(Topic ID: 249630)

Does anyone else feel like modern pinball music and sound is lacking?


By mystman12

11 months ago



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Topic poll

“How do you feel about the sound packages in most pins released today?”

  • I think they're fantastic, I love today's pinball soundtracks! 31 votes
    41%
  • I think they're pretty good overall, on par with what we've heard in the past. 11 votes
    15%
  • I think they're pretty average, but they get the job done. 15 votes
    20%
  • I think they're pretty disappointing, and could definitely be a lot better. 15 votes
    20%
  • I think they're absolutely horrible and hate them!!! 3 votes
    4%

(75 votes)

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#1 11 months ago

There's a TLDR and a link to a great blog post by composer Brian Schmidt on the importance of sound integration in pinball at the end of this post

Maybe it's just me, but I've always found it much harder to get into modern pins than a lot of the older games from the 80s and 90s. I've kind of wondered why for a while, but I think I've finally figured it out. It's the music and sound design. I realized that most modern pinball machines seem to have pretty average sound packages compared to a lot of what was being made a few decades ago. Does anyone else feel this way? For example, while I often find myself bobbing my head and humming along to the music on my Mousin' Around, the music in many modern games just becomes background noise that I don't really notice. Now, I don't think this is due to a lack of effort from the composers and sound designers in pinball today, but I feel like the things that make for good pinball music were kind of forgotten at some point. I'm not a musician, so I don't really know much terminology or music theory, but I'm going to try and offer some constructive criticisms on what I think is lacking in most modern pinball sound packages and how I feel things can be improved. With pinball rules, designs, animations and technology all being the best it's ever been, I would love nothing more to see music and sound be the best it's ever been as well.

Also, to be clear, I'm not referring to the audio quality or fidelity here. Obviously today's pins have much higher *quality* audio, but that doesn't necessarily mean the music and sound design is better.

1. First off, I think the biggest problem I've noticed is that a lot of modern pins aren't given soundtracks that *fit* pinball.
Look at Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for example. LotR has a low quality audio system where the music is MIDI and callouts are fuzzy, while the Hobbit has a really nice modern audio system with an epic orchestral score by Two Steps from Hell... And yet, LotR has (In my opinion) the better pinball sound package. Emphasis on "pinball," because objectively speaking, yes, I think The Hobbit probably has a better score, but it doesn't really matter how much better it is if it doesn't work for pinball. The Hobbit's often slow, orchestral music doesn't fit the constant flow of pinball, and the lack of a clear melody on most tracks makes all the modes kind of meld together. I love getting one of the few modes with unique music because suddenly it feels like I've actually done something to change the state of the game.

Meanwhile, Lord of the Rings, despite the dated technology, has the more satisfying and more memorable sound package. Chris Granner has an incredible understanding of what makes good pinball music, and LotR is a great example. He took the film soundtrack, and created new pieces of music based on the iconic melodies of the film, ensuring each track remained fairly up-beat while also making sure each track fit the intensity of whatever mode it went with. Whenever you start a mode in LotR, the entire mood of the game changes to reflect that, but the music always fits the constant flow of pinball.

The same complaint applies to games like Stern Star Trek, Stern Star Wars and even the new Jurassic Park from what I've seen and heard. I don't want to listen to the Star Wars theme or the Jurassic Park theme while I play pinball. They're great pieces of music for sure, but they weren't written for a fast paced game like pinball. Some recent games that I do think have good pinball music are Total Nuclear Annihilation, Wizard of Oz, Ghostbusters, and I can't really knock any of Stern's band pins either considering you couldn't really do those soundtracks differently and rock music fits pinball pretty well.

