When Nokia executives discovered that a survey of mobile phone users revealed that classical music ringtones were among their favorite, the handset maker decided to hire an entire orchestra to help record some original ditties of its own.
Before enlisting the services of Slovakia’s 55-piece Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, Nokia called upon its in-house sound designers to come up with 25 tunes which could be given the orchestral treatment.
“The 25 original pieces, called ‘miniatures’, were composed by five Nokia Design in-house sound designers,” Nokia Sound Design team member Aleksi Eeben said recently.
He added, “We started exploring the idea through contemporary classical and film music. However, the final result was original pieces that are distinctively ring tones: they are short, and they all have a functional sounds element.”
Audio production company Epic Sound also worked with Nokia’s sound designers to create the ringtones. Epic Sound’s Asbjoern Andersen said Nokia had “done lots of pioneering work to innovate and evolve sound on mobile phones. And I think bringing in a living, breathing orchestra really takes this to the next level.”
Anderson continued, “The Nokia mobile sounds are heard around a billion times a day, so a lot of work is put into ensuring that they would stand repeated listening in a lot of different environments and to give the products a unique, organic sound you don’t normally hear on mobile devices.”
Lasting between 14 and 53 seconds, some of the ringtones – such as Shimmering, Dewdrop and the curiously titled Bird Box – can already be found preinstalled on the recently released Nokia 820 and 920 smartphones, with more Nokia handsets getting them in the coming months.
So how about it – do you think Nokia’s hiring of a symphony orchestra was a smart move to help it stand out from the crowd, a sign that it’s prepared to go the extra mile to please owners of its handsets – or simply a pointless gimmick which users of its devices won’t be particularly bothered about.