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A rooster crowing. That’s the default ringtone on my phone. Who the hell thought that was a good idea for a gentle wake up.

He crows without pausing. It’s just a 1 second sound byte looped over and over. It’s like the song that doesn’t end but not as catchy. I’m disoriented but he keeps going and going.

Like this but pretend it’s a cell phone.

Ever notice that some people look sad in elevators in the morning? I have a theory that crappy alarm clock tones contribute to that.

A bed is a safe zone. You fall asleep and dream. Outside the blanket, the world feels colder.

The alarm goes off. It’s like your brother is pouring chilly water on your face. If it’s downhill when you wake up, it’s going to be a tough day.

Rethinking alarm clocks

We don’t expect a sudden jolt to wake us up.

Sgt. Hartman doesn’t care about ringtones. Then again, we’re not in basic training. (Scene from Full Metal Jacket)

Before alarm clocks, sunlight was our alarm clock. It was gentle. It’s not your frat brother barging into the room halfway decent.

I ran an experiment several years ago.

What if I emulate the sun with sound. The sun rises and sets gently. It’s not abrupt. The sun provides warmth and is encouraging.

I’ll create a ringtone that:

  1. Gently increases in volume from the start.
  2. Has a pleasant tone.
  3. Encourages me.

Simple Tone

I made this ringtone by sampling existing tones. It doesn’t have words. The sound volume slowly fades in within 30 seconds. It doesn’t jolt.

Ringtone #1 — Simple Tones

Inspiring Ringtone

Stic.man from Dead Prez an excellent workout album called The Workout. It has encouraging lyrics, hip hop beats, and a positive attitude. I’ll put this baby on and I’m ready to hit the streets running or hit the gym.

Stic — The Workout.

The first track MVP with Rocky background music and his speech are inspiring. I decided to take that track, create a slow fade in, and edit it for timing as a ringtone.

Ringtone #2 — Stic MVP

Those are words that are easy to wake up to. Your day seems to go right afterward.

Russians have a saying “They way you greet the new year is the way you’ll spend it”. I say the way you start your morning sets the attitude for your entire day.

Another ringtone I created and use is from Miss Luna vs Q Derhino — Rise & Shine. That’s another DJ Duo with a good attitude.

Ringtone #3 — Miss Luna Rise and Shine

Even though there are days I still want to sleep through the alarm clock, I no longer have to wake up to roosters or tones that dampen my day.