Whether it’s Keith Richards’ buzzsaw fuzz or The Edge’s ricocheting delays, we can all think of a tone that has made us pause. As guitarists, we’re especially prone to dissecting these sounds and even feeling compelled to do so in order to discover the unique concoction of circuitry and magic that produced our favorite tones.

Of course, there is ongoing discussion about the reasons behind the most famous guitar tones. The equipment and circumstances that led to a player’s creation are prone to being forgotten or misremembered, even by the player themselves.

Your phone’s preloaded ringtones are effective at notifying you of incoming calls. But when you can customize your phone with the ideal ringtone, why settle for adequate?

You can set almost any audio file as your ringtone on an Android phone.Using the Android settings on your phone, you can easily change your phone’s ringtone to a song of your choice. However, the default Android settings do not allow you to select a specific song orile or provide much else in terms of customization. You’ll need one of the third-party apps we suggest below to mix audio files together or trim audio files to the precise length you desire.

We walk you through both techniques for making custom ringtones, assigning different ringtones to each of the significant individuals in your life, and making it simple to set your favorite song as your phone’s ringtone.

Using Android settings, make a ringtone from a song or other audio file

You can set any audio file in a supported format as your ringtone, including MP3, M4A, WAV, and OGG. The only thing you need to do is download a copy of the music file to your phone (note that Spotify, YouTube Music, and other music services lock music files for playback within their apps, so these can’t be used for making ringtones). Following the audio file’s saving to your device, follow these instructions to make it your ringtone.

  1. Start your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Activate Sounds & Vibration.
  3. If your device supports multiple SIM cards, you can set different ringtones for SIMs 1 and 2 by scrolling down and selecting Phone ringtone.
  4. Choose your audio file from “My Sounds” on stock Android devices (such as Google Pixels); if it isn’t there, click the “+” in the lower right corner to search your phone. With Samsung phones, you can browse your phone for personalized audio files using the “+” symbol in the top right corner in addition to a list of standard ringtones.
  5. After choosing the audio file to serve as your ringtone, you’re all set.

An app can be used to convert a song or other audio file into a ringtone

With the help of third-party ringtone apps, you can edit songs to only play a specific section of the audio, change the speed of the song, change the volume of the audio file, and more. There are a ton of ringtone apps available, but the majority are either overrun with ads or are utterly useless. We tested the Google Play apps that looked most promising and chose two free apps that we think you should try. We limited the list of apps to those with at least 4.5 stars and 100,000 reviews.

InShot MP3 Cutter & Ringtone Maker

Utilize the simple-to-use tools in the InShot MP3 Cutter & Ringtone Maker to cut, mix, and combine audio files to make your own ringtone. For a final ringtone that sounds more polished, you can also choose to add fade-in and fade-out effects.

The app is compatible with many different audio file formats, including MIDI, MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV, AAC(M4A), MP4, 3GPP, and WAV. Alternatively, you can start by selecting a ringtone from the large selection offered by the app. If you’re willing to watch a quick video ad, you can get the ringtones for free.

  1. MP3 Cutter, Audio Merger, and Audio Mixer are the three editing tools available in InShot. The cutter tool, as its name suggests, enables you to chop or trim audio to the section you want to use, then choose Save. The audio can be set as your ringtone, alarm, or notification, or you can choose to assign the ringtone to the contact after saving.
  2. You can choose two or more audio files and use Audio Merger to sequentially combine the audio clips into one file. When you’ve made your selections, you can preview the ringtone before saving and drag the clips into the position you find most appealing.
  3. Two audio clips can be combined using the Audio Mixer, which also allows you to trim and individually adjust the volume of each clip. Before saving, you can listen to the new ringtone.
  4. As you use the app, you’ll see advertisements for InShot MP3 Cutter at the bottom of the screen. Additionally, each time you save a ringtone and occasionally while switching between the tools, you’ll need to watch a brief video ad. To remove the ads and unlock all of the ringtones, you can pay $3.99.

MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV, AAC(M4A)/MP4, 3GPP/AMR, and MIDI files are supported as audio formats.

4.8 stars, 394,353 reviews, and more than 10 million installs on Google Play

Ringtone Maker-Audio Cutter

We like the Ringtone Maker-Audio Cutter app because it allows you to turn existing audio files inside the app into ringtones. Additionally, mixing your recording with other audio files is simple after you finish recording.

Simply choose “Record an Audio” from the menu, and then tap the red circle that appears beneath the microphone icon to start recording. The mic icon will turn red, yellow, or green once you begin recording, depending on how well it is picking up audio.

