Krotos is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and creates unique audio software products for AAA game studios, film studios, and top-notch post-production companies worldwide. Their first product, Dehumaniser Pro, was launched November 2013 to rave reviews and since, the company has quickly grown in size whilst releasing numerous exciting products. As the brainchild of sound designer Orfeas Boteas, Krotos is always looking for ways to improve the post-production process while simultaneously making it fun for sound engineers.
Sound editing and recording, sound design, voice overs, dialogue editing and ADR: today the boundaries are blurred. Recording clean, high-quality, extreme voice-over effects, whether in real-time or during the audio post production process, can be a challenging task. Many filmmakers and sound designers discover problematic background noise that’s impossible to shut off, or plosive issues recorded via a poorly placed microphone or sloppy performance.
Good news is, you don’t have to struggle with any of that anymore and can save hours of editing time. The Accusonus & Krotos Clean Monsters Bundle, offers you 2 single-knob Accusonus ERA plug-ins to get rid of unwanted distortions in seconds and Dehumaniser Simple Monsters from Krotos, which enables you to perform a range of extreme voice over effects, monster sound effects, robot sound effects, alien sound effects, sci-fi sound effects and much more.Buy This bundle How to Use Clean Monsters for Monster Sound Voice Overs
First, import your problematic dialogue onto an audio track in your DAW, load up the ERA Noise Remover plugin and with the turn of a single knob, clean up a specific part of the frequency spectrum that needs fixing – be it noisy background traffic, wind, air conditioning, freezer hums etc…
Next, remove any loud, plosive sounds detected at the beginning of sentences (which are often hard to remove by hand due to various inconsistencies) by loading up the ERA Plosive Remover, turn the knob and instantly detect and fix unnatural thumps (such as “p”, “t” and “b”).
The internal processing for both plugins seems quite complicated, but the results are very impressive.
Finally, load up Simple Monsters, browse our selection of ‘Dialogue’, ‘Sci-fi’, ‘Growls and Roars’ presets, explore the 5 dynamic parameters, sample scrubbing function and quickly transform your cleaned-up dialogue into any sort of creature. Pick between a slider layout or X/Y Pads interface, assign elements to each axis and coax unpredictable results from the plugin.
Now that’s what we call a noisy monster make-over!
“I couldn’t live without my Dehumaniser Simple Monsters plug-in, so here is an opportunity to get it on sale and bundled with ERA Noise Remover and Plosive Remover at a great price.” – Mark Lanza (Sony Pictures)
Find out more and get this unique bundle for for only $99 and save 59%!*
* offer ends 26th May 2019.Buy This bundle Read More
Skywalker Sound re-recording mixer Lora Hirschberg has been in audio post-production since the early 90’s, and has won an Academy Award (Best Sound Mixing), as well as a BAFTA (Best Film Sound), both for her work on Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
Lora is credited for over 160 titles across a broad range of genres. Her filmography includes: Captain Marvel, the Jungle Book, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, the Dark Knight, Ice Age, Titanic, Lord of the Rings, and so many more.
To give Ultron his super-villain voice in Avengers – Age of Ultron, Lora enlisted the Krotos Dehumaniser plugin, which she went back to again to help her create alien static futzy transmission sounds in Captain Marvel. While working on the Lion King, she’s also exploring Reformer Pro to help add animalistic tones to the lion dialogue.
Find out more about Lora Hirschberg and hear her advice for those starting out in our full interview below.Hi Lora, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Is it a busy time for you at the moment? What projects have you been working on recently?
This year I mixed Captain Marvel at Disney and am about to start Lion King at Sony.We’re curious to find out a bit more about your background. How did you get started out in your field?
I studied music as a youngster and attended undergraduate film school at NYU. After graduating I worked in New York at a few post houses before relocating to San Francisco in 1989. There I started working at Francis Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios and then Skywalker Sound.You’re using Reformer Pro and Dehumaniser 2 in your set-up, have you been able to incorporate either of them in your recent project work, and if so, how have they contributed to your workflow?
