About a week ago I received a comment from a reader regarding the two Xenon pinball tones I produced for PAPA 12 (August 13-16, 2009). The writer said, “I was really hoping for the MP3 to have the female voice when you drop the quarter. Would’ve took me back to 8th grade at the 7-11 before school. Sigh.”
As the saying goes, ask and ye shall receive. Here’s the new Welcome to Xenon (Pinball) Tone requested by Locally Toned commenter James Ballard.
I went back and listend to the original audio I recorded with help from PAPA’s Steve Eckert–low and behold–her voice was there!
This tone is dedicated to 8th graders everywhere who played Bally’s Xenon pinball game before heading off to school, to this year’s PAPA 14 tournament, and to the lady behind the sounds of Xenon–electronics composer Suzanne Ciani.
Send the tone directly to your phone at http://www.locallytoned.org.
Gottlieb’s 300 (a bowling game, 1975) was one of the first pinball machines that Steve Eckert, game tech at PAPA, took me to listen to and see. The design of the board was really eye-catching, and I took some beautiful photographs of it. Here’s the“300” (Pinball) Bowling Ringtone.
This next tone, from Aces and Kings, is super-purist–it’s simply a track of Steve starting up and playing a bit of the game. Listen to the Aces and Kings (Pinball) ToneAces and Kings (Pinball) Tone. The track was pretty quiet, so I doubled up the audio to create the Old School Pinball Tone.
Good luck to all the competitors in the World Pinball Championships this weekend. And thanks to Team PAPA for being such gracious hosts to Locally Toned and for collaborating such a wonderful set of tones!
Today’s the first day of the PAPA 12 World Pinball Championships, and because there’s going to be lots of fun going on in that house, I’ve decided it’s a good day to post the Fun House (Pinball) Tone. It includes plenty of cartoon-sounding synth/electronic audio from Williams’ Fun House pinball game, circa 1990.
I’ve got something else for you, too. A mix-up tone! Did you know that
the Pinball Mix Up Tone? This tone includes old school (from the game Mata Hari) and electronic synth pinball sounds (from Fun House) in one mashed-up arcade tone. Since PAPA’s Dave Baach especially liked this tone, I dedicate it to him!
It was fun learning about this machine, Bally’s Xenon, from PAPA Team members Steve Eckert and Dave Baach. Steve, the game tech, hooked me up with the audio and actually played the game so I could get interesting bits, and Dave told me, “the sound for this game was made by a woman–an awesome electronics composer named Suzanne Ciani.”
Then my superbly informed project advisor (and awesome artist) Hyla Willis sent me a link on Facebook saying, “I love the Xenon ringtone. Was suprised to find that it was composed by an early female electronic music pioneer. Good video of the project here (check the fingernails!).”
I watched the video this morning and it is awesome. It’s from a 1981 television series called Omni: The New Frontier with host (world class actor, now deseased) Peter Ustinov. If you want a good chuckle, make sure you watch it to hear Ustinov’s prediction at the very end of the story. Gotta love those futuristic predictions! Especially about women’s jewlery…
I made some fab sounding tones from the game’s electro-synth-audio. The Xenon Pinball Melody Tone (so named cause it’s mostly the clunky-sounding melody from this early 1980s game plus the satisfying “aah” sound the game makes when you feed her quarters/tokens) and the Xenon (Pinball) Tone (including sounds from game power up, coin up, start up and play).
Pinball Art Card: Xenon Detail
I also made two pinball art cards featuring the Xenon images–they’ll be distributed at the championships this weekend during my *mobile* ringtone performance scheduled (weather permitting) from 4-6pm.
Can you see the little curly lines on this Xenon Pinball Art Card?
BTW, the images from the game were challenging to photograph (even with the glass off–the board has such fine line detail on it). When I showed one of the Xenon cards to the game tech (Steve) today, he said that the tiny little curly looking lines in the photographic images were ball marks–“wear and tear” marks from the balls bouncing around and around the machine. As my friend Justin Hopper would say, “How cool is that?”
Aces & Kings Pinball Art Card
I’ll be doing a *mobile* ringtone performance on Saturday August 15th from 4-6pm at the PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) 12 World Pinball Championships in Scott Township. Look for me somewhere outside the venue (rather than inside). I’ll want folks to hear the tones as I broadcast them–that wouldn’t be possible inside… The best directions are here (PAPA recommends you do not follow the Google Maps route). If you want some cards, be sure to show up for that. Check out these beautiful Pinball Art Cards made specially (by me) for the this weekend.
Mata Hari Pinball Art Card
The back of the cards have texting codes so you can have these specific codes messaged back to your phone!
Xenon Pinball Art Card
Thanks to PAPA for underwriting the printing of the art cards and thanks to Forward Litho for printing these lovely cards (truly excellent color copies) in a pinch! Bill (at Forward Litho) helped me pick the final images from his computer screen just yesterday.
Here are the rest of the cards in the series (eight cards total):
High Speed Alert Signal Pinball Art Card
Old School Pinball Tone Art Card
High Speed Pinball Art Card
"300" Bowling Pinball Art Card
Steve Eckert, game tech at PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) in Scott Township opened the front and back of the Williams’ 1986 game, High Speed, so I could get my mics close to the audio sources.
Here’s the shorter High Speed (Pinball) Alert Signal (what I’d describe as an acceleration synth sound), and the longer High Speed (Pinball) Ringtone (you’ll hear Steve playing the game–theme music, horns honking, and cars racing).
Guess what? This week is the PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) 12 World Pinball Championships! In Scott Township!!! In honor of this competition, I’ve made a series of Pinball Ringtones with the help and expertise of the PAPA Team (Dave Baach, Steve Eckert and Mike Monahan). They allowed me to come out and capture audio for tones and take some amazing pics. I’ll try and capture some candid pics of the PAPA team this weekend when I’m out there watching the competition (and maybe doing a *mobile* ringtone performance).
Steve Eckert was my guide the day I went out to record audio. He’s been working on pinball machines since 1976. He’s what you call a game tech. He knew the insides of the machines extremely well–so that’s who we have to thank for the high-quality audio. He literally opened up the insides/back sides of the machines so I could get the mic close to the pinball sound making components.
I’ll blog about a specific pinball machine/tone each day this week. All I can say is that they sound fantastic when someone calls you. These tones are so cool that I can hardly get my words wrapped round them to describe in a decent fashion.
So here’s the first: from the Bally game Mata Hari (late 70s). The audio bits include game start up, power up, mechanical chimes and coin drop (so Steve, the expert, says). Have a listen to the Mata Hari (Pinball) Tone (or go straight to the download page). Here’s a bonus tone: the Mata Hari (Pinball) Alert Signal–great for pic or text message arrivals (download here).
Oh, and thanks to my pal Erok. He’s the gent who contributed the Bicycle Bell Tone (the hottest tone in the project to this date–391 downloads as of today, August 10, 2009). Erok turned me on to PAPA, the World Pinball Championship 12, and also introduced me to Dave Baach. I’m grateful, Erok, for you keen sense of hearing–you have a tremendous ability to scope out some of the *dope-est* tones in Pittsburgh!