How Slots Music & Sound Effects Are Composed

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A young man standing in front of his computer and music keyboard mixing music.
BetMGM Nov 01, 2023, 5:47 AM

If you’ve ever played casino games online, you’ll know very well how media-rich modern releases can be. Gorgeous graphics, including slick animations and vibrant visuals, are backed up by soundtracks and effects that are almost cinematic at times.

The process of creating sounds for online slot machines is especially fascinating. Not only must designers focus on the aesthetics of an enjoyable game, but there’s a healthy amount of science thrown in, too. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about the music and sounds found in online slots.

Importance of Music and Sounds to a Slots Player

Naturally, everyone playing online casino games for real money will have their own opinion on this subject. And when it comes to slots specifically, there are certainly some people who prefer to switch the music off while playing. A few will even disable all in-game sounds entirely. 

But for the average player, an engaging soundtrack enhances the overall experience. For instance, changes in tempo or tone can add to the drama, increasing tension during a suspenseful bonus round. 

Licensed slots are increasingly common, where the developer has the official rights to a movie franchise, television show, or the songs of a musician. Fans will naturally appreciate a game more if they can listen to their favorite band while playing or enjoy the voices of characters in their favorite show.

Even with unlicensed games, music can make all the difference. Fans of Irish-themed slots, for example, will be familiar with the usual paraphernalia: leprechauns, shamrocks, and pots of gold. Naturally, the expectation would also be to hear some jaunty music, most likely played on a fiddle. This is all part of the reason why players are drawn to their favorite themes in the first place.

Event Indicators

But sounds are not just about making slots more engaging. They serve a practical purpose, too. If you’re new to the game or simply not paying attention, a specific noise can alert you to a useful event. 

Think about when prizes are awarded, or you’re given the opportunity to play a bonus game. There’s usually a special sound or a change to the background music that indicates a shift in game state. This is especially important when playing jackpot slots, where prize pools can be worth millions of dollars. Imagine the frustration of missing out on the chance to hit the jackpot simply because you didn’t realize it was happening.

From the Casino’s Perspective

In what is an extremely competitive industry, casinos and game designers need to make their products stand out. It’s vital for them to create the most entertaining games possible so that players keep coming back for more. 

This is true of all casino products, whether it’s slots, live dealer casino games, or anything else. So when planning new games, developers go to great lengths to ensure every detail is precisely configured to provide as pleasurable an experience as possible for the user.

The Science Bit

Several research papers show that sounds influences the way people perceive certain situations. Casinos take this into consideration.

One study demonstrates that gamers misremember the number of wins when playing with sounds switched on, compared to playing on mute. The paper entitled “The Impact of Sound in Modern Multiline Video Slot Machine Play” (Dixon et al., 2013,) showed a tendency to focus on successes rather than losses, making players feel better overall.

Another technique employed by slot designers, as well as in certain variety games like scratchcards, is to leverage LDWs. “Losses Disguised as Wins” are events that don’t specifically pay profitable returns but deploy specific sounds and visuals that feel like an achievement has been triggered.

Who Composes the Music for Slot Games and How?

Creating music for casino games is a complex and multifaceted process. These days, slot developers employ entire teams of people who each address a different area. 

Composers will be tasked with creating background music for the main game, with other tracks made for specific game states, such as bonus rounds. Others specialize in creating sounds that mimic the noises made by physical slot machines, while some focus on effects that are specifically tailored to the theme.

There are also regulatory requirements to follow that shape what noises can and cannot appear in a game. For example, if a prize is paid that is actually less than the amount staked, the game cannot be seen to mislead the player. Dramatic sounds to celebrate the “win” are considered inappropriate and irresponsible, given that the spin resulted in a net loss.

Finally, designers have to think about the size of a game. As much as they’d love to go all out with dramatic soundtracks and elaborate effects, they need to consider the end user. Mobile games need to be light so as not to eat up too much of a player’s data allowance, for instance. Potential lag is also a factor, as well as storage space on a device.

Notable Slots With Quality Soundtracks

Some of the best online slots for real money gaming stand out due to their high-quality soundtracks. Here are a few notable examples of popular titles that make excellent use of music to create a superior experience for players.

Jimi Hendrix Online Slot – NetEnt

Join the greatest guitarist in history and enjoy his back catalog while spinning the reels.

Narcos Mexico – Red Tiger Gaming

Based on the popular drama series, this slot uses the official soundtrack of the show, entitled “Tuyo.”

Ozzy Osbourne Video Slots – NetEnt

The music of the Black Sabbath frontman and self-styled “Prince Of Darkness” features heavily in this particular series.

The Goonies – Blueprint Gaming

This 80s cult classic movie has an especially memorable theme song, which features prominently in the slot adaptation. 

Play Slots With Amazing Soundtracks at BetMGM

If you’re ready to experience a wide variety of high-quality slots with immersive soundtracks and audio effects, register at BetMGM today. 

Not only will you find hundreds of the very best slots and casino games, but you’ll also enjoy a selection of generous casino bonuses and secure payment methods into the bargain. So dig out your lucky charms for gambling and get ready to spin those reels.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.