Dehumaniser is an incredible tool for creating unique and varied vocal sound design treatments. From animal to alien effects, it is simple to use and easily tailored. The batch function is a real time-saver for processing an entire performance efficiently. I couldn’t have created the voice of Ultron [Avengers: Age of Ultron] without it! I used a little of Dehumaniser on Captain Marvel to create some cool alien static futzy transmissions. And I will be using Reformer Pro on the Lion King to help add animalistic effects to the lion dialog.Are there any particular Reformer Pro Libraries that you’ve found most useful?
The black panthers [in the Krotos Bundle 1] have been really cool!Throughout your career so far, have there been any moments with new technologies emerging that have drastically changed how you work? And how do you see sound design technology evolving in the future?
Obviously cutting on Pro Tools changed our workflow dramatically and also opened up the possibility of cost effective quality sound editing and mixing for low budget and documentary films. I think the fundamentals of how we work have not changed though – listen, interpret, help tell the story, create and support drama – these are the fundamentals of my job. Sound design technology is becoming more personalized and I find that on every job I am evolving my own template and tools and building the workflow that works best for me. One size doesn’t have to fit all anymore!And finally, do you have any advice to pass on to those starting out in the field?
I think it is important to not give up and also to expect failures and learn from them. Patience and persistence! Listen to lots of movies, especially those that don’t come from the traditional Hollywood sources – some of the best mixes you will hear come from places and cultures very different than the big blockbusters and you will learn a lot when you are surprised by a film.Share this article:
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We’ve taken Igniter – our new vehicle sound design VST/AU/AAX plugin – for a test-run to demonstrate how Igniter’s built-in presets can easily be used to create a variety of complex vehicle sound effects. In this tutorial, Andrew details each processing stage of creating the sound effects for our recent promo videos.
We’ve used a variety of vehicle scenes that sound designers commonly find themselves working with: featuring car engines, futuristic vehicles, and helicopters. Learn about the process and find out how quick and easy it was to modulate and add parameters from Igniter’s built-in presets in the tutorial.Creating Sci-Fi Car Sound Effects in Igniter
The first promo video features footage of a sci-fi car with a futuristic feel, which sees the vehicle panning slowly across the screen. To bring this particular scene’s electric ambience and movement to life, we layered both a synth and loop presets, both available in Igniter’s factory presets. The parameters of the presets were adapted and blended to tweak the tone of the car. By attaching automation in the DAW, we’re able to let the sound effects rise in time with the car on screen.Creating Helicopter Sound Effects in Igniter
Next, we’re faced with the challenge of working with helicopter footage, showing a helicopter rising up and moving away into the distance. Here we chose Igniter’s inbuilt ‘Huey Overhead Movement’ preset, and hybridising it by adding automation, reverb and modulating the EQ to allow for the tonality of this helicopter to change alongside the footage.Creating Car Engine Sound Effects in Igniter
The final video shows two cars moving through a long tunnel towards and from the camera. This scene was created using both the Audi R8 and Porsche presets, allowing the viewer to differentiate between the two vehicles. To design the car sound effects for this scene, RPM parameters were automated, adding doppler and reverb to create the movement for the cars in this space using the Macro system.
Ready to give Igniter a try? Download our free 10 day demo to test it out. Igniter is available in two versions, and comes included in the Sound Design Bundle 2.try igniter free Quick View Buy Now Quick View Buy Now
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Igniter is our all-new sound design plugin that lets users design vehicle and engine sound effects in a new, easily pefrormable way. Our GM Matthew Collings talked to A Sound Effect about the story behind our new software.
Find out what Igniter is all about, what went in to creating it, and some tips on how you can best use Igniter to perform and automate vehicle sounds in your own projects. Get the story behind Igniter in the interview over on A Sound Effect.
“Igniter was an extremely large and challenging project! You can see that the plugin includes an enormous range of features and is also a very powerful sound design tool beyond vehicle design. We’re proud of all of it! We went through a lot of prototypes and worked closely with various people in the industry to get an idea of how professionals would want this kind of tool to work, and what they felt were the key features it needed to include.”read interview Free Igniter Demo
Want to take Igniter for a test-run? Get a free 10 day igniter demo to try it out.
