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Re: Ubuntu startup sound for 14.04 LTS


Hey Winael,

Here's my take on startup sounds:

Music can obviously have a profound effect on people. Advertising agencies know this, and use it quite effectively in some cases. Jingles are tied to brands in order to affect a particular mood in the listener, to create a positive association with that brand, and provide a memorable hook that the person remembers. Now, obviously music is just a subset of sound, so while some might describe the Mac bootup sound as a sound effect, it's actually musical in nature. I'm definitely not suggesting Ubuntu should have an unnecessarily long or involved login sound, or anything that is distracting (such as a brass fanfare). I see Nick is on this email, and I was just telling him I had some ideas, so I'll share those now.

I see the login process, sound wise, as being a one-two punch. When lightdm presents the login screen, I think it would be nice to have a very short (1-2 seconds) musical bit that is pleasing, but somewhat unresolved, coaxing the user to log in. Once they log in, the musical piece would pick up from where it left off, ending with resolve (2-5 seconds). Style wise, there are different options I won't get into right now (orchestral, synth, a mix of both, etc). I will say that there are a couple approaches we could go with the startup sounds: 1) something melodic and memorable (hummable), at the risk of wearing out its welcome due to repetition (people disabling it), BUT more identifiable as "the Ubuntu sound"; 2) something more ambient/amorphous that focuses more on mood/feel, not melody, which may stand the test of time better but not be easily recalled and not seen as a strong brand sound.

I realize there are people who don't like startup sounds, and of course there should be options to disable both the lightdm sound and login sound, as we'd want to respect those personal choices.

As far as an Ubuntu Touch ringtone, that's a fantastic idea! Isn't Touch due out in October? Might be kind of a rush for me, but I'm definitely open to it! I need to pick up a Nexus 4 so I can install Ubuntu Touch on it.. soon. Hey, that's now a business expense, isn't it? ;)

I apologize in advance if I have trouble keeping up with the mailing list discussion, but I will be keeping in touch with Nick Tait and I imagine the ball will get rolling from there.



On 09/11/2013 08:55 AM, Vincent JOBARD wrote:
Hi Sam,

First, Thx for your work and it's good to see that's you want to contribute to Ubuntu

I don't think a music is a good idea for a startup sound. The startup sound have to be short. It's more... a sound. So the work to do is more like sound design.

But I join Sid idea about a ringtone for Ubuntu phone. It could be great with this great design phone. an high end ringtone. Ubuntu spirit is "I am because we are", it's harmony, humanity and unity. If you're write a clean melody with emotion, I think we'll have our future ringtone.

Best Regards,

Vincent JOBARD

2013/9/11 Sid Payton <sidpayton@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:sidpayton@xxxxxxxxx>>

    Hello Sam,
    first I think you are doing a great thing by helping our Ubuntu
    community. This lifts the contributions received by Ubuntu to a
    whole new level. When even professional musicians / composer  take
    their time to contribute to this great project.

    To your request:
    I and many many more think a new start-up sound is required. There
    was an official contest for it for the 12.04 LTS release but never
    made it into official release.
    ( http://design.canonical.com/2012/02/ubuntu-sound-theme-design/)
    It was quite anyway and the sounds weren't that pretty in my opinion.
    But maybe Callum Pringle (callum.pringle@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    <mailto:callum.pringle@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>) or Nick Tait
    (nick.tait@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:nick.tait@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>) can
    give you more information about what happend and where to submit
    you work.

    Besides the start-up sound I believe that wie could also profit
    Form some beautiful ringtones for the upcoming Ubuntu for phones
    release (late October).  So if you like to contribute even more
    there's a good start.

    Since musical contributions to Ubuntu are quite unusual and might
    take a while there's always another route:

    Make the music, upload them somewhere, notify us on this
    mailinglist and let the community post your links on Google+ and
    Facebook. If interest is big enough (and I belive so, espesially
    because you're famous) your request/contribution will get heard
    quite fast.
    But only if they fit the Ubuntu spirit ;-)


    Am 10.09.2013 19:24 schrieb "Sam Hulick" <samh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

        Hey Rick!

        To be clear, I'm a composer, not a sound designer, so when I
        say "startup sounds," I'm thinking something musical. I'll
        leave the UI sounds and other alert sounds to someone more
        capable. Unless of course, they all take a musical route. :)

        I could just whip up some stuff and submit it (to whom, I
        wouldn't know). I'm looking for a more official channel, as
        in, someone who could take the work I've done, say "yes, this
        will do" and then officially make it part of 14.04 LTS. What
        is that process like?


        On 09/10/2013 12:18 PM, Rick Spencer wrote:

            Hi Sam,

            I'm sure there are all sorts of things that would benefit
            from sound
            design. From apps to the system sounds like start up sounds.

            Ubuntu is open to all sorts of contributors. Hopping on a
            mailing list
            is a great start. Essentially, you are asking to join the
            Community. Which is great, because it's open to anyone.
            Here's a link
            for getting started with the Ubuntu Community:

            Check out especially the community structure and Code of
            Conduct parts.


            Cheers, Rick

            On Tue, Sep 10, 2013 at 12:45 PM, Sam Hulick
            <samh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:samh@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

                Hey all,

                My name is Sam Hulick, and I've been writing music for
                ten years
                professionally, and longer than that experimentally.
                ;) I'm most known for
                my work on the Mass Effect video game trilogy, but
                have several other game
                credits as well as some film work (most recently a PBS

                As it happens, I'm also a huge Ubuntu fan (writing
                right now from a ThinkPad
                S431 running 13.04!). I'd love to contribute a new
                startup sound (or sounds)
                to be included in 14.04 LTS. If anyone could put me in
                touch with the proper
                person, I'd appreciate it!



                Sam Hulick
                PGP Public Key

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