Spoiler alert! Halloween horror sounds at your fingertips. Could be fun, but most of the fx could be better. Still it beats trying to loop .wav files through a sound editing program.
It dawned on me that Christian fundamentalists should have one thing they find cheerful about the spread of secular humanism in American society. Those Godless atheists may have taken Christ out of Christmas, but they also took the Hell out of Halloween.
In older days Halloween was conducted to ward off witches and evil spirits, or so the story went in Baptist culture. Christians shouldn’t really participate because it was really a celebration of the devil. Of course, all but the most callous and convicted Christians are defenseless against multiple kids screaming “I wanna. I wanna.”
So even Baptist kids went trick-or-treating. If parents didn’t want their kids out on Halloween, they would have had to chain them into their bedrooms and listen to an endless string of childlike invective. “I hate you. You’re the worst parents in the world. All my friend’s parents shake their heads when they see how bad you treat me. When I die, and am lying in my coffin, I won’t have to come out on Halloween and haunt you. You’ll feel plenty guilty on your own.”
It’s a losing battle.
If you never had kids, it’s easy to think that you wouldn’t fall for that nonsense. Anyone who actually has kids will have reached the point by their fourth or fifth family Halloween that the thought of poisoned candy doesn’t sound so bad anymore.
The only good thing that comes from the experience is that you become a grandparent and you can laugh when you hear how tough your kid has it as a parent. Your grandkids may burn down your house, but you know they will never be as bad as their parents were.
In the new human secularist society, however, there’s no God or Devil, gremlins or goblins. Just another holiday devoted to spending money. Not nearly as much money as Christmas, but a boatload of money nonetheless. Money for candy, money for plastic pumpkins to hold the candy, money for Halloween decorations and masks and costumes and scary sound effects.
Who has time to worship the devil when they’re trying to work off their Halloween credit card debt in time to go back into debt for Christmas? Christians may not get to inflict Jesus on unbelievers during the holidays any more, but those naughty Wiccans can’t inflict witchcraft on God fearing Christians during their high season either.
But let’s get back to sound effects. There’s no cooler addition to your Halloween horror show than sound effects. I mean, the dancing cardboard skeleton with the brads for joints could be cool, and so could the electronic pumpkin whose eyes roll whenever a child in costume passes by. But if you really want to give the kids a healthy secular Halloween, you need sound effects.
iSoundGrid Halloween steps up to the plate with a rack of sound effects just ready to loop through your speaker system and onto your porch. You can set ambient sounds, play individual sound effects or stage a solo symphony of spooky sounds.
The app is incredibly simple and needs no instructions (unless you know nothing about effects and are afraid to play). iSoundGrid Halloween provides two sound banks. The top bank plays an ambient background sound, the lower bank plays and overlays a variety of scary effects, including werewolves and vampires, creaking wood and chainsaws.
Half of the ambient effects loop seamlessly. You can switch back and forth at any time. A couple, such as the ghostly wind and dripping basement, are pretty good. A few sound like cheesy synthesized sounds, and I can’t even hear the heartbeat.
You can choose from ten ambient sounds and dozens of individual effects.
Once you set the loop you can overlay as many sounds as you want, in sequence or simultaneously. I would suspect the most you can play at once is ten, unless you’re a member of the Addams family and have twelve or thirteen fingers. Or unless you’re a polydactyl cat like Jenny Manytoes. The quality of the individual sounds is as mixed as the quality of the ambient sounds, but a few are quite good.
iSoundGrid Halloween does provide several sound options, including a timer so you don’t have to tend the app yourself.
You can also modify sound playback.
iSoundGrid Halloween is the sister app to iSoundGrid Comics. I haven’t downloaded that app, but I suspect the sound quality is similar. Other than the varied sound quality, this would be my biggest complaint. I might find the app more useful if I could download a Halloween, or cartoon, or western module to use with a single app.
Still, the few Halloween sounds that are good are really, really good. The main advantage of iSoundGrid Halloween over a sound machine in a mask or doll is that you don’t have to listen to the same damn sound every time a child steps onto your porch. You can mix the sounds up, even imagine yourself as a Halloween sound DJ.
Jenny Manytoes rates iSoundGrid Halloween
Jenny Manytoes would take a nap next to iSoundGrid Halloween. It does just enough well to make it worth the two dollars (not counting the expense of a headphone cable and speakers), especially for Halloween. Even if I had a professional sound editor, it would be worth not having to prepare my own Halloween mix.
But by next Halloween there will probably be something cooler and better, and you won’t even remember this one.