From the Imperial College Drama Society’s production of Dispersal.

It must have been really difficult to do sound effects for a play in those days, presumably before even tape recorders were widely available. I assume everyone does it from a laptop these days, with just a mouse click to kick off the relevant sound. Imagine trying to cue up records and start them off at the right point – not to mention stopping them in time as well.


  • Al

    Looks like he's doing some early scratching and breaking to me. Mashing it up suited selecta. Ahem…

  • Allen Williams

    Sound effects records were easily available – the BBC produced many. Each effect was separated by a band (visible to the operator) of silence. There was undoubtedly a knack, gained only by practice, of dropping the stylus, then switching in the amplifier (to avoid the clicking noise of dropping the stylus) marginally before the sound effect was required. The less skilled would drop the stylus, then hold the turntable manually (which wore the rubber drive badly) until the sound was required. However, their problem was that the turntable had to get back up to speed before the sound emerged otherwise the pistol shot stipulated would sound like a big gun at the battle of the Somme!

    Woe betide the FX operator who miscounted the bands on the record and cued in a machine gun rather than the pistol shot!

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