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Halloween Prop Menu : Add Sound to Your Props

Add Sound to Your Props

This is a very inexpensive way to add sound effects to your props. You would be surprised at how effective a couple of these can be. All you have to do is hook up one of those hand held digital memo recorders to a pair of amplified computer speakers.

In order to do this, you have to hook up four wires to the digital recorder. This first two wires are to be connected to the speaker of the digital recorder (see picture 2 below). Drill a hole in the case of the recorder, in the general vicinity of the speaker, so you can route the wires to the outside of the unit. You should not disconnect the wires already attached to the speaker. That way your recording unit is portable and you can make sure what you recorded is what you want for your effect.

The 'PLAY' switch on the recorder is shown in picture 1 below. It is just a series of metal traces on the circuit board that are close together. When the 'PLAY' button is pressed, the traces and connected, thus allowing the playback to be activated. You need to solder a wire to each of the connections of the switch. If the wires would physically interfere with the operation of the 'PLAY' switch, you may wish to solder to connections on the other side of the circuit board (see picture 3).

As shown in picture 4, you should connect the red and black wires (the ones connected to the speaker) to the amplified computer speakers and you should connect the green wires (the ones connected to the 'PLAY' switch) to the relay, switch or whatever mechanism you have to activate the sound effect.

If you want your sound effect to be louder, just hook the two speaker wires coming out of the digital recorder to an AUX input of your home stereo receiver. If you want to play background Halloween music through your stereo and also be able to play your individual sound effect at the same time, use a Stereo Mixer (see picture 5). Using a stereo mixer will allow you to individually adjust the volume of your background music and your sound effect. This set-up would be perfect for a home haunt. Halloween music could be playing softly in the background and the digital sound effect could be set at a much louder volume to scare anyone who activates your special effect. Something like this would really be effective if you had some sort of animated yard prop.

It should be noted that I used 22 AWG stranded wire for this project. To make the construction of this project easier, you should use a smaller wire. 26 to 30 AWG is recommended. It will make the soldering easier.

This sound effect can be activated by using a floor mat switch, relay, motion sensor or manual switch.

Picture 1
(Switch Pad)

Picture 2
(Speaker Terminals)

Picture 3
(Switch Wires)

Picture 4
(Complete Unit)

Picture 5
(Stereo Mixer)

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