I have heard many different types of beeps, chimes, and other tones. Audacity allows me to generate simple waveforms like sine waves and square waves, as well as DTMF tones.

But I want to generate tones that are like ones I've heard before but don't know the name, if they have specific names.

The tones must be the sum of some particular tone and some overtones or just other tones in general, but I've heard many of the same-sounding tones in many different places. I'm also including sound effects of short duration (~ 1 second or less) that aren't created by some kind of percussive method, whether synthetic or recorded.

Here are some examples of the sounds I'm talking about:

  • "soft" beeps that sound like a sine wave but have some specific arrangement of overtones that make it sound less "sharp"
  • "muddled" beeps that also sound like a sine wave but they sound like a speaker is struggling to make the noise
  • UI noises that sound like short chirps, such as when something is tapped or when a toast appears
  • "computerized" chimes indicating that an event has occurred or that a result has returned successfully/unsuccessfully; I've heard some in TV programs and movies, less so in the real world

All of these sounds are less than or approximately 1 second, and I hear all kinds of sounds like this from all kinds of places. In some situations (particularly the last one), they are the exact same sound, or at least similar enough that I cannot tell the difference.

Are sounds like these available in some kind of online repository? Or are there specific names for them, and there are known algorithms to generate those sounds, and they're just modified as needed (e.g. pitch)?

I always tried looking online for these sounds. Every free sound effect website I come across has none of the exact sounds that I wanted to find, so I assume that at least one of the following must be true:

  • There is an online repository available only by purchase/license, which professionals often pull from
  • The sounds come from specific algorithms that are well-known (or at least can be found in different paid/licensed audio software) and I don't know what they're called
  • The sounds are generated by algorithms that may not necessarily have names, but are simple enough that an audio engineer etc. can create them on the spot

If there is a place where TV shows etc. get the same exact sound effects from, where is it? Or, if these sounds are generated by algorithms, how can I generate them without specific software?

For context, I am dealing with raw data (intended to be compatible with embedded system applications of some kind), and can convert in both directions between a list of 16-bit signed integers and 16-bit signed PCM uncompressed audio. The audio files I'll be generating will be very short, also about 1 second or less, which is why I'm hoping there is an algorithmic solution.

If there's a repository of sounds that I know for a fact multiple TV shows and movies have used the same sounds from, I'd like to know about it.

If there are (named) algorithms for producing these sounds that are apparently commonplace, I'd like to know what they are and how they work. That way, I can automate this task by writing a small single-purpose program. I'll worry about formatting/compressing audio later.



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