(Topic ID: 249630)

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


By mystman12

9 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 58 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by jonnyo
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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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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There are 58 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 9 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.

Yeah, that's a good point. While I still feel like the average DCS sound package was way better than the average today, the System 11 and WPC 98 soundtracks are the only pinball soundtracks I like enough to have in my music library (Also X-Files). I can appreciate all types of music, but FM Synth is a sound that I really like, and feels right at home in pinball.

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!

Wow, I've never seen a good video of this game before, but that is pretty awesome sounding! I love the jackpot sequence. I remember getting to play this a little bit at Pinfest a few years ago, but the volume was so low I couldn't hear anything.

Quoted from orangegsx:

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.

The other day I took the glass off of my Mousin' Around and started hitting switches to see if anything changed with the music. Sure enough, the MOUSE TRAP target sounds, the multiplier rollover sounds, and the outlane rollover sounds all change in pitch to properly harmonize with the music. I'll bet you pretty much any system 11 will have at least a few cool details in the sound like that. One of those things that most players will probably never notice, but still makes the experience that much more cohesive.

Quoted from konjurer:

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

See, those tracks are well made for sure, but I still have some of the same issues with them that I have with a lot of other modern stuff. Mainly, there's really no melody in either of them (At least the ones he has on his Soundcloud). They don't really have much personality, and they lack any sort of driving force. Within minutes I'll have forgotten what they sounded like.

Also, to be clear, I don't necessarily dislike any of the games I've complained about. Once I take the time to learn the rules of one of those games and am able to start strategizing and playing well, I can *really* enjoy playing. Good music and sound just makes that process more enjoyable and interesting. If I'm somewhere like Flippers though, I tend to go back to the games with better sound the most. Last time I was there, after putting a few games on the newest stuff I ended up putting most of my time on Tales of the Arabian Nights. Great music, great sound design, and even some nice music integration (The end of ball bonus sequence on TotAN is fantastic with how the lights sync and move around with the sound!).

#52 9 months ago

Let me tell you about a game I love, that had audio that was grating to me. Data Easts Jurassic Park. While I will say that the sound system was fine, most Data Easts sound was annoying. We are living in a brave new world of pinball audio, and now you can change the audio to be whatever you want. I just installed a PinWoofer Powered Super Kit, and a Pinsound board into my Jurassic Park machine and I love it. Here is a short video of the sound quality of this system.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=20190817+182133

I can't explain how great this system sounds. All of the speaker and amplifier upgrades are from PinWoofer. I am running an 8" sub in the cabinet and 5 1/4" speakers in the head. Since I am also running a Color DMD, my 12V line was being pulled a little to low so for power I am using a Mean Well RD-125B power supply and one of PinWoofers Dc to DC Buck converters. 100 Watts of clean power sounds amazing.

Sorry about the crazy flipper action. I asked someone to play that had never really played pinball before just so I could get the video.

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#53 9 months ago

A theory: of the multitude of pins released in the golden age of pinball, only a handful of the very greats stand out in the imagination today, and those had amazing sound a music along with all other aspects of their design. Today, one tends to compare every new game to those few greats. Consider that back then a lot of stinkers were also made that had bad sound and music.

#54 9 months ago
Quoted from jackd104:

A theory: of the multitude of pins released in the golden age of pinball, only a handful of the very greats stand out in the imagination today, and those had amazing sound a music along with all other aspects of their design. Today, one tends to compare every new game to those few greats. Consider that back then a lot of stinkers were also made that had bad sound and music.

This is so true of music in general as well. We remember the classics of previous decades and compare them to all the music of today. I vaguely remember listening to plenty of crap on the radio in the 80’s waiting for the good stuff to come on. Crap music from back in the day that you will never hear on the radio ever again.

I think Thiel has done great work on modern games. But I love the sounds of my Sorcerer. The sounds of those old Williams pins/arcade games were special.

#55 9 months ago

Nothing wrong with the audio on any recent game I've played. David Thiel's work on Alien was incredible and the Ghostbusters audio guy, amazing. The only issue I have is terrible voice acting, especially American actors trying to do a British accent....have Stern ever heard of Fiverr? Hundreds of British voice actors ready and waiting to take your call including myself.

