In our continuing series profiling the companies on our Audio Market page we are going to turn the spotlight on SoundBits. On the Audio Market page we offer smaller developers the opportunity to reach the Pro Tools community at a much lower price. Saro set up SoundBits to to be able to create and sell sound effects and will be well known to anyone who reads our regular Sunday Sound Effects Round Up.
PTE: How did you start? Tell us about your journey to setting up your company.
Saro: My interest in audio and music production goes back to 2000. I made the first tentative steps, tried this and that. I then got deeper and deeper into audio production, making a lot of (good) mistakes.
I successfully graduated from SAE Institute (Audio Engineering) in 2006 and had several jobs in all kinds of audio production after that.
I came to sound effects creation when I did the sound design and editing for the feature movie “Bela Kiss: Prologue” in 2010. I met such great and inspiring people in my time working on this movie. One day I had the idea to not just gather sounds for certain projects but to create my own specific sound effects library. This first library was the ‘Screams & Shouts’ sound pack. I got in touch with Sound Ideas and they liked it. So that was the time when i started to create and sell sound effects. Since then I have grown very good and strong international network and have my sound effects libraries in many online stores.
At this point, I'd like to give special thanks to Asbjoern Andersen from A Sound Effect and Timothy McHugh from Sonniss who both are doing an awesome job helping independent sound effects creators and building communities of creators and users. I am also working closely with Pro Sounds Effects who have many of my sounds in the Hybrid Library Expansions and in the online library.
PTE: Tell us a bit about your company and the products you produce?
Saro: Well, SoundBits is a one man show. Sometimes I work with others on a specific project. For example, recently I collaborated with Ana Monte from Monte Sound for the Abstract Ambiences Library or it might just be to have a helping hand when recording in the field or for pre-editing large amounts of sounds.
80% of my time is spent on SoundBits, meaning sound effects recording editing, creating libraries, marketing, networking, website updates, procrastinating on Facebook and Twitter... The other 30% ( ;-) ) goes into other jobs like different sound design gigs, teaching at SAE Institute (Postproduction, Sound Design, Synthesizers, Effects and others), Workshops and giving interviews of course :-D
PTE: What challenges are you facing at the moment?
Saro: The very fast growing - or better exploding - independent sound effects market. One has to be fast and focused. But I like it. It's challenging, yes but it's also an enrichment to the whole business. It's never been so easy to find the right sound effect or pack for your production. There is so much variety. There is no longer any need to use the same sounds over and over again from production to production.
Another challenge is that days only have 24 hours, I am alone most of the time and there are so many ideas for new libraries and projects but not enough time. I have such an by-myself-optimized workflow that it would be very hard to bring in one or two sound people. Not only sound people but also the marketing, social media stuff and all that additional library work like metadata, info texts and so on kills lots of time. But as SoundBits grows I think I will have to go down that road in near future.
PTE: What plans do you have for the future that you can share with the community?
Saro: There are more sound effect libraries coming of course. I'll keep optimizing workflows to become even faster, upgrading equipment and never lose the fun on working in this business. Also expanding my network and I really would like to remaster some my first libraries and refurbishing my website.
PTE: What is your favourite audio tool (excluding any of your own products)?
Saro: The by far most important tool for me is RX5 Advanced from iZotope. Even though it still misses some features in my humble opinion, which I already sent them of course :) but I couldn't imagine editing sound effects without this app. Especially the direct exchange between Pro Tools (and Nuendo in my case) and RX is an incredible fast workflow.
I also really like RX Final Mix from iZotope. The Limiter is super clean and the Dynamic EQ gives maximum control over each sound. I would also like to mention the Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 EQ plug-in and The Multiband Envelope Shaper in Nuendo 7. When working in other DAWs I rebuild this by using the Blue Cat Audio MB-7 with an instance of NI Transient Master in each band.
Regarding general Sound Libraries I'm a big fan of the Hybrid Library (and its extensions) by Pro Sound Effects. For sound effects management it's Nuendo's Media Bay and Soundly.
Well, that escalated a bit but these are all tools which are very important for my daily work and have to be mentioned all in one breath.
PTE: What one thing gets you annoyed about the audio business?
Saro: I like ranting but, well, I don't now. Not much. Most people I meet from all over the world (in person or digitally) are wonderful, no matter what their origin, religion etc. People . There are lot's of great communities. I mean just look at Pro Tools Expert, I think you have a very honest and kind business. Sure there is competitiveness but it's very fair in most cases.
Everyone helps each other out.
The only things which annoys me a bit is the obstinacy of some people regarding what hardware and software to use. But I don't get too excited about that since in most cases it's people who never even tried the other opportunities and just repeat what they've learned.
PTE: Is there anything else you would like to share with the Pro Tools Expert community?
Saro: Listen and repeat after me "SoundBits Sound Effects are awesome... :-)". But seriously, stay that great community you are, spread the word and be thankful for being able to do what you love.
PTE: SoundBits is another great example of the sort of brand we set up The Audio Market to help and support. Remember to visit the Audio Market page and support all the small developers, all trying to punch above their weight.