2. Another thing I've noticed is that many modern games don't really do much to ramp up excitement.
I was just playing ACDC on The Pinball Arcade, and suddenly I started a multiball mode, and there was no build-up, the music didn't change, it just started multiball. If you start something like multiball, that should be exciting! It shouldn't just start with someone saying "Something multiball!" Then there are some games that try to ramp up excitement, but just don't do it that well. I think Dialed In! is a good example of this. The way multiball starts in that game is just kind of... meh. You shoot the phone, then a guy thanks you for using D.I.E (Something like that, I can't remember exactly what he says and I can't find any videos without someone talking over the game or skipping the multiball start), then you get an animation of some monorails travelling at fairly normal speeds with the text "multiball" coming on-screen, and then as the balls come out you hear a low-voice say "Now you're dialed in!" but at this point it doesn't really add much since the balls have already been released. Compared to a similar multiball start sequence like the one in Whirlwind, there's very little suspense or buildup. I think Dialed In's multiball start would be a lot more exciting with a few simple changes. Ditch the guy who answers the phone, or at least make him say something funny or exciting. When you shoot the phone, stop the music. Show a cutscene of the monorails going berserk and speeding up due to the phone's chaos, and play the "Now you're dialed in!" clip during this cutscene. Play some music or a rising tone to raise the excitement as the monorails speed up, kind of similar to the Addam's Family multiball start. Once the "dialed in" quote is complete, cut to a shot outside the subway station, and make the game silent for a few short moments. Then, have the monorails come flying out of the tunnel one-by-one in sync with the balls being launched onto the playfield. I think a sequence like that would be a lot more exciting than what we have now (I haven't played a DI in a while, so if updates have improved this, my apologies. Also, if anyone a JJP is reading this... Feel free to use the idea. ).

On a similar note, why do so many games do nothing more than just a "Jackpot!" callout when getting jackpots? It would be nice if we could getting something new that is as iconic as Rudy screaming or Gimli's jackpot callouts in LotR ("Double jackpot one! Double jackpot two! Double jackpot three!" The way he says these lines, the way he counts up, it never gets old!).

Some other recent games that I feel suffer from not having much excitement or buildup are The Hobbit, Batman 66, Black Knight: Sword of Rage and Stern Star Wars. Some recent games that I think do a good job at this are Stern Star Trek, Metallica, and Wizard of Oz.

3. Many modern games have sound design that doesn't feel connected to the game or the music.
I was watching some Black Knight: Sword of Rage gameplay, and one thing that stuck out to me like a sore thumb was how some of the sound effects sound completely out of place. Here you have this super loud heavy metal music, but then I noticed a lot of accomplishments in the game are accompanied by short trumpet motifs which completely clash with all the other audio in the game. The music doesn't stop, and the pitch of these motifs doesn't change to match the music, so you end up with the soundtrack and these motifs fighting each other. It doesn't sound *horrible*, but it doesn't sound good either. I think they should have scrapped the trumpets for something else.

On the same topic, modern games hardly, if ever, have anything synced to the music in any way. Like, something as simple as having the inserts blink to the rhythm of the music would go a long way. Even if it's something you've never really noticed, I can guarantee you it's improved the feel of any game you've played that has a feature like this (Black Knight 2000 and Mousin' Around have stuff like this, to name a few games. A lot of Data East games will blink the GI in time to the music, an effect that I love). You would think a feature like that would be a priority on the band themed games, but nope, even on those games everything on the display and the playfield feels completely disconnected from the music. I think it would be worth it if someone at JJP or Stern took the time to create a tool allowing games to perform actions in sync with the music. It's not as easy as it was on System 11 and Whitestar, but it's certainly not impossible as I've seen similar things done in modern video games that use pre-recorded music (Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze comes to mind).

The ultimate example of this done right, I think, has to be Black Knight 2000. Brian Schmidt wrote a blog post on Gamasutra a few years back detailing a lot of what went into that game's sound package. They pushed System 11 to its limits, and it's clear that a ton of care and passion went into making it sound as good as possible. While I certainly don't expect every game to be a masterpiece of sound design, I would really like to see music and sound in pinball pushed to the limits again, with more passion and more attention to detail. Here's a link to the blog post, it's definitely worth a read: https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/BrianSchmidt/20141104/229404/Interactive_Audio_in_Black_Knight_2000_The_Importance_of_Integration.php

Getting a jackpot on Twilight Zone makes me feel like the coolest person in the room. Getting multiball in Diner makes me want to dance. Getting a jackpot in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein makes me want to cradle the balls for a minute so I can hum along with the music. Getting multiball in Space Station makes my heart start pounding because of how intense and exciting the sound and music is. Starting a hurry up in Medieval Madness makes me feel that I *really* need to hurry up. Getting a jackpot in Rollergames makes me laugh my butt off, and getting a jackpot in Red and Ted's Roadshow makes me want to sing along, and I *hate* country music! I really wish some of the new games today could give me some of those feelings.

