Telephone Tones: Free Ableton Live Pack #106

The Sounds of Telephones in Your Music

Remember the longing anticipation of a phone ringing, the powerlessness you felt when you heard the busy signal, or the click of a hang up followed by a dial tone?  Those old tones our landlines used to have were certainly packed with a lot of emotion.  This Free Ableton Live Pack will allow you to sprinkle those feelings in your music.

How It's Made

The dial tones, busy signals, and touchpad numbers were all created using two different tones.  We can mimic these sounds using Ableton's Operator FM synthesizer.  Just dial in the frequencies listed on this page and you can make them yourself.  It's pretty interesting how two simple tones can create such a rich and familiar sound.

A Shout Out to the Inspiration

Brian, of the duo Trifonic, has been putting out music production tutorials for years. I learned a lot about sound design and production from him, back when I was an Apple Logic user.  The video below on Rhythmic Gating was one of the first to get me to work in Ableton Live.  Along with a few other people, he inspired me to create my own tutorials.  You might not be on this site if not for him.  So thanks to Brian, and after the aforementioned Rhythmic Gating video, is his video on telephone tones using FM8 that inspired this Ableton Live Pack.

An Old Jam Using the Telephone Tones

Years ago, I made this little unfinished jam using the telephone tones.  I thought I'd post it, because otherwise it will never see the light of day!  (PS: funny enough, the heavy drum editing that happens around 1:35 and 2:30 were strongly influenced from this Trifonic tutorial).