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Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 | 1 comment

Matthew Foust, Audiofile Engineering

Audiofile Engineering recently unveiled Triumph, not just an update to Wave Editor (with lots of new features) but rebuilt ground up to take full advantage of the latest features in OS X. I’ve been giving it a test run and will be sharing my thoughts in the form of a review shortly. Stay tuned for it because it will also include a big Audiofile Engineering app giveaway (including Triumph)!

While I take Triumph on a test drive, I thought it would be great to interview Matthew Foust, co-founder and operations manager at Audiofile Engineering, to find out more about the innovation that drives company.

DS: Tell us about the background of Audiofile Engineering. How and when did it all begin?

MF: It was, for all intents and purposes, an accident. Ev (Olcott) and I had been playing music together in Minneapolis for a while. We decided to open a studio together around 2000 and did a lot of recording of bands and writing/sound design for Hollywood (mostly movie trailers and cartoons). Ev had been coding since grade school. I had been working in IT doing architecture and scalable systems. Obviously, we’re both eggheads and Apple lovers.

Long story longer, our DAW of choice was MOTU Digital Performer which was the first to make the leap to Mac OS X. We updated our main DAW to Mac OS X and realized that, although our DAW was Mac OS X-compatible, nothing else was. Ev had tons and tons of samples that we needed to process and we had been using an old app called Alchemy that withered away. Thus we developed, for our own purposes, Sample Manager. Well, the lightbulb went on that other people might be interested in this. The businessperson in me realized that a) the studio business was going to going start contracting in a serious way and b) there was a vacuum of audio tools designed and built for Mac OS X. Audiofile Engineering was born.

DS: You’ve got quite a roster of applications – both for OSX and iOS. All of them have gorgeous designs and great functionality built in. It seems like a lot of time and effort is spent not just replicating functionality but also reinventing the wheel?

MF: Exactly. Our goal is always to rethink the way humans can and should interact with audio and music-making software. I think FiRe is a great example of that. We could have easily published a dime-a-dozen voice recorder app when the iOS App Store launched, but it wouldn’t have been interesting. We worked on FiRe for over a year because we wanted to replace a hand-held field recorder. That said, it had to take advantage of what these amazing devices could do that a field recorder couldn’t. It also had to do what other audio apps at the time weren’t doing. That’s why the real-time waveform view and SoundCloud integration were so important and worth waiting for.

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Posted by on Nov 7, 2011 | 4 comments

November’s Featured Sound Designer: Harry Cohen

I’m happy to announce Harry Cohen as the featured sound designer of November.

Bio

I was born in New York City a long time ago…..1954. Grew up in Flushing , Queens (a borough of NYC). Undoubtedly the city has left an indelible imprint on me. As a kid I was mainly a science nerd that liked to build hand wired oscillator circuits in my basement ‘lab’. I moved to CA with my family just in time to start High School, in what is now Santa Clarita. Now, in NY, I was an amateur musician, but never considered good enough to partake in the neighborhood jam sessions. Out in suburban CA, the field was much more open, and I soon found myself playing piano in the school jazz band and involved in several garage bands. I started playing nightclubs like the old Gazzari’s on the Sunset Strip before we were out of High School. After school, I concentrated on music, with several side jobs to supplement income; I was a hospital lab assistant, I worked a plastic injector press, and did some time at a picture frame factory, until I almost cut off my finger. Eventually music was able to barely pay the bills, and I spent the next 12 years or so playing clubs and pursuing a career with various recording acts. Hunting in the bargain bins, you might find some records I did with a band signed to a Motown offshoot. I spent more than a year traveling back and forth from Alaska to Hawaii with a show band; that is where I met my lovely wife; she was one of the singers in the band.

Eventually, I was asked to do some piano overdubs on a new-agey album at a studio in Burbank that was just starting to shift gears into post production. The manager at the time was a musician I had been in several projects with. After the sessions, they offered me some part time work helping to organize their library of synth patches. After about 3 days of that , the owner asked me, out of the blue, if I would be interested in trying my hand at sound effects. So, I was already in my early thirties before I ever even considered getting involved in post !

The facility , EFX, was using emulator II’s (an antique sampler) to generate sound fx that were recorded to multitrack analog tape machines, synched up to  3/4″ video machines, all tied together with early synchronization systems that were very tweaky. I sat in a room with my emu and a stack of floppy disks, with an engineer (Ken Teaney) who recorded the stuff, and was my first real mentor. Occasionally he’d would make us trade places, and taught me the synchronizer and some console basics , though I already knew some of that from my music experience. So, I never went to a school to study post; it was all on the job training.

