Gauge Sounds - Sound Files For Reporting On Progress Bars and Gauges

This is a set of sounds for reporting progress bar status. I originally created these sounds in 2003 for JAWS and an experimental set of scripts I called JGauge. I am now making the sounds available for any other project. For convenience, the file set also comes with a batch file that can be used to change the basename of all sound files in the set.

For the curious, the files were generated using an old Unix-based command-line tool called augen. The Perl program that drives augen to make the files,, is included in this file set as well.

Sound and Theory

Each of the 101 position files consists of three tones: A bottom border tone of 220 Hz, a top border tone of 880 Hz, and a somewhat louder tone between the two indicating the current position. The tones are triangle waves, thus a bit clearer in pitch to the ear than sine waves yet less obnoxious in headphones than square waves. The idea of having three tones is to make the ear recognize the distance from current position to one or both borders without requiring perfect pitch.

There are four additional sound files with special meanings:

gaugenew.wav is for indicating the arrival of a new progress bar and consists of the two border tones plus a short and rapidly ascending sweep sound. Similarly, gaugeexp.wav is to indicate the disappearance of a progress bar and consists of the two border tones plus a rapidly descending sweep.

gaugeobs.wav indicates an obscured but still present progress bar. When MSAA is used to get progress bar values, this may not be necessary. However, for special progress bars that don't report MSAA and must be read via pixel examinations on screen, this can be used to indicate when a bar is present but whose position can't be reliably determined. This file contains the two border tones and a small burst of white noise to indicate the ambiguity of position.

Finally, gaugeunr.wav is to indicate completely unreadable progress bars. This file is just a burst of white noise without the border tones. This file may no longer be needed for MSAA capable bars.

Since different projects may prefer different file name prefixes, a renfiles.bat file is also included to rename all the sound files in the set at once: Usage: renfiles oldPrefix newPrefix. Example:

renfiles gauge progress
will rename the files progress0.wav, progress100.wav, progressnew.wav, etc.

Download Gauge Sounds (zip)

Doug Lee
November 15, 2009