Asbjoern Andersen


The team at Designing Sound runs a vitally important resource for insightful, original sound articles, guides and news from and for the sound community. But it’s pretty rare that that we actually get to hear about the work and thoughts the team pours into this unique resource.

So today, I’m really happy to bring you this exclusive interview with the site’s hard-working, cat-loving editor-in-chief Jack Menhorn.

Here, he shares what’s driving the team at Designing Sound, his favorite moments – and how you can help make the community even stronger:

 

Jack Menhorn

Designing Sound editor-in-chief Jack Menhorn

Hi Jack, please give a brief overview of what Designing Sound is all about

“Designing Sound is a resource dedicated to the art and technique of sound design, with the aim of sharing information and knowledge for free.”

We do news, reviews, interviews and in-depth articles about sound design for film, games, TV, and anywhere else creative use of sound can be found. We currently have 11 Contributing & News Editors and we are constantly sourcing articles and posts from members of the film, TV and video game industries which gives us a broad coverage of topics and discussion.
 

How did you get involved with DS, and what’s your role?

I was posting news and articles on Creating Sound for a little while before I was approached by Designing Sound’s founder – Miguel Isaza – about taking over the Editor-in-Chief role on DS.

I humbly accepted and have been trying to keep my head above water ever since. While Miguel was running things, he did everything and did it all very well!

Since my arrival the role has been democratized out so that we are more of a hive mind than a hierarchy.

We all try to contribute as much as we can when we can and some have specialized roles and talents or interests above that. For example: Varun Nair is our WordPress and webhosting master in addition to being an overall audio programming master. Shaun Farley has done a great job hosting webinars and wrangling interviews with huge names in the film sound industry.

I try to still have the “editor” hat on and keep us all organized and moving, in addition to being the point of contact for emails and questions/suggestions.
 

What’s your vision for DS, and how do you and the team set the direction for the site?

There is no *one* vision for DS. I am 1 of 11 equal and important voices that make up the decision process on Designing Sound.

I would say collectively we are trying to continuously have great articles, interviews and insights into what we all do professionally.

We take pride in helping enrich the audio community as best we can

We try to follow “quality over quantity” and focus in on great topics and discussions, even if they take some time to put together. We aren’t doing this for page views or click-thrus. We take pride in helping enrich the audio community as best we can.

DS has monthly topics which we try to plan out months in advance. That process is just throwing ideas out and see if anyone likes them and if there’s enough meat on the bone for multiple articles.

From there everyone is free to write or find someone to write articles on the subject. Additionally, we aren’t limited to that month’s topic and take/make articles, interviews, reviews as they come.
 

Fact box: The Designing Sound team
Cormac Donnelly, Doron Reizes, Erica Basnicki, Jack Menhorn, John Black, Joshua Kaplan, Marie Tueje, Peter Albrechtsen, Sam Ejnes, Shaun Farley, Varun Nair
 

What’s been your best moment being involved with DS?

Mine personally is a tie:

– Interviewing Capcom Audio Director Tomoya Kishi was a delight. It took a little while to put it all together but I think it was worth it. I am a huge fan of many Japanese games and especially their interesting aesthetics visually and aurally.

I feel a dialogue between East and West sound design communities would be a great benefit to both sides of the ocean. I think – for whatever reason – Japanese sound design is overlooked in the West when it comes to awards or recognition.

I hope I was able to contribute slightly to raising the visibility of some great talent and work.

– Going to GDC 2013 and meeting Designing Sound readers! It was truly amazing to introduce myself and see people get super excited and talk about how much they love Designing Sound!

I live in the middle of nowhere so it’s difficult to get to many meetups and engage the corporeal sound community.

While we have analytics that show us how many readers we have; it’s totally another wonderful and humbling thing to meet people who read and learn from words we posted from a home office while petting a cat.
 

Do you see any emerging trends within the sound design community?

There is definitely more of a positive online presence to our community. Blogs (like the one you’re reading right now), Creating Sound, Designing Sound, in addition to things like Social Sound Design and Tonebenders Podcast, have increased the amount of information and interaction dramatically.

The #gameaudio hashtag on Twitter is another example of the community freely exchanging ideas – while still policing itself from those who would self-promote their new remix album or DJ gig that plagues many-a sound-related forums and Facebook groups.

The indie sound library scene has exploded in the last few years

This free exchange of ideas is empowering and gratifying to be a part of.

