Project ringtones, a way to …

Last Updated on: February 20, 2015

… become musically creative?

A few days ago another iPhone lit up and gave off a sound identical to mine. A standard marimba ringtone that I gather must be used by millions. Happened to you as well? Someone using the same sound as you?

Ringtones exists in the ten/hundred thousands, or millions. You can find them In all musical genres, shapes and forms, complex, simple, static/flat, dynamic, funny ones and serious ones. But it does seem to me, after years and years with changing ringtones, many returns to something simpler, or maybe don’t bother to change at all.

I’m back with the iPhone marimba sound(s), reason being I don’t like the ringtone to be too complex, too attention seeking. A ringtone should have percussive as well as tonal qualities, the sort that makes me recognize it, easily. Muted but present, audible, distinguishable. Bored with the original Apple ringtones I have to do .. something.

With this single and simple goal in mind, making ringtones with mallet/marimba variations, I went looking on the web for something useful. And ended up with Chromaphone from Applied Acoustics.


Wot is it? Well…

they call it a Creative Percussion Synthesizer. Don’t know about “Creative”, that would depend on the owner (subsequently me). The rest is, from what I can gather after having fiddled a little bit with it, true.

First impression of the Chromaphone was a little like when EMU, Korg , Roland and Yamaha came with rack mount modules back in the early 90s. From Interesting to, while dissecting factory presets … quite boring. But when one began to (creatively) use sounds in a multitimbral, composition context, it went from a yawn to eye or rather ear-opener. All of a suddden the thing made some sort of sense.

As always, while tools are important, they won’t get any better than the person using them.

So then.. get creative

The plan now is, in coming weeks (and/or months), to make ringtones for myself. A downbeat attempt to get some sense out of instrument(s) and sequencer (again). Yeah I got “tons” of software instruments. More than enough to make a full production at home.

But this (byte virtual) ton of stash hasn’t helped on creativity. Maybe because there was no goal OR.. the goal was much too big. Whatever it is, the sequencer have slept for ages, nothing has been made, save a few feeble attempts, a few beats.

So now, the aim is a series of small(er) projects, that hopefully (one day) might lead to bigger ones. Much like the way I exercise, a routine task that balances between not too much and not too little. Too big, feels like an ordeal, too small, no effect.

If I manage to make something that passes “quality control” it might end up here. Who knows I might even decide to make a “shop” like addition, for downloading of files. This however.. right now seems a long way off. If you want to have a shop, it makes much sense to have something to “sell”.

First crawl, then walk and then (if any energy left)… run.

Below is an instructional video on the Chromaphone, there are many out there. I chose this one as the narration is done by a person who sounds like being bored almost to death. But facts are fact, narration isn’t what will spark interest 🙂