Igniter is available in the Krotos Sound Design 2 Bundle.Download Demo
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Dehumaniser 2 Overview
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The post Krotos Audio Reformer Pro – Will It Transform Your Sound Design Workflow? appeared first on Krotos.Read More
Sony Pictures sound designer Mark Lanza has been responsible for crafting the sound for major titles such as Independence Day, JFK, True Lies, Natural Born Killers, and so many more. His TV credits include Homeland, Justified, Grey’s Anatomy, The Shield, Dexter, Sneaky Pete, among others.
Mark has been a fan of Krotos plug-ins since he came across the first Dehumaniser, and he’s been using the full Krotos Sound Design Bundle ever since. We chatted to Mark to find out more about his work, career highlights, and his advice for those starting out in Sound Design.Hi Mark, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. We’re curious to find out how you got into sound design, and how you ended up at Sony?
I had a friend in a programming class in college that was doing live sound and then moved to post. He eventually started doing movies. I was a programming major in college and my friend wanted to use computers to do the sound, but they were not really ready for that and not very intuitive. He had me hired at an up-and-coming sound house (Soundelux) as his assistant. He used his sound knowledge and my computer knowledge to do a movie “Born on the Fourth of July” for a director named Oliver Stone. We were the only digital system in town and I learned the craft of sound FX and design there. In a few years they made me the other digital sound designer at the company. Since I was schooled as a programmer, I never had a film class. I learned all of my film skills on the job. I was at Soundelux for 8 years and then ended up moving over to Sony Pictures as a feature sound designer under Tom McCarthy.That’s excellent! What’s been your proudest achievement over the years?
Recently winning the MPSE Golden Reel award was a big one. I love how it’s judged by your peers. I have had a number of nominations through the years, but this was my first win. There have been many projects, awards, and milestones through the years but that was a great one.Congrats! You’ve worked on so many projects, do you have one that stands out as the most memorable for you?
Everybody still talks about Independence Day. That movie was a LOT of fun to work on and it seems that no matter what age you are, you have a soft spot for that movie and can quote some lines. I have heard my effects in the pinball machine from the movie as well as toys. I have an Independence Day toy spaceship that has some of my sounds in it. I also really love what I created for Natural Born Killers. It was a great vehicle for design, I got to make some crazy stuff.And what was it like working on the sound design for Texas Chainsaw 3D, that must have been interesting…?
Wow, that one… I never go to watch horror movies, but I LOVE to work on them. I like when I am able to get creepy and scare people. It really lets me stretch my design skills into new areas. This one was great because I tried to pay homage to the old one with the sound effects. You might notice there is a generator playing at the house as they arrive. This is what made them realize someone was in the house in the original movie and lured them in. I actually looped the original generator sound and used it in the new movie. I also asked the director if we could get access to record the production chainsaw and record some moves on it that I needed. This made it blend seamlessly in and out of production. I topped it in some of the crazy scenes, but it really helped me in the more subtle ones. There is a shot where the chainsaw idles right by the camera, this sounds amazing in the movie because we actually did the move in front of the mic to get the actual Doppler. I also love the sound of cutting the body in half with the chainsaw. I put some really gushy flesh rips and when he chainsaw gets to the middle I added bone crunches through the spine. It was gross. When the bottom half of the body falls away, I had a gushy thud off-stage on the ground. Then a second smaller thud as though it bounced.So, do you have any of your own tricks or techniques for sound design that you could share with us?
I try not to use anything all the time. I love to try new plug-ins and techniques to keep things fresh and I am always running around with my recorders to capture new sounds. I just got back in from recording thunder outside, I have a new Zoom H3-VR recorder I am trying out. I can’t wait to hear it.You’ve been using Krotos software in your work for quite some time now. How have you been using it and what’s your overall impression been?
I first learned of Krotos a few years ago when I purchased the original Dehumaniser. Since then I have everything Krotos makes, I am a BIG fan of the latest Dehumaniser and have been getting into Reformer Pro and just used Igniter in a new series “Becoming a God in Central Florida”. I recently did an interview for Sound and Picture about my work on Futureman and mentioned several Krotos plug-ins including Weaponiser that I used in the design.How do you see sound design technology evolving in the future?
