#WorldMusicDay 2023: What Makes Our Slot Music GREAT?
Sound design and background music are often overlooked as an afterthought - at Nolimit City though, we’re aiming for the grammies. We're known for our awesome tunes - with over 1000 monthly listeners on our Spotify Page and over 70K streams last year - There's nothing quite like an NLC Soundtrack!
Today's #WorldMusicDay, we’re handing the mic to our talented sound designers; David, Viktor & Lars and we're taking a deep dive into what makes our sounds rock!
What do you think is the most crucial element of making a great slot soundtrack?
To make it run smoothly without any crazy stuff and complicated rhythms that will turn away the player's focus. The player is normally not there for the music and the focus should be on the gameplay. So the hard part is to make a soundtrack that just runs with the flow and that’s not too repetitive.
There are of course a lot of crucial things. If I have to pick one thing… Finding the balance between making something that’s impactful and interesting while not being fatiguing or annoying to listen to for a couple of hours.
The brutal truth is that the most crucial element in creating a great slot soundtrack is …the slot itself!
What is it that makes sound effects ‘Satisfying’? Are there any particular techniques you use to make a soundtrack memorable?
Reverb is my best friend, I use it on 99% of all sound effects I make. It’s very useful to create the right feeling for the environment.
It really depends on what game, for some themes nailing the ambience and background sounds is what makes the trick. But when it comes to music I usually tend to incorporate some kind of hook or leitmotif into it, or sometimes just a particular recognizable sound, something that mostly relates to that game or that game series.
I don’t watch a lot of streamers, but when I do the first thing I look for is - Are they humming or moving their heads with the rhythm?
I am a sucker for hooks, melodies, catchy riffs and all that. But if we’re talking effects; I skipped the whole “it has to sound positive and satisfying” mindset a long time ago. There are thousands of slots with fruits, rainbows and Irish gnomes surrounded by glitter shit and generic “positive sounds”. Surprise me - then I’ll be satisfied.
Do you tend to gravitate towards your personal music taste or focus wholly on the theme of the slot?
I put all the focus on the slot theme, but sometimes my own taste fits the theme and then it’s extra fun.
Since my personal music taste varies from day to day or what mood I’m in that’s no reliable source. But on the other hand, since I’m the one making the music my subjective taste about stuff will always play in.
Sometimes it’s nice to go away from the theme a bit to make things more interesting.
Great question! I am pretty broad in terms of musical taste so I don’t really go for any standards of my own preference. Having that said; It’s always fun to add a bit of good old death metal to a slot for a slight comical effect or just that huge element of surprise. But that gets old too after a while!
Do you prefer working with real instruments or synthesised ones through software?
It’s harder to make perfect recordings with real instruments and it's more time-consuming, but I like both equally I would say.
I wouldn’t say that I prefer one over the other, and it really depends on what is necessary for the game's theme. Sometimes I even use both at the same time for the same thing, if it sounds good it is good!
I have spent way too much money on both software and real instruments not to use them. So I most often go hybrid.
What do you enjoy most about working as a slot music and sound effect producer, and what challenges do you typically face?
I love the creative process and how we make so many different types of music and effects for each game. As much as I love the creative process it can go totally in the other direction as well. To force creativity is sometimes impossible and I get stuck without any ideas. That can turn a day upside down.
It’s great when there’s time for some experimentation when you are able to try out something really stupid that actually turns out to be perfect.
Every game is different and each game has its own specialities that you need to be alert of. Some sounds play all the time and others happen once in a million times. Finding the right balance there can be quite tricky.
Here’s a true but cliche answer for you: I enjoy waking up, going to work and feeling happy/excited about what I do for a living. It’s the best feeling, and not to be taken for granted.
Fun fact about an NLC soundtrack you’ve worked on?
When I did The Rave music, then I was mostly on parental leave, kind of stressed to put it together. So when my kid and I were driving around in the car we always listened to all the tracks for soundcheck and my kid was digging a lot. I guess that was a good sign, today the soundtrack has been streamed 67 000 times.
The count-up and win sounds in Dead Canary are actually based on a very famous piece by Norwegian composer Edward Grieg.
I have a lot of burps/farts in a lot of my games but you can’t really hear them. But I know they are there and… that’s just hilarious.
What's your favourite soundtrack that you’ve worked on?
xWays® Hoarder, so many pleasant memories from that time. Each time I open the game I get goosebumps. The music was really fun to make, to make them sound old and how the vocal parts really lifted them up. It was amazing to see all the streamers sing along with Hell Yeah.
That is a tough one. Maybe The Border - I like the idea that a slot game could be something more than just a slot. In this case an illustration of the messed up situation on the border between USA and Mexico.
The soundtrack was all about ordinary people that just want a better life but get caught up in between drug cartels and racism, so it sounded more like something you might expect from a tv-series or a theatre play.
That might be what makes a typical Nolimit soundtrack, they rarely sound like how a slot game ”should” sound.
All of them!
To listen to all of the latest Nolimit City soundtracks, you can follow us on our Spotify page. Check us out!
For more information about Nolimit City please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
About Nolimit City
Nolimit City is a Malta, Sweden, India, and Romania-based online casino platform and game developer, offering high-quality content and services to operators worldwide. The company has designed and developed its platform in-house from the ground up; delivering a strong engine that can take large volumes of play and social interaction in its stride, on both desktop and mobile. It is coupled with an innovative back office and bonus toolbox, providing a one-stop shop for our partners. It is hugely flexible and can be tailored to individual operator requirements and needs. We employ some of the brightest minds and artistic talents in the industry, people passionate about gambling and technology. They have helped us to create a portfolio bursting with fun and engaging games.