Playing Sounds in Excel Using VBA – part #2

This section explains how to create a compound sound effect from elementary sounds. In the first example (two macros), the sound is played in a loop which is a native internal loop within the “PlaySound” function (using the flag option: SND_LOOP = &H8).

A second function (the “Beep” function) creates a tone generator with adjustable frequency and play time.

The Beep function is also used in a fourth macro, creating a sound which goes through a series of frequency steps between 100Hz and 6000Hz.


Playing Sounds in Excel Using VBA #2

by George Lungu

– This tutorial will continue the presentation started in the first section by
taking the knowledge of playing sounds in Excel one step further.

– First an example will be shown in which the sound is played in a loop
which means a native internal loop within the “PlaySound” function (using
the flag option: SND_LOOP = &H8.

– A second function (the “Beep” function) will be introduced in the form of
a simple tone generator but with adjustable frequency.

– The Beep function will also be use in a fourth macro to create a sound
which goes through a series of frequency steps from 100Hz to 6000Hz


The looping feature of the PlaySound function:

– Insert a second worksheet and rename it

– Insert a new module (Module2)

– In the new module write the following code

– Add a couple of buttons to the worksheet and assign the two macros to them

Private Declare Function PlaySound Lib “winmm.dll” (ByVal lpszName As String, _“Sound_Macros_Part#2”
ByVal hModule As Long, ByVal dwFlags As Long) As Long
Const SND_SYNC = &H0
Const SND_ASYNC = &H1
Const SND_LOOP = &H8

Sub Sound_loop_async()
Call PlaySound(ThisWorkbook.Path & “\two.wav”, 0&, SND_ASYNC Or SND_LOOP)
End Sub

Sub Sound_loop_sync()
Call PlaySound(ThisWorkbook.Path & “\three.wav”, 0&, SND_SYNC Or SND_LOOP)
End Sub

– Testing these two macros you see that the first one works right but the second one, while producing the sound
once, does not work in a loop. You can stop the first macro by clicking on another sound macro button.

– The software instructions are clear here (see the first tutorial) and we can expect the second loop to fail the
way it is written except I was not sure in which way it would fail.

– As a rule of thumb when using these function, the experimentation is a very important phase in the process of
figuring out how they work. Many details of operation are not written anywhere and you need to do an array of
experiments by yourself.

– If you go on various forums you will get good answers from MVP’s which will save you a lot of time but if the
problem is not common what you usually get is silence.


The “Beep” macro:

– Insert a new module (Module3) and in the new module write the code to the right:

– This new sound function generates a tone with adjustable frequency and duration. The function is called as the word “Beep” followed by two numbers. The first number is the tone frequency in Hertz and second value is the duration in milliseconds.

– Add a couple of buttons to the worksheet and assign the two macros to them.

-Create a spin button which can change the value of cell B21 from 100 to 10000 in steps of 100. Cell B21 contains the frequency info. for the macro Beep_1

Private Declare Function Beep Lib “kernel32” _(ByVal dwFreq As Long, ByVal dwDuration As Long) As Long

Sub Beep_1()
DoEvents ‘first value is the frequency in Hz
Beep [B21], 1000 ‘is the sound duration in ms
End Sub

Sub Beep_steps()
For i = 1 To 30
[B27] = 200 * i
Beep 200 * i, 400 ‘Beep “frequency” “duration”
Next i
End Sub

– The way the first macro is set up it generates a tone with programmable frequency (pitch), and the sounds lasts 1000 milliseconds (1s).
– The second macro generates a series of 30 frequency steps from 200Hz to 6KHz in 200Hz increments
– The problem with this macro is that the frequency steps are separated by short but annoying sound lapses and the duration of the steps is not that constant as it is supposed to be.
– I need to do more work with these macros in order to improve their usefulness.

to be continued…

by George Lungu <>


  1. Author

    Joe, I tried myself and I had problems on Macs. Sorry.

  2. I could not get the code to work on my Macintosh Pro OS 10.7.5 and EXCEL 14.7.3 (2011). Maybe the program listed is too new for my old Mac.

  3. Hello. I want to add sounds in my spreadsheet as the values changes, not with macros, since my spreadsheet has automatic update from a DDE link. Do you have any idea of how I can create it??? THank you very much in advance. Best regards,Caio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *