the original soundtrack

[Previous entry: ""] [Main Index] [Next entry: ""]

05/09/2004: "the sound of slots."

Absolutely riveting ten-page-long piece by Gary Rivlin in the NY Times Magazine on the rise of slot machines. I never would have guessed that slots are a 30 billion dollar business annually (3 times that of the movie industry, in fact!) There are a lot of great parts to the story, but my favorites are (surprise surprise) the parts that reference music or brains (BRAINS!!):

The traditional pull-handle, if it exists at all, is nothing more than a vestigial limb; most players now press a button to start the reels, often virtual, spinning. Many slot machines don't even pay out coins but issue ''credits'' on a paper receipt to be redeemed at the cashier's cage. Slot makers have found that their customers don't miss handling money -- coins are heavy and dirty, after all -- and stereo speakers can project the simulated yet satisfying ping and clink of cascading cash. ''We basically mixed several recordings of quarters falling on a metal tray and then fattened up the sound with the sound of falling dollars,'' says Bill Hecht, I.G.T.'s top audio engineer, when describing one of the audio files he programs into a machine.

The genius of that last quote aside, I never would've thought that a team of audio engineers was behind those things. I guess it makes sense. Also how crazily meta the whole thing has become: the new slot machines are designed to simulate old-time slot machines which aimed to, in some way, simulate the high-rolling casino experience. Never been to Vegas, but I have seen Reno in all its seedy, faded glory while on a madcap cross-country adventure once. Reno's where lead American slots producer I.G.T. is based. Another interesting bit about sound design:

Before [head I.G.T. designer] Kaminkow's arrival, I.G.T.'s games weren't quiet -- hardly -- but they didn't take full advantage of the power of special effects like ''smart sounds'' -- bright bursts of music. So Kaminkow decreed that every action, every spin of the wheel, every outcome, would have its own unique sound. The typical slot machine featured maybe 15 ''sound events'' when Kaminkow first arrived at I.G.T.; now that average is closer to 400. And the deeper a player gets into a game, the quicker and usually louder the music.

This relates to the later idea of "rolling sounds":

The machine constantly emitted noises: clapping sounds, little bright chimes, the occasional yodel. The show's theme song never stopped, driving me batty, until finally I hit a bonus -- suddenly that theme song turned sweet. Slot designers call it a ''rolling sound'': the more credits you win, the longer the song plays.

The design is also really fascinating from a psychological perspective. Here we have what is basically the ultimate stimulus-response system; it's the best Skinner box possible. Everything on the machine's been designed just so, so you'll be drawn to it--the flashing lights, bright colors, bits of music -- in pretty much the same way a toddler is enraptured by a cool toy. What makes it the ultimate stimulus-response system, as Rivlin notes, is that it functions on intermittent reward--smaller payouts on a scattered basis. Of all the forms of reward, it's the most seductive.

Rivlin goes into excruciating detail of how old sitcoms like 'I Dream of Jeannie' are typically chosen to theme the machines; the images and sounds trigger specific memories in the target demographic (senior citizens and middle-aged housewives, mostly). It has the dual effect of spicing up the mundane slots experience while also keeping it comforting and familiar. So comforting and familiar that you'd want to sit there, staring at the same machine, for hours at a time. In effect, each machine becomes its own little slice of. . . home. [insert creepy horror music here]


