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For an experiment I'm running (I'm a grad student in Psychology), I would like to be able to change the system alert beep (aka Ctrl-G aka ASCII 07 aka the \a escape sequence in C and its cousins) to a different sound. (I'm using it as input to another piece of equipment, and that piece of equipment doesn't like the current sound...) (In my ideal universe, I'd like to change it to a sound that only comes out of, say, the right side channel so that I can play something else out of the left, but that comes later...)

I'm using Windows XP, and on my particular machine (a Gateway laptop) the sound does come out of the general speaker, not the motherboard one. It is affected by the volume control and its balance features, which leads me to believe that Windows is substituting some sound file for the system sound, now I just need to find it...

Unfortunately, most of the advice I've been able to find is for turning off the beep, not changing it, which is why I'm turning to you. (I definitely don't want to turn it off, I had to jump through a lot of hoops to figure out that it even existed!)

Changing the default beep in the sound scheme (from the Sounds control panel) did not change the beep I get when my program uses \a.

Listening to every file that a search for *.wav turned up (including in hidden and system files/folders) did not uncover the right beep.

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2 Answers

I dont think you'll be lucky with the right / left sound channels. Normally the system beep is played througha single system speaker inside the pc case, hence mono.

also, might it not be easier to just add a bit of code to play a wav file to your program ?

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Much to my surprise, when I put headphones on, I could play with the balance in the volume control and get the beep to come out of one side or another. And I'm not much of a programmer, I'm modifying pre-existing C code (source code for the game Nethack), and the people I've asked seem to think I'd have to have it launch another program or do other things I'm not sure how to get it to do. \a was a simple solution to my problem, except that it came with its own problems. –  Andrea Aug 10 '10 at 17:02
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I don't know of a program which will control ^G beeps, but this one can be used to make PC speaker music. No support for stereo though as PC speaker is mono, but you can play several beeps at once. Also check your volume control settings! On some systems there may appear PC Speaker option. Goto options-> properties and see if it can be checked on the list.

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Thanks for that. Playing with the volume for the PC speaker setting, it does seem to be that - yet I can still shift it to one side or the other using the overall balance. (Like you suggest, I can't adjust the balance for just the PC speaker setting) At least it's playing through the headphone jack, so I can direct it where I want and not annoy the world with the beeping... –  Andrea Aug 10 '10 at 17:07
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