A lot more AI is going to be used. I am already seeing it in noise-reduction software such as the Audionamix software and iZotope. I can’t wait for more of it in design. I am seeing a lot of different players and ideas coming out for some crazy manipulation of sounds. This is my favourite kind of plug-in. I play with it on my own time and see what it can do, then when I am faced with a design challenge, I have the tool in my head and I can use it to make the sound I am imagining. Sometimes I am on my way to making the sound in my head and I make something unexpected that might be even better, or I can save the new sound or knowledge for another project.Finally, do you have any advice for anyone starting out in sound design as a long-term career option?
Learn the craft of storytelling. You can have a box full of hammers, but not know how to build a house. All these digital tools are just there to support the story the director is trying to tell. If they hinder it, you are doing it wrong. Learn the craft first and use all the technology to help you get there. Also be nice to people. If you don’t like people, you are in the wrong industry. I deal with directors, producers, actors, editors, mixers, technicians, studio people, and more every day. I need people to believe in my abilities and I need editors to follow me “into battle”. Sound is a balancing act of politics, editing skills, diplomacy, psychiatry, technical abilities, and work ethic. No matter the job, do it well and you will move up to the next position when available.Share this article:
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Award-winning sound designer Robert Ramirez has worked on Family Guy, American Dad, Arrow, and Titans among many other titles. We caught up with him to find out about his background, work, techniques and how he used the Krotos Weaponiser and Dehumaniser 2 plug-ins in Arrow and Titans.
Robert Ramirez’s obsession for sound design began in his early childhood. He remembers a visit to the laundromat, where the TV in the background played a short special on Ben Burtt, which was when Ramirez learned he was the creator of the sounds in his favourite movies.
His father worked as a janitor at Stanford University Hospital, sometimes finding discarded old tape recorders and other sound equipment that he could salvage to bring home for Robert. Robert began to find opportunities to work in sound while growing up in the church, and by age 14, he was already helping mix the services and music performances.
A few years later, an ex-girlfriend asked him to compose soundscapes and create music for a theatre production. She called it ‘sound design’, a term that was new to Robert, but suddenly made a lot of sense:
“We didn’t have the resources of today. I recall liking the term ‘sound design’, and I had finally found a way to combine all my interests. After pursuing theatre sound design in the SF Bay Area, I quickly realized that sound technology in the theatre was mostly limited to CD playback at the time and was never going to get remotely close to Ben Burtt’s work. So, when I got the chance to move to LA, I did with the intent to get into sound post.”
Fast forward a few years, and Robert has been nominated for a few Emmy Awards and won several Golden Reel Awards. But what’s been the secret to his success?
“It’s a combination of perseverance and acknowledging all the great opportunities that have come my way. They can really come from anywhere. When I first moved to LA, my day job was at Starbucks, and I’m so grateful and fortunate to have met my co-worker, Dolly. Her husband, Curtis, worked at a post house. She thought I was a good worker, so she gave him my resume. He got me an interview for a runner position.”
Robert now had his foot in the door, and was able to work his way up from being a runner: he landed a promotion at a post facility named Miles O Fun [later bought by Technicolor and became their sound services division.]
“I was a runner for a year and then became a sound effects librarian and scheduled Foley. In those two years, I learned the Fairlight. While the company was still Miles O Fun, it was run very much like a ‘mom and pop shop.’ When a couple of FX editors moved on to bigger post houses, they needed someone who could cut on Fairlight. Most everyone else in town had moved on to Pro Tools. I was able to get in that way. When Technicolor bought MOF, the whole company switched to Pro Tools. If I had not taken the time to learn older technology or if the timing wasn’t just right, I’m not sure my promotion would have happened so quickly.”
Throughout his career so far, Robert has worked on a huge variety of projects at Warner Brothers, DC Comics and 20th Century Fox.
