A breakdown of the PlayStation startup sound

The PlayStation startup sound is such an iconic piece of audio and Troy McQuinn broke it down into its literal parts (which I didn’t know it had).

I found out that these sounds aren’t recorded as they are played. They are actually very simple sequences that use only three short audio samples which are played at different speeds and mixed together to give us what we hear at the boot up. The first sound is a chime or a bell glissando, the second is that sawtooth synth sound with a bit of phaser effect on it, last of all we have a quick reverse tape stop sound effect. Some of this may be recognizable already from the boot-up sequence. As it turns out, these sounds are mixed together and play to different speeds to produce the final product.

If you enjoy that video, check out Troy’s attempt at playing the audio samples using a software synthesizer.