Contest for System Sounds

News posted on Sun, 2020-09-06 13:00

UPDATE (2020/12/08): The contest has concluded. See this blog post for the results.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that, Haiku is a unique operating system. It takes its roots from BeOS, the OS everyone envied back in the day. Haiku continues to follow its footsteps, trying to deliver that same experience. What could be better than complementing this unique operating system with a set of unique system sounds?

As R1 steadily approaches, we are looking for contestants (amateur, professional, enthusiast) to produce system sound effects for Haiku. Specifically sounds for:


  • Beep
  • A nice and soothing startup chime


  • Information notification
  • Important notification
  • Error notification
  • Progress notification (= the percentage of the progress bar gets updated)

Key/mouse events:

  • Key down
  • Key repeat
  • Key up
  • Keymap switch
  • Mouse down
  • Mouse up

Window events:

  • Window activated (= gets focus)
  • Window close
  • Window minimised (= window tab gets double-clicked to hide the window)
  • Window open
  • Window restored (= gets ‘unminimised’)
  • Window zoomed (= when ‘zoom’ button (right widget in tab) is clicked)

Contest guidelines

  • All sound effects except the startup chime should be up to 1 second long. If the situation calls for, it can be longer, but it should not exceed 2 seconds. For startup chime, the limit is 5 seconds.
  • All sound effects should be non-intrusive. Distorted tunes, high-pitched tunes will not be considered.
  • Expanding on “haiku” and related themes are encouraged.
  • Entries need to be in uncompressed PCM format.
  • Entries should include a note that the work is licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International or a similar license. The license file should look something like this:
    Haiku System Sounds   
    Copyright 2020, [Name-of-the-artist] <>   
    Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International.   
    [Optional additional info]
  • Naming the sound files according to the theme is encouraged, but intended sound event should be noted appropriately.

Submission deadline

Deadline for the contest is November 25th, 2020; we would like to have the new default sound theme ready in time around Haiku Beta3. We also plan to package and release qualifying submissions as separate packages available for download on the main Haiku software repository.

How to participate

Send an e-mail to humdingerb (gmail) com and bitigchi (me) com with a link to your zipped up work. Entries and news regarding the contest will be added to this post.

The winner will be decided by a poll in Haiku forums starting December 1st, 2020, and will be announced on the website and the Haiku general mailing list on December 7th, 2020.

Thanks for being a part of the Haiku universe!

Contest Entries (In-progress)

  • bearlyMatt - Komorebi (Download link [3.1 MiB] - added 2020/11/25)
  • Benjamin Davis (Download link [3.3 MiB] - added 2020/11/07)
  • Dahuyn Lee - Meditation Time (Download link [4 MiB] - added 2020/11/19)
  • Daniel Diaz (Download link [4.4 MiB] - added 2020/10/03)
  • Denis Čumak - Clack (Download link [5.8 MiB] - added 2020/11/10)
  • Garrett Kabler - burg’s-sparkly-tones (Download link [1.8 MiB] - updated 2020/11/24)
  • Humdinger - Low Modulorian (Download link [2.9 MiB] - updated 2020/10/13)
  • Jason Richardson - Bassling (Download link [3.6 MiB] - added 2020/10/04)
  • Joshua Spann - Zen (Download link [1.6 MiB] - updated 2020/10/13)
  • Luke Stegmayer - Nature (Download link [2 MiB] - updated 2020/11/26)
  • Maksim Malerson - Basics (Download link [723 KiB] - updated 2020/11/19)
  • Nomys Tempar - The Poet Operating System Theme (Download link [2.8 MiB] - added 2020/11/17)
  • Olivier Coursière - Supposedly Not Too Annoying Theme (Download Link [4.9 MiB] - added 2020/11/25)
  • Parnikkapore - Yanqim (Download link [2.2 MiB] - updated 2020/11/25)
  • Gareth White - Straight Outta Cronton (Download link [3.4 MiB] - added 2020/10/10)
  • Tim Lyakhovetskiy - Leafy (Download link [2.6 MiB] - added 2020/10/17)
  • Ward Bones - Zen Peace (Download link [3.2 MiB] - added 2020/11/19)

You can download all entries in one tar.gz archive [52 MiB]. Unpack with Expander.