Replies: 10 Comments

You can also check some information about http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ debt consolidation http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ flowers http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ flower http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ credit reports http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ credit report http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ mortgage calculator http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ mortgage http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ private mortgage http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ student loans http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ personal loans http://www.loans-4-u.info/ http://www.loans-4-u.info/ loans http://www.health-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.health-insurancedeals-4u.info/ health insurance http://www.auto-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.auto-insurancedeals-4u.info/ auto insurance http://www.car-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.car-insurancedeals-4u.info/ car insurance http://www.insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.insurancedeals-4u.info/ insurance http://www.insurance-quotesdeals-4u.info/ http://www.insurance-quotesdeals-4u.info/ insurance quotes http://www.credit-card-applications-4u.info/ http://www.credit-card-applications-4u.info/ credit cards http://www.hotelse-site.info/ http://www.hotelse-site.info/ hotels http://www.hotele-site.info/ http://www.hotele-site.info/ hotels.com http://www.las-vegas-hotels-e-site.info/ http://www.las-vegas-hotels-e-site.info/ las vegas hotels http://www.cheap-hotels-e-site.info/ http://www.cheap-hotels-e-site.info/ cheap hotels http://www.hotel-dealse-site.info/ http://www.hotel-dealse-site.info/ hotel http://www.travel-e-site.info/ http://www.travel-e-site.info/ travel http://www.top-e-site.info/ http://www.top-e-site.info/ travelocity http://www.air-travel-e-site.info/ http://www.air-travel-e-site.info/ air travel http://www.great-e-site.info/ http://www.great-e-site.info/ hilton http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ car rental http://www.car-rentals-e-site.info/ http://www.car-rentals-e-site.info/ car rentals http://www.rental-car-e-site.info/ http://www.rental-car-e-site.info/ rental cars http://www.deal-e-site.info/ http://www.deal-e-site.info/ expedia http://www.dating-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-e-site.info/ dating http://www.online-dating-e-site.info/ http://www.online-dating-e-site.info/ online dating http://www.dating-services-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-services-e-site.info/ dating services http://www.dating-site-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-site-e-site.info/ adult dating http://www.adult-dvd-top-shop.info/ http://www.adult-dvd-top-shop.info/ adult dvd http://www.dvd-top-shop.info/ http://www.dvd-top-shop.info/ dvd http://www.digital-camera-esite.info/ http://www.digital-camera-esite.info/ digital camera http://www.digital-cameras-esite.info/ http://www.digital-cameras-esite.info/ digital cameras http://www.golf-e-course.info/ http://www.golf-e-course.info/ golf http://www.golf-clubs-e-course.info/ http://www.golf-clubs-e-course.info/ golf club ... Thanks!!!

debt consolidation said @ 12/06/2004 08:24 PM EST

You can also check some information about http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ debt consolidation http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ flowers http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ flower http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ credit reports http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ credit report http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ mortgage calculator http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ mortgage http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ private mortgage http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ student loans http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ personal loans http://www.loans-4-u.info/ htt

debt consolidation said @ 12/06/2004 08:23 PM EST

You can also check some information about http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ debt consolidation http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ flowers http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ flower http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ credit reports http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ credit report http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ mortgage calculator http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ mortgage http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ private mortgage http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ student loans http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ personal loans http://www.loans-4-u.info/ htt

debt consolidation said @ 12/06/2004 08:23 PM EST

You can also check some information about http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ debt consolidation http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ flowers http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ flower http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ credit reports http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ credit report http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ mortgage calculator http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ mortgage http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ private mortgage http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ student loans http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ personal loans http://www.loans-4-u.info/ http://www.loans-4-u.info/ loans http://www.health-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.health-insurancedeals-4u.info/ health insurance http://www.auto-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.auto-insurancedeals-4u.info/ auto insurance http://www.car-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.car-insurancedeals-4u.info/ car insurance http://www.insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.insurancedeals-4u.info/ insurance http://www.insurance-quotesdeals-4u.info/ http://www.insurance-quotesdeals-4u.info/ insurance quotes http://www.credit-card-applications-4u.info/ http://www.credit-card-applications-4u.info/ credit cards http://www.hotelse-site.info/ http://www.hotelse-site.info/ hotels http://www.hotele-site.info/ http://www.hotele-site.info/ hotels.com http://www.las-vegas-hotels-e-site.info/ http://www.las-vegas-hotels-e-site.info/ las vegas hotels http://www.cheap-hotels-e-site.info/ http://www.cheap-hotels-e-site.info/ cheap hotels http://www.hotel-dealse-site.info/ http://www.hotel-dealse-site.info/ hotel http://www.travel-e-site.info/ http://www.travel-e-site.info/ travel http://www.top-e-site.info/ http://www.top-e-site.info/ travelocity http://www.air-travel-e-site.info/ http://www.air-travel-e-site.info/ air travel http://www.great-e-site.info/ http://www.great-e-site.info/ hilton http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ car rental http://www.car-rentals-e-site.info/ http://www.car-rentals-e-site.info/ car rentals http://www.rental-car-e-site.info/ http://www.rental-car-e-site.info/ rental cars http://www.deal-e-site.info/ http://www.deal-e-site.info/ expedia http://www.dating-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-e-site.info/ dating http://www.online-dating-e-site.info/ http://www.online-dating-e-site.info/ online dating http://www.dating-services-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-services-e-site.info/ dating services http://www.dating-site-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-site-e-site.info/ adult dating http://www.adult-dvd-top-shop.info/ http://www.adult-dvd-top-shop.info/ adult dvd http://www.dvd-top-shop.info/ http://www.dvd-top-shop.info/ dvd http://www.digital-camera-esite.info/ http://www.digital-camera-esite.info/ digital camera http://www.digital-cameras-esite.info/ http://www.digital-cameras-esite.info/ digital cameras http://www.golf-e-course.info/ http://www.golf-e-course.info/ golf http://www.golf-clubs-e-course.info/ http://www.golf-clubs-e-course.info/ golf club ... Thanks!!!