Also, the indie sound library scene has also exploded in the last few years and I don’t see that really slowing down.

We might reach a critical mass of the number of sfx producers the industry can sustain – but when people like Frank Bry, Tim Prebble and many others keep putting out such great content, we’ll keep buying it!

This has a side effect of lowering the barrier of entry for aspiring sound designers to pick and choose source sounds they need for a project only when they need them, as opposed to throwing down thousands of dollars up from for a behemoth library.

If these cheaper alternatives hadn’t popped up a few years ago like they did, I might not have been able to break into sound design!
 


Popular on A Sound Effect right now - article continues below:

 

Latest releases:  
  • World Sounds Airport Soundscapes Play Track 100+ sounds included, 386 mins total $60.50 $35.09 incl. vat

    Welcome to A Sound Effect where you can find the largest and most diverse airport sound effects library in the world! This constantly updated library has nearly 6 hours of high-quality recorded sounds from 15 different airports. With over 24GB of professionally edited audio, you'll have the best sounds to work with for your project.

    Featured airports in this library:

    • Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, Greece
    • Changi Airport Singapore
    • Chiang Mai International Airport, Thailand
    • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, USA
    • Hamad International Airport, Qatar
    • Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
    • Incheon International Airport Seoul, South Korea
    • John F. Kennedy Airport New York City, USA
    • Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus
    • Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar, Indonesia
    • Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Penang International Airport, Malaysia
    • Roberts International Airport Liberia, Costa Rica
    • Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, Thailand
    • Tom Bradley International Airport Los Angeles, USA

    Our library has lush sounds from bustling international airports with thousands of passengers to smaller regional airports with less activity.

    We've captured audio from all areas of these airports. You'll hear sounds from departure halls, arrival halls, inside private lounges, bathrooms, security check with rolling suitcases, beeping sounds from the security scanners, announcements in different languages and passengers waiting at the gates to board the aircraft.

    42 %
    OFF
    Ends 1560981600
    Add to cart
  • City Life Sounds & Ambiences Of London Vol 2 Play Track 101 sounds included, 330 mins total $72.60 $54.45 incl. vat

    Following the success of WW Audio's, 'Sound & Ambiences Of London' – here is Volume 2, with even more interesting and useable files for your theatre or film projects.

    Consisting of 101 great, and sometime eclectic recordings from the English capital, and over 10GB in size, this is a library every sound designer needs in their arsenal. It comes with detailed file names plus Soundminer, ID3 v2.3.0 and RIFF INFO metadata embedded.

    In total, this library gets you  5.5 hours of atmospheric London sounds!

    Sounds captured at famous London locations and landmarks, including:

    Bow Bells – Two amazing, over 10 minute recordings from the belfry at St Mary Le Bow Church  • The famous crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, made famous by The Beatles • Stunning overhead plane recordings coming into land at Heathrow airport • Christmas Markets • Crowds outside Buckingham Palace before and after the changing of the guard • Various emergency vehicle sirens • Various markets both internal and external, quiet and busy • Tube train journeys • London Underground ambiences • Various Parks • Great sounding famous London pub ambiences • Train stations • Room tones, including the infamous possible Newgate Prison Cell in the cellar of the Viaduct Tavern Pub • Churches • Crowds in some of London's most popular and obscure streets • General traffic sounds • North, South, East and West London locations • Hotels • London Aquatic Centre • The Royal Exchange • St Bartholomew's Hospital Grounds • Scrooge's Counting House Location • The Tower of London • The River Thames from Execution Dock • Pudding Lane – the location of the start of the Great Fire of London • Various Gardens • Underground car park • Tower Bridge • And much more – check out the complete file list below

    25 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
    Add to cart
  • Environments Singapore City Soundscapes Play Track 122 sounds included, 327 mins total From: $24.20

    Welcome to A Sound Effect's first ever Singapore Sound Effects library!

    Explore Singapore as you've never heard it before! This massive library includes ambisonic sounds recorded with the new Zoom H3 VR, binaural recordings with the Soundman OKM II Rock Studio and stereo soundscapes recorded with the Zoom F8n, DPA 4060 and several LOM microphones.

    The diversity of Singapore makes this library unique with lush sounds from busy highways, crowded food markets/ hawker centers in many different languages, neighborhood basketball games at night, skateparks, horse races, city rain sounds, the countries super efficient underground train station (MRT), and even loud military fighter jets and helicopters.