“I have to say I am grateful to Mike Lawshe (Sound Supervisor) for bringing me on to design DC Comics’ Arrow, available on Netflix. It is the main show I’m currently working on. It never gets boring. With new villains and heroes over the past seven years, there’s always new opportunities for creativity. I also had a chance fairly recently to help out with Titans on the DC Universe streaming network (also on Netflix). Very grateful to Peter Lago (Sound Designer) and Charlie Crutcher (Sound Supervisor) for letting me help out on it. These superhero comic book shows are really fun to work on. I’m lucky to have Todd Beckett as the Sound Effects Re-recording Mixer. He does great work with Dan Hiland, the dialogue mixer.
While at Technicolor, Robert worked on Family Guy, which taught him a lot about specialising in sound design for comedy, and his work there also won him a Golden Reel.
“That was a fun show. I worked on Family Guy because Andrew Ellard (Sound Designer) and Bob Newlan (Sound Supervisor) were also working on American Dad which was new at the time so because of scheduling, I was brought on to help out. I ended up working on both shows. They really taught me how Sound Design can be humorous and help with the comedy. I was nominated and won a Golden Reel along with Andrew for our work on an episode. There were all these opportunities to make things funny like certain Rube Goldberg machines sequences and things of that nature. But, the most memorable thing is how the producers’ instinct for using the exact same punch sound over and over helped make certain scenes hilarious. My instinct was to make it more varied but I was clearly wrong.”
Ever since those early days at the laundromat, Ben Brutt has been a huge source of inspiration for Robert: “For me, his work is the Gold Standard. For those who didn’t start off as musicians, he’s the reason a lot of Sound Designers go into this profession. So, Star Wars series, Wall-E, and so on.”
“More recently, I really liked Get Out, Black Panther, Ready Player One. The sound design was nice. Also, The Post as a more organic example. There are so many people doing great work out there. Sometimes I just sit there and rewind scenes and think to myself: ‘Holy Moly, I’m lucky to be in this industry.’.”
As for editing techniques, working methods and secret tricks, Robert has a few special methods that help him with his workflow:
“One thing I find frustrating is when you are looking through a library and they have like 12 impacts or whatever the recording is. But, for some reason, only one of the impacts sounds how you want it to.
I oftentimes will take that one clip and repeat it like 15 times. Then I run it through sound shifter or other pitch and time plug-ins, barely changing the parameters until they all sound slightly different. It helps so it doesn’t have a machine gun effect. The other thing I do is I use a lot of music plugins or software.
For example, we probably all use Kontakt but I also use Propellerhead’s Reason or Ableton Live to modulate parameters and make clips sound different. Lastly, I use Soundminer Pro to manipulate pitch and with VSTs, I send the modified files into Pro Tools. I think most of us do that.”
“My first impression was that it felt like Merlin had started making sound design plugins. I have used Dehumaniser 2 some, but on Arrow, I mainly used Weaponiser because it has a lot of machine gun and gun battles, so for all the background character guns I will print the bounced single file. For the close-up or main characters, I like to use it to make elements of their weapons so I can create a library for each character’s guns. Once I got Weaponiser, any new character with a gun will go through that process.
I also use Reformer from time to time and used it to make some tazer sounds in Titans. I made a library of electric shocking sounds and was able to perform it to picture. These stun batons were used for torture when a static tazer file wasn’t going to do it justice. By performing it, I was able to make it seem like the actor was reacting to the fluctuations in the sound design.
I also used it for some other weapons like an electric carving knife and some bear vocalizations, more of the stuff in between the roars. For the bear, I did a couple of takes and cut up the best stuff. For the weapons, I would perform different elements to picture then cut and lay them out on tracks for the FX mixer to have final control.”
Technology is always changing and evolving, so we wanted to know how Robert sees the future of sound design, and whether it’s affected his work.
“It’s an exciting time. I see the tech changing a lot. But, the core of the art is staying the same. I think it’s important that people learn about how sound design stimulates and affects a scene, especially now where anyone with a laptop has access to more tools than the pioneers did in their early stages.
I hear a lot of people trying to make things sound cool. It’s almost like the loudness wars of the music industry, but it’s the coolness wars for sound design where people are trying to make you say wow. But, is it what the scene called for? That’s the aspect of Sound Design that requires a person.
