Another committee takes the "soul" out of Robert Fripp

Alec Saunders notes that there’s not much of Robert Fripp inside the audio in Windows Vista (he was the guitarist who recorded the four notes that you’ll soon be sick of. They’ll probably be used in all the marketing and are the startup sound for Vista). I was there while he was recording this, and I TOTALLY agree. You should have heard the raw sounds while they were being recorded. He did THOUSANDS of iterations.

I wish Microsoft would have given me at least a few dozen to choose from for my own startup sound.

Instead we got the sound that won’t piss anyone off.

Sigh.

Where’s the rock guitar sound?

The edgy jazzy sound?

The weirdo techno sound?

If I were Steve Ball I’d come out with a free Vista addon that adds back some of the funky sound that the committee killed.

And, yes, a committee did kill this.

Here’s a test. Take a world famous guitarist. Have him record thousands of iterations of something. Now, give those sounds to 20 really freaking smart people. Watch what happens.

Music is personal.

By trying to make it please everyone they miss exactly what the user generated world is all about.

Piss me off, Microsoft, please! Get rid of your committees. Show some SOUL.

For Vienna BE TRANSPARENT during the choice of the sound and LET US CHOOSE OUR OWN FREAKING SOUND!

49 thoughts on “Another committee takes the "soul" out of Robert Fripp

  1. I’d be more than happy to fill the void left by the lackluster, non-evocative sounds in Windows. I’m pretty sure that I could come up with some unique and more appropriate sounds. Of course, I’m just one of the “‘behind the’ behind the scenes” guys who was all of the time a few breaths and 4 feet away from greatness (NT 3.1…MSN 1.0); who knows…this could be my breaking of the barrier between the “somewhat involved” and the “curiously interesting” category by making better Windows sounds.

    Would that get me onto TechCrunch, Rob? ;)

  2. I’d be more than happy to fill the void left by the lackluster, non-evocative sounds in Windows. I’m pretty sure that I could come up with some unique and more appropriate sounds. Of course, I’m just one of the “‘behind the’ behind the scenes” guys who was all of the time a few breaths and 4 feet away from greatness (NT 3.1…MSN 1.0); who knows…this could be my breaking of the barrier between the “somewhat involved” and the “curiously interesting” category by making better Windows sounds.

    Would that get me onto TechCrunch, Rob? ;)

  3. So, what if it was not Fripp who was recorded? This thread is about Mr. Softee squelching Fripp. Me; I’d like to use my own sound. *nix anyone?

  4. So, what if it was not Fripp who was recorded? This thread is about Mr. Softee squelching Fripp. Me; I’d like to use my own sound. *nix anyone?

  5. What’s the problem. Its possible to change the startup sounds or get rid of them altogether. I recently had some energetic Irish “diddly-dee” music as my startup, a nice soft harp arpeggio in place of that awful warning sound and the final couple of bars of a jig as my close down sound. Get creative and stop moaning!!

  6. What’s the problem. Its possible to change the startup sounds or get rid of them altogether. I recently had some energetic Irish “diddly-dee” music as my startup, a nice soft harp arpeggio in place of that awful warning sound and the final couple of bars of a jig as my close down sound. Get creative and stop moaning!!

  7. I’ve listened to them back to back. If anything the new Vista sounds are nicer in general; less harsh. It seems that they wanted to be consistant in flavor and different in tone. All computer sounds become anoying after hearing them for the 100th time, so it doesn’t matter which one you use. It would be nice to be able to pick your own custom tones for each Windows event; Windows isn’t designed for this sadly.

  8. I’ve listened to them back to back. If anything the new Vista sounds are nicer in general; less harsh. It seems that they wanted to be consistant in flavor and different in tone. All computer sounds become anoying after hearing them for the 100th time, so it doesn’t matter which one you use. It would be nice to be able to pick your own custom tones for each Windows event; Windows isn’t designed for this sadly.

  9. I agree. They picked the most lame stuff. I checked the recording session video on Channel 9 and there was amazing stuff in there.
    How they got from that to what is in Vista now is something that will keep our and many future generations puzzled.

