Tag Archives: Xenon

Welcome to Xenon (Pinball) Tone

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.


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Xenon Pinball Tones


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

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?

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?”


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