All sorts of rain sounds

Rain sounds are as diverse as the places the rain drops fall on as the atmospheres created by users at the Ambient Mixer are. Just to be aware of the amount, different quality, user preferences and sounds, here is a short resume about how our users create rain related ambiances. We have extracted all information from a simple search for rain inside the site’s search box, and doing some data digging.

Some stats about the use of rain sounds at ambient-mixer

A simple search for “rain” in the search box at the site shows over 600 search results for ambiances related to rain. As the search also counts atmospheres about “brain” or “trains”, the final real number is around 280-300 tracks that have some relation to rain. They range from the popular Light Thunderstorm atmosphere to the science fiction categories.

By category use, most ambiances are use for weather atmospheres of the nature category, followed by relaxing ambiances. Far away from these two follow the nature subcategories forest, countryside and city ambiances.

Most used sounds in rain related ambiances

A statistical look at the creations shows some interesting results:

If we take a look at what sounds are used to create rain related atmospheres, we find an astonishing number of 675 different sounds used by the authors. This gives us an impression of the variety of ambiances created with some rain component in it.

Nevertheless, there are some favorite sounds that are used more than others, among them some surprising ones like the dog bark.
These are the 10 most used sounds for atmospheres related to rain:

Sound name Number of rainy atmospheres with this sound
Distant rolling thunder 60 ambiances
Cars passing on a wet street 20 ambiances
Light rain 2 16 ambiances
water_drops 15 ambiances
Light rain 13 ambiances
Heavy rain (2) 13 ambiances
Rainy 12 ambiances
Medium Wind Chimes 10 ambiances
Dog bark 10 rain ambiances

Most used sound combinations in rainy ambient tracks

The variety of the used sound sets is of almost 250 sound combinations. This gives an idea of how diverse moods and ambients you can produce with the whole range of sounds. But even her we find some patterns that repeat certain combinations of sounds, which we presume are a good match to weather ambiances.

The three most common combinations are the ones I list below. They could pass as a sort of  “rainy blueprint”.

The fact that these sounds are used in that combination does not mean all ambiances will sound the same. The first pattern is used by more than 60 creators, that obviously use different random and loudness level plus additional sounds. Anyway, if you are planning to make a rain soundscape, just know what patterns are use by many authors. At least some of them probably go back to a clone of an existing successful ambiance like the Light Thunderstorm, that has inspired a lot of users.

Categorization for rain related ambiances

The rain ambiances categorized inside the environmental category get the most views. And the subcategory you would think had most rain related atmospheres is not weather (nature) but “countryside” inside the environmental category. A lot of atmospheres with rainforest sounds, grass, prairies and other stuff evoking wide horizons accounts for this.

Next come the nature category and relaxing atmospheres.  A reason for that is that many of us sleep better to rain sounds.  Sleep sounds for children often include human sounds that resemble their parents voice. When you grow up, the parents don’t get you to sleep anymore, and rain takes over as sleeping sound. The regular rain drop sound and the sensation of being sheltered in the warm makes many people sleep better when it rains. I don’t know if its some ancestral heritage of mankind, but it just works.

Inside the nature and environmental categories the subcategories with most views of rain ambiances are in this order countryside, forest and weather.

If we look at the votes for rain related atmospheres we find a slightly different picture: The most votes for rain related ambiances are found in the nature categories, especially in weather and forest. In the category environmental we find the most voted rain atmospheres in the countryside subcategory.

So, despite one could think that rain sounds are specific for coffeshop ambient or weather simulation audio, the fact is that many authors prefer their landscape audio backgrounds with some rain in it. As for the forest ambiances, it’t just a fact that a forest can’t live without rain. So even woods that are not a rainforest need and improve if you add some light rain or rain drops to it.

Resuming, we got some blueprints for rain related ambiances and we have seen that the most views and voted rain ambiances are categorized for forest and countryside ambiances.  It is a bit surprising when we think that many very popular sites have exploded with coffeeshop rain moods and similar audio backgrounds. These seem to be effective as an audio background for work.

But for soundscapes, audio backgrounds for landscapes or just improving some nature video footage or game background the forest and nature related atmospheres seem to play a bigger role.

If you plan to make your own rainy mood atmosphere, you can choose between all these options and additionally tag your rain ambiance with rain related tags like rainy mood.

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