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Benztown Halloween Madness 2016 Pt.3 or The Pain Chain – Creating the Halloween mood!

12th February 2020 - Tutorials -


Image by Kristina Paukshtite 

Halloween is coming and it’s all about getting your listeners into the right mood. SFX are an essential part when it comes to generate a certain feeling. So maybe your collection includes some shouts, screams and laughs, but still needs some Halloween extra treatment?

Part 3 of your Halloween scaring-plan intends to show you a secret plugin chain and helps you to turn your SFX into Halloween versions. We call it: The Pain Chain!

In this example I used an evil laugh we recorded here at the studio. The file had already been edited and cut, but still needed some plugin treatment. In this video I show you how to set up a chain, which can be used on shouts, screams and laughs.
In case you want to try the settings on the same SFX, click here to download the dry file I used in the video above. But don’t hesitate to transfer this chain to your own SFX or VO tracks.
Here’s a check list. For exact settings watch the video.

  • Prepare your file: editing and cutting
  • Normalize it
  • Last editing adjustments
  • Pitch it down
  • Make up lost frequencies after to the pitching process
  • Compress the file. Use fast attack and release times
  • Add a second EQ including LoCut, LowMid Dip, High Shelf, HighMid Push, and Low Push
  • Add distortion
  • Create a stereo effect: Use Soundtoys MicroShift or do it manually
  • Pitch it up and add it to the mix. I tend to use LittleAlterBoy
  • Add reverb
  • Finish the file with a limiter or maximizer


I really like using Studio One for processing bunches of files. The program has great features to store plugin chains, so it’s perfect for complex setups, as you can recall them immediately if needed.


Now your SFX are ready to be used as a layer in combination with FX. Just try combining laughs with a hits or drops like we did for the Halloween Hook Sweeper in Part 2.

And maybe someday you might have some time to record your very own SFX.
But be careful, can get quite messy.

Happy Halloween!