Sound Design

Sound Design can mean a lot of different things to different people. For our purposes we differentiate this discipline into two different categories: Musical Sound Design, and Technical Sound Design.

Technical Sound Design deals with creating sounds for musical instrument products such as software and hardware synthesizers and samplers. Technical Sound Design is not directly tied to the end consumer product such as a music album or film score. A technical sound-designer is a virtual instrument builder of sorts: he uses his expert knowledge of a given synthesizer algorithm or DSP process to create sounds that other musicians will decide how to use creatively in their projects. Galbanum's Sample Line, Synth Expansion Line, and Architecture Line of products are examples of Technical Sound Design. Designing factory presets for third party synthesizer manufacturers is another example of Technical Sound Design. (The Galbanum Architecture Line of products is in fact a meta level of Technical Sound Design: it is comprised of low-level Technical Sound Design resources that are the designed to be used by other Technical Sound Designers.)

Musical Sound Design deals directly with the end product that reaches listeners such as a music album or film score. Musical Sound Design is the process of working with the artist or composer and helping him present his musical ideas in some novel and typically highly-stylized fashion. A Musical Sound Designer is similar to an orchestrator except that the palet of tools he uses to achieve novel textures and timbres are generally esoteric synthesizers and DSP processes instead of an orchestra. Musical Sound Design is the act of applying Technical Sound Design techniques on a custom, per-project basis to the specific needs of a given artist or sync project. The Musical Sound Designer co-creates the musical and sonic vocabulary that will be used in the project together with the composer, artist, or producer. His role is loosely defined somewhere between Technical Sound Design, and full-on composition, scoring, or production. His input may be a particular chord progression from the composer, or a vocal stem, or a few measure loop of the main groove of an EDM piece for example. His output is some form of magically transformed variation of these raw ingredients that achieves the desired novelty, excitement, and emotional impact that is needed for the piece. Musical Sound Design may even be applied to entire artists or bands as well to identify and define the sound of that artist or band.

Galbanum is always excited to work with new people and companies. Third parties interested in discussing sound design needs are invited to contact us.

Musical Sound Design Examples