Re: Some ideas...
- From: "Michael Adams" <madleech hotmail com>
- To: gnome-sound-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Some ideas...
- Date: Wed, 01 Nov 2000 17:41:01 NZDT
<meta email begins...>
Dynamic, morphing sound for an operating environment has intrigued me for
years... An older friend hacked up a sound-making "machine" (kinda like a
theremin I guess) that you manipulated with your mouse and keyboard. On
screen there was a web of lines, coloured and textured, and you mushed
together by moving the mouse, introducing new colours and "waves" with the
Some of the sounds were made realtime, some were samples that were
detuned, etc. with everthing else. Very, very weird feeling - your
were part of this soundscape. Even with crappy sound (from memory it was
only 11kHz), it was quite engrossing.
Now, imagine that kind of dynamism integrated with a desktop environment.
already have dynamic graphical interfaces... :) Strangely enough, when
Conrad first told me about some of the sounds he was making for Gnome, I
joked about this, and he came back with the ideas he'd a;ready had about
this -> and seriously! :D
That little bit extra! you're catching on!
> those events get added to the sound que, and the sequencer program
> (daemon?) reads these, layering the sounds up on top of the basic beat
> time to the music. You could download extra sounds and genres etc. Just
> idea, but could be quite cool to give go!
I think this is a similar idea to what I've written above, but... to a
or maybe when you activate lots of events at once, for example running your
mouse over a row over buttons, with a 'prelight' sound, it would just have a
few sounds, perhaps a bit louder, or order them so that they sound better.
while we're on the backend side, i think maybe we should have a client
server type setup, so that the way it gets played (esound, oss, alsa etc) is
transparent to the client. Then you could also implement these... dynamic
How hard would this be to implement? I'm not sure I grok it. Personally,
it would be auditory sensor overload. I mean it would be cool to play with
for awhile, but I can't imagine using it day in and day out.
that would be the trick. If you can't do it well, don't do it. The same with
interfaces, of which, sound is just an extension / enhancement. You could
argue that pixmap themes are an overload, but done well they're amazing. Try
bubbles-revisited vs redmon 95. See what i mean?
I love the idea of united sound themes for the desktop.
we'd have to get onto the theme makers, and maybe make up a few to go with
specific themes, hust to show that it is possible.
> Similar to this , but a bit 'lower' is 'Type writer, v1' which is a
> windows program that responds to every key press with a tap and spaces
> a slide sound, a line returns (enter) with the appropriate typewriter
That's what you call, "EVIL." :D
well, window$ does seem to attract this type of rubbish! remember the 1980's
keyboard 'click' emulators? hehe.
> A bit more... for our sound panel, it sound be so that a user can drag a
> sound file from the gnome filer, or ROX-Filer onto the appropriate
> Then once done, just drag the completed sound theme (through an icon or
> something) back into your filer to save it.
That would be a natural extension... Cool. I haven't seen the sound capplet
for a while though, as it crashes on me. Ah well.
as i said... it's the little things that count.
it crashes on me
well, there's our first problem, debog Jeff's sound panel!
> i've been following the gnome sound project for a while now, and i've
> few ideas...
excellent, I was hoping we'd start talking about this kind of stuff
soon [and that someone else would kick it off so I'm not a lone
[random cool ideas snipped]
on a randomly related keyboard-response vein, check out syre-blink:
btw, is there any mechanism for putting ideas into a bug tracking database
or something? I find that way useful for coding sprees ...
the prog wouldn't compile for me. :(
probably my <cough>brocken</cough> redhat 7 + 6.2 glibc-devel etc!
the ideas data base... i'm sure one exists, but if not, find a server on the
net with cgi and stick a message board thing on it. or persuade me to write
something more customised!
Conrad said, again...
> <quote who="Michael Adams">
> > For example, when a user moves over a button, we already have the
> > 'pre-light' function, but what about a soft 'pop.'
> Dynamic, morphing sound for an operating environment has intrigued me
> Now, imagine that kind of dynamism integrated with a desktop
> already have dynamic graphical interfaces... :) Strangely enough, when
> Conrad first told me about some of the sounds he was making for Gnome, I
> joked about this, and he came back with the ideas he'd a;ready had about
> this -> and seriously! :D
eek, time to trawl through my sent-mail archives ... :)
Basically I was talking about having complementary "granules" of sound
for each interface event. The way Gnome already works is that it has
sounds hooked up to particular gtk events, such that for example
selecting the "Log out" option from the panel menu triggers the "menu
activation" sound, overlayed anywhere up to half a second later by the
"question dialog" sound, then followed by the "action button" sound
when you press OK or Cancel.
With the existing Gnome sounds (glass breaking, loud beeps etc) this
kind of behaviour starts sounding _really_ messy. Whereas when the
sounds actually fit together, it actually starts sounding good.
For this reason, the sounds I did a while ago at
were mostly made with similar softsynth settings (similar harmonics)
but with differently shaped pitch and filter cutoff envelopes. For
example, the "question dialog" sound was made with a pitch envelope
that tips up at the end like it's asking a question, but otherwise
has similar characteristics to the normal "dialog" sounds, all of
which in turn work with the button and menu activation sounds when
i tried these, but 1) i don't have a subwoofer, and 2) they were a bit too
quiet i think. maybe cos of my poor speekers... but they do sound good i
have to say.
One thing I noticed after using those sounds for a while is that it
became *annoying* that "OK" and "Cancel" both trigger the same sample
in Gnome dialogs. When the dialogs really sound like they're asking
or telling you something, it sounds *wrong* that you give them the
same audio response either way.
This is going towards some kind of semantic audio interface -- it
really does start to feel like you are communicating audibly with your
computer. It'd be great to exploit this a bit more. Like Michael
described it, once you're used to it you notice when the interface is
"muted". It's actually noticeable that passing over menu options
doesn't make any sound. Jeff called this behaviour "tactile audio"
which is a pretty cool way to describe it :)
Anyway ... this is something to keep in mind for making sound themes.
As for extending how sounds are used in Gnome, it's good that it already
has hooks for info/warning/error dialogs, and it could be useful to make
some more semantic definitions, eg. separate sounds for "OK", "Cancel",
"Help" etc., and some new gtk-event definitions for button and menu
ok. gnome has preset menus, button, etc (atleast glade does) so i shouldn't
be too hard to put a wrapper in the button part which says... whenever it
draws a dialog box with ok and cancel, make the 'ask a question' sound and
when the button clicked is cancel | ok, play that sound.
I agree, would this have to make it into the next major version (1.4?) or
have to wait for 2.0? Or could this be added at anytime? This would be nice
to have in 1.4.
I think we could do it now, if what i just said is possible / easy to do.
(if this looks a bit broken... sorry. It's hotmails fault.)
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