    Perhaps you're wanting nature sounds? No problem! This library features sounds from a variety of cicadas recorded at night and birds from the famous Javan Mynah near Mount Faber.

    With nearly six hours of recordings throughout Singapore, we suggest reviewing the metadata and discovering sounds you may not have expected!

    The library is available in 3 variations: A Stereo, AmbiX and special bundle featuring both Stereo and AmbiX files at a big discount.

  • Human The Counting Voice Play Track 167 sounds included $36.30 incl. vat

    A man with a neutral English accent counts from zero to one hundred. Then counts in hundreds to one thousand. Then counts in thousands to ten thousand. Using the various files you can concatenate the files to read any number between 0-10,999 (and beyond if you fancy some creative editing).

    Useful for all sorts of games, apps and many other projects.

    Add to cart
  • Add to cart

Need specific sound effects? Try a search below:
 

How can people help and support your work on DS?

Contribute! If you want to support us please contact Shaun or myself if you want to write an article.

Comment on posts or just start a discussion somewhere/anywhere!

Also: Keep reading, commenting and retweeting so more people can learn from and engage with this wonderful and unique sound community we have.
 

What’s next for DS?

We might be in early planning stages of building a robot octopus to attack anyone who uses the Wilhelm Scream.

January is Dialog Month and then February is Animal Recording/Design Month. I am excited about both of these topics and we hope to have a good about of great articles and discussions.

I will also hopefully be at GDC 2014 with some other DS people, so come and find us!
 


A huge thanks to Jack Menhorn for doing this interview – and to him and the whole team at Designing Sound for building and running a fantastic resource for all of us in the creative sound community!

 

Please share this:


 

About Jack Menhorn
Jack Menhorn is a sound designer and occasional composer for video games. He lives in North Carolina and really likes cats. You can check out his website here.
 


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Bicycles Retro Bicycle Play Track 29 sounds included, 12 mins total $22.99 incl. vat

    A 1960’s styled bicycle riding around at a leisurely pace, wobbling to stay straight, walking along the sidewalk or being handled and chucked to the curb. Squeaky brakes, loud gears, and clumsy metal give this bike nostalgic character.

    Add to cart
  • Drones & Moods Tibetan Crystal Singing Bowls Play Track 93 sounds included, 43 mins total $24.20 incl. vat

    Tibetan Singing Bowls – The ancient brain entrainment methodology for healing and meditation. Tibetan Singing Bowls have been used for centuries for healing and meditation purposes. They create a range of sounds to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of diseased and out-of-harmony parts of the body, mind and soul. They are also used for sound baths, which is when participants lay on the floor and let the waves of sound from the Tibetan Singing Bowls wash over them.

    9 total bowls were recorded. Notes C, D, D#, E, F, G, A, A one octave up and B. A variety of bowl sizes were used from 8 to 12 inches.

    Add to cart
  • Funny / Comedy / Cartoon Toons! Play Track 3000+ sounds included $301.29 incl. vat

    Want some excellent cartoony sound effects? BOOM to the rescue!

    We sought out and recorded the most obscure toys, instruments and, uhm – for the lack of a better word – “objects” to give you more than 3.000 boings, bleeps, farts, thwacks, squishes and squeaks in over 500 files, in short: we recorded any sound your animated-character-loving-heart could ever desire. All files contain extensive metadata to provide you with the fastest and easiest workflow possible. Each file contains multiple variations of a sound to guarantee you and your audience a non-repetitive SFX experience.

    Want to have an old-timer car honk its horn sternly at passers-by, before the tires screech off into the horizon? Your protagonist jumps off of a cliff by the sea and – suddenly in the air – we hear the tide roll back and she smacks on to the ground? Or your hero slips on a banana, swoops into a kitchen, metal crashes, bins rattle bins and, epic climax-style, the stove explodes! Don't worry about how that sounds. BOOM TOONS! SFX are here. We've got you covered.

    BOOM TOONS! SFX is the complete package so that you can focus on your stories and characters. You have all the sounds you could possibly need at your fingertips, ready for you to use whenever you want that spark, that glitter or that long arm fart which transforms your visually appealing cartoon into a complete and fun experience.

    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • World Sounds Airport Soundscapes Play Track 100+ sounds included, 386 mins total $60.50 $35.09 incl. vat

    Welcome to A Sound Effect where you can find the largest and most diverse airport sound effects library in the world! This constantly updated library has nearly 6 hours of high-quality recorded sounds from 15 different airports. With over 24GB of professionally edited audio, you'll have the best sounds to work with for your project.

