If you’re anything like me, you can’t get anything done in a soundless vacuum. The opportunity for distraction is far too great. Someone walking by, the sound of construction nearby, a conversation at the next table… no matter where you are, the possibility of your focus being anywhere but on what you’re working on is too high if you don’t have headphones on.
But what should you listen to? Mood is key for what you’re working on. If you’re writing a sad scene, poppy action music is going to set the wrong tone. Likewise, if you’re working against a deadline, something slow and melodic may not give you the push you need.
As a soundtrack addict, a classically-trained musician, and an easily-distracted procrastinator, I have had ample time in my life to amass a collection of soundtracks and white noise generators to keep my focus where it needs to be. Here are a few collections.
For when you just need something to drown out the world around you — by immersing you in another world altogether. My favorites are weather related, but there are an abundance of different types of white noise generators online for you to use when you need to set an atmosphere.
Surround yourself with the calm patter of rain. This is my favorite white noise generator on the internet, as it helped me get through multiple 30+ page final assignments during my graduate program in History.
Does the ambient sound of a coffee shop help you from going stir crazy? Coffitivity provides different levels of coffee shop sounds without ever having to leave your own apartment.
Combine rain and a coffee shop and you’ve got the ultimate mood set for you.
This is a newer discovery, but fantastic. Ambient Mixer lets you choose from a bunch of pre-made ambient sound sets to immerse yourself in the world of Harry Potter. If you search around the site, there are soundsets for Lord of the Rings as well — and if there’s nothing that quite suits your need, you can design it yourself.
For when you need to set a mood or an atmosphere for yourself or your project that evokes a range of feelings and really gets you immersed in what you’re working on. Sweeping orchestras and beautiful themes make for the perfect background when you’re trying to be creative.
Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit
Band of Brothers
Dragon Age: Inquisition
How to Train Your Dragon
For when you need to Get Stuff Done. These soundtracks have driving beats that carry throughout, intense and bombastic themes, and generally make everything you do feel like it’s the most important thing in the world. These are great for running up on a deadline.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Pirates of the Caribbean
What are your favorite soundtracks to work to? Share in the comments!