Ahead of their appearance at the thread X Simple Things secret location event tomorrow (October 19), David Johnston of Echoic Audio talks us through the inspirations and process of one of the most innovative and award-winning sound and music design studios.
Hi David! In a nutshell, what is Echoic Audio?
Echoic Audio is a music and sound design studio creating soundtracks for animation, motion design, branding, TV, film and digital content.
How did you get into sound design? What sparked your initial interest?
We’ve known each other a long time and both developed a passion for music production and owned small bedroom studios. It was really a chance freelance opportunity that opened the doors to this new type of work. Tom was working as a film editor on a 3D animation.
Knowing his passion for music writing he was asked to take the animation home and add some sound effects. This wasn’t something he’d done before and took to it really quickly. When he played it to me I was blown away. We both got really inspired by the creativity involved matching audio to picture and animation feels especially creative. After looking into a bunch of music and sound design studios we realised there was an industry out there. Soon after we hired a studio space and just went for it.
Can you talk about any stand-out moments for the studio?
The travelling is a fantastic part of running the studio. Having a film we’d worked on premiere at OFFF festival in 2015 was a great moment. Being on a panel at Pause Fest in Melbourne was also really exciting. The conferences and festivals surrounding this industry are always really enjoyable and its a great way to mix our passion for travelling with meeting new artists and studios. Oh wait, also moving into our new studio last summer was a real highlight.
What is something that others would find surprising about your studio?
We don’t have cardboard egg cartoons stuck to the walls.
Do you find being based in Bristol inspiring? Does the city fuel your creativity at all?
Yes of course we both find Bristol really inspiring in many ways. We made a conscious decision that we would work from Bristol rather than setting up in London where a lot of other sound studios are. To be consistently creative everyday you need to enrich your life beyond the four walls of the studio and I think Bristol’s an amazing place for this. It’s a place that really values quality of life. With its fantastic music scene, venues, festivals, art studios, quick access to countryside, incredible food scene. The list goes on. It’s also great living so close to where we work.
What sort of thing can we expect from your appearance at the thread X Simple Things event?
We’ll be talking a bit about how we started. Also highlighting how important personal work has been in our studio’s development. Plus we’ll be chatting about some of our processes in creating the work we do. Don’t expect anything too polished. We ad lib and chat very conversationally and welcome heckles at any time!
Win two tickets to thread X Simple Things!
**Click the image for your chance to win a pair of tickets to tomorrow’s event**