#56 9 months ago
Quoted from maglar:

Let me tell you about a game I love, that had audio that was grating to me. Data Easts Jurassic Park. While I will say that the sound system was fine, most Data Easts sound was annoying. We are living in a brave new world of pinball audio, and now you can change the audio to be whatever you want. I just installed a PinWoofer Powered Super Kit, and a Pinsound board into my Jurassic Park machine and I love it. Here is a short video of the sound quality of this system.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=20190817+182133
I can't explain how great this system sounds. All of the speaker and amplifier upgrades are from PinWoofer. I am running an 8" sub in the cabinet and 5 1/4" speakers in the head. Since I am also running a Color DMD, my 12V line was being pulled a little to low so for power I am using a Mean Well RD-125B power supply and one of PinWoofers Dc to DC Buck converters. 100 Watts of clean power sounds amazing.
Sorry about the crazy flipper action. I asked someone to play that had never really played pinball before just so I could get the video.

This is actually a perfect example of how great audio *quality* doesn't necessarily make for a great *sound package*.

If you enjoy playing the game with that, then that's totally fine, but that sounded *horrible* to me, haha. Way too much noise at once with audio clips playing for way too long, music that doesn't fit the gameplay, poor music transitions, and you lose certain effects you get with the normal soundtrack. See the GI blinking? A lot of that is timed to the rhythm of the music, but when you replace the soundtrack, you completely lose the effect and it just becomes random blinking. At 1:07 your multiball restart started, but instead of some intense music playing, letting you know you need to hurry up, it started playing slow, orchestral music from the film. Compare this to the track that's supposed to play: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ajq7oQLp1JsOlLJsWr7lZ_HDwmNSpQ?e=pD15HT Is it better than the Jurassic Park film soundtrack? Heck no! But at least it gets the player in the proper mood for the mode, and in any sort of game, that's generally more important. It starts ominous, and as your timer approaches 0, more instruments come in to increase the intensity (To be fair though, I do feel like Jurassic Park is one of Brian Schmidts weaker Data East soundtracks. This isn't the best example of a hurry-up tune.). If PinSound has saved the game for you, and you find the Data East sounds to be more annoying than your current setup, that's awesome!.. I just don't see how it's possible anyone could find that PinSound setup *less* annoying than the original sounds.

Quoted from jackd104:

A theory: of the multitude of pins released in the golden age of pinball, only a handful of the very greats stand out in the imagination today, and those had amazing sound a music along with all other aspects of their design. Today, one tends to compare every new game to those few greats. Consider that back then a lot of stinkers were also made that had bad sound and music.

That's definitely a good point, but at the same time I can point out way more games from the 90s with great sound packages than I can from the 2010s, even accounting for the fact that there were more games made in the 90s. Similarly, I can point out more games from the 2010s with sound packages I don't care for than I can from the 90s. In the 90s, bad sound packages tended to be annoying more than anything, but I'll take slightly annoying over boring any day.

Quoted from SLAMT1LT:

Nothing wrong with the audio on any recent game I've played. David Thiel's work on Alien was incredible and the Ghostbusters audio guy, amazing. The only issue I have is terrible voice acting, especially American actors trying to do a British accent....have Stern ever heard of Fiverr? Hundreds of British voice actors ready and waiting to take your call including myself.

Actually, Ghostbusters' sound package is one I really like overall. One of the few new games in recent years that I've walked up to and instantly started enjoying, and I have no familiarity with Ghostbusters whatsoever. Haven't played Alien, but there's no way I won't try it if I ever see one!

I definitely agree on the voice acting too. Why does it seem like the people doing pinball callouts barely get excited anymore?

1 week later
#57 9 months ago

I think anything by David Thiel has been incredible, the man has a talent for creating music that is meant for pinball. David did a lot of incredible audio work for The Hobbit. I think The Hobbit has one of the most impressive pinball audio packages thanks to the work done by David and the 30+ custom tracks by Two Steps From Hell. Also, Jerry Thompson's work on Ghostbusters is incredible. He took multiple licensed tracks from the Ghostbusters movie and added a pinball twist / vibe to each. Finally, have to mention Chris Granner. He knocked it out of the park with LOTR music / sound and then JJP brought him back for WOZ which has another incredible audio offering.

#58 9 months ago

I think the sound work on Deadpool is some of the best I've heard in a long time. Great timing, great humor.

Game of Thrones is a bit hammy but conveys the theme very well.

TRON is superb. Goes beyond most games. Draws you in and really gets you amped.

Metallica is excellent with the band members doing callouts.

Batman 66 is out of my price range but does the theme justice. Sound package is right on point.

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