This year, we’re adding even more to our seasonal collection, with ringtones for Lunar New Year, Diwali and other global celebrations coming soon. A new ringtone for Oktoberfest is up next, which will be available from September 5 to October 5.
But how exactly do you create a doorbell ringtone? As an audio designer on the Google Nest team, it’s my job to figure that out. Today, I’m taking you behind the scenes to show you exactly how I do it — from researching different sounds to composing the final ringtone you download in your Google Home app.
Hit the right note
A lot of teams work together to decide new doorbell ringtone themes for the year. Our goal is always to create themes that are inclusive, meaningful and entertaining to people around the world.
To do that, there are a few factors we need to consider. First off, ringtones need to be pretty short — our rule is no more than 10 seconds — so your visitors don’t get impatient waiting at the door. And to be universally accessible and understandable, they can’t have any speech or lyrics. We can also only use musical pieces that are either original compositions or in the public domain (meaning, they were composed before 1926).
From there, we typically design ringtones in one of two ways. We either base it off a short musical riff, like “Jingle Bells” for Christmas. Or, if there aren’t many musical options for the occasion, we’ll create a version of the “ding-dong” sound with a sound effect. For example, in our Thanksgiving ringtone, you’ll hear the traditional “ding dong” followed by a turkey gobble.