Spooky Halloween Noise Maker

Raspberry Pi running Windows versions of Reaper and Valhalla FX in an 8-track tape storage box for spooky Halloween noise goodness!

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This project builds on earlier Hackaday "noise box" projects with some new features. All software required (including much Windows based software) runs on a Raspberry Pi 4. To add some fun, an old 8-track tape storage box is used as the "noise box" (amazing what you can find at Goodwill). Various fun objects are attached to the box to produce noise and/or vibrations.

The sound is picked up by a USB mic and sent to a DAW software called REAPER which uses free software effects plug-ins from Valhalla with feedback to create eerie, echoing, reverberating spooky sounds. Both 1/8" and 1/4" inch jacks provide external speaker flexibility, and you can easily control the amount of feedback that makes it back to the mic for even more "spooky" sounding fun.

Besides making a fun prop for kids for Halloween, I also learned about 15 trillion ways in Linux to have a non-functioning project. :-)

(Project files and components list coming soon)

First things first:  this project would NOT exist without Elliot Williams' constant encouragement to Hackaday readers to publish their work (even if first time posters like me) and without Kristina Panos' excellent articles on similar projects.  I get so much personal enjoyment and learning from Hackaday that I decided it was finally time to give back something.  I hope this project inspires someone else and/or provides some insight/learning needed by others.

Projects that motivated me to build mine:

These earlier Halloween "noise box" projects were hugely inspirational but required either an external Windows laptop or guitar effects pedals to provide the effects processing of sounds coming from the piezo noise maker box.  I wanted an all-in-one solution that could run on a RPi 4 instead.  I also wanted to use a microphone instead of piezo components so that speaker feedback could more easily produce eerie high pitched "spooky" sounds.  In addition, I wanted to be able to hook up either a small guitar amp or powered computer speakers to the outside of my noise making box to give the user flexibility in how to broadcast the eerie sounds produced.

The catch to all this was that the awesome, free Valhalla special effects software modules that were desired for this project are written only for Windows installation.  This project gives detailed steps to install all the software infrastructure on a Raspberry Pi to enable it to run the Windows versions of the REAPER Digital Audio Workstation and Valhalla sound effects modules.  I'm quite pleased with the results (and so are the kids I've demo'd it for to date)!

Halloween Noise Maker_v1.rpp.RPP

This is the REAPER project that uses two tracks with both a Valhalla Echo and Valhalla Supermassive plugin on each track. In addition, I added an LFO envelope to two controls within each effect so that two "knobs" were varied randomly and continuously to create a nearly infinite number of sound effect combinations. The result is an extremely eerie, "Halloween" type background ambiance.

rpp - 10.17 kB - 11/01/2023 at 04:51


  • Project v1 Demo'd on Halloween 2023

    C. M. Herron11/01/2023 at 04:30 0 comments

    The project was successfully demo'd at my son's Halloween fest.  Over 100 kids stopped by for hot chocolate, candy, a maze of terror, and of course to test out the Hackaday inspired noise maker box.  It was a huge hit.

    The referenced project files will be uploaded within the next few days so others can replicate this project.  Be easy on me ... this is my first posted project.  :-)

    Here are two videos of the noise making beast outside.  One with the box elements in action and one with the awesome Valhalla plugins doing their thing in the background.  The ambiance they created was very "Halloweeny!".  What a fun project!

    I already have ideas on how to make this much better for next year!  Thanks again to Elliot Williams, Kristina Panos, and all the fantastic writers at Hackaday for how they help educate and spread enthusiasm for the DIY culture.

View project log

  • 1
    Download Raspberry Pi OS

    I downloaded the 64-bit Bullseye version of the RPi OS.  I could not get all the software components (ESPECIALLY the Pi-Apps store installation of Wine) to work with Bookworm.  Download link:

  • 2
    Extract the OS image and install on your SD card:

    I used 7-zip to extract to my hard drive and then used the "Raspberry Pi Imager" program (found here: )  to image a 64GB micro SD card to be used in the Pi.  

  • 3
    Initial Pi Boot up and Setup​

    Boot the pi up and choose your language, location, username and password, Wifi network, etc.

    IMPORTANT:  do NOT ALLOW THE PI TO PROCEED WITH UPDATING THE OS AT THIS POINT!  When I first did that, I had problems getting a functioning software stack installed to enable the effects.  Skip the OS update at this point and proceed with the rest of the steps to get a functioning system.  At the end, you can always choose to update your OS once all the software is working together.

    Once the desktop loaded, I selected my default screen resolution via the "Preferences - Screen Configuration - Layout" menu, and I used Terminal to install the Python IDLE editor via "sudo apt-get install idle3".

    I then used the Terminal ("sudo raspi-config") to select the audio port for sound output and to expand the filesystem and enable SSH and VNC (for potential later use unrelated to this project).  Then rebooted the pi.

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