1) 3d Sea - https://www.box.com/s/krtxx1tejeftffaegh4v
2) 3d Rain - https://www.box.com/s/feoczntidb4rkppz1fa7
3) 3d forest - https://www.box.com/s/35p4vpn4t6rdc2p8ok39 (This is a Binaural music track composed by me :D)
Please use headphones to listen to these tracks (and not your speakers, because binaural stuff sounds good only on headphones)
Here are two more professional recordings (not by me) that will (possibly) blow you away! :D
1) Amazing 3d Matchbox - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYdIidUIbAs
2) Virtual 3d Haircut - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnNEJfokpWU
When listening to well-recorded jazz with these 'phones, I find it easy to close my eyes and imagine I'm in the room with the musicians -- more so than with anything else I've found in the price range.
>Does anyone feel the same?
It varies from person to person, a lot of variables are involved:
Your age, your headphones' type, brand, closed/open, etc.
Headphones bypass our pinnae, which I suspect may be an important part of how we place sound (along with all the other important parts).
I've heard of lengths one can go to to get truly accurate 3D sound from headphones, but those involve taking an impression of your ear - I forget if it's the canal, or the pinna, or both - and then running some sort of further audio processing based on their topology.
Here's an example: http://www.plyply.com/binaural/
Also, recorded environmental sounds always have a certain degree of annoyance for me. There's nothing on earth I love more than the sound of rain or a crackling fire, but recorded versions just don't cut it (for me). This seems to fall into the same category.
Apart from that, these two albums are also good for getting into it:
CAN - Tago Mago
CAN - Future Days
(Also, their music is from 1968 - 1973 but sounds very contemporary)
Kind of feels like I'm listening to music in a cafe! Working pretty well so far :)
1. Glenn Underground - Atmosfear (house)
2. Aphex Twin - Ambient Works 85-92
3. Moby - 18
4. Space Dimension Controller - The Pathway To Tiraquon6 (soul-house)
5. Boards of Canada - Music has the right to Children
6. Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By
1. Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
2. Ólafur Arnalds - ...And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness
3. Max Richter - Memoryhouse
4. Nico Muhly - Speaks Volumes
1. Royksopp - Melody AM
2. The Album Leaf - In a Safe Place
3. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
4. Miles Davis - In a Silent Way
5. Benoit Pioulard - Lasted
Languages you don't speak also work.
Along the the same lines as fumar's suggestions, I recommend:
1. Music from Braid (yes, the video game)
2. Black Swan (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
3. The Social Network Soundtrack
Shameless plug. I released an EP recently. I will be honest only two tracks are, what I consider, finished work. Track 2 and 5. But, still learning... fantasmafigueroa.bandcamp.com
This agrees with generally accepted psychological models. The mind is totally single-threaded in language processing/parsing (compared to incredible parallelism in spatial processing).
Instrumental/lack of vocals also helps me. I mostly listen to post rock - godspeed you!black emperor, pelican, mogwai.
I'm also very fond of Steve Roach.
Found in this reddit thread
Lifeformed - Fastfall. I made this! It's my first album, I made it for the indie game Dustforce. It's electronic, chill, fakebit (8-bit chiptune sounds with a modern sheen), with some beats. Full album: http://lifeformed.bandcamp.com/
I've been adding much more quickly than curating, so probably lots of stuff that's not a good fit; at any rate, a few of my favorites so far:
1. Apparat - The Devil's Walk
2. Washed Out - Within and Without
3. Little People - Mickey Mouse Operation
4. Phutureprimitive - Kinetik
Brian Eno, any of the Ambient series
Either of the Fripp and Eno albums
Windy and Carl
I also found an online radio station called "Moving Through Space" which provides some nice background ambiance when reading (esp. science fiction):
Note that Port St. Willow's album "Holiday" should come right after Tim Hecker's "Ravedeath, 1972".
Holiday isn't on Spotify currently, but it'll be back on in April. If you can find it, give it a listen. On its own, it's great as work music.
Also I find that medium-intensity electronica will put me in the zone - Deadmau5, Justice, etc.
Here's a mix of most of his previous works.
An hour long of unchanging audio sort of fades into the background so you are unaware of it.
[EDIT: tried to put artist names in different lines ]
I personally can't work with that kind of noise. I prefer classical music or something like that. But, I know people do thrive in this kind of environment. Really neat idea. Surely the creator had a background in UI/UX design??
i think they'll be ok with me posting their twitters..
@nicoleehorton - design
@jkauszler - Coding
I'm sure that research is accurate for some people, but it's definitely not accurate for me. Quiet, aside from any noise I make myself, is the only way I can be truly productive.
But for working in an open office that fluctuates from high activity to periods where you can hear a pin drop, I'm finding this type of thing to be incredibly focussing when trying to code. For actually planning that code (the creative part), I tend to find as quiet an environment as possible - people are disruptive to intense thought.