debt consolidation said @ 12/06/2004 08:23 PM EST

Please check out some helpful info about http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ http://www.debt-consolidation-consultant.info/ debt consolidation http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ http://www.flowers-leading-site.info/ flowers http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ http://www.flower-leading-site.info/ flower http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ http://www.credit-reports-4u.info/ credit reports http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ http://www.credit-report-4u.info/ credit report http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ http://www.mortgage-calculators-ebanking.info/ mortgage calculator http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ http://www.mortgage-4-u.info/ mortgage http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ http://www.private-mortgage-insurance-ebanking.info/ private mortgage http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ http://www.student-loans-ebanking.info/ student loans http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ http://www.personal-loan-ebanking.info/ personal loans http://www.loans-4-u.info/ http://www.loans-4-u.info/ loans http://www.health-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.health-insurancedeals-4u.info/ health insurance http://www.auto-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.auto-insurancedeals-4u.info/ auto insurance http://www.car-insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.car-insurancedeals-4u.info/ car insurance http://www.insurancedeals-4u.info/ http://www.insurancedeals-4u.info/ insurance http://www.insurance-quotesdeals-4u.info/ http://www.insurance-quotesdeals-4u.info/ insurance quotes http://www.credit-card-applications-4u.info/ http://www.credit-card-applications-4u.info/ credit cards http://www.hotelse-site.info/ http://www.hotelse-site.info/ hotels http://www.hotele-site.info/ http://www.hotele-site.info/ hotels.com http://www.las-vegas-hotels-e-site.info/ http://www.las-vegas-hotels-e-site.info/ las vegas hotels http://www.cheap-hotels-e-site.info/ http://www.cheap-hotels-e-site.info/ cheap hotels http://www.hotel-dealse-site.info/ http://www.hotel-dealse-site.info/ hotel http://www.travel-e-site.info/ http://www.travel-e-site.info/ travel http://www.top-e-site.info/ http://www.top-e-site.info/ travelocity http://www.air-travel-e-site.info/ http://www.air-travel-e-site.info/ air travel http://www.great-e-site.info/ http://www.great-e-site.info/ hilton http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ car rental http://www.car-rentals-e-site.info/ http://www.car-rentals-e-site.info/ car rentals http://www.rental-car-e-site.info/ http://www.rental-car-e-site.info/ rental cars http://www.deal-e-site.info/ http://www.deal-e-site.info/ expedia http://www.dating-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-e-site.info/ dating http://www.online-dating-e-site.info/ http://www.online-dating-e-site.info/ online dating http://www.dating-services-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-services-e-site.info/ dating services http://www.dating-site-e-site.info/ http://www.dating-site-e-site.info/ adult dating http://www.adult-dvd-top-shop.info/ http://www.adult-dvd-top-shop.info/ adult dvd http://www.dvd-top-shop.info/ http://www.dvd-top-shop.info/ dvd http://www.digital-camera-esite.info/ http://www.digital-camera-esite.info/ digital camera http://www.digital-cameras-esite.info/ http://www.digital-cameras-esite.info/ digital cameras http://www.golf-e-course.info/ http://www.golf-e-course.info/ golf http://www.golf-clubs-e-course.info/ http://www.golf-clubs-e-course.info/ golf club - Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

