Noise Machine Idea

Noise Smells Good

After a week of googling, and finding out that the idea that I could realistically do by the end of this semester is already done by some people, (although not the same)

I’ve decided to further improve another idea I’ve started working on fairly recently and make a noise machine out of it.

The idea is simple, what if we used spray canisters instead of speaker cones, and sprayed different odors for different frequencies. Obviously the “human brain delay” is a big problem, however it doesn’t have to be a fast dubstep song either. It can be a slow paced atmospheric song too. I’ve done a few prototypes with Meng Shi last semester in EXMD, with the guidance of Aisling Kelliher, and I’d like to improve based off of our very own design, and turn this into a bigger better noise machine. Our goal was to recreate a venue experience with it’s atmosphere in small spaces like homes. I loved our idea, however the application I think wasn’t quite right. So I’d like to improve our old design, use multiple canisters, multiple FFTs and spray different odors for different frequencies and mix the odor on the fly.

To read more about the old prototype :

And if you’d like to see how it works :

My questions are a bit odd, but here comes.

  1. IF a noise machine is interpreting “sound”, and making noise using inducers that create noise for different senses (sprays/odors), would it still be considered noise ?
  2. If Noise has to be heard – Do deaf people experience noise ?
  3. If so, how ?
  4. Then can you think of other ways to show/ have them experience noise?
  5. What senses do they use to experience noise ? Touch / Smell / Vision ?
  6. They can touch a sound emitting/vibrating object and feel its sound/noise. What if there were other mediums to transmit audio which senses would be better?



2 thoughts on “Noise Machine Idea

  1. Hey John,

    I love your concept and I think you bring up some very good points. To address your first question, I believe that noise can certainly be generalized to other senses. This is somewhat relevant, but I could point toward a word of arguably similar origin as ‘noise’: Noisome. Now, this has a clearly negative connotation, but this is hardly surprising given the popular negative connotation to ‘noise’ itself. Keep in mind that most people still consider the patters of white and black dots on a screen to be ‘noise’ as well, even if there’s no accompanying sound.

  2. 6. Refer to Christine Sun Kim: (did somebody post this already?)

    Assuming noise is the converse of signal in information…
    1. In order for information to be interpreted as noise, there needs to be high enough resolution to distinguish signal from noise in the first place. Dogs would probably be able to perceive noisy smells. It might be possible with humans if you make a confusing enough smell.
    2/3. Going by the above assumption, noise does not have to be heard.
    4. Noise can exist in graphics (graininess) and semantics (irrelevance).
    5. Primarily vision, since it’s high resolution.

    Assuming noise is noisy sound…
    1. Since we still hear the noise, I believe it’s still noise.
    2/3. Deaf people do not experience noise as a timbre of sound. They would experience it as vibrations, though I’m not sure how it would be experienced differently from tones.
    4. Reactions of other people, waveforms/spectrograms, something involving resonance.
    5. I don’t know if they *experience* specifically noise.

    I like your questions. It’s making me realize how we take our hearing abilities for granted.

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