Creepy, Squeaky Door Sound Effect
In this Instructable I will be giving you some ideas on how to produce a squeaky door sound effect. It is probably a bit too late to use for Halloween this year but plan ahead!
This is my first Instructable and is really more of a proof of concept rather than a detailed “how-to”. It should give you some ideas if you want to produce your own sound effects for your Halloween layout.
This idea came to me after my wife asked me to oil some squeaky door hinges which really were past due and getting rather loud. With Halloween coming on I thought “why waste these sounds” knowing that it would probably be years before I would hear them again. And besides, Halloween is a good time to put squeaky door sounds to work!
The list of materials I actually used is given first. I will then list other items and ideas that I thought of that might be nice to have or that would have made the project more complete but also somewhat more complicated to accomplish.
My Parts & Supplies list:
1 – Amazon Fire 8 with sound recording software installed.
2 - Some heavy duty twine.
1 – Holding the tablet in landscape position, I looped twine around each end and tied each end off with two half-hitches. Use your favorite but sturdy knot.
2 – When holding the tablet level from a single point on the twine it hangs down about 10 inches. An exact length is not needed but see the next step for guidance.
3 – At the squeaky door I wanted to record, I put the loop of twine over the top of the upper hinge making sure to secure it so the tablet would not fall. My twine length was about right for the tablet to sit fairly close to the hinge itself so I could get the loudest recording I could.
4 – Start recording and open (or close) the door at a speed appropriate for the sound you want. I experimented with and recorded several different speeds to listen to.
5 – Pick your favorite squeak. Even at a slow opening speed I only got perhaps 30 seconds of the sound I wanted so you may want to edit a bit and put it into loop mode on your playback device.
Other things I would have done (but never got to) or things I might have done differently include:
1 – I would have used a recording device into which I could have plugged an external microphone and experimented with placing the microphone in different places on the door. My small dictation recorder has died or it would have been easy to use.
2 – I have an old suction cup microphone that was intended to record phone calls by sticking it to the telephone handset. This could have been used as an external microphone and would have been easy to move around.
3 - I debated hooking up a small motor to use to pull the door open at a constant rate since when pulling by hand it’s somewhat hard to keep a constant speed. I also debated using some kind of variable speed motor so the door could be opened at different speeds to get different sounds.
4 – I also thought about using a fishing reel with the line tied around the doorknob to try to attain a constant door opening speed. This would have been simpler than what would be required to hook up and use a small motor. But I also foresaw the possibility that the motor noise would be picked up in the recordings. This might be undesirable unless it actually added to the sound effect! (?)
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