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  • pinyan
    Jul 29, 2004
      (i was almost done with quite a long version of this post, when my computer
      died on me. therefore i'll keep it short this time)

      a couple of months back i was working on midi ringtones for this guy who
      was selling them to telcos, so i've got some experience with them. (he sent
      me midi files of songs, and i trimmed them down to become ringtones)

      most phones support polyphonic ringtones by now. compared to the old
      monophonic beeping phones, they sound better (to most people, at least),
      and give you more room to play around with stuff.

      thing about midi ringtones is that, it's not that easy for them to sound
      like dance tracks. they're very good with simple melodies, and simple bass
      and drum parts, but that's about it, i feel. well you definitely cant get
      vocals with them. most "dance" tracks have more complex drum and percussion
      parts, as compared to top40 radio songs. electronic dance music is also a
      lost more reliant on basslines (and power bassdrums). the little speakers
      on most phones just arent capable of reproducing the bass nicely. and with
      the polyphony limit on midi ringtones, you'd want to keep the percussion
      part simple. for example, for 4-tone/channel ringtones, i usually used two
      for percussion, one for bassline, and one for a synth/piano/horn instrument
      for the vocals or the song melody. (come to think of it, if somebody does
      the man with the red face on a midi ringtone, it might turn out nice)

      that means that even if you have a phone that plays wav's or mp3's, you're
      still limited by the speaker. at the same time, i found that it's easier to
      notice your phone ringing when you have a high pitched tone. when you're in
      a crowded place with a lot people and noise, the higher pitched tones were
      easier to make out. also, you'd want to avoid "full" sounding segments.
      parts that sound very lush on your hi fi speakers end up sounding like part
      of the distortion when you play them loud on your phone speaker.

      i use a nokia 6230, which has an mmc card. i've got portishead's roads in
      the card, but it sounds funny played over the phone speakers. i tried to
      use the bassline from unkle's in a state as my ringtone, but i couldnt
      really hear it. but it's alright. i ended up using djuma soundsystem's les
      djins. heheh.

      hope. it is the quintessential human delusion,
      simultaneously the source of your greatest strength,
      and your greatest weakness.
      -the architect
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