I could go on, but I think it's safe to say I've rambled long enough. Maybe I'm the only pinhead who cares this much about music, but I would love to see people here discuss it more. Every time a new game is revealed, everyone speculates and discusses the rules, the playfield design, the art and animations, but barely anyone ever brings up sound and music, despite that being just as, if not more, important than some of those other things.

TLDR: I feel like pinball music and sound design in general has gone downhill in the past decade or so. A lot of modern games seem to have soundtracks that don't make any sense for pinball (The Hobbit, Star Wars) and as a result the music becomes background noise more than anything. Pinball music should, generally speaking, be upbeat and driven by melody to fit the non-stop action of the game. A good example of this is Lord of the Rings which, while somewhat held back by the limited technology it uses, still makes for a fantastic pinball experience. I also feel like there's a general lack of excitement in many modern games, with very little build-up for things like multiballs and very little celebration for things like jackpots (ACDC, Dialed In!). When are we going to get new iconic moments like the Addams Family multiball start or Rudy screaming when you get a jackpot? Finally, modern pins have very little, if any, music and sound integration. Games like Metallica should have stuff synced to the rhythm of the music, because you know, it's a game celebrating music! Even something as simple as having the inserts flash in time to the music would go a long way towards making it feel more like part of the game. Check out this article by Brian Schmidt about Black Knight 2000's audio to see why audio integration is so important: https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/BrianSchmidt/20141104/229404/Interactive_Audio_in_Black_Knight_2000_The_Importance_of_Integration.php

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Do you feel satisfied with the sound packages in today's games, or would you like to see them improved as well?

Regardless of whether you agree or not, take some time to appreciate the music from your pinball machines! Some really talented people worked hard to create some great tunes for these games, new and old, and you might just notice some new details in the audio you never caught before.

#2 11 months ago

I admit, I did not read your entire post. But Hobbit, JJPOTC, and SW are phenomenal. Much more than just the opening theme. ACNC also has an amazing original soundtrack along with Rock songs. Ever heard of David Theil? They guy is amazing with sound. Play an older pin and hear the same sounds drone on and on (Black Hole anyone?). So, in a nutshell, I wholeheartedly disagree and with increased competition, music and sounds will likely only get better.

PS: I sold my LOTR in favor of Hobbit. Both great games, but Hobbit has the total immersive sound and video package. Gold standard in my opinion. 33 modes plus 4 wizard modes each with unique music packages.

#3 11 months ago
Quoted from Crile1:

I admit, I did not read your entire post. But Hobbit, JJPOTC, and SW are phenomenal. Much more than just the opening theme. ACNC also has an amazing original soundtrack along with Rock songs. Ever heard of David Theil? They guy is amazing with sound. Play an older pin and hear the same sounds drone on and on (Black Hole anyone?). So, in a nutshell, I wholeheartedly disagree and with increased competition, music and sounds will likely only get better.
PS: I sold my LOTR in favor of Hobbit. Both great games, but Hobbit has the total immersive sound and video package. Gold standard in my opinion. 33 modes plus 4 wizard modes each with unique music packages.

I'll admit I haven't played *all* of the latest games, specifically games that aren't Stern or JJP, so maybe I've just missed the games with the best soundtracks! I'll have to check out ACNC when I see one.

As for David Thiel, I've looked up his list of games and if I'm being honest, very few do much for in terms of sound. He's talented for sure, I'm not saying anyone in the industry isn't. I think, like I mentioned in my OP, a lot of it just doesn't really seem to fit pinball that well.

As for older pins, I'm not referring to stuff that old! Once you get to something like Pin*Bot though, you start finding tons of great music. Taxi, Space Station, Funhouse, Whirlwind, Whitewater, Addams Family, Theatre of Magic, World Cup Soccer, Medieval Madness, are just a few games from that era that all have fantastic pinball sound packages, and I feel most modern pins haven't even come close to sounding as good as those.

