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Online sound generator brings chatty co-workers to your home office during coronavirus lockdown

Interactive noise generator Calm Office lets you bring the familiar sounds of work into your home.

If you're used to a work soundtrack of printers, clacking keyboards and chatty co-workers, working at home during the coronavirus quarantine might feel extra strange. 

A new interactive background noise generator called Calm Office lets you replicate typical office sounds like copy machines, printers, air conditioners and other humans (remember those?) with sliding bars that let you mix and match audio streams. You can, for example, just turn up the keyboard or talkative-colleague sounds, or mix them together and toss in some scanners and office clocks for the full cacophony. 

There are also preset combinations, like "break time," "the late hours" and "geeks at work," which is just a lot of typing over the sound of air conditioning. Sorry, no background debates on Star Wars versus Star Trek going on in that one. 

The Calm Office sound generator is a new addition to, an extensive collection of background noises and interactive soundscapes that range from rain, thunder, ocean waves and Gregorian chants to cities around the world. MyNoise is also available as free iOS and Android apps. 

Calm Office is, of course, particularly applicable now with so many people worldwide working from home. 

"Most people want to cover their open-office sound, with more beautiful and less intrusive sounds, not generate open office sounds," creator Stéphane Pigeon, a Belgian engineer and sound designer, told me. "But now, I understand why some people actually like these sounds."

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