Sound Effects for a Silent Computer System

Christian Müller-Tomfelde
DAFx-2002 - Hamburg
This paper proposes the sonification of the activity of a computer system that allows the user to monitor the basic performance parameters of the system, like CPU load, read and write activity of the hard disk or network traffic. Although, current computer systems still produce acoustic background noise, future and emerging computer systems will be more and more optimized with respect to their noise emission. In contrast to most of the concepts of auditory feedback, which present a particular sound as a feedback to a user’s command, the proposed feedback is mediated by the running computer system. The user’s interaction stimulates the system and hence the resulting feedback offers more realistic information about the current states of performance of the system. On the one hand the proposed sonification can mimic the acoustical behavior of operating components inside a computer system, while on the other hand, new qualities can be synthesized that enrich interaction with the device. Different forms of sound effects and generation for the proposed auditory feedback are realized to experiment with the usage in an environment of silent computer systems.