Technological Tricks and Sound Design Treats at Haunted Mine

Michigan Tech ‘Latest News’

Michigan Technological University students install 2,535 feet of speaker cable, 1,000
feet of microphone cable and 31 speakers to create the ultimate creepy soundscape
for Quincy Mine’s annual haunted tour.

A half-mile in and seven levels below ground, the 15-by-15 dark tunnel awaits the
brave souls who dare to enter for pre-Halloween tours Thursday, Friday and Saturday,
October 25-27. This is the second year Michigan Tech students in sound design and audio production and technology programs have collaborated on the project.

This year, Huskies are taking the event to the next level, with a full, scripted production
that involves the entire Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) department, says Josh Loar, a professor of practice in VPA. From costumes to staging, students are getting in
on the act, including theatre and entertainment technology and theatre and electronic media performance majors.

It’s sound design for a haunted mine.

A four-student design team is handing the project this year. Aaron Christianson, a
fourth-year theatre and entertainment technology major, and Chris Wilson, a fourth-year
sound design major, are content designers. Fourth-year audio production and technology
majors Henry Sendek and Noah Budd are the system designers.

“We come up with what kind of sounds we want and where we want them, and then the
systems team figures out a way to get speakers there and facilitate our creative intent,”
says Christianson.  

The team toured the mine, mapping where events could happen and creating conceptual
and technical sketches. They admit they had a head start on the creep factor just
from being in the mine itself. “We don’t have to do much other than turn the lights
off,” jokes Christianson.

“And then when you start playing your creepy sounds over the speakers you’ve hidden, it gets much weirder,” Loar says, laughing, pointing from Christianson to
Sendek.

The technical factors don’t come so naturally.      

“There are places in the mine …

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