Pro Sound Effects Library Interview: The Top Finalists from the AudioDraft Audio Logo Contest
What is your background in audio?
Chris Pratt: I’m fairly new to the design and production side of music. I’m a multi-instrumentalist with a degree in trumpet. I didn’t have the patience for the technical side, but I finally realized the only way for my ideas to sound polished and professional was to take the time and learn some of the industry-standard software. It wasn’t until early this year that I began to feel confident in my producing.
Luis Novo: I’ve been involved with music and production since I was a teen. That passion led me to a sound design course in London, at SAE Institute, in 2000. My professional experience started in Spain, where I specialized in audio postproduction for different media. In recent years I’ve been making music for fun.
Roland Shaw: Through working with bands I got into working in film, which quickly led me to games. I worked freelance whilst getting an MA in Audio Tech at the London College of Music, after which I moved to Shanghai to work on my first AAA project—Alice: Madness Returns, for EA Games. As well as recording assets, I design and help create the interactive systems through which audio is presented to the user.
How did you learn about the competition?
LN: I’m a very active member of AudioDraft, since September 2011.
CP: I had recently joined Audiodraft, and the PSE logo was one of the first that I saw on their site.
Was this contest your introduction to Pro Sound Effects?
LN: I learned about PSE years ago when I read a book by Tim Ferriss; he mentions PSE founder [Douglas Price’s] story.
CP: I wasn’t familiar, but I enjoyed browsing the sounds online for the audio that I would eventually use in my design.
What was your composition process like? Did your design change at all from the original concept?
LN: I tried to combine silence, noise, pitch, tension and impacts to make it memorable in such a short amount of time. The martial arts idea came to my mind while I was playing the reference video, making funny noises with my mouth. The scream came out when the logo appeared, so the seminal idea was really an exercise of improvisation.
RS: I try to just get my head in the right place based on the concepts I perceive in the material, choose a direction and slam it out, take a break, then tweak, and repeat the last two steps.
CP: In the video everything happens so fast, but the water drops float peacefully. My concept was to do something with water, so I downloaded a couple of different drips and rain on water; I wanted to make something that would be easy on the ears even after multiple listens. I tried to take the comments as seriously as possible and make adjustments accordingly. A public comment was that PSE wanted “Pro Sound Effects” to be spoken. I created some dramatic space, aged some sounds, and recorded my wife’s vocal; her voice is a lot sexier than mine!
Did you check out any other submissions? If so, which were your favorites?
RS: I did have a listen before and after submitting. I couldn’t justify spending the time going through every single one to find inspiration. I preferred mine, and I am extremely critical of my own work so I was genuinely surprised to feel that way.
CP: I did most of my listening after the deadline to ensure that I was staying true to the concept I wanted to deliver. There were so many good submissions! One entry that stood out to me was “Pick your SFX” by sonicpurple.
LN: I listened; it’s fundamental in this kind of contest to get the feel the contest holder wants, and public rating helps a lot in identifying it. Not everyone is comfortable with this kind of evaluation but in my opinion it is the best way to get the best results. And yes, I had my favorites, but I won’t reveal them here!