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:  
  • Horror Giant Pinecones Play Track 500+ sounds included, 44 mins total $79

    • In Giant Pinecones, get a visceral collection of scraped and eviscerated pinecones from the gray pine trees of Northern California. Scrape the razor-sharp hooks of the cone petals and hear guttural scrapes crackling with energy. Hear rolling cones popping and fluttering with rich stuttering tones. Hear fully open cone pedals squeaking with woody vocalizations like supernatural animals and hardy crunches filled with organic grit.
    • This library offers you an extensive collection of sounds from a unique organic sound source. Digger pinecone sounds are incredibly soft and intimate in real life, but when recorded from two inches they morph into a unique wooden sound source brimming with powerful glitchy and stuttering textures.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Woody vocalizations
    • Rolling, scraping, and stuttering textures
    • Visceral and guttural scrapes
    • Fluttering and popping textures
    • Rich crunches
    • Chalkboard-like squeaks and squeals
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View larger version or Download CSV
    • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH8040 and MKH30 in MS
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
    Add to cart
  • Recording of the American 2017 Polaris Ranger EV. Powered by an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor.


    The American 2017 Polaris Industries Ranger EV sound collection shares 44 sounds in 3.49 gigabytes of audio. It showcases the sound of an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor in 4 channels with 2 custom stereo mixes.

    The sound pack includes 4 synchronized takes of onboard driving. 4 channels of audio capture the engine and onboard perspectives, with 2 custom stereo mixes provided. Performances include driving slow and fast, with steady RPMs and ramps, starting, stopping, and more.

    The package includes Pro Tools and Reaper mixing sessions, full professional metadata, and metadata import files in 7 languages.

    Add to cart
  • A crush on music

    Distortion and saturation play a very important role in music production. From subtle, clean and warm tube or tape saturation to the wildest multiband guitar amp effects: FabFilter Saturn 2 delivers.

    Saturn 2 introduces a host of new features such as a redesigned interface with modulation visualization, new subtle saturation and linear phase processing for mastering, many new distortion styles, and more.


    Warmth, harmonics, color and dynamics

    FabFilter Saturn 2 offers a range of different high quality distortion models, inspired by the vintage sound of tubes, tape, transformers and guitar amps. In addition, you get five creative FX distortion styles to mangle your sounds in weird and unexpected ways.

    With its multiband design and per-band feedback, dynamics, drive, tone and modulation options, Saturn 2 will bring a unique flavor to your music.

    Bring your sounds to life

    Add life and depth to your music using the extensive modulation section. By applying subtle modulation to crossover frequencies, dynamics, band levels or tone controls, great warmth and definition can be achieved.

    With all the XLFOs, EGs, XY controllers/sliders, envelope followers and MIDI sources you will ever need, you get practically unlimited modulation possibilities. Creating new modulation connections could not be easier: just drag and drop. And Saturn 2 visualizes all modulation in real-time to show exactly what’s going on.

    FabFilter goodies

    Finally, FabFilter Saturn 2 contains all the usual FabFilter goodies: perfectly tuned knobs, MIDI Learn, Smart Parameter Interpolation for smooth parameter transitions, interface resizing and full screen mode, support for Avid control surfaces, GPU-powered graphics acceleration, extensive help with interactive help hints, SSE optimization, and much more.

    Add to cart
  • Cricket – Junior & Senior is our latest SFX library toolkit, created to cater to cricket specific sounds. We have covered a broad range of specific sounds that differentiate Cricket from other batting sports. Included are sounds for Cricket Gear, Movements, Batting, Bowling, Fielding and Other Miscellaneous sounds.

    17 %
    OFF
    Ends 1590530399
    Add to cart
  • An ice hockey game is an exciting, dynamic and powerful sonic experience. From the thunderous crack of a puck hitting the boards at full speed to the gentle scrape of a stick on the ice, this library contains a complete range of the game’s on ice sounds, all captured with natural reverb in an indoor arena.

    Included are a range of performances of skate, stick, puck, and whistle sounds, as well as rink door opens and closes, and various board, glass, and ice impacts.

    The skate sounds include starts, stops, turns, and pass bys, as well as single steps and scrapes for detailed editing and layering. Stick sounds include different kinds of shots, passes, drops and scrapes, and impacts with other sticks, the boards, and the ice. Puck sounds include impacts with the ice, boards, skates, the goal metal and net, and even goalie pads. Rink sounds include the opening and closing of doors, impacts with the boards and glass, and a goal horn. Two different types of whistles were recorded, with varying durations.

