TINY MUSIC MAKERS: Pt 2: The Microsoft Sound

Ten years ago, Microsoft spent $300m launching Windows 95 (just under $3 per copy sold). A tiny slice of that money went to Brian Eno, who recorded the startup sound on a handful of ageing synths in his studio.
>>There are various different versions of 'The Microsoft Sound'. I'm pretty sure that this is the one (it sounds Eno-ish with delayed pianos). Please tell me if I'm wrong.
>> Brian Eno is proper arty. He once urinated in Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain'.
>> Brian Eno has produced six U2 albums, which have sold 70 million copies worldwide. Windows 95 sold 110 million copies in just two years.
>> Brian told XFM that he was paid $35,000 for the sound.
>> In 2001, MS-hater post-rock band Trans Am released Let's Take The Fresh Step Together [iTunes Link], which is the Microsoft Sound timestretched to 51 seconds.
>> Brian loves Yamaha FM synths. In 1995 he was using: Three DX7s, one TG77 and a Prophet VS, according to this Future Music interview.
>> The told the whole Windows 95 story in this 1996 interview with Joel Selvin: "The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I'd been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, 'Here's a specific problem -- solve it.'
>>"The thing from the agency said, 'We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional,' this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said 'and it must be 3 1/4 seconds long.'[He doesn't say how he persuaded them to eventually use a piece six seconds long]
>>"I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It's like making a tiny little jewel.
>>"In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I'd finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time."

NEXT UP: 20,000 lines of code, a banjo and the THX Sound
PREVIOUSLY: Yodelling, the KLF and Intel

Awesome... but what about the other MS sounds? The one linked--isn't that just the Windows Me sound? Or is it Windows 2000...

One of the more recent ones I've been in love with is the Scion sound...
The one linked is the 'original' Microsoft sound from Windows 95!
ha! shows you when I switched to PC...

Thanks, now I feel a little dumb ;)
To the first reply, are you talking about the wicked trancey/IDM song they use in the Scion commercials?

I'm pretty sure that's EDIT, an artist on Planet-mu, that's easily the best advert music I've heard in years...

Gotta love Eno, just chock-full of interesting contradictions. Strange to look at him now and imagine the cross-dressing air-synth playing vamp on the ol' grey whistle with Roxy. That studio shot is so amazingly dull, yet I admire his fondness for simplicity.

How on earth did you know about that Trans AM tidbit? I would have never made the connection with Windows, I just thought it was a crappy album intro (sorry). Are they still buckin fush?

Love this feature "tiny music makers"!
This series of posts is really interseting so far, great idea to find out about such things!

Whenever I hear the default windows error beep ( not often as I avoid using PCs where possible!) I always think the Ren & Stimpy show is about to start... but alas it usually isn't.

no, although that track is very nice...
I'm talking about the smooth, yet overdriven delayed chords that sound at the end of every Scion ad--radio included--when the logo shows up.
That studio is really nothing special, i cans pot a DX7 and a DXII (or is a DX7s), but what's the one underneath, and that big blur thing in the background?
does anyone know?
Ooh Ooh, I was hoping someone would mention that, I forgot to put it in a separate post.
The big blue thing in the background is a Jellinghaus DX7 knob box:
link link. Had a knob for every DX7 parameter, only about 25 ever made. I saw an interview with Eno last year where he said that his never really worked...
So there are 84 or so sound bits? Where can we rummage through those fun little pieces? I love small sounds that condense music into seconds.

In another somewhat related note, if anybody is wondering wrote that Microsoft Windows 95 Easter Egg Theme aka "Microsoft Clouds" midi bit, the artist is Brian Orr at his Website
That is, in fact, the piece Eno composed. In fact, if you right click on the original WAV file, and select (I think it's) Properties->Details, you'll see his name in the Composer field. I got quite a kick out of that.
The Scion commercial with the best sounds, in my opinion, was the one that used Prefuse 73's Uprock and Invigorate.
I'll get to see this weekend whether that Jellinghaus Programmer works - it's just arrived here prior to going into the VEMIA auction.
The story I was given by an Microsoftie was that Eno set up the contract to be paid royalties for playing it, meaning that Microsoft's attempts to use the sound for branding purposes in a commercial would mean royalty checks sent to Eno for each person that heard the sound (not merely hearing as the machine booted up). Way more expensive than the initial $35,000 payment.

