Trifonic: Sound Design – How to Create Telephone Sounds

9 Feb

If you compose for film, commercials, or video games, sound design skills are useful to have. But even if you never plan to work on those types of projects, practicing sound design will enhance your understanding of and ability to create audio, which in turn will make you a better producer.

In this video, Brian shows how to recreate some of the most ubiquitous sounds in the world – the classic telephone dial tone and ring – with sine waves. Brian uses Native Instruments’ FM8 synthesizer in his demonstration, but the techniques he uses are applicable to any similar synth.

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  • Milan Karolic

    Thank you, Bran for this great tutorial .. I would like to see more synthesis tutorials, please :) ..

    Keep up great work..Thank you for everything :) ..

  • subtraktr

    Fantastic tutorial and thanks, Brian! It's nice to see others who are interested in this type of noise. Keep on keepin' on!

  • briantrifon

    thanks! I'm very into non-”musical” sounds in music. DMTF phone sounds and actual mechanical phones sounds are slight obsession of mine!

  • briantrifon

    Thanks Milan, I'm definitely going to do some synthesis based to tutorials. Probably a bit about FM etc

  • Dan

    Great Stuff. Thanks once again. I am doing and following all your tutorials.

  • Bronto Scorpio

    Very nice! Something about FM would be very cool. I'm designing sounds for years now but I never got my head around FM. I know how it works. But to get a sound you are searching for can be pretty difficult with FM! FM8 is a fantastic synth and I want to use it but I don't want to use presets :)

    Thanks again for your awesome tutorials!


    And please excuse my poor english!

  • andy

    great stuff, really interested in fm synthesis, so any type of fm8 tutorial is welcomed

  • Simon Revill

    great stuff again man. i have researched FM synthesis because I also have FM8. I got hold of 'FM Theory by musicians for musicians' by Chowning, but it would be interesting to see some more tutorials on FM synthesis sound design, in particular with you (someone using Logic and plugins) as apposed to someone using a DX7 (and consequently reading that aforementioned 80's book!) Of course I'm still reading the book to see what I can learn from it.


  • briantrifon

    Cool, thanks! I'm working on some FM synthesis videos. I think a lot of people are confused by the basics of FM, so I will probably do 1 or 2 remedial FM synthesis tutorials and incorporate how I approach designing FM sounds into the process.

  • briantrifon

    Cool! definitely will address some FM synthesis theory/sounds

  • briantrifon

    Awesome! Thanks for the support Dan :)

  • siunit

    Loving the site! It has given me an advantage in the endlessly epic duel with my inspiration. It's refreshing to see such an open attitude towards sharing techniques.

    I really liked the segment where you talked about abstract sounds creating feelings. I would love to see more tips on evoking emotions and the deeper side of electronic production.

    Thanks & keep it coming!