About the website.....
The site is the product of an ongoing project to understand wind turbine sound in our environment; born from a conversation with an Environmental Health Officer, and the inadequacy of words to describe the sound of a wind turbine. The site investigates the use of spectrograms and turbine 'noise' to enable you to see what you are listening to.
The site does not attempt to explain the science of acoustics. The site does not discuss the merits of wind turbines and their contribution to green energy nor does it detail the debates surrounding them: the site has no opinion on appropriate development . The site though is specific to wind turbines and their negative contribution to environmental noise in Ceredigion, Wales..
The aim is to help you understand what you are hearing when the wind turbine noise becomes a problem.
Spectrograms and seeing turbine sound
Woosh, swish, thwack, yee yaw, churn…if you live next to a wind turbine you will notice the distinctive noises they make but can you ever describe it? These comic book words do but are inapprpriate to describe a very real noise. When the sound of a turbine becomes an annoyance and the noise becomes nuisance, comic book descriptions to describe unwanted sounds are inadequate. Trying to describe to the Environmental Health Officer why a neighbours' turbine was causing us trouble, talking of the woosh, the weesh and the twack of it reduced what is a very real problem to the absurd.
Speech therapists use spectrograms as a tool to show how we form words, while record industry producers use spectrograms when mastering sound recordings to understand what happens when sound frequencies combine. Every spoken word, instrument, machine or a neighbours wind turbine will produce specific sound frequencies that create an acoustic signature. Wikipedia describes a spectrogram as “a visual representation of the spectrum of frequencies in a sound or other signal as they vary with time or some other variable.”
Put a simpler way a spectrogram is a picture of what we hear: "a sound image"