Glad to hear you enjoy it though!

#4 11 months ago

My STLE and JJPOTC are exceptional imo, both David Thiel. I also loved BM66 and IMDN, so I guess my experience is different than yours. But I did recently play a Swords of Fury and thought that was great. TNA is awesome. And many older ones aren’t. Just depends on the game more than the era.

#5 11 months ago

I think a lot fo the games are great now, but if you're going up against an all timer like TZ it's hard to keep up.
But I have to say I'd rather listen to any machines over BK2000...can;t stand the music.

#6 11 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

I think a lot fo the games are great now, but if you're going up against an all timer like TZ it's hard to keep up.
But I have to say I'd rather listen to any machines over BK2000...can;t stand the music.

Yeah, my TZ with good speakers and a sub still beats most modern games.

#7 11 months ago
Quoted from dts:

Yeah, my TZ with good speakers and a sub still beats most modern games.

What speaker setup are you using? I want to update mine

#8 11 months ago

I wouldn't say that all modern games are lacking, but I do think the 90s games had that certain 'something' way more consistently and strongly.

#9 11 months ago

JJPOTC is amazing, custom soundtracks for TNA, BKSOR, DP. IMDN callouts are fantastic. Pinball is pretty awesome right now, I’m having a lot of fun.

-6
#10 11 months ago

Sorry, Thiel is the best in the business redo your research, why dont you play some real pinball instead of watching pinball on you tube

#11 11 months ago

Lacking in 3 words, "True Stereo Sound".

#12 11 months ago

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that most games now are license-oriented, so they have to use the music that goes with the film/band/cartoon, whatever, and it's limiting, in a way?

Just spitballing here, but maybe when they were creating Tales of the Arabian Nights or Attack from Mars, with a blank canvas, and they had to create it all from scratch, they were more "in tune" with the game/theme -

#13 11 months ago

Both David Thiel and Chris Granner have spoken at Pintastic New England, and both have lamented that modern games require recorded tracks. They liked it when they had control of a synthesizer in the game and could make it play a given tune with different layers or at a different tempo. Now it's just a matter of launching the playback of a static sound clip.
.................David Marston

#14 11 months ago

The music is pretty great is modern pins, call outs in pinball have always been kinda shit but every once in a while they get it right. I would say however the best time for me and pinball sound is the Sys11 era. Except BK2000.

#15 11 months ago

Just wishing for a stereo sound system in all games

#16 11 months ago

Nailed it. Most new games have bad music, canned sound FX, fake voices, and poor mixing. They sound like slot machines or apps.

Hobbit was the last licensed game with a great overall sound package. TNA is phenomenal. Everything else is relatively disappointing.

#17 11 months ago

I think the track selection in the Metallica is fantastic, but sound quality is not good ,,, installed a Pinwoofer super kit sound system and all the bad has disappeared...crystal clear sound, booming sub,,, super loud ! Perfect for a music pin, and loud just like Metallica should be played !!!

#18 11 months ago
Quoted from BigalzPinz:

I think the track selection in the Metallica is fantastic, but sound quality is not good ,,, installed a Pinwoofer super kit sound system and all the bad has disappeared...crystal clear sound, booming sub,,, super loud ! Perfect for a music pin, and loud just like Metallica should be played !!!

The issue isn’t quality, it’s design choices. Metallica’s sound design is very good..excellent sound FX that “feel good” when you hit things & make shots. I can listen to WPC games like Addams, Whitewater etc all day long...they sound 90’s retro in terms of quality, but the style, artistry, and satisfying Pavlovian use of sound FX are just phenomenal during that era & is something that seems to have been lost today.

#19 11 months ago

I can't vote in the poll. The option I need isn't there, ie: Half of them are rubbish, but half are pretty good, in my opinion. I can not say "most" are s#it. TNA is one of my favourite games for sound, along with a few other recent titles. Drain to most recent "music pins" ... the only recent music pin I enjoyed the sound of as I was playing is ACDC.

Gone are the days where pinball Frequently threw out Awesome sounds... Space Station, Swords of Fury, Judge Dredd....

Good write up. I'm certainly a Brian fan!