  10. I agree. They picked the most lame stuff. I checked the recording session video on Channel 9 and there was amazing stuff in there.
    How they got from that to what is in Vista now is something that will keep our and many future generations puzzled.

  11. Comment #16: Microsoft has no soul.
    Comment #8 You expected better from focus groups and committees?

    And last but not least, Scoble’s own comments:

    “Where’s the rock guitar sound?”

    Your Vista don’t dance and your Office don’t rock and roll. We’ll have none of that here because it might lead to dancing.

    “The edgy jazzy sound?”

    When was the last bit of “edgy” software from Microsoft? Again, a kind of sound that doesn’t “fit.”

    “The weirdo techno sound?”

    Circular-filed by the committee because it’s too weird.

    Microsoft is becoming the old IBM. I fully expect ads for Vista to include nuns.


    BMO

  12. Comment #16: Microsoft has no soul.
    Comment #8 You expected better from focus groups and committees?

    And last but not least, Scoble’s own comments:

    “Where’s the rock guitar sound?”

    Your Vista don’t dance and your Office don’t rock and roll. We’ll have none of that here because it might lead to dancing.

    “The edgy jazzy sound?”

    When was the last bit of “edgy” software from Microsoft? Again, a kind of sound that doesn’t “fit.”

    “The weirdo techno sound?”

    Circular-filed by the committee because it’s too weird.

    Microsoft is becoming the old IBM. I fully expect ads for Vista to include nuns.


    BMO

  13. I knew when I saw the channel 9 video, that the bloggers and all the other know it all, wannabe’s were going to have a lot of fun complaining about the final sounds. I was expecting the complaints to be that the sounds were over the top and Microsoft have made the great Robert Fripp sound tacky, but instead it’s “only Microsoft could take one of the most unique guitar players ever and make him sound mundane”.

    I would agree that they could of saved a lot of money and generated the sounds some other way, but I think the sounds are fine, they are nice and subtle like I wanted. The sound scheme like every other part of vista was always going to upset some people no matter how good it was, so I say let the whingers whing and let MS get on with what they do best, making money and pi**ing off bloggers and apple/linux worshipers(-:

  14. I knew when I saw the channel 9 video, that the bloggers and all the other know it all, wannabe’s were going to have a lot of fun complaining about the final sounds. I was expecting the complaints to be that the sounds were over the top and Microsoft have made the great Robert Fripp sound tacky, but instead it’s “only Microsoft could take one of the most unique guitar players ever and make him sound mundane”.

    I would agree that they could of saved a lot of money and generated the sounds some other way, but I think the sounds are fine, they are nice and subtle like I wanted. The sound scheme like every other part of vista was always going to upset some people no matter how good it was, so I say let the whingers whing and let MS get on with what they do best, making money and pi**ing off bloggers and apple/linux worshipers(-:

  15. Look at it this way. They hired a great artist and paid him well. When he is in control of his art, it’s simply the best. This may allow him to further create more stunning works. Bravo for the good choice, MS.

    The corporation, despite what they say, just wants mo’ money. Period.

    BTW, like most artists, Fripp is a Mac user.

  16. Look at it this way. They hired a great artist and paid him well. When he is in control of his art, it’s simply the best. This may allow him to further create more stunning works. Bravo for the good choice, MS.

    The corporation, despite what they say, just wants mo’ money. Period.

    BTW, like most artists, Fripp is a Mac user.

  17. This from people who went absolutely nuts when they weren’t going to be able to turn the sound off? What the heck do you want?

    I think it sounds fantastic personally. It sounds sufficiently edgy, new, and fresh. It has some of the harsh edges of XP removed.

    If you think the sound is lame, turn it off. You got that through the committees that you speak so ill of.

  18. This from people who went absolutely nuts when they weren’t going to be able to turn the sound off? What the heck do you want?

    I think it sounds fantastic personally. It sounds sufficiently edgy, new, and fresh. It has some of the harsh edges of XP removed.

    If you think the sound is lame, turn it off. You got that through the committees that you speak so ill of.

  19. they want to be everywhere.
    go to China same sound same look and one feels at home.
    go to India same sound same look and one feels at home.
    go to a cyber cafe in Paris and still same sound same look and one feels at home. Everywhere it is same.