    Featured airports in this library:

    • Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, Greece
    • Changi Airport Singapore
    • Chiang Mai International Airport, Thailand
    • George Bush Intercontinental Airport Houston, USA
    • Hamad International Airport, Qatar
    • Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
    • Incheon International Airport Seoul, South Korea
    • John F. Kennedy Airport New York City, USA
    • Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus
    • Ngurah Rai International Airport Denpasar, Indonesia
    • Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi, Vietnam
    • Penang International Airport, Malaysia
    • Roberts International Airport Liberia, Costa Rica
    • Suvarnabhumi Airport Bangkok, Thailand
    • Tom Bradley International Airport Los Angeles, USA

    Our library has lush sounds from bustling international airports with thousands of passengers to smaller regional airports with less activity.

    We've captured audio from all areas of these airports. You'll hear sounds from departure halls, arrival halls, inside private lounges, bathrooms, security check with rolling suitcases, beeping sounds from the security scanners, announcements in different languages and passengers waiting at the gates to board the aircraft.

    42 %
    OFF
    Ends 1560981600
  • City Life Sounds & Ambiences Of London Vol 2 Play Track 101 sounds included, 330 mins total $72.60 $54.45 incl. vat

    Following the success of WW Audio's, 'Sound & Ambiences Of London' – here is Volume 2, with even more interesting and useable files for your theatre or film projects.

    Consisting of 101 great, and sometime eclectic recordings from the English capital, and over 10GB in size, this is a library every sound designer needs in their arsenal. It comes with detailed file names plus Soundminer, ID3 v2.3.0 and RIFF INFO metadata embedded.

    In total, this library gets you  5.5 hours of atmospheric London sounds!

    Sounds captured at famous London locations and landmarks, including:

    Bow Bells – Two amazing, over 10 minute recordings from the belfry at St Mary Le Bow Church  • The famous crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, made famous by The Beatles • Stunning overhead plane recordings coming into land at Heathrow airport • Christmas Markets • Crowds outside Buckingham Palace before and after the changing of the guard • Various emergency vehicle sirens • Various markets both internal and external, quiet and busy • Tube train journeys • London Underground ambiences • Various Parks • Great sounding famous London pub ambiences • Train stations • Room tones, including the infamous possible Newgate Prison Cell in the cellar of the Viaduct Tavern Pub • Churches • Crowds in some of London's most popular and obscure streets • General traffic sounds • North, South, East and West London locations • Hotels • London Aquatic Centre • The Royal Exchange • St Bartholomew's Hospital Grounds • Scrooge's Counting House Location • The Tower of London • The River Thames from Execution Dock • Pudding Lane – the location of the start of the Great Fire of London • Various Gardens • Underground car park • Tower Bridge • And much more – check out the complete file list below

    25 %
    OFF
    Ends 1559253600
  • Environments Singapore City Soundscapes Play Track 122 sounds included, 327 mins total From: $24.20

    Welcome to A Sound Effect's first ever Singapore Sound Effects library!

    Explore Singapore as you've never heard it before! This massive library includes ambisonic sounds recorded with the new Zoom H3 VR, binaural recordings with the Soundman OKM II Rock Studio and stereo soundscapes recorded with the Zoom F8n, DPA 4060 and several LOM microphones.

    The diversity of Singapore makes this library unique with lush sounds from busy highways, crowded food markets/ hawker centers in many different languages, neighborhood basketball games at night, skateparks, horse races, city rain sounds, the countries super efficient underground train station (MRT), and even loud military fighter jets and helicopters.

    Perhaps you're wanting nature sounds? No problem! This library features sounds from a variety of cicadas recorded at night and birds from the famous Javan Mynah near Mount Faber.

    With nearly six hours of recordings throughout Singapore, we suggest reviewing the metadata and discovering sounds you may not have expected!

    The library is available in 3 variations: A Stereo, AmbiX and special bundle featuring both Stereo and AmbiX files at a big discount.

  • Human The Counting Voice Play Track 167 sounds included $36.30 incl. vat

    A man with a neutral English accent counts from zero to one hundred. Then counts in hundreds to one thousand. Then counts in thousands to ten thousand. Using the various files you can concatenate the files to read any number between 0-10,999 (and beyond if you fancy some creative editing).

    Useful for all sorts of games, apps and many other projects.

 
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