    Each sound effect performance was recorded from multiple perspectives – a stereo ORTF pair of Lewitt LCT 540s microphones, a closer wide XY from an Audio Technica BP4025, and a close mono Schoeps CMC6/MK41 – either stationary or following the action on a boom, depending on the type of sound. The ratio of direct to reverberant sound differs between these perspectives, offering a variety of options when editing to picture.

    Also included are quad-channel room tones from two different ice rinks, and a special onboard recording of a puck, made by taping a Sony PCM-M10 to a puck and sliding it across the surface of the ice.

    The actions were performed at a range of speeds and energy levels, with multiple takes for variety. Please refer to the sound list pdf below for details. Captured at a sampling rate of 96kHz, these recordings contain detailed information above 20kHz, expanding the possibilities for manipulation when slowing and pitching them down.

    30 %
    OFF
    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:
 
 
  • Sci-Fi Advanced Propulsion Play Track 1191 sounds included $99

    ADVANCED PROPULSION is a next-gen sound design toolkit built for creating dynamic sci-fi vehicle engines and passbys. The designed engine sounds are all seamless loops, making them perfect for use with various plug-ins and interactive applications. All raw source material used to design the engines is included, giving you maximum creative flexibility.

    Add to cart
  • Rocky Impacts is a collection of 262 rock & stone impact sound effects.
    Rock impacts, LFEs, Debris, Moving textures and more

    Collection consist of 150 designed sound effects and 112 source sound effects. All sound effects were recorded with Sennheiser MKH8060
    + ATE 208 in mid-side at superb 192KHZ. Recording session took place in a quiet canyon between mountains.

    All SFX have baked-in Soundminer’s meta data.

    Download includes additional 44.1kHz 16Bit version for Unreal Engine.
    RECORDED WITH: Sound Devices MixPre 6 + 2 x Sennheiser MKH8060 + ATE208 (M/S)
    EDITED AND MASTERED WITH: Pro Tools, BOOM ReCenter, iZotope RX, Brusfri, FabFilter, ReFuse, Reaktor

    50 %
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    Add to cart
  • Need sound effects for your explainer videos? The EXPLNR sounds series is a collection of sfx libraries designed and produced with the classic 2d animated explainer video in mind. These sounds will give quick and useful coverage to the common moves used in this style.

    Vol 1 is an excellent all-around base library that includes whooshes, clicks, pops, swells, ratchets, slides, rips, drags, flicks, crumples, and dings – all custom designed with the playfulness and clean edges required to match the explainer video style.

    To help cover repetitive visual movements, multiple iterations of each sound are included. A host of designed sounds will quickly cover more complex movements.

    The next time you have an explainer video in the house, you know your starting point.

    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Horror Giant Pinecones Play Track 500+ sounds included, 44 mins total $79

    • In Giant Pinecones, get a visceral collection of scraped and eviscerated pinecones from the gray pine trees of Northern California. Scrape the razor-sharp hooks of the cone petals and hear guttural scrapes crackling with energy. Hear rolling cones popping and fluttering with rich stuttering tones. Hear fully open cone pedals squeaking with woody vocalizations like supernatural animals and hardy crunches filled with organic grit.
    • This library offers you an extensive collection of sounds from a unique organic sound source. Digger pinecone sounds are incredibly soft and intimate in real life, but when recorded from two inches they morph into a unique wooden sound source brimming with powerful glitchy and stuttering textures.

    2% FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & CARBON NEUTRAL:
    • Two percent of the price of this library is donated to an environmental cause, as an “artist royalty” for the planet!
    • Carbon offset credits were purchased to offset my field recording travel for this library.

    KEY FEATURES:
    • Woody vocalizations
    • Rolling, scraping, and stuttering textures
    • Visceral and guttural scrapes
    • Fluttering and popping textures
    • Rich crunches
    • Chalkboard-like squeaks and squeals
    FILE LIST & METADATA:
    • View larger version or Download CSV
    • A spectrogram is included for each audio file. Double click on the photo to enlarge.
    MORE INFO:
    • Read 40+ testimonials for Thomas Rex Beverly Audio
    • Read my Field Recording Mastering Rules and learn more about how these recordings were mastered.
    • Browse the Library Info Master List to compare specs on all my libraries.
    • Browse the Metadata Master List to search my entire catalog.
    • MD5 and SHA 256 Checksums are included for each zip file in my catalog. Use these hashes to check the integrity of your downloaded files.
    GEAR USED:
    • Sennheiser MKH8040 and MKH30 in MS
    • Sound Devices MixPre-6
  • Recording of the American 2017 Polaris Ranger EV. Powered by an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor.


