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Suzanne’s popularity in sound design reached another milestone in 1979. She was the first female keyboardist to be featured on the front cover of Keyboard Magazine. During that year, another “first” for Suzanne was about to unfold. Coin-operated arcade game manufacturer Bally Entertainment hired Suzanne to produce sound effects and music for their “sexy new pinball game,” Xenon.

Suzanne spent some research time at an arcade to come up with an approach that would make Bally’s new game unique. She couldn’t help noticing the reactions of players while playing the pinball machines. She presented to Bally the idea of making the new pinball game react back to the player. Her voice and music (that she composed especially for the game) were first recorded at the Ciani/Musica studio. Next, her music and sound data were encoded into a special computer voice chip and a music chip.

Bally released Xenon in December 1980. They produced 11,000 of the futuristic pinball machines. Greg Kmiec designed the game and Paul Faris created the artwork. During the production stages of Xenon, a film crew made a documentary of Suzanne’s sound design project. It was first shown in the United States on a TV show called Omni Magazine, then later distributed worldwide.

XENON was not only Bally's first speaking pinball machine, but it was also the first game with a female voice, that of Suzanne Ciani. Her voice and music technology helped begin a new chapter of the arcade coin-operated game industry.

OMNI Magazine Video Documentary
of the Xenon project

Xenon Speaks Again!
Graphic designer and pinball game enthusiast, Bill Baverstock did an exclusive interview with the voice of Xenon, Suzanne Ciani.

Animated graphic of Xenon pinball
Graphic of Xenon pinball playing field

CIANI Xenon Sound Sets

Here are some Xenon Sound Sets that you may use on your computer. To Download, please click on any highlighted file listed below.

Windows PC
AOL Xenon Sound Set - Contains 9 sounds to help enhance your AOL Internet experience. It’s very easy to install.
WAV Xenon Sound Set - Contains 9 sounds to use with your favorite Windows sound utilities.
Outlook Express Xenon Sound Set - Download this file a drop it into your Sound Sets folder. Contains 5 sounds.
The Mother of all Xenon Sound Sets - 21 Xenon Sounds in WAV Format. Bill Baverstock provided these sounds from his own Xenon Pinball Machine. CLICK HERE to visit his web site.


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