Best fire alarm contest

Subject: Best fire alarm contest
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Sun Sep 19 2004 - 22:07:11 EDT

Some characteristics of good fire alarms are described at the end of
this message.

I'm tossing around the idea of an audio design contest for "best car
alarm sound," "best smoke detector sound,"
etc. -- the sorts of sounds usually designed by engineers and
psychologists. My feeling is that
composers could do much better or worse than these sounds that are
supposed to require us to hear.

q: how many categories of real-world design sound might there be? I can
only think of alerts.

conditions: categories may be freely invented. Entries may include
those with explicable or inexplicable purposes or meanings.

Has such a contest ever been run?

-- eliot (in this capacity, host of where's beat CKUT 90.3 FM montreal)

>> Does anyone of any research that identifies the acoustic characteristics
>> needed to arouse people from sleep.
> Possibly The Roar of a Lion?
> Or the "White Shark" soundtrack?
> Sorry, could not resist ;-).
> To supply some Information from my own experience.
> When i get used to my alarm-clock sound i can ignore it. So it should
> be a
> very unfamiliar sound. And the second thing: It should be heavily
> arranged
> in the 1-4kHz frequency range. And additionally Harmonic Distortion helps
> signals to be louder recognised as they are.
> Regards,
> Hermann.

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