This page has a musical soundtrack – click the
Play button to hear it as you scroll.
I like default settings .. but I also like to customise things. Especially my sound world. It’s quite possible to get a custom ringtone on an iPhone, though it’s a bit of a hidden feature. I’m not sure about other phones (e.g. Android) – let me know how that works in the comments.
If you just want to download my new dub-reggae ringtone, scroll down!
I make my ringtones on my laptop – because that’s where I make music and wrangle all my samples. You can also do this on an iPhone (details below).
- Make or record some audio less than 30 seconds in duration.
- Encode it as aac (
- Rename the file
Then, connect your phone to your laptop via USB. In recent versions of macOS you should see your phone in the finder sidebar:
You’ll notice there’s no mention of ringtones anywhere here.
BUT you can drag your
.m4r files over and drop them and they will show up on your phone!
How to make a ringtone – right on your iPhone
Without a laptop, it’s a similar process, using GarageBand on iOS.
- Open GarageBand on your phone, start a new project.
- Make or record less than 30 seconds of sound/music.
- This is the tricky bit, one reason why I prefer desktop.
- Share song and select
Why make custom ringtones?
I like making music but like a lot of creatively minded people I can get bogged down polishing things to perfection. Or feel paralysed by the many half-finished projects or the long list of ideas.
Producing and rendering ringtones is a way of focusing on a low-stakes outcome. Also it’s a fun way to road-test ideas – if you still like it after using it as a ringtone, maybe it’s a keeper!
My new ringtone is a more laid-back, casual “rubadub” style version of Redline Train – an unreleased dub reggae tune. It’s the soundtrack for this page!
You might have already heard the song – it’s part of Padded Landscape, my continuously-evolving loop-based audiovisual installation & website.
When someone rings me, this gentle reggae ditty will echo through my surroundings as I scrabble to answer my phone. When you send me a text, a little dubby chord stab alerts me about this!
Download the files and drag them on to your phone – this archive includes
.m4r files for iPhones and
.mp3 files which should work on other devices (e.g. Android, Samsung). Let me know if your phone uses some other format.