Monday, April 9, 2018

Jim Reekes Discusses Apple Sound History

Jeniece Pettitt:

Apple users may notice that their computers and phones are filled with well-designed sounds that effortlessly blend into the experience — from the gentle keyboard clicks to the pings that alert you when something is wrong.

But what they may not know, is that three of the most famous Apple sounds — the boot up chord, the camera click and the “Sosumi” beep, all were created by one man, mostly from his San Jose living room.

His name is Jim Reekes. He started working at Apple in the late 1980s as a sound designer.

Via Mitchel Broussard:

Reekes also looked back on the Mac’s original startup tone, which annoyed him “immensely” because the Mac crashed so many times that it was easy to equate the tone with a frustrating situation. Although he didn’t have permission to change it, he recorded a new c-major chord in his living room and used The Beatles song “A Day in the Life” as inspiration.

Eventually, Reekes managed to sneak the sound into the original Macintosh Quadra computer.


Mac computers introduced before late 2016 make a chime sound when they start up. Mac computers introduced after late 2016 don’t have a startup chime, with the exception of MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017).

Update (2018-04-09): There’s also a video interview (via nubero).

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