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OS Sound Effect Remixes are songs that are mainly composed of various sound effects found in Windows and Mac operating systems.
On April 16th, 2006, YTMND user Artman40 created the site “Super Mario XP” featuring a pixel art mosaic of Mario made of titlebar buttons (minimize, maximize and close) from Windows XP. The background music is a rendition of the Super Mario Brothers’ Underworld Theme by Koji Kondo, recreated with sound effects from the Windows XP operating system as well as the sound of mouse clicks.
OS sound effect remixes can be seen as a subgenre of Glitch music, which is characterized by use of glitch noises or distortions emitted from hardware or software. The theories that would inspire glitch music can be traced back to Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto The Art of Noises, in which he argued the human ear had become accustomed to the electronic sounds of machinery and therefore music should reflect the new desire for aural sensations caused by artificial sounds. The use of computer-generated sounds was championed in the early 1990s by German musician Achim Szepanski, whose music utilized elements from techno, IDM (intelligent dance music) and noise.
The creation of Mario XP was soon followed by other OS sound effect remixes paired with background music from video games including Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, Pacman, Megaman, The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania. As of January 2013, there are more than 280 sites related to the keyword “XP” on YTMND, although many of them appear to be unrelated in content. In June 2007, some of the more notable YTMND Windows XP sites were combined into a YouTube montage (shown below), which has gained more than 155,000 views as of January 2013.
By 2007, a similar fad known as “PC Sound Effect Series” had emerged on the Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga, drawing heavy participation from the MAD remixing community. As of January 2013, there are more than 650 OS sound effect remixes associated with the term on Nico Nico Douga.
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