Sound Effects

In '95 we had seven different recorded sound effects:

The Hellmouth: An auto-reverse Walkman playing through a car stereo amp, subwoofer, and midrange speakers.

An owl in the tree: A Walkman 12 feet up in a tree playing a loop tape through a battery-powered self-amplified speaker.

Howling wolves: A boom-box on the roof of the house playing a loop tape.

The Whispers in the bush: A Walkman playing a loop tape through a battery-powered self-amplified speaker.

Thunder: A single track of a weather sound effects CD played through a home stereo amp and a pair of 10" woofers on either side of the house.

Ghost laughter in the house: A Walkman playing a loop tape through a self-amplified speaker.

Spooky organ music inside the house: Bach's Toccata in D minor on CD played through a car stereo amp and home stereo speakers including a 12" ported subwoofer.

And in '97 I added the gagging sounds in the Un-well Hung Guy. A Walkman playing a loop tape directly into a small speaker. I made the sounds myself verbally and recorded and edited them on my computer.

TDK makes loop tapes of several lengths from 20 seconds to 12 minutes. At the TDK site, look under consumer products, then audio accessories then endless tapes. Radio Shack sells loop tapes for answering machines.

The best software I know of for editing and manipulating sound on a PC is Cool Edit. It can do advanced stuff like noise filtering, lowering pitch without slowing the sound down, and separating frequency ranges for separate processing.

Most so-called sound effects tapes and CDs you see in the stores around Halloween time aren't very useful. All the sounds are mixed together with each other and with music. They're okay for background at a party, but you won't be able to get a specific sound for a specific prop.

There are many web sites with Halloween-related WAV and MP3 sound clips of varying quality that you can download.

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