#20 11 months ago

The issue isn’t sound quality ? Seriously ? Not sure what pins you have played but a Pin with great sound quality makes all the difference... guess it’s my personal preference

#21 11 months ago
Quoted from BigalzPinz:

The issue isn’t sound quality ? Seriously ? Not sure what pins you have played but a Pin with great sound quality makes all the difference... guess it’s my personal preference

Great sound quality is meaningless if the composition is total cr@p.

#22 11 months ago

I think theme integration is not at good as it use to be on many new games. B/W use to have the real actors record custom speech. Sadly this is a lost art today. Imagine how different everyone would feel about games like STTNG or DH if generic voice actors were used. I was really excited when TWD came out. STERN completely dropped the ball on that theme via art and sound. They got lucky and the custom sound packaged saved that game.

#23 11 months ago
Quoted from BigalzPinz:

The issue isn’t sound quality ? Seriously ? Not sure what pins you have played but a Pin with great sound quality makes all the difference... guess it’s my personal preference

It’s not the point of the post.

LOTR is running on relatively poor quality hardware. However the composition, sound Fox, voices, the whole package is phenomenal.

Willy Wonka is running on “perfect” modern hardware, but has horrible boring music, poorly edited and mixed movie clips, stock sound FX that sound like apps and slot machines. Stern JP has really boring music by Ken Hale, and horrendously bad fake voices.

I’d rather play a game with great work on poor sound hardware, than one with poor sound work on great hardware.

#24 11 months ago

I think Deadpool has an amazing sound package and it’s from a new team.

#25 11 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

I think Deadpool has an amazing sound package and it’s from a new team.

Came here to mention this. I agree with the OPs post though. Doubt if we’ll ever reach the magical heights of 90s B/W again.

#26 11 months ago

They are not lacking sound, they are lacking soul.

#27 11 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

I think Deadpool has an amazing sound package and it’s from a new team.

I haven't actually played Deadpool yet, the theme is kind of a turnoff for me, but I've heard a lot of great things about it!

Quoted from shovelhed:

Sorry, Thiel is the best in the business redo your research, why dont you play some real pinball instead of watching pinball on you tube

I mean, I go to league every week and get to play pins dating from the 50s to the 2010s. Not sure how that isn't real pinball.
Again, not saying Thiel isn't talented, but at least for me, I've never played a game he's worked on and felt it had a standout sound package, except for maybe Tron. It's been a while since I played one, but I remember it being pretty good.

Quoted from BigalzPinz:

The issue isn’t sound quality ? Seriously ? Not sure what pins you have played but a Pin with great sound quality makes all the difference... guess it’s my personal preference

Oh yeah, better audio quality can definitely improve things, I think it would be really cool to be able to upgrade the audio on Lord of the Rings for example, but *only* if the upgrade consisted of orchestrated versions of Chris Granner's soundtrack and only if it contained the original recordings of the callouts Elijah Wood and John Rhys-Davies did for the game. Pretty much all the sound effects would need to be the same as well (Don't replace the VUK "pew-pew-pew!" with something more "realistic sounding" or anything like that). If you just slapped the Lord of the Rings soundtrack on the game, sure you'd be getting higher quality audio, but you'd also be getting all the slow moments of the film score while you're playing a multiball mode for example. That doesn't work. The film score is the better music in and of itself for sure, but pinball music it isn't.

#28 11 months ago

They are like eating cold fish, and I'm not into sushi.

#29 11 months ago

Iron Maiden is great (my current favorite game) but it is hard to top any of Chris Granner's work. That man is the best that ever was, son.

#30 11 months ago

Interesting you mention 80s and 90s pins in particular as the keyword is 'effort'. Chris Granner and David Thiel still put that effort in, as they both go back to the AY or DAC days when less was more in encouraging creativity and richness of sound, and still follow the same principles. FM synth from a Yamaha YM-2151 has a particular kind of punch when it's composed with properly (see BK2K) and is capable of a great deal more than artificially mimicking real instruments (see Pin*Bot). I've heard the PinSound versions of both Getaway and Twilight Zone, and while the music tracks used are the same, the style just leaves me cold - I don't feel the punch anymore. Maybe part of the problem is the same as other media music; film, TV or video game scores that don't have memorable leitmotifs and sound like the same bombastic over-orchestrated mulch.

