Slot Machine Sound Effect

Slot Machine Sound Effect – What do you hear when you walk into a casino? It can feel like chaos, but every sound is carefully chosen to draw you in and make you stay. One collection of sounds is scientifically and artistically designed to keep the gambler gambling. Slot machines. This episode features interviews with Willie Wilcock, lead sound designer at Scientific Games in Las Vegas, Laura Taylor, composer and sound designer for numerous slot machines across the US, and Karen Collins, who conducted the extensive sound and music research behind this game. Is it addictive or fun? Maybe it’s both. Pull the lever and listen for yourself.

You are listening to Twenty Thousand Hertz…The stories behind the most recognizable and interesting sounds in the world. I’m Dallas Taylor.

Slot Machine Sound Effect

The sound you just heard… is what casinos use to lure people in… and keep them there. There is the sound of cards [SFX: shuffling cards], chips [SFX: Chips], a craps table [SFX: Craps table], but there is one game that is particularly effective at keeping people playing. Slot machines.

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Modern casinos earn over 70 percent of their revenue from slots. That’s a dramatic increase from the 1970s, when it was less than 50 percent in most casinos. A lot of this has to do with the advancement of gaming technology. Slot machines today are very different from their predecessors.

Laura: There are different styles of slot machines. Obviously when you enter a casino you have a large selection of slots.

Laura: If you go into a casino in Vegas, or a smaller casino, there’ll be a little corner, you’ll have that huge Britney Spears machine with a huge curved screen.

Or you can play a Batman game, or you can play a Godzilla game, or a kiss… [SFX: Kiss “Are you ready to rock”]

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We are probably all familiar with traditional three-reel slots. You pull the lever, you wait for the cherries to be placed, you win

They are called “Stepper machines”. But today there is a huge variety in slot machines. Willie Wilcox, who is the lead sound designer for Las Vegas Science Games, helps break it down.

Willie: So other types of slot machines, other than traditional stepper machines, you’re starting to get into new video machines, which can be stereo machines and you can also get into video versions of games with surround sound.

Today’s slot machines are all about themes. As Laura mentioned, popular music is a big trend, but so are movies, such as James Bond, Rocky and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And they all require sound and music.

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Willie: For someone to be able to sit and play for a long time, you don’t want them to get tired sonically. We make music that’s engaging, that’s anticipatory, that allows someone to sit there for a long period of time without getting bored, without being irritated and feeling like someone’s grabbing your index finger and tapping your forehead and making you not want to be there.

That’s a lot of pressure on these sound designers. The sounds must attract the players, but also be pleasant to listen to for a long period of time. The last thing casinos want is for you to leave because of listener fatigue. Not only that, but they compete with all the other sounds in the casino. popular music,

Willy: You’re looking for music that will keep the player engaged [SFX: interesting music], but not detract from what they’re doing. The real attraction is always chasing, always chasing what you want to win, and making identifying sounds that help you realize it.

So if you had your eyes closed and weren’t looking, you would know by the sounds that you were hearing what was happening in the game. It should be so simple and so final.

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Laura: Rule number one is don’t be boring. That’s always at the forefront of my mind, because somebody’s going to sit down at one of these machines, and hopefully they’re going to play it for a very, very long time, and they’re going to hear the same sounds over and over, and so I don’t want anything high. I don’t want anything shrill, and I don’t want anything boring.

Laura: There must be a lot of movement. It doesn’t go up to 80 beats per minute. It will be 130 or 140, something that moves, something that drives. Maybe if they wait long enough, you start getting little audio hints. Ding [SFX: ding], whoosh [SFX: vhoosh], just something to draw the player’s attention back to the machine.

Another question slot designers must ask themselves is how many speakers to have and where to put them.

Willy: It is extremely important to pay attention while designing these slot machines, that when the player is sitting in the chair and the two sets of stereo speakers, the left and right speakers facing the player, are well placed. listening position, which is just pro-audio 101.

Toy Slot Machine

If you have speakers that shoot out into space, that means the player next to you playing will hear all of your speakers. [SFX: slot machines in the background] Do you really want to hear what the player next to you is doing or do you want to hear what you are doing?

So, speaker placement is extremely important, as is speaker type. If you have speakers that are too small, then you have a lot of super high frequency response and not a lot of midrange and lower frequency response, which makes the sound much more tiring to the ear, especially at higher levels.

Laura: There are surround sound chairs where you have speakers mounted behind your head, built into the chair, and they also put a subwoofer in the seat…

Laura also tackled the conspiracy theory circulating in the slot machine world. This theory suggests that all slot machine music is actually composed in the same key.

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It is something that is repeated because it is easy to understand. It’s easy for the media to say, “All jukebox music is in the key of C,” without explaining the history of whether or not that’s true, and whether that’s true today. That’s definitely, 100% not true today, because you have your Kiss games, you have your Michael Jackson games. You have a whole series of James Bond games. Not all that music is in the key of C.

The idea behind this theory is that music in the key of C evokes happy, upbeat feelings. And if you’re happy, you gamble more.

Laura: In the old days they worked in the key of C, as the slot games evolved, so did the music, so did the needs of the music.

From sound design, music and even speaker placement, it’s clear that a lot of thought goes into creating the slot machine experience.

Slot Machine Jackpot Sound Effect

Laura: You’re spending money to do this, so we want you to have a good time while you’re spending your money. It’s not because we’re vultures and want to take all your money. We are like anyone who sells something for entertainment purposes. We want you to have fun, because then you’ll come back.

Slot machine sounds are meant to excite players and… hopefully keep them coming back for more. But what is the science behind these sounds that make us want to play? We’ll get to that after the break.

A lot of art goes into designing slot machines… and a lot of science too. What is it about casino sound design that attracts people?

Karen: One of the first things you notice when you walk into a casino is how many winning sounds are being played.

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This is Karen Collins. She is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. For the past 15 years, her work has focused on sound and music in interactive media, and more recently on vending machines.

Karen: Of course, they never have any losing sounds [SFX: vhomp vhomp sound], so as soon as you walk in, you just hear the sound of people winning all the time, and that’s very exciting, of course, and it helps you get your attraction to the machines thinking: “All these people win. I can win too.”

But, of course, this is not always the case. The idea is not just to keep the current player playing. It is to attract others to play as well.

Karen: “Wow, that person won a lot of money,” but one of the tricky things we’ve found with the machines is that they’ll play that winning sound even when you’re not winning. So if you bet, say, 50 cents, and you won 25 cents, well, you actually lost 25 cents, but the music would still play as if you won. Makes you feel like you’re winning. So even though you lost, the machine tells you that you won.

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Karen: They use a lot of bright, positive sounds. Lots of high frequency sounds.

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