Anyone who has ever owned a PlayStation knows the iconic sound heard before or after ads for Sony’s gaming console. A base, metallic-sounding thrum. Some describe it as a “CHHHHMMMM” sound accompanied by a “ping”. It’s iconic and engraved in the brains of many a gamer. You hear the noise, you know it’s PlayStation. And it’s a sound that has survived the test of time. Sadly its creator, Tohru Okada, has passed away.
Of course, that’s not Okada’s only claim to fame. He’s better known for being a founding member of the band Moonriders, a highly influential band in Japan. (Some tracks can be found on Spotify for the curious.) He was also a producer for several musical artists like PSY-S and Princess Princess. He eventually turned towards using his musical prowess to compose soundtracks for anime, commercials, and TV. To honor his memory, his fellow bandmates tweeted a short and sweet “We love you” with a photo of their friend.
A Life Well Led
Okada was also a leader of Life Goes On, an accordion-based band that had a second album release in 2008 by Sony music. His life was music, and that passion extended to his fellow Moonrider members, who have all had decade-long careers in music, video games, anime, and more.
It’s fascinating that the sting for PlayStation’s logo has persisted as long as it has. No other gaming console has a sound as iconic and recognizable. The lasting power of a simple set of sounds designed by Okada is proof of his skill as an artist. Despite how simple the sound, there’s not a single gamer who doesn’t know what it means. And it has persisted throughout every single Sony console. Okada died of heart failure on February 14th, at the age of 73.
Rest in peace, Okada. You leave behind a fantastic legacy.