Make a Doorbell (Disquiet Junto Project 0253)

Placeholder until the project goes live (shortly).

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Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, November 3, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, November 7, 2016.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0253: Doorbell Rehab
Record some welcome music.

Step 1: Ring your own doorbell. Consider how it sounds outside your door, to a visitor, and inside, to you, the inhabitant.

Step 2: Compose a new, personalized doorbell sound. Make a recording of how it might sound to the visitor and to the inhabitant.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0253” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In this discussion thread at please consider posting your track. (Assuming you post it on SoundCloud, a search for the tag will help me construct the playlist.)

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, November 3, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, November 7, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you, but presumably it’ll be brief.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0253” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 253rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Doorbell Rehab: Record some welcome music” — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to for Slack inclusion.

Photo by me (Marc Weidenbaum):

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Knocks on the door.
I sweep the dust of my loneliness
under the rug.
I arrange a smile
and open.

In the past I was a pizza delivery man child. You never knew who would be opening the door. Most of the time people were quite happy to see me and eat the pizza. It was pretty run of the mill but sometimes you knew there was some kind of story going on behind the door. The story in this poem I saw many times and in fact it could be any of us at some point.

Peace, Hugh


In the little village where I live nobody has a doorbell, so I had to use the barking of my dogs again(same as last week). If somebody comes at our door… they will let us know.

First recorded 2 female voice parts made with a ‘text to speech’-online site(I forgot which one)
Than recorded my dogs(with a glorious part from my wife)
Added static and some sounds
Added the doorbell of my dreams
And ended with a vocal part of Richard Lyons(with echo)


Suss Müsik doesn’t like doorbells. We prefer the sound of a hand knocking on a wooden door, allowing for much more expression and nuance. There’s the standard three quick knocks of a postal carriers, a sound of measured efficiency. There’s the spritely knock of a friendly acquaintance. There’s the dull thud of someone in a hurry, usually executed by banging the soft part of one’s fist in rapid succession.

A doorbell only provides one tone; well, two tones for the most part: a ding and a dong. Ding dong. In North America, a “ding dong” is slang term for a silly or foolish person. How did this become the audio stamp of greeting guests at the front door? Some ding dong really messed that up.

For this short piece, Suss Müsik sampled a doorbell and twinned the playback with a bit of Hammond B3 organ. Both instruments were treated with a Boss RV-3 digital reverb pedal straight into the mixing board. We went with a simple melody in pentatonic scale that could be looped, faded, or stopped short.


ok so last night i had a cold caller at the door trying to flog me overpriced celebrity chef recipe boxes; she asked if i did the household cooking i said ‘not really’ then she said she’d come back to talk to the person who does. i said no thanks we’re not interested and she said

‘how would you know, you don’t do the cooking’

really judgmental and rude. i managed to keep quiet and shortly after she scampered off.

so that’s the inspiration here:
the best doorbell is a silent doorbell.
i recorded my doorbell speaker being quiet. and done some processing in audition. what’s actually captured is traffic and fireworks.

i think it’d be fun to have a doorbell that captures indoors sounds and is very difficult to work out that it’s a doorbell.


Well I voted today and I will say I have had many bad thoughts about those that were voting for Trump but standing in line to vote and watching everybody I can safely say I probably could not pick out who was voting for whom. I could make guesses but you can never tell really. I began thinking what was making me so angry at them. We’re all just people. I know for a fact Trump represents a bad way of looking at the world but I shouldn’t let that effect or infect me with angry feelings. I hope on Wednesday next week we can all be civil and try to work towards something better. I am guardedly optimistic this will happen.

Later, Les


Disclaimer - I didn’t really follow the directions this week.

I have not had a working doorbell in over six years…

But - I do have an old Mandolin Harp that I rescued from a theater I was working at this summer. The wood is warped, partially broken, the pins are bent, the strings are out of tune and some of them are missing. It’s in bad shape, but there are parts of it that sound cool and creepy. Since it was just Halloween, I thought it would be fun to see what I could get out of this instrument.

There is some compression on the knocking sounds, but otherwise no effects. What you hear is what you get. I especially loved the low note that vibrated the wooden frame on my desk when hit just right.

The drone is me humming with verb on that track only. The glissando in the middle part shows you how vastly out of tune the Mando Harp is.


My son assisted with this short film to demonstrate how my doorbell sounds, both outside and inside my home.

You can read more on my blog.
Thanks :slight_smile:


This sounds to me what your doorbell might be hearing, which is quite an interesting perspective.

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Love this. I could happily wait by a door playing this.

Reminds me, the other response I had to this Junto was remembering this Men At Work song that I thought would be a beaut doorbell.


Recorded our two horrible doorbells with Ipad pro and rode ixy
Took the fantastic app SAMPLR and worked the little tune out…rough and quick!

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Our doorbell is not working. However, when someone does press it I am sure that it wants to ring. I imagine what it would like to do and how its attempt sounds to the doorbell itself, as well as how it would like to sound to the potential visitor.

The score is available at and is available via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

midi track :m4l instrumental - additive heaven.
slided slider for ambience and tipsy mood.
re-rec macbook’s microphone. then added live9’s effect - corpus to make bell tone(resonance type-marimba).

artwork by m4l - Sound Particle

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The Giant Tortoise didn’t move quickly. It also tasted delicious. A lethal combination.

Had a bit of fun with this one :slight_smile:


Wonderful. Thank you!


Hello folks,

Disquiet 0253
Just Knock(The Doorbell Got Beat)[disquiet0253]
Having the worlds most generic sounding doorbell didn’t help with this weeks Junto. When I recorded from the outside an interesting squeak from the switch showed up, but otherwise dullness abound. So I made 11 tracks with the 2 sounds in Cubasis and generally hacked, whacked, chopped and effected 9 of those to make a kind of oddball beat. Was tempted as always to add some sort of bottom end, but it sounds better without. The original inside and outside sounds start the track, then it gets all wonky =-/ G


I really like my house’s door bell, a wireless Heath/Zenith SL-6180-RX-A by Desa International, manufactured in the past decade. The house was built in 1986, but there’s no evidence that it ever had a wired door bell from that era. We live in an “almost rural” setting on a private drive and the houses have more than an acre of hilly woods between them. We never get any kids on Halloween (the nearby main road is quite narrow, no sidewalk, no lights, and the houses spaced far apart) and what few political canvassers we’ve had show up in their car.

Instead of composing something new, I decided to alter the original sound in a way that I normally would. This means pitch shifting it down a bit, adding some reverb, and doing things that bring out the imperfections in the original electronic door bell sound.


This piece involves a door bell sound that is tape-looped into the high pitched warble heard over the accompaniment.