We have just released our latest Sound.Monks reel and, if I may say so myself, it’s a true earcatcher. Not just because it showcases our best work of the last few years, but also because it tells a much broader success story: the sound of multiple creative disciplines working together harmoniously. But before we dive into our sound team’s cross-country collaboration, let’s take a moment to spotlight sound itself.
You can’t beat the impact of sound.
Call me biased, but I consider sound to be an essential part of integrated production. It has the power to fully immerse people in any type of environment. By emphasizing different moods, sound design and music can guide the attention of the listener, create a sense of anticipation, elicit emotions, spur (inter)actions, or simply bring a lot of positive energy into a room. In any case, sound can leave a big impact—sometimes it’s even the only thing that people remember from a piece of content.
Through our 2023 sound reel, which captures some of our most outstanding work for the world’s biggest brands, we aim to convey the unrivaled experiences that sound can bring. In essence, it’s a compilation of the most exciting, extraordinary and even unexpected projects that not only stuck with us, but also struck a chord with our clients and audiences.
We unify composers, musicians and sound designers across the globe.
Our sound team is spread across Argentina and the Netherlands and consists of an eclectic mix of composers and sound designers who come with a wealth of experience. Whether you need a custom composition, lively sound design, or an immaculate mix, we got you covered. As wide-ranging as sound itself, our team not only houses a diverse spectrum of skills, but each member also has their own expertise. On top of that, we have many talented musicians on board, from gifted violin players to hard-hitting drummers.
Even though our team is split across two locations, with a massive ocean in the middle, everyone is completely attuned to each other and used to collaborating on projects across continents. This comes in handy when you work with clients around the world. When one workday ends, another’s still in full swing, which allows us to leverage the benefits of covering multiple time zones in meeting tight deadlines.
For integrated production, it takes two (or more) departments to tango.
Not only is our international team able to work together effectively, despite the distance and time difference, we also love to join forces with other departments—and it so happens that our internal Films, Post and Animation people are just a few desks away. One especially stunning outcome of these collaborations is the 2022 animation reel, a project that’s very close to our hearts. We composed original music and got to record it with the world-renowned Metropole Orkest at their homebase in Hilversum, which was a mind-blowing experience in and of itself.
Throughout composing this piece, our Senior Music Composer & Sound Designer Gabriel Barredo, who is based in Buenos Aires, worked closely together with the animators to ensure perfect alignment with all the visuals. He told me that he was very impressed by the music brief. “It had conceptual and technical depth and the music references were awesome,” Gabriel said. “Also, the sound team provided a lot of ideas and feedback so that I could keep improving the piece. It was a great experience because everyone was so involved in the process. It became abundantly clear that we all love what we do, and everyone on the team is willing to share their knowledge, experience and ideas—even if we are thousands of miles away from each other.”
Hereafter, our Senior Composer Pim van den Heuvel took over as music supervisor, creating scores for every section of the orchestra. He also attended the recording session and consulted with the orchestra and its conductor. Finally, he took on the daunting task of mixing everything together—if you’re curious to see how he managed, make sure to take a peek behind the scenes.
More recently, our sound talent across the globe collaborated on a major project for Hulu’s History of the World Part II. To promote the highly anticipated release of this hit series, Media.Monks designed, animated and developed an interactive game for mobile, web and Xbox. Users can spring into the silliness of the show as they’re guided through hilarious historical recreations, such as “The Big Burp” that created the universe. As we were responsible for the music, this project required all our sound design experience, composing power and time zone flexibility. The experience features a massive soundtrack consisting of 11 tracks in wildly different styles. As players progress, the music seamlessly moves from one style to the next and pulls them into new eras. Moreover, the aim of the sound design was to make each environment truly come to life. This required close collaboration with our creatives and developers, as we produced nearly 600 sound files and VO lines—some done by Mel Brooks himself!—on top of the entire music system.
Sound is the heartbeat of every production.
Needless to say, having sound in-house as an integrated part of the team has many perks. The biggest benefit of them all is that tighter alignment with our creative and other teams automatically results in a more cohesive end product. Whether we are sound designing for an interactive experience, composing a catchy tune, recording VO in different languages, or mixing for the big screen, we always work in close collaboration with our directors and creatives to deliver our best work possible—which you’ll hear when you tune into our 2023 sound reel.
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