February 12th, 2013

A recreation from scratch of the iconic chirpy noises emitted by a communicator in the original series of Star Trek. This sequence of 10 chirps is patterned after an original sound effect, but not created from it in any way. The sound of each chirp is not just a downward sweep of tones (I used square waves), but the key aspect to getting it to sound right is a very steep pass-band filter. The envelope of each chirp is also patterned after the original, but not an exact duplicate. This might make a great ringtone for trekkies. I would use it myself if only I could figure out how to get it into my dumbphone. For that purpose, however, you might need to add a gap of silence at the end (not sure how ringtones are set up, really).


  • avatar
    zimbot 2 years, 10 months ago

    Thanks for the comment. You shouldn't have much trouble finding ("out there") the original clip that I used as a guide for this. It had a sequence of multiple chirps that were mostly slightly different from each other, and I figured that would be the best because someone could always just cut out one or three (or whatever) for isolated use. I don't remember now how many synthesis tricks I had to pull to get similar-sounding chirps, but as you might guess, a lot of it was just manually comparing the reference sound's spectrum to what I was coming up with. I had to synthesize a suitably-close chirp-like noise to start with, duplicate it to match the beat of the original, and then do lots and lots of noise shaping, lots of filtering and so on. I do recall that a characteristic part of this (and many other ST:TOS sounds, to a lesser extent) is a rather strong band-pass filtering. But one of the advantages of recreating these from scratch is that you end up with something that is truly clean and pure, as you have noted.

  • avatar
    SwanElectro 2 years, 11 months ago

    This is really nice.
    clean and Optimal.
    I have heard a lot of commutator chirps around, and most seem to be badly recorded clips from the old show, and others are pretty far off. Yours is the best I've heard.


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