We started doing overflow work for Dave Yewdall’s company. He was the first real sound editor/designer I met, and he also taught me a lot of stuff, as well as sharing lots of library. I used to go over to his facility and transfer stuff from mag dubbers to F-1 digital tape (an early digital medium, before even DAT). I did a  fair number of films for Roger Corman’s company. I also did lots of industrial videos, some commercials, lots of TV work and animation, and also a lot of stuff for theme parks. The wide range of projects was a great lesson in flexibility. For some of those endeavors, the clients are sitting right behind you the whole time; thats a particular kind of pressure familiar to guys who do commercials.

Somewhere in there we started expanding and getting better films. We switched to Synclaviers, and the edit rooms became one man operations, recording to sony digital multi-track instead of analog; then it became DA-88′s; and finally pro tools. Now that was a great set-up; Synclaviers recording to Pro Tools!

Lots of really talented sound designers and mixers passed through EFX; and it was a great environment of exchanging techniques and figuring things out.(Gary Rizzo, Dave Farmer, Paul Menichini, Tim Gedemer,Tim Walston, Ann Scibelli, Juan Peralta, Tony Sereno, Michael Kamper, Marc Fishman, are just a partial list of ex-EFX-ers).I was head of our small department, and had an awesome day shift of talent ! (I am sure there are lots of names I am forgetting; my apologies.)Also we started to do some game work early on for Charles Deenen; I am sure association with him has had an influence on all of us !

At one point we partnered with Steve Flick’s company, and he was a great source of information and guidance for me. We did one film that mixed up at Skywalker, and that experience was a real eye-opener as well. Randy Thom and Laura Hirschberg were part of the mix team, and Gary Rydtrom came by and introduced himself to me, and invited me to come by and hang out while he was prepping stuff for “Casper”. Everyone was very open and willing to share information.

After about 14 yrs, EFX re-organized their business, and  I accepted an offer from Lon Bender and Wylie Stateman to join Soundelux. Except for a six month period where I was ‘on  loan’ to Soundstorm , I have been here ever since; those are the only facilities I have worked at ! The opportunity to be present at the mixes of the films I work on has been one of the most beneficial learning experiences I can think of.

By the way , when I can, I still get out and play in some local LA blues clubs , and I have an awesome collection of vintage keyboards and stomp box effects!

Selected Works

  • Green Lantern (2011) – Sound designer
  • Robin Hood (2010) – Sound designer
  • Complacent (2010) – Supervising sound editor
  • Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Sound designer
  • Star Trek (2009) – Sound designer
  • Wanted (2008) – Sound designer
  • Death Proof (2007) – Sound effects designer
  • Blood Diamond (2006) – Sound effects editor
  • Van Helsing (2004) – Sound designer
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) – Co-supervising sound editor
  • Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) Sound designer
  • Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) – Sound designer
  • The Patriot (2000) – Sound designer and Sound effects editor
  • Blade (1998) – Sound designer, supervising sound effects editor)
  • Babylon 5 (TV series) (1994-1998) – Sound designer
  • Spawn (1997) – Sound effects editor
  • Starship Troopers (1997) – Sound designer

More at IMDb

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Posted by on May 18, 2010 | 0 comments

A Video Interview with Sound Designer Chris Scarabosio

While searching for sound design stuff on YouTube, I’ve found a great (53 minute long) video interview with Chris Scarabosio, Sound Designer at Skywalker Sound. He has worked as mixer and editor in many films, including Avatar, Hellboy, Artificial Intelligence, Titanic, and more. Below are the other four parts:

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Posted by on Mar 3, 2010 | 0 comments

Passing it Along: David Stone Interview

I’m a frequent visitor of CHUD.COM, so I was excited to see an interview posted today with sound editor and chair of the Sound Department at the Savannah College or Art & Design, David Stone. In addition to being one of the dudes responsible for the sound of Predator and so some of my favorite film sounds growing up,(he discussed some of his techniques for the film HERE) Stone gives a great little overview of sound for film in this interview with Renn Brown from CHUD.COM.

READ IT HERE.

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Posted by on Mar 2, 2010 | 8 comments

March's Featured Sound Designer: Erik Aadahl

Featured_Erik_Aadahl

We have a new special guest on the blog: Erik Aadahl, a talented sound designer who will be with us during this month, giving some articles, interviews and lots of cool stuff. We hope you enjoy it.

Bio

Erik Aadahl was born in San Francisco, and graduated high school Valedictorian. He took a full-ride scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC) and studied Film Production in the Cinema Department.

His early television credits include the Dune and Anne Frank miniseries, which garnered him two of his four Emmy nominations.

Since, Erik has sound designed films such as I, Robot, Superman Returns and Transformers, and was supervising sound editor on Valkyrie, Kung Fu Panda, Monster vs. Aliens and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He is currently working with partner and Oscar-winning supervising sound editor Ethan van der Ryn.

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