healing. For example, through binaural beats, Solfeggio Frequencies, Theta Healing, Schumann Resonance, sound meditation, and audio-guided experiences. Playing these sounds have the intended purpose of improving physical and emotional health and well-being.
Using the terms “mindful” or “intentional” sound also accurately represent this category. Both allow the listener to discern their own mental, emotional, and physical responses to the tones. For example, the sound healing benefits you experience listening to percussive instruments like gongs, singing bowls, and tuning forks may differ from how others experience these sounds.
These concepts and theories are a growing area of interest within the wellness industry. They offer explorations of how harmonics and pure tones bring a hyper-awareness of our unique embedded relationships with frequencies.
The average spectrum of hearing for a healthy human ear falls within 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz. Sounds outside this range are inaudible to most humans. The mechanical apparatus of the ear may not hear these inaudible vibrations. However, the brain and nervous system still pick up the signals.
These inaudible sound vibrations can also influence human functionality. For example, a 5G network produces ultra-high intensity waves that invisibly interfere with our brainwaves and nervous systems. Side effects of these inaudible vibrations can negatively influence sleep patterns and amplify states of depression, anxiety, or our sense of mental and emotional well-being. However, there are also healthy inaudible vibrations, such as the Schumann Resonance. Musically, you can infuse these healthy inaudible vibrations into your music for various textures and subliminal harmonizing effects.
7 Ways to Apply Noise, Inaudible Vibrations, and Mindful Sounds into Your Music
Here are seven ways to creatively and intentionally incorporate noise, inaudible vibrations, and mindful sounds into the music production process.
1. Evolving Intros and Sound Effects
Start with noise and gradually transform that noise into music. Nicolas Jaar is a genius at doing this during his live performances. He works with an analog synthesizer to first create a tone. He then turns the tone into a warble and then into a rhythm. Finally, he layers patterns to create a unified piece of music.
You can also organize noise into a texture the mind makes sense of in a composition. Many synth soundbanks have noises you can mix into your music. For example, a noise riser by itself is only white noise that’s filtered. But in the context of a track, the riser creates movement, intensity, and anticipation during a build-up.
2. Pad Layering
Incorporate Solfeggio Frequencies into your pads and layers to bring a state of peace, bliss, or good vibes to the listener. You can apply these six frequencies into any genre of music.
Solfeggio Frequencies are long associated with meditation music. These musical tones were first adopted by the Gregorian Monks when they chanted in meditation. Many believe Solfeggio Frequencies penetrate deep into the conscious and subconscious mind, stimulating inner healing.
3. Bass Layering
Try layering the Schumann Resonance (7.83 Hz) with your low-end elements like the kick and bass. You could also use the Schumann Resonance tone to design a sub-bass layer. Search online for various ways to download the Schumann Resonance.
The Schumann Resonance is the natural resonant frequency of the Earth’s atmosphere. Scientific research claims the resonating 7.83 Hz frequency has health and wellness benefits.
4. Applying Binaural Beats
Binaural beats are auditory illusions with various health and wellness benefits. However, binaural beats only work on headphones. The binaural beat a person perceives has a frequency difference between the tones entering the left and right ear. For a binaural beat to work, you need two tones with frequencies less than 1,000 Hz. Also, the difference between the two tones can’t be over 30 Hz. Check out these binaural beats on Spotify.
Studies show panning different tones at a specific rate can affect brainwave response. It’s encouraged to research the various effects of binaural beats and binaural panning. You will discover interesting ways on how to apply these techniques to your music.
5. Layering Organic Textures
Layering sounds with organic tones from real instruments will enhance your music in various ways. For example, layering singing bowls and gongs into the mix add a new dimension of unique textures to the track. Try using the gradual resonance of a crystal singing bowl or a reversed gong hit as a riser. The possibilities are near endless.
6. Creating Meditation Music
Consider creating your own meditation music. Something that brings your mind and body into a state of peaceful appreciation. Try using ambient pads, nature sounds, vocal samples, relaxing harmonies, etc. It’s also a great way to tap into new audiences and increase your exposure!
7. Explore a Meditation Practice
Cultivating a relationship with stillness and silence is also a powerful, inspiring, and rejuvenating practice that compliments the creative process. The various meditation practices offer numerous health and well-being benefits. Try sitting in silent meditation for at least ten minutes a day and mindfully observe what sounds come to the surface. This practice will allow you to go deeper into your creative juices.
Each body resonates with the sonic world in unique ways. Incorporating the above techniques allow you to approach your craft more purposely. The intention is NOT to create sound healing music. But instead to become more mindful of the sounds and noises you incorporate into your music.
Take into careful consideration the elements you select and why. Also, reflect on what’s happening in your body when listening to noise or music. Moreover, be mindful of how the silence between the sounds compliments the stories you’re telling. These techniques help you become a more conscious creator, as art and music can often be a subconscious expression of our emotions. Avoid getting caught up in the analytical mind. It’s vital to make conscious musical decisions and to know how your music influences the listener’s mind and body.