    The American 2017 Polaris Industries Ranger EV sound collection shares 44 sounds in 3.49 gigabytes of audio. It showcases the sound of an electric utility vehicle’s 48-volt high-efficiency AC-induction motor in 4 channels with 2 custom stereo mixes.

    The sound pack includes 4 synchronized takes of onboard driving. 4 channels of audio capture the engine and onboard perspectives, with 2 custom stereo mixes provided. Performances include driving slow and fast, with steady RPMs and ramps, starting, stopping, and more.

    The package includes Pro Tools and Reaper mixing sessions, full professional metadata, and metadata import files in 7 languages.

  • A crush on music

    Distortion and saturation play a very important role in music production. From subtle, clean and warm tube or tape saturation to the wildest multiband guitar amp effects: FabFilter Saturn 2 delivers.

    Saturn 2 introduces a host of new features such as a redesigned interface with modulation visualization, new subtle saturation and linear phase processing for mastering, many new distortion styles, and more.


    Warmth, harmonics, color and dynamics

    FabFilter Saturn 2 offers a range of different high quality distortion models, inspired by the vintage sound of tubes, tape, transformers and guitar amps. In addition, you get five creative FX distortion styles to mangle your sounds in weird and unexpected ways.

    With its multiband design and per-band feedback, dynamics, drive, tone and modulation options, Saturn 2 will bring a unique flavor to your music.

    Bring your sounds to life

    Add life and depth to your music using the extensive modulation section. By applying subtle modulation to crossover frequencies, dynamics, band levels or tone controls, great warmth and definition can be achieved.

    With all the XLFOs, EGs, XY controllers/sliders, envelope followers and MIDI sources you will ever need, you get practically unlimited modulation possibilities. Creating new modulation connections could not be easier: just drag and drop. And Saturn 2 visualizes all modulation in real-time to show exactly what’s going on.

    FabFilter goodies

    Finally, FabFilter Saturn 2 contains all the usual FabFilter goodies: perfectly tuned knobs, MIDI Learn, Smart Parameter Interpolation for smooth parameter transitions, interface resizing and full screen mode, support for Avid control surfaces, GPU-powered graphics acceleration, extensive help with interactive help hints, SSE optimization, and much more.

  • Cricket – Junior & Senior is our latest SFX library toolkit, created to cater to cricket specific sounds. We have covered a broad range of specific sounds that differentiate Cricket from other batting sports. Included are sounds for Cricket Gear, Movements, Batting, Bowling, Fielding and Other Miscellaneous sounds.

    17 %
    OFF
    Ends 1590530399
  • An ice hockey game is an exciting, dynamic and powerful sonic experience. From the thunderous crack of a puck hitting the boards at full speed to the gentle scrape of a stick on the ice, this library contains a complete range of the game’s on ice sounds, all captured with natural reverb in an indoor arena.

    Included are a range of performances of skate, stick, puck, and whistle sounds, as well as rink door opens and closes, and various board, glass, and ice impacts.

    The skate sounds include starts, stops, turns, and pass bys, as well as single steps and scrapes for detailed editing and layering. Stick sounds include different kinds of shots, passes, drops and scrapes, and impacts with other sticks, the boards, and the ice. Puck sounds include impacts with the ice, boards, skates, the goal metal and net, and even goalie pads. Rink sounds include the opening and closing of doors, impacts with the boards and glass, and a goal horn. Two different types of whistles were recorded, with varying durations.

    Each sound effect performance was recorded from multiple perspectives – a stereo ORTF pair of Lewitt LCT 540s microphones, a closer wide XY from an Audio Technica BP4025, and a close mono Schoeps CMC6/MK41 – either stationary or following the action on a boom, depending on the type of sound. The ratio of direct to reverberant sound differs between these perspectives, offering a variety of options when editing to picture.

    Also included are quad-channel room tones from two different ice rinks, and a special onboard recording of a puck, made by taping a Sony PCM-M10 to a puck and sliding it across the surface of the ice.

    The actions were performed at a range of speeds and energy levels, with multiple takes for variety. Please refer to the sound list pdf below for details. Captured at a sampling rate of 96kHz, these recordings contain detailed information above 20kHz, expanding the possibilities for manipulation when slowing and pitching them down.

    30 %
    OFF
 
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