Ambiance music for pinball and video arcade games

In another forum, we were discussing an emulator front-end called Maximus Arcade where you can drag MP3s into a folder and those songs will randomly play when you load the program and scroll through games to play. I wrote the following post about the music in my folder. I thought it would be neat to share with you. Please comment if you have similar stories about the way music impacted your growing up.

I’m another person who paid for Maximus. I’m just a PC user with a HotRodSE controller, but I like the Maximus interface. I read about and tried some front-ends but ended up taking the advice of others who had tried 30 or more and decided on Maximus. I tried it for a month. I liked it enough to buy it. I love the ambiance folder. I’ve got all sorts of ’80s music that remind me of a dark room.

Well, I’ll tell you exactly the sound I was going for when I chose music for my ambiance folder. Back in the early to mid ’80s, I was just discovering pop music. I was raised in a Christian home and went to Christian school and “secular” music was frowned on. So I had to hear it when I had the chance. So at the Boston Museum of Science, they had a darkened room, and in the middle of the room was a giant sound system and spectrum analyzer with different colors for different sound frequencies. It was playing Hall & Oates – Maneater. What struck me was the minor key melody of the song’s chorus (“oh here she comes, watch out boy she’ll chew you up”) the dark room, the big sound, and the fancy, modern spectrum analyzer. I guess to me, it was like a discotheque.

So I’ve filled up my ambiance directory with that song and others that remind me of the pop sound of the early and mid ’80s. Especially minor key songs with some electronic, futuristic sound elements. So I’ve got things like Duran Duran – Planet Earth, Men Without Hats – Safety Dance, Newcleus – Jam On It, Van Halen – 1984, Animotion – Obsession, etc. So this is the sound of my fantasy arcade combined with the memory of that huge spectrum analyzer at the Museum of Science.

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