Next time around for Win98, Microsoft farmed out the splash sound to an internal sound production crew. :)
Speaking of W98, Who wrote the deafult MS Sound? An also if that person has a copy of that sound E-mail it to me: macman643@infostations.com
(I would like to play with it.)
I did know about this - if you right-clicked the Windows 95 start-up wav then clicked Properties, the author was listed as Brian Eno.

Nice story though.
Oh men!, that sound of Windows Me is cool, but nothing compares to the Windows 98 start sound!, that one is awesome!, I mean can you find this sound in another O.S.? I don't think so ;)
How about putting the Microsoft Sound WAVE file up so that all of us can put it into our XP systems?
i wanted windows xp original sound its amazing it suits so much to the look and feel of the os.. who the hell made it
errm... can some 1 please email me the win 2000 one... im on win XP so i can use it
Interesting that Robert Fripp is the guy who was hired to create the "new" Microsoft Sound for Vista.

And yes, the MP3 *IS* that of Eno's "Microsoft Sound." My first Windozer had W95 SR2 on it.
Thanks, been looking around for the 95 startup sound. Best of all of em don't ya think?
I've been Googling around for awhile since I absolutely LOVE the Windows 98 Startup Sound, so I found a link for it and am willing to share it. I'm not going to link DIRECTLY to the sound, but it's in the directory listing. Should be pretty self-explanitory in the list on which one it is. Have fun! link
I like the sound that plays when you put the Windows 98 CD in. Anybody know where you can get that one?

I have all the startup sounds from Windows 95 through Windows XP. But does anyone have the Windows 98 Welcome Screen Music that plays when the welcome screen comes up the first time you start Windows 98. It is on YouTube but I can't download it. If anyone can responed and post a link to where I can find it and download it that would be great.
Ok I dont know how old this post is, but you can download videos from Youtube by going to a website like videodl.org .

This is very interesting I go looking for an old Windows 95 startup sound. It was a female voice that says "MMM Welcome to Windows 95". Now i stumble upon this where theres a conversation about the Windows Startup sounds. Anyways if anyone finds it post a link.

Does anyone else know any good funny windows sound. Like have you herd the Windows 98 one where bill gates gets shoot bc windows 98 is too slow.Error Sound.The whole thing
I want the XP music that plays when you first start up a new install. I can't even figure out what search terms to use to look for it!
-feb. 2007-
I think the XP initial music is in C:\windows\media
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Excuse me? But what does the stuff above have to do with the micrsoft sound and Windows? Please lets continue our chat on the microsoft sound
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"and then at the bottom it said 'and it must be 3 1/4 seconds long.'[He doesn't say how he persuaded them to eventually use a piece six seconds long]"

...maybe that's why it's 8 bit instead of 16 bit? ;-)
Gosh, that sound really brings back memories. Glad I found it.
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hey, great sounds. anyway, i have win2k so give me ur email by emailing me at atothemax@hotmail.com and ill send. also, i have the location of the Win98 sound. Search for Welcom98 in a Win98 Find window or give me ur email and ill send. Also, can someone send me the WinME sound. By the way Brian, I missed that sound when 98 came out. The 95 sound is the best one you will find. The 98 sound is OK but the 95 one is incredible. And by the way, I'm sorry I seem to go on and on, The 95 Sound was reused in Windows 2000. Please someone send me a WAV version of this.

The Win95 sound was NOT used in Win2000... However, the Win2000 sound was reused in WinME...
Does anyone has a copy of Windows 98 startup sound file? I really like to have one. If you wanna help me, please send to firefox.lee[at]gmail.com

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I have all Microsoft OS'es (including the betas) and copied all original WAV startup sounds of them. They're all so great till XP came.

