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Xenon Pinball
Old 13th December 2016
  #1
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Xenon Pinball

Hey Suzanne,

Pinball nerds like me love the Xenon soundset. It's seriously one of the bigger selling points of that wonderful game. How was your sound design experience working with the Bally Pinball Company?

Thanks!
Old 18th December 2016
  #2
Suzanne Ciani
 
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Hi Ben!

It was an amazing experience...and a TV program was made about it for Omni Magazine, with Peter Ustinov narrating...I wonder if you've seen that...
A couple of years ago I was inducted into the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame for little Xenon and I went to Chicago to get the award and was immersed once again into the pinball community...a great and dedicated group of people carrying on the tradition.
Bally gave me lots of freedom...basically educating me in the psychology of pinball playing...the rewards and levels of accomplishment and the losses and encouragements. The sound was designed to support the emotional levels and to be responsive to all the pinball gestures. I recently had a sort of epiphany realizing that I had come from a background of "loving" a machine..the Buchla, and loved the feedback and interactivity of Xenon, too. I saw that players were "performing" the game and thus the music! The biggest challenge was how small the chip was, but limitations always inspire solutions. I was also the first female voice in a pinball game, due to a higher bandwidth in the chip, which could allow the higher frequencies of a female voice. At the pinball convention, I realized that a lot of pinball people were more focused on the vocal quality than on the other sound design aspects, which I really loved doing!
Glad you like the game!

All my best,
Suzanne
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