Is there a way to change the default "Basso" alert sound in Mountain Lion's Notification Center? What I'd really like is support for application-specific notification sounds, so I can tell without looking at the screen whether a notification is from, say Mail vs. iCal. Is this possible, and if so, is it something the application controls or NC controls? If not, at least the ability to change the sound from Basso to something else would be an improvement.

4 Answers 4


An even better Idea is to got to ~/Library/Sounds and create a sound file with the same name as Basso.aiff and it will supersede Basso without the need for deleting a system sound file.


Unfortunately, no, you can’t specify different Notification sounds for different apps. That’s the job of the app developer, just like on iOS. There is no “default” sound in Notification Center. It’s all app specific. It’s just that Calendar and Reminders use it for their Notifications. If you don’t like the Basso sound: 1. Go to /System/Library/Sounds. 2. Delete the “Basso.aiff” file. 3. Make a copy of the alert sound you want. 4. Rename the copy to “Basso.aiff.” 5. This will make all apps that use Basso for Notification Center play your chosen sound instead.

P.S. Basso is a really awful sound effect
P.P.S. You'll need to restart your Mac for the changes to take effect.

  • You don't need to restart. You can just run killall NotificationCenter on the command line.
    – ThomasW
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 14:25

In System Preferences, select Sound (on the far right-hand side under Hardware) and then click the Sound Effects tab, if necessary. From there, you can select a different alert sound. Unfortunately, you can only select one sound for all alerts.

  • 1
    I've already tried that (setting my alert sound to "purr"), but calendar notifications still use the "basso" sound. Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 18:52

An earlier post suggested deleting Basso.aiff and replacing it with a copy of another sound renamed "Basso.aiff". A safer alternative to deleting Basso is to rename it to something else (like "Basso-BACKUP.aiff"). That way, if you ever decide you want to get the sound back, it's not gone forever. Or you could make a backup copy of it in some other directory.

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