musician spotlight: daniel lee

The man behind the music of slot machines


Behind successful inventions are people who are willing to take things a step further. Perhaps the reason why modern Las Vegas slot machines are so successful today is because their music is being composed by a talented composers; a musician who meticulously creates personalized and earworm-inducing sounds for each game: Daniel Lee.

Daniel Lee works as a sound engineer for one of the most prominent slot developers in the world, IGT. His work requires him to compose music for up to 15 slot machines a year. Now, 15 per annum may sound like easy task but you’d be surprised with how tedious the process of making music for slots is.

A study undertaken by researchers from the University of Waterloo revealed that music plays a vital role in encouraging people to play slots for long periods. This means that Lee’s job doesn’t just require him to create original music but also compose something good enough to keep players entertained and hooked on the games.

“The basic concept of my job is to make music that draws a player in quickly,” said Lee. “It’s my goal to draw players in and keep them interested long enough to play the game.”

Lee also needs to create music that matches the slot machine’s design, meaning the process starts only once he receives the artwork for a slot machine. Based on the design, he will compose a tune that captures its theme. Inspiration comes in many forms for Lee – sometimes, he downloads music samples from the Internet. On other occasions, he starts writing straight away.

As if composing original music using traditional instruments wasn’t difficult enough, Lee also needs to look for alternative ways to produce the music he’s conceptualizes. To date, Lee has made recordings using sounds produced by bats, cows, and even screwdrivers running across a vacuum hose. His original sound recordings can be heard via the demo games at, an online slot host who’s in partnership with his company IGT.

As a result of Lee’s hardwork, slot machines now enjoy immense popularity in casinos across the globe. According to an article by Zenit, gaming establishments garner around 80% of their revenue from slot machines – a figure no doubt influenced by the music from Lee’s slot machines.