, As a sound engineer, I've long used such tones as White Noise and Pink Noise when working on balancing sound, checking room acoustics and more.
But there is far more to these tones than just using them for recording studios. They are in fact incredibly useful and helpful for many of us out there, from NT thru to ASD. Let's take a look at the basics.....
WHITE NOISE - In the simplest terms possible, white noise may be referred to as a signal (random noise) that has equal power (volume) at different frequencies. If you remember the old "static screen" on your analog TV that was a simple version of white noise.
To get the full warts and all (complete with serious tech jargon) see the Wikipedia definition.
PINK NOISE - Wikipedia has yet another warts and all definition, but to make it simple - pink noise is also a random noise, but instead has equal power across octaves, and as a result has more energy / power in lower frequencies
What's the difference between the two? In essence, energy per octave is how humans hear music and sound. It is a more balanced sound than white noise, some may say colourful. From a personal perspective, I find it "softer" less harsh edges in the sound.
There is a THIRD sound, it has been referred to less but just as important.
BROWN NOISE is a noise which contain all the frequencies that are audible to humans, boosting the lower frequency range. It is very good block out annoying noises, to enhance sound privacy, but also to treat hyperacusis or relieve tinnitus.
How does this impact our daily living and those on the autism spectrum?
The noises such as White or Pink Noise have been shown to help with improved sleeping patterns, and to help concentration. In this excellent article on Apartment Therapy the differences are explained and how they affect our daily living.
Using apps or online programs are an additional bonus for those with ASD. We have tried a number of apps and I am fond of using Noisli as it has a mixer for controlling levels of sound types, from water, to thunderstorms etc.
There are also some excellent apps available on most device stores. Try using White Noise on the Apple site, Coffivity (free download or on app stores) or Chroma Daze on the Google Store
If you want to have a machine generate the white noise in the background, a good place to start is the Marpac DoHM