For working parents, maybe a recording of your kids playing/fighting in the background. :)
I've tried to work in coffee shops before. Every few minutes I realize I've been listening to my neighbor's conversation and not doing work. I really dislike working in noisy places.
One other thing I've noticed about myself in this regard is that annoying noise irrationally enrages me when I'm trying to concentrate. For example when I'm working in my cube and a manager or maintenance guy walks by whistling, I really want to scream at them. Even if it's only for a few seconds. I ignore the feeling because I know it's totally irrational, it goes away and I don't actually feel any ill will towards people.
I've heard others talking about this kind of thing before so I'm pretty sure it's not just me. It's annoying because I'd like to be able to work around noise better, and I don't like being angry.
Real people , not an algorithm "learning" what you like. Don't forget to donate:)
I would recommend http://www.zenradio.fm too. It features a mix of light instrumentals and ambient music.
MP3 : http://flux1.zenradio.fr:8800
I like to get in the zone, which is trickier when having to worry about the world around me. I don't consider myself paranoid, but I guess I subconsciously maintain spatial awareness when out in public.
Maybe I'm just not well acclimated to working in public spaces, but I find a lot of the background activity distracting (like the dishes, for instance).
I'm one of those people. While this particular site's ambient noise doesn't suit me (too many sharp, distracting sounds) there are many sounds that do help. I typically find I get far more done and am able to focus better when i have my headphones on playing music that has few words.
Many others are the same way. While the paper you link to might not be 'research' (don't know, not paying the $14 to read it) it's not a silly idea by any means.
This is getting quite annoying.
The loud dish clanks don't really bother me yet. (I am using my beloved Bose Q15 headphones, listening to KCRW Eclectic 24 + the ambient soundtrack both volume levels are very low).
Coffitivity plus Soma.FM's Groove Salad station (Soma.FM is great in general) has made me bang out more work in the last hour or so than in the several hours before it.
It could be the placebo effect, but so far, I'm loving it! Thank you!
The pomodoro style timer is also very handy.
Here's an article on his search for quiet places and the movement to preserve them. http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/3627
"A total of 188 ideas were generated, for an average of 4.48 (SD = 2.09) ideas per person. The noise level did not affect the number of solutions generated"
"ideas generated by participants in the moderate- (vs. low-) noise condition were rated as more original (M = 3.87 vs. 3.66; F(1, 40) = 4.76, p < .05)."
Ratings were on a 7-point scale (1 = not at all, 7 = very much)... so ... a difference in originality of (3.87-3.66)/7 = 3% (i.e. not actually particularly significant (in the usual use of the word) even though the 3% difference was statistically reliable)
"... a significant effect of noise on this appropriateness index, such that ideas generated by respondents in the moderate-noise (vs. low-noise) condition were rated as more appropriate (M = 4.48 vs. 4.20; F(1, 40) = 5.34, p < .05)."
again, (4.48-4.20)/7 = 4% difference... not exactly impressive, although apparently it was statistically reliable
It always pains me to see scientific research reported in the media in such a way as to inflate the significance of the work ("significance" used here in the layperson sense of the word, not the statistical sense of the word).
PS the statistical significance was only reported as "p < .05", which means there is a 1 in 20 chance of getting a difference that large or larger due to random sampling alone (i.e. in the absence of an actual effect).
This XKCD cartoon is worth a look: http://www.xkcd.com/882/
Ana Criado & Omnia No One Home
EDIT : Okay I really can't focus while having this on the background. But I'm sure it's because I'm doing math. A task that would require less focus would be better with that kind of background. I need silence right now.
For those moody evenings and nights a nice choice is "You are listening to" It combines ambient tracks from Soundcloud and police/fire department/etc. radios:
More than specific patterns they offer, I found interesting that they they claim unfamiliar music is better for productivity:
"And the single most important factor to consider when choosing a genre is what kind of music you usually listen to for fun and entertainment when you are not trying to be productive. And then, counter-intuitively, it's best to select the very opposite kind of music when using focus@will. Why? Because your brain gets pleasure, releasing dopamine when it hears music you like and listen to a lot, and music that is associated with good times or strong memories of any kind will reduce the focus enhancing effects when used as a productivity tool."
Unfortunately, I can't try them out because I'm not in the US.
I'm trying them out right now. Seems interesting.
I am however used to spending lots of time working in public spaces in the past, and have spent the past six months in a more isolated work environment. (On an off the grid property 50m up the side of a volcano that you need to take a boat to access)
Maybe this is just putting me back in my comfort zone.
This could be due to the fact I get sensory overload easily (and I'm somewhere on the broad autism phenotype). It was a jarring experience.
Plus the coffee shops I frequent are usually quieter than that - that sounded more like a busy canteen than a coffee shop to me! Needed less echo, more muffling, less voices, and some ambient background coffeeshop music, in my humble opinion of small-coffee-shop patron-hipster :)
If I want to focus on stuff, often I have to completely block out people talking and ambient noise and stick music on. The best kind of music is lyricless (or at least, no coherent words - Sigur Røs' english-icelandic gibberish mix is a good example of that), usually long movements, lots of prolonged chords and repetitive segments and a steady rhythm. That stuff helps with my sequencing ability and I find I flit between tasks less.
I've also tried white noise / "binaural beats" (those audio signals that use gentle modulation to supposedly alter your brainwaves), but those are pretty overwhelming too.
I do wonder if it would have a better on me had they used binaural recording (two microphones where the ears would be on a fake head, plus some algorithms to create a 3-dimensional sense of space from the signals) - which to me sounds more natural.
I can't read the whole paper on this, but I'm wondering if they took account of the spectrum of different neurotypes when studying this "coffee shop creativity" effect?
Also, since I've seen other people doing it, here's the artists/bands I listen to like 24/7 when in work to help me concentrate:
Godspeed You! Black Emperor (favourite <3),
Set Fire To Flames,
Explosions In The Sky,
Lovett's "Ghost of Old Highways" album,
Hans Zimmer soundtracks,
Nine Inch Nails' "Ghosts I-IV",
65daysofstatic (some stuff anyway, some of their stuff is crazy loud and overwhelming)
"not yet available outside the US" .. fair enough, and kudos for saying up front. How about adding a way of telling me when it is available?
Specifically, that is. I'm not going to subscribe to your normal feed because enthusiastic messages about a service which I can't get yet are just irritating. Indeed, the better they sound, the more likely I am to search for alternatives! This goes for anyone else who is rolling a service out slowly..
http://open.spotify.com/track/5uWzSBJKqdSKJ3uMrYYUIT is one of my favorite songs by them.
The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place is my favorite album from them.
I loop my favorite samples which makes for a nice background.
As to how it works, internally there's a modular data processing pipeline. I wrote a number of modules that serve a specific purpose (sine wave, square, etc, and reverb, gain, etc). They all get connected together in a driver class. Each driver makes heavy use of random numbers. Those in turn decide the notes played and durations. The durations are extremely short, leading to a granular synthesis of sorts. The notes are chosen from classes I structured around standard chord theory and classical modes.
I have an unreleased version that processes mic input, but it's not ready for prime time yet.
Edit: I decided to release it, probably under AGPL license. Keep an eye on this page: https://github.com/hollingsworthd/ApplPi
I've also tried white noise which works pretty well.
I'll give this a go, but I'm not sure any music will work, the music itself can't be too enjoyable or engaging or it can become a distraction.
Somafm.com is a great station for this kind of music that you can leave running in the background where the music is good, reasonably unfamiliar,etc.
It includes soundtracks from Bastion, Machinarum, Braid, Dustforce, Dustforce, Fittest, and Limbo.
Lifehacker did a related post abiut choosing music for focus: http://lifehacker.com/5987019/choose-unfamiliar-work-music-f...
(The founder's a friend)
Not sure where this urge for cake is coming from and I swear if you listen closely enough, once in a while, you can hear a sheep bleating just briefly.
I think half the effect comes from people thinking twice about bothering you if you have earphones in.
Aes Dana - Memory Shell
Aes Dana - Season 5
Black Sands - Bonobo
Carbon Based Lifeforms - Interloper
I also find jazz and post-rock pretty good for ambient noise
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR8KGam3m9Q (ignoring the intro)
A bit crazy they want to charge nine quid for it, but can just play it in the web player
EDIT: And neither does your website, I see now. Why did you use it in the HN title?
I'd consider making it more procedural, to slowly mix and match different sources (akin to ambient-mixer) for a less static experience (that, by side effect, would also happen to be infinitely long).
But that's a good idea, this should work better on very almost-dead quiet spaces.
Along the same lines, I'm a fan of this https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/people-sound-effects-2/id5... Track 21.
but since i'm working in an office, with 10 other people most of the time we listen to music over some speakers.
when its rock or metal i'm not very productive - but when listen to some good chillstep tracks with the right volume i notice for my self i get more shit done.
so i totally agree, right sounds/music in the correct volume and everything is fine.
p.s.: people talking around me distrect me totally, because my scumbag brain want to listen all the time...so i do not prefer coffee shops
By the way, I absolutely love this. I'm 4x more productive in coffee shops compared to everywhere else and I never knew why.
It works for me.
EDIT: started working after like a minute of sitting. Maybe it had to wait to download the audio file?
I also sometimes like the sound of rain, so picked up a mp3 for a buck off Amazon ('The Sound of Summer Rain').
this "ambient noise" is the reason why I have open offices.