Technology is going to keep making things easier and amazing, things like iZotope RX can salvage old sound libraries or recordings in amazing ways. I’m no luddite, I love all the plugins and equipment. I just hope we all use it without losing sight of what the scene actually needs.”
For anyone starting out in sound design, we asked Robert if he has any advice for those new to the industry:
“That’s hard to say. With fast internet access available today, I’m not sure if companies have as many runner positions needed as when I started. Keep an eye out for opportunities and be prepared. Don’t expect people to wait for you to catch up.
I’d be wary of articles or YouTube videos where a professional says that your equipment doesn’t matter. Believe me, it matters. Not having the correct or highest caliber gear shouldn’t stop you from pursuing the field. But the software and gear you use make a big difference. It’s easy to say it doesn’t matter once you have access to it. You should work hard at any job and save up. You will slowly acquire what you need. Also, be careful with following the advice of novices on YouTube or the internet. They are good to spark ideas but they usually get the details wrong about how to deliver materials to the dubstage etc. Let’s put it this way. You’re not going to be able to deliver your tracks in Reaper at any reputable facility. Not yet.
I would avoid going into debt for school. Unless, you are certain they have a placement program and good connections in the industry. You’d be paying for that perk more than anything. And no matter how stellar a student you were, do not expect to land a great sound design position. I’d imagine you still have to earn your stripes to get into the union.
Lastly, do not stumble into sound design because some article says that it’s easy to repurpose the investment you made in your music gear by getting into sound for post or gaming. Yes, it’s similar and requires many of the same skills, but it also requires long hours and an unfathomable commitment. You can easily burn out if you’re only doing this because a music career didn’t work out for you. Mostly, you have to make sure you genuinely love it.share this article:
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We are excited to be attending this year’s GDC Game Developers Conference to showcase our unique sound design software range which includes Igniter, Weaponiser, Dehumaniser and Reformer. GDC is the world’s largest professional game industry event and takes place in San Francisco from March 18th to 22nd.
We will be part of the Scottish Development International showcase and can be found at Booth S1055 in the main hall and the Sennheiser booth where we’ll have an interactive Reformer Pro installation. Get more info here.
We’ll be joining the IASIG Audio Mixer event on March 20th, where IASIG aim to bring together audio experts to share their knowledge and help improve the state of the art in audio for games, websites, VR content, and other interactive performances. Get more info here.
Krotos’ CEO Orfeas Boteas will be part of the Audio Design for Mixed Reality Applications panel on discussion hosted by Sennheiser on March 21st from 6pm.
We’ll also be hosting a free sound design masterclass and Q&A at Pyramind Studio to showcase Igniter, our newest VST plugin for creating real-world or sci-fi vehicle and engine sound effects with ease. In this special tutorial you’ll get in-depth insights and learn everything about Igniter, how it works and how you can use it to design, perform and automate complex vehicle and engine sound effects in your DAW.
All masterclass attendees will be entitled to 30% discount on all Krotos products. The session is free, but spaces are limited. Just sign up via Eventbrite to reserve your spot.Sign Up Now
GDC takes place between March 18 – 22 at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. If you’re interested in setting up a meeting anytime during the conference week, please get in touch.Contact Read More
The Sound Design Bundle 2 is the complete Krotos package and includes our four flagship products and two library bundles at 30% OFF: Dehumaniser 2, Reformer Pro, Weaponiser Fully Loaded, Igniter Full Tank, Krotos Bundle 1 Library and Battle Bundle. The ultimate sound design solution at unbeatable value, these unique plugins and libraries offer powerful and high-speed creation of sound and voiceover effects, Foley, creature sounds, weapons, vehicles and much more.
Dehumaniser 2 Overview
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The Krotos Sound Design Bundle presents our three flagship products at a discounted price: Dehumaniser 2, Reformer Pro (including the Krotos Bundle 1) and Weaponiser Fully Loaded. Offering a professional solution for all your sound design needs, these unique plugins offer powerful and high-speed creation of creature sounds, foley, SFX, weapons and much more.Back to all videos Related Videos
Dehumaniser 2 Overview
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