#31 11 months ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

Interesting you mention 80s and 90s pins in particular as the keyword is 'effort'. Chris Granner and David Thiel still put that effort in, as they both go back to the AY or DAC days when less was more in encouraging creativity and richness of sound, and still follow the same principles. FM synth from a Yamaha YM-2151 has a particular kind of punch when it's composed with properly (see BK2K) and is capable of a great deal more than artificially mimicking real instruments (see Pin*Bot). I've heard the PinSound versions of both Getaway and Twilight Zone, and while the music tracks used are the same, the style just leaves me cold - I don't feel the punch anymore. Maybe part of the problem is the same as other media music; film, TV or video game scores that don't have memorable leitmotifs and sound like the same bombastic over-orchestrated mulch.

"Leitotifs" One of Wagner's greatest contributions to music.

#32 11 months ago

I really feel that, like many things in life, people focus on different things. For some, sound is a maker or breaker. For some...lighting is key. Others praise certain shots, artwork, etc.

Obviously, we want to have it all, but everyone focuses on a certain thing (or things) that are must-haves.

#33 11 months ago

Here's a great test:

Close your eyes. Listen to someone play Pinball live or on YouTube. If you can tell what they are doing in the game, it's great sound.

Most moderns don't get it. They don't sound like Pinball...

-Mof

#34 11 months ago
Quoted from mystman12:

Again, not saying Thiel isn't talented, but at least for me, I've never played a game he's worked on and felt it had a standout sound package, except for maybe Tron.

Thiel’s done a lot of amazing sound packages - Family Guy, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Avatar, Tron, Hobbit, even CSI & Wheel of Fortune.

Stern & JJP losing him is a huge loss, IMO.

#35 11 months ago

Dan Forden was the G.O.A.T. when it came to arcade music

#36 11 months ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I wouldn't say that all modern games are lacking, but I do think the 90s games had that certain 'something' way more consistently and strongly.

For me its the middle-late 80's games, like Williams Swords of Fury for example, and also specially Gottlieb, they really hit a good tune back in those days.

#37 11 months ago
Quoted from Luzur:

For me its the middle-late 80's games, like Williams Swords of Fury for example, and also specially Gottlieb, they really hit a good tune back in those days.

90's - BSMT! STEREO... Brian, also responsible for that awesome SoF score

#38 11 months ago

I pretty much disagree with OP on everything. Modern pinball sound and music is pretty awesome. SW music and sound is awesome. Thiel is awesome.

So, yeah, OP. It’s you.

#39 11 months ago

Just look at The sound on a top machine. Twilight zone.

I love it.

#40 11 months ago

I remember hearing someone say how the sound could be better on Primus.

I thought no; sound was critical to les clay pool I had heard.

Which doesn't suprise me.

#41 11 months ago

Just look at a game that is totally, CRIMINALLY underrated. Data East’s Torpedo Alley had one of the greatest integrations of lights and sounds! It was peak 80’s cheese in ‘89. I searched for years to get that game because of the amazing integration of lights, sound and music for that game. It’s relatively unknown but I heard a beautiful example was available to play at Pintastic.

Here’s a good video of Keith Elwin absolutely blowing one up.
Even watching the GOAT play this game there’s still so much to do and with LEDs the game shines like a modern pin!

Quoted from Azmodeus:

I remember hearing someone say how the sound could be better on Primus.
I thought no; sound was critical to les clay pool I had heard.
Which doesn't suprise me.

Primus suffers from the Whoa Nellie design. Is it really that hard to just take a decent old EM and reuse it? I’m pretty sure most those design rights are long gone so that shouldn’t be an issue.

#42 11 months ago

I completely disagree with you. I believe modern day games destroy older games in the sound front. First off the recent rebirth of music pins are awesome, it’s like getting home run for sound, especially if you love the band! For all other games, I think sound has gotten better and if you have a game you like, but hate the sounds........ have you ever heard of pinball browser??? You can put whatever you want in a game. My trek sounds amazing!

