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.
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!).