“This project is just for fun.
One of the worst bits about the pandemic – apart from all the illness and death of course – is that with everyone stuck at home, all the advantages of living within cycling distance of central London evaporate. For the price of a reasonable dwelling elsewhere, I’m trapped in a small flat with neighbours above, below, and to the side.
My neighbours are not exactly the silent type, and their incessant variety of distracting noises make it hard to focus and hard to sleep. Earplugs usually aren’t enough. One technique, pioneered by the great Hunter S. Thompson, is switching your TV to some empty channel and turning up the static to drown everything else out. Unfortunately, since the switch to digital television, this technique has lost some of its efficacy.
An excellent substitute is to prepare an mp3 file of white noise, and play that on loop. If I’m honest, this works so well and is sufficiently customizable that there really isn’t any reason to do anything further.
But for years, since the very first time I tried this, I’ve had a craving for a hardware noise generator. A little box that spits out real analog noise, with a couple of knobs to set the tonal qualities. The intensity of neighbour noise in the recent months, and an unexpectedly free evening, pushed me over the edge to finally build this pointless device.”