#43 11 months ago
Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

Just look at a game that is totally, CRIMINALLY underrated. Data East’s Torpedo Alley had one of the greatest integrations of lights and sounds! It was peak 80’s cheese in ‘89. I searched for years to get that game because of the amazing integration of lights, sound and music for that game. It’s relatively unknown but I heard a beautiful example was available to play at Pintastic.
Here’s a good video of Keith Elwin absolutely blowing one up.
Even watching the GOAT play this game there’s still so much to do and with LEDs the game shines like a modern pin!

I have a friend who has a torpedo alley in his line up.

Primus suffers from the Whoa Nellie design. Is it really that hard to just take a decent old EM and reuse it? I’m pretty sure most those design rights are long gone so that shouldn’t be an issue.

#44 11 months ago

You're just playing the wrong games. It's the same as it's always been, some games have incredible sound design, and some don't.

IMDN is probably the best sound package I've heard on a modern Stern. It's outstanding.
TNA is also fantastic.
MET is pretty great.

I played Wonka the other day and couldn't stand apparenty random slot machine noises. Nice shooter but they totally blew it with the sound integration on that game.

I only buy games where the whole package appeals to me (shots, rules, art, sound) since I have limited room.

But I don't think you can make a generic statement that modern games are lacking. Plus it's more challenging now vs. the 80's and 90's because there are less technical limitations. Pretty easy to produce a focused sound package when you can only play 2 sounds at one time.

#45 11 months ago

Put a polk sub on yr games. Doesn't matter if you like the music or sounds, the sub greatly enhances every aspect. On aerosmith, you know exactly where you are just by the ramp ups of background sounds and call outs. I was gonna sell Aerosmith, but now its prob a keeper. New pins way outclass the older stuff, but I enjoy old school pins too

#46 11 months ago

I had to stop reading when you said LOTR has a better overall sound design than Hobbit. If that game doesn’t do it for you in the sound and immersion department, then you are completely SOL.

Lots of older games had stinkers for sound - just got done playing a couple of rounds of Doctor Who, which has one of the worst, repetitive, boring soundtracks of games from its era (and I like DW!). Massive difference with a modern soundtrack courtesy of PinSound. The game is GREAT with alternative music.

Anyway it’s not really fair to compare the best games of the peak of pinball with random games made now; lots of new games don’t have great soundtracks now, just as then. But there are good ones for sure. Hobbit, POTC, LOTR, B66 - I wasn’t thrilled with how crappy the quality is on IMDN but the sound package is very good

#47 11 months ago

I think it is hit or miss these days. I do feel for the amount of money we are spending on these new games the sound and speaker package should be nicer. I will have to agree that Hobbit has a very sweet sound package.

#48 11 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I had to stop reading when you said LOTR has a better overall sound design than Hobbit. If that game doesn’t do it for you in the sound and immersion department, then you are completely SOL.
Lots of older games had stinkers for sound - just got done playing a couple of rounds of Doctor Who, which has one of the worst, repetitive, boring soundtracks of games from its era (and I like DW!). Massive difference with a modern soundtrack courtesy of PinSound. The game is GREAT with alternative music.
Anyway it’s not really fair to compare the best games of the peak of pinball with random games made now; lots of new games don’t have great soundtracks now, just as then. But there are good ones for sure. Hobbit, POTC, LOTR, B66 - I wasn’t thrilled with how crappy the quality is on IMDN but the sound package is very good

Ironic, because the sound quality on LOTR is horrible. Full of static and hissing. But yes, the LOTR sound package is among the best ever. Just like the game.

#49 11 months ago

I like all pins for what they are... but

I really prefer older games with original compositions, and system 11s are probably my favorite. The sound quality is a bit corny, as it should be. Everything you hit has a unique sound so you don’t have to look up to display to know what is going on in the game.

Photoshopping pictures onto the playfield and playing songs off an album in mp3 quality doesn’t do it for me.... screen prints and low bits makes big hits!!!!

#50 11 months ago

I think the modern stuff is getting pretty good. I really like the music Matt Kern is doing for API. Good stuff in both Houdini and Oktoberfest.

https://soundcloud.com/matt_kern/houdini-1-1?in=matt_kern/sets/music-2018

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