I remember me being addicted to the Windows 95 sound, using it everywhere I could :-P The sound that the band (iTunes link) plays is the Windows 98 sound, which is even better. I like the Windows NT 4 beta sound most though, it's impressive!

If you want to have an archive of all Microsoft sounds, feel free to download my Microsoft Sound Archive.
The windows XP install music is stored in your computer :-)
It might be hidden so be shure to have the option to show system files on.
Windows 98 has the best one.
I hate the XP soundS!
hey can some tell me where i can download the windows 98 shut down wave file.
i really like that sound
my email is lil_southside_ryder007@hotmail.com
There is no Windows 98 shutdown sound. Only a logoff sound, if you mean that one.
Does anyone have the Windows Vista Beta Startup Sound?
History of Microsoft Windows:

-Windows 1.0
First Windows Operating system, launched on 1985
-Windows 2.0
Not much, launched on 1987
-Windows 3.0
Here goes the appearance of the first Microsoft startUp sound..., launched on 1990.
-Windows NT* 3.1
Another startup sound, launched on 1993
-Windows 95
Complete with the taskbar, launched on 1995
-Windows NT* 4.0
I'm currently using it's startup sound, launched on 1996
-Windows NT* 5.0
Not much difference from windows NT 4.0!launched from 1996 or 1997.
-windows 98
In that case, I have the start up sound, launched on 1998
-Windows 2000
Nice startup sound. It also has another startup sound I'm currently finding. luanched on 2000
-Windows ME**
Has the same startup sound as windows 2000, launched on 2000
-Windows XP
That boring startup sound
-Windows Vista
Now this one has two starup sounds!
-Windows Vienna 7.0 ???

*NT: Network Servicer
**Millenium edition
I want the Windows Server 2003 oobe Music. If anyone has it, post a link to where I can find it.
Speaking of Windows startup sounds, back in the 90s, someone emailed me a sound clip of either the Win NT or Win 95 startup sound. It had been changed so that the crescendo was interrupted by the sound of breaking glass, followed by a male voice yelling, "Oh crap!"

Anyone know where that can still be found? Thanks.
I seem to have all of the sounds all of you are looking for (I have a large sound collection). However, I don't know how to put these on the internet for download, and my parents are to uptight about internet security for me to e-mail them to anyone (I'm fifteen). If someone can tell me how to post these sounds on the web and make them available for download, I'd be happy to share them.
i dont like windows xp!! it has such a boring noise i mean come on !

also the win98 sound actually fits its splash screen! the startup sound sounds like were going through the sky to space! and the splash screen has a sky background!!! i liked that version better and also i like win 2000! its cool and entertaining!
does anyone have the vista beta start up sound file
If anyone is looking for any Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, XP, or Vista sounds (including Vista Beta Sounds), I probably have them. Just e-mail me at m-kazmierski@hotmail.com for requests and I'll see what I can do!
Does anyone have the Windows Media Center Sounds?
the win 98 startup sound is magical,relaxing and heavenly.It cannot be beat.I have xp and am trying to convert it to 98 fir the microsoft sound.Anyone have a legit way to do this gmail me at TGLO1983@GMAIL.COM thanx.

The last time I heard this off Win 95 I was maybe under 6 years of age. And I can still remember it to this day!
Make your own wave files for vista using handy bits voice mail...then it is saved as a wave file...I do it all the time just a suggestion
i have put the file on rapid share as

hope this is helpful
hello, I am looking for some windows NT sounds, I do however have all windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, vista, vista beta sounds, and am willing to share, email me at isfeldt@gmail.com, also my msn messenger, yahoo is hegg_johan. thanks grate blog!
hello, might also add, am looking for ME sounds as well as other opperating systems like any linux, unix, exc. thanks and will share some of the sounds i made my self for windows event sounds, just email me at isfeldt@gmail.com
hat Trans Am track, can be found on last.fm http://www.last.fm/music/Trans+Am/_/Let%27s+Take+the+Fresh+Step+Together
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