flowers said @ 12/04/2004 09:20 AM EST

Please visit some relevant pages dedicated to online ***** online ***** http://www.thorcarlson.com/ online ***** online ***** http://www.valeofglamorganconservatives.org/ online ***** online ***** http://www.online-deals99.com/ - Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

online poker said @ 11/28/2004 02:17 AM EST

You can also visit some relevant pages about texas holdem tip texas holdem tip http://www.texas-holdem-tip-win.info/ real *********** real *********** http://www.real-***********-top-deals.info/ ***** texas holdem ***** texas holdem http://www.*****-texas-holdem-games.info/ no limit holdem no limit holdem http://www.no-limit-holdem-top-site.info/ build texas holdem table build texas holdem table http://www.build-texas-holdem-table-4u.info/ ***** texas holdem program analyzer ***** texas holdem program analyzer http://www.*****-texas-holdem-program-analyzer-4u.info/ free no limit texas holdem free no limit texas holdem http://www.free-no-limit-texas-holdem-top-site.info/ slot machines slot machines http://www.slot-machines-gambling-4u.info/ recreational use *********** recreational use *********** http://www.recreational-use-***********-top-deals.info/ buy *********** discount phetermine on line buy *********** discount phetermine on line http://www.buy-***********-discount-phetermine-on-line-pharmacy-2003.info/ - Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

texas holdem free poker said @ 11/08/2004 12:07 AM EST

In your free time, check some relevant pages about apply credit card apply credit card http://www.apply-credit-card-4u.info/ home loan mobile home loan mobile http://www.home-loan-mobile-e-bank.info/ asset based financing asset based financing http://www.asset-based-financing-advisor.info/ hilton hilton http://www.great-e-site.info/ mortgage payments mortgage payments http://www.mortgage-payments-e-bank.info/ calculator loan payment calculator loan payment http://www.calculator-loan-payment-e-bank.info/ fossil watches fossil watches http://www.best-watches-deals.info/ gmac mortgage gmac mortgage http://www.gmac-mortgage-e-site.info/ car rental car rental http://www.car-rental-e-site.info/ citibank loan student citibank loan student http://www.top-bank-loan-student-4u.info/ loan motorcycle loan motorcycle http://www.loan-motorcycle-e-bank.info/ Mortgage Savings Plan Mortgage Savings Plan http://www.Mortgage-Savings-Plan-ebanking.info/ ...

mortgage loan said @ 11/05/2004 08:38 PM EST

I've only been in a ****** twice but the last time was so memorable. I remember being caught off guard by all the gamelon-like chiming and cursed myself for forgetting to bring the mini-disc. One day I'll get one recorded. It is a pleasing sound.

Liz said @ 05/11/2004 12:13 AM EST

I loved the bit about the woman who flew into a jealous rage whenever her favorite machine paid out to somebody else...I'm reminded of the "Twilight Zone" episode where the guy is taunted into gambling addiction by the slot machine...

henry said @ 05/10/2004 09:21 AM EST

home
archives
email me

stuff i've written

freaky trigger
simon reynolds
matt ingram
douglas wolk
michaelangelo matos
sasha frere-jones
mark sinker
gareth lee
jon dale
josh kortbein
tim finney
mark fisher
philip sherburne
simon silverdollarcircle
ronan fitzgerald
john darnielle
lauren klein
daphne carr
dj/rupture
maura johnston
joshua tree in every pot
anthony miccio
scott somedisco
andy kellman
nick gutterbreakz
dave queen
jody beth rosen
other side of life
grievous angel
uncarved
barbara flaska
nathalie
the rambler
mike daddino
pete scholtes
the rambler
86400 seconds
dj martian
scott seward
julianne shepherd
poplife blog
david stubbs
anthony easton rockcritics daily
tmftml
no rock n roll fun
wax banks
andy battaglia
ian penman
fluxblog


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.