    I know you ppl know better as you have worked on such things but i am sure their intention is to have a standard to make costumer make addicted to. I am bored with coffee i get but still i drink it every time without fuss.

  20. they want to be everywhere.
    go to China same sound same look and one feels at home.
    go to India same sound same look and one feels at home.
    go to a cyber cafe in Paris and still same sound same look and one feels at home. Everywhere it is same.

    I know you ppl know better as you have worked on such things but i am sure their intention is to have a standard to make costumer make addicted to. I am bored with coffee i get but still i drink it every time without fuss.

  21. I am officially POed. How can someone take one of the most unique guitar players ever and make him sound mundane? I haven’t heard the sounds, so I will reserve judgment, but this sucks

  22. I am officially POed. How can someone take one of the most unique guitar players ever and make him sound mundane? I haven’t heard the sounds, so I will reserve judgment, but this sucks

  23. Computer ring tones you can change?
    Sorry Robert; I don’t think MSFT gets it. ; )

    Lasik Vision improvement on a global scale. LOL

  24. Computer ring tones you can change?
    Sorry Robert; I don’t think MSFT gets it. ; )

    Lasik Vision improvement on a global scale. LOL

  25. Jeez, it’s only recently the “influentials” were up in arms about not being able to turn off the startup sound. Now you’re all complaining about what the sound is.

    It’s only a *sound*. That will be heard very rarely.

    Anyway, why not turn it off like you wanted in the first place. then this debate would be pointless. as if it isn’t already…

  26. Jeez, it’s only recently the “influentials” were up in arms about not being able to turn off the startup sound. Now you’re all complaining about what the sound is.

    It’s only a *sound*. That will be heard very rarely.

    Anyway, why not turn it off like you wanted in the first place. then this debate would be pointless. as if it isn’t already…

  27. Ah, and I tried the Vista RC builds, wondering “this can’t be a real RC – for one thing, they haven’t put in all the audio that Robert Fripp did.”

    So apparently, they had – it’s just they only used one sound. What a total waste of time.

  28. Ah, and I tried the Vista RC builds, wondering “this can’t be a real RC – for one thing, they haven’t put in all the audio that Robert Fripp did.”

    So apparently, they had – it’s just they only used one sound. What a total waste of time.

  29. I’m hoping at the least the Plus Pack for Vista will have better sounds. In fact, they cynic in me seems to suspect better Fripp stuff will show up there.

  30. I’m hoping at the least the Plus Pack for Vista will have better sounds. In fact, they cynic in me seems to suspect better Fripp stuff will show up there.

  31. Brett: the real shame is that they have it in their recording vault. Robert Fripp was amazing. They picked his lamest recording cause a committee chose the sound.

    What do you get when you ask 10 people what we should eat for lunch?

    A peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    That’s what this is.

    Problem is, I want Thai food. Spicy.

    Or some sushi. The real sh**. Not those “California Rolls.”

    Sigh.

  32. Brett: the real shame is that they have it in their recording vault. Robert Fripp was amazing. They picked his lamest recording cause a committee chose the sound.

    What do you get when you ask 10 people what we should eat for lunch?

    A peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    That’s what this is.

    Problem is, I want Thai food. Spicy.

    Or some sushi. The real sh**. Not those “California Rolls.”

    Sigh.

  33. I’ve using Vista for several months now and I agree with you about Vista sounds. They have all the passion and personality of the music I heard in my doctor’s office this morning: Safe and BORING. They won’t offend anyone but they are not memorable. In fact, they are so non-offensive that they slip into the background and you barely notice their existence.

    I’d like to Vista to play a short clip of “Welcome to the Jungle” on start-up. :-)

  34. I’ve using Vista for several months now and I agree with you about Vista sounds. They have all the passion and personality of the music I heard in my doctor’s office this morning: Safe and BORING. They won’t offend anyone but they are not memorable. In fact, they are so non-offensive that they slip into the background and you barely notice their existence.

    I’d like to Vista to play a short clip of “Welcome to the Jungle” on start-up. :-)

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