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Thank you, everyone, for the nice comments to my last 2 how-to's. It's gratifying when you find something that works, and you can share that with others who can appreciate it. I think the "my super-cheap" heading has grown on me, too... so I'll keep that for awhile. Watch for it!

Today you'll be reading about my implementation of a "spooky tv", and how I do my sound system. For this you need some pretty specific hardware; but luckily, stuff that's becoming increasingly more common. You mainly need a VCR, a computer, and a stereo system (amp and speakers). Everything needs to be able to connect to the VCR.

For my uses my computer connects to my VCR using RCA jacks. For the sound a 'phono to RCA' cord is all I need, plugged into the speaker jack on the PC and the 'audio in' on the VCR. I've found these cords at the dollar store:


You also need the computer to have video-out, that you can connect to the video-in on the VCR. This is something your video card has to be capable of; but its becoming an increasingly more common feature.

Finally, you need some spooky music (on the computer), and a media player (like WMP) that will play music with visualizations. That's when you have patterns on the screen moving in time with the music.

Make a track list of all the sounds you want played, and set it on continuous loop, so it plays through your playlist and starts again at the top. Then select your visualization, set it fullscreen (this is alt-enter in WMP). Ensure that your video and audio is going through the VCR. I like to have a TV set up for this part. When everything is go, toss in a blank tape, and hit record on SLP. That's the 6 hour setting on the vcr for record time. Then leave everything to do its thing for the next 6 hours.

What you end up with is 6 hours of a strange pattern onscreen, with a sound track in the background.


When running the haunt I leave my computer at home, taking instead the tape, my VCR, the oldest TV I can find and an amp with speakers. Then I just press play and forget about everything for the next 6 hours. This worked so well in 2005 with a ring-like screen that two kids actually sat down to watch! Kids and their TV's, huh?


In 2006 I changed things up a little, this time doing my computer record with 2 mp3 players going- one with the haunts soundtrack playing, another with a heart rate-monitor type visualization moving to a steady beat. The TV was positioned next to "what's on the slab". In the future I hope to find another amp, and use the left and right channels to get a dual haunt soundtrack, for ambient noises in multiple areas. Lots of possibilies!

Thanks for reading, sorry for being so verbose. :D Happy haunting!
 
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