Arcade Ambience Project FAQ

1) What is it?

Arcade Ambience is a long audio track which attempts to simulate the sounds one would hear in a crowded arcade at that time.

2) Where can I download it or obtain the audio CD?

See the downloads section.

3) How did you make it?

Recordings were made of each game being played. These recordings were then pieced together using a sequencing program with differing volumes and random left/right stereo panning. Samples of coin changers, bells, and general 'crowd' noise were also taken from a local arcade and added in.

4) Why did you make it?

Back in 1996 or so, I purchased a copy of Williams arcade classics, which consisted of perfectly emulated versions of Joust, Robotron, Bubbles, and Sinistar. The frontend of the program was a virtual arcade with a door, that when opened brought you inside. The program included a rudimentary background sound of the arcade noise. I thought it was incredible, but it only had a few games and was very short in duration. And also, once you started playing a game, the sound stopped. I always thought it would be cool to recreate that sound a little more faithfully, in addition to having it going in the background while playing the games.

5) What about a 5.1 mix?

If someone can provide me with the software necessary to make both the 5.1 mix and to burn to a Super Audio CD or DVD, I might look into it.

6) Why isn't there music?

Several reasons. Number 1 of course is copyright issues. Number 2: I could never choose 10 songs that everyone would agree on. But probably the main reason is that I would get sick and tired of hearing the same songs over and over again. Feel free to remix the track with some 80s music, or you could just play a CD in the background while the ambience is playing.

7) Game [X] is too loud/soft.

I spent a lot of time trying to balance the sounds. While I am certainly no audio engineer, I think the results are pretty decent. My only regret is that the space invaders shot sound is a little bit loud in the first 1981 track.

8) Why aren't there any people talking in the background?

There are. I had to turn the volume down on the 'background people' because it became irritating hearing the same person say the same thing each time I played the sound.

9) Why didn't you make the sound randomly pan around like you are walking through the arcade?

Too much work. Plus you can just walk around the speakers and achieve the same effect. :)

10) What games are included in each sound?

See the introduction section for a list of games.