Pro Sound Effects Library Interview: The Top Finalists from the AudioDraft Audio Logo Contest

April 26, 2012 by Administrator in BBC Sound Effects Library, Contests, Interviews, Sound Design, Sound Effects

Pro Sound Effects Library Interview: The Top Finalists from the AudioDraft Audio Logo Contest

The top three finishers from PSE’s recent audio logo contest, sponsored by AudioDraft,reflect on their experiences crafting PSE’s new sound logo by taking us inside the process.

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!