  1. Ringtone Maker-Audio Cutter offers a set of editing tools after you finish recording (by tapping the circle with the square), allowing you to trim the audio, change the volume, and mix or merge your recording with other audio files you have saved on your phone. The ability to enter the start and end times of each clip as a numerical time value is something we particularly appreciate.
  2. For more experienced users, Ringtone Maker-Audio allows you to customize the audio recording’s sampling frequency, sample rate, and whether it is mono or stereo in order to create a smaller file size.
  3. While using the app, you’ll see advertisements at the bottom of the screen, which are how Ringtone Maker-Audio Cutter makes its money. Every time you save a ringtone and occasionally while using the tools, you’ll also need to watch a brief video ad. Sadly, there is no way to upgrade to an advertisement-free experience.

MP3, FLAC, OGG, WAV, AAC(M4A), and MP4 audio formats are supported.

5+ million installs, 100,616 reviews, and 4.5 stars on Google Play

The best guitar sounds ever

Where The Streets Have No Name

**Player: The Edge Album: The Joshua Tree (1987)**

We’ll confidently declare that this is the most iconic use of delay there has ever been, with a guitarist using the effect to create iconic parts, while perched on a box in a crowded room. A rock rite of passage that must be experienced is hearing The Edge’s cascading notes reverberate throughout the stadium’s seating area. But boy, does he make us work for it if we want it. To get it right, you’ll need modulation as well as two delays. The good news is that the exact TC unit the performer uses onstage is modeled in TC Electronic’s Flashback delay.

My Iron Lung

**Player: Jonny Greenwood Album: The Bends (1994)**

One of Radiohead’s many inventive effects moments is the pitch-shifted refrain by Jonny Greenwood in this Bends-era song.

Greenwood used a genuine DigiTech Whammy pedal set to one octave up plus dry signal to execute the robotic opening salvo with his arpeggiated lick. The altered EGDGBE tuning gives the track its glitchy, lo-fi appeal because the original Whammy’s monophonic design prevented it from tracking the ringing notes.

How Soon Is Now?

**Player: Johnny Marr Album: Hatful Of Hollow (1984)**

Often hailed as a tremolo-pedal classic, Johnny Marr’s masterpiece in The Smiths soundscapery is actually much more intricate than that.

The Epiphone Casino is used on the original track, which was then played back through four Twins set to the vibrato channel. Johnny Marr and producer John Porter had trouble getting the parts to vibrate in time, so they had to record the riff in 10-second chunks.

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

**Player: Jimi Hendrix Album: Electric Ladyland (1968)**

Play this song for five minutes to remind yourself of the power an electric guitar has, if you’ve ever had any doubts about it. His skills were otherworldly, but Jimi’s tone was just as unconventional. Here, the two facets come together to create guitar nirvana. Although there isn’t a precise record of what Jimi used in the studio, his go-to instruments were upside-down standard Strat guitars from the era, and the unidentified amp in this recording is obviously being pushed to wonderful places.

Round Midnight

**Player: Wes Montgomery Album: The Wes Montgomery Trio (1959)**

Montgomery is the kind of maverick that only appears once in a generation. He is a self-taught musician who learned by immersing himself in Charlie Christian records. His tone is the ideal union of feel, technique, and equipment in that order.

Although Montgomery later came to be associated with the 1965 Standel Super Custom XV and the Gibson L-5CES hollowbody, he would have most likely used a Gibson ES-175 here, run through a Fender Super Reverb. You can’t buy that on Denmark St, so start honing your thumb technique.

Sweet Child O’ Mine

**Player: Slash Album: Appetite For Destruction [1987]**

It’s so simple. Just run a Kris Derrig-crafted ‘59 Les Paul replica through a hot-rodded Marshall JCM800 or a 1987 Marshall Jubilee 2555 while using Seymour Duncan Alnico II humbuckers. Easy!

However, Slash has a feel for music that is unmatched by our mere mortals. He can quickly adjust the tone and volume pots on his guitar. He uses the neck pickup on the intro riff, setting the tone to about 2, and playing just past the point of break-up; this is more about volume than slathering on gain.

Plug In Baby

**Player: Matt Bellamy Album: Origin Of Symmetry (2001)**

Matt Bellamy was a master of unusual guitar textures long before he wore the rave shades, of which this neoclassical earworm is a fine example.

The key to the opening tone is Z.Vex’s insane Fuzz Factory. Its germanium transistors can be made to self-oscillate, producing the first squeals, before Bellamy launches into the heavily driven riff, probably using one of his custom Manson guitars, some of which have since been equipped with the pedal.


**Player: Steve Clark And Phil Collen Album: Hysteria (1987)**

We eventually had to return to the 1980s, so why not do it with this Sheffield band’s rendition of Thriller in a rock style? And much of the guitar discussion about the protracted recording process for the Hysteria album with producer Mutt Lange centers on obnoxious tales of tracking chords one string at a time to achieve tonal Paradiso.

It took three years to perfect the song Animal on my own. The 25 million+ sales indicate it was time well spent, and a pedal combination for the title track can still reproduce the lush chorus cleans and razor-sharp palm mutes of Phil Collen and the late Steve Clark.