Sound Props/Sound Design Gadgets and Tools.

Over the years, I've collected sound props, tools and instruments for onstage and offstage use in theatrical design. This collection is available at reasonable rates to designers who would find them useful. Of course if I am your Sound Designer, I give you a reduced rate. Just click the e-mail link at the bottom to discuss use of these and other items not shown.

This practical wooden tabletop radio prop was made by RCA, and is the correct late 1940's/early '50s look. It is modified for on-stage theatrical use for both light and sound. It has a working 110v. tube amp of about 5 watts, and 4-inch speaker. The line input on the back will receive a signal from any sound console. Then whatever sound you feed it during cues will come from the radio prop. Volume can be controlled by the actor, or sound op. It has no radio tuner, so it will not pick up radio broadcasts. It can be internally illuminated through a dimmer circuit.

These are a matching pair of Executone office intercoms suitable for the 1930's, "40s or "50s. They are both practical with working speakers. They have no amplifier. Each has a working switch or pushbutton that the actors can use to simulate a conversation.

This is an authentic Morse Code practice key, amp and speaker made by Bud during World War 2. It makes a single note "beep" when the key is depressed. The volume and pitch of the tone are adjustable. The key and amp/speaker can be positioned seperately and connected with standard 1/4" cable. Suitable for warning beeps as well as Morse Code key clicks. AC powered.

This wonderful gadget was made by CEI and rings all working practical telephones. It is backstage operated with the little red button. It can be adjusted to ring any phone with American or European ring frequencies. Operates on two 9v. batteries. It is shown with a seperate remote telephone bell for when you have the correct phone but it doesn't work. The remote ringer can be placed hidden on stage near the prop phone for correct sound placement.

This is a battery operated buzzer suitable for door buzzer or alarm warning. It's operated with one 9v. battery. It is shown with the large red button which can be actor-controlled on-stage or remotely mounted.

This door bell is mechanical and has a fine ring. You play it by turning the oval knob on the left. It is shown mounted to a stand that can be used by a musician or ASM backstage. In this photo the stand is laying on its side next to a ruler for scale.

I have a couple of authentic ship's bells which I purchased on the Oregon coast. This is the small one suitable for representing a small to medium size vessel. I also have a Large One for a Large Vessel, but it's very loud! (We blew people out of their seats with the large one at the late Musical Theatre Company with "South Pacific".)

Do you like your bird calls performed live? Clockwise from top right: 1)a ceramic bird whistle from China. You pour a small amount of liquid into the chamber a blow gently. 2)These whizzers go "Wheeeeee!" 3)Bird call whistle w/ wood ball inside. You play it by cupping it with your hands like a harmonica. 4)One of the famous rubber duckies from ART's hottub in "Misanthrope"!

Rachets. Various sizes and materials.

Clockwise from top right: 1)Orchestral sleigh bells. 2)Customer service bell for store, hotel doorman, etc. 3) finger cymbals 4)Sleigh bells originally hung on horses. Can be attached to the body for dancing.

Top: shaken clapper. (Soft delicate sound.) Bottom: Orchestral clapper.

From the top: 1)a good honkey horn from an old car. 2)Orchestral slide whistle. 3)Three-tone old train whistle.

I have several of these fine small speakers. I've hidden them for FX speakers on stage, used them for center fills FOH, and for delay speakers under balconey. Small and unobtrusive. They handle 35 watts. I have professional hanging hardware for them.

I love the Bose professional speakers for theatrical work. These model 402s are great for instruments, stage monitors and loud FX. They have professional hanging hardware that allow them to be flown over the cast for excellent stage monitors. (Way better coverage than rock-and-roll "wedge" speakers.) And they are so small that you can climb a ladder and carry them with one hand, and tuck them up in the overhead rails without disturbing flying goods. Yet they handle 120 watts!

I built this wind machine from my own plans after viewing several on the Web. Use the handle to rotate the oak slats that rub against the convass. Pitch and volume are controlled by how fast you turn the handle. It's the way they used to do it before electricity.

I built this creaker useing pine wood and oak dowling. Rotate the handle to make it work. It's a great sound for creaking floors and opening scarey doors.

Lots of people have contributed to the drawers of sound stuff we've got at the Willamette Radio Workshop. Check Sam A. Mowry's site for more info on these tools.

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