I'm an electronic music producer, recordist and sound effects designer at Sound Ex Machina, an independent studio producing sound effects & Foley libraries for motion picture, games, mobile, desktop & web applications, audio books & theater plays. Whether it is mixing, editing, sound effects design or recording you’ve come to the right place.
I work with clients and studios to craft unique audio storytelling experiences for any kind of audiovisual project. I’ve designed for short films, animation, mobile apps, sound logos and art exhibitions.
When I am not creating audio for media I produce mind-bending ambient electronic music under the names Mahindra Waves and InnerSonar.
SOUND DESIGNER: Portfolio
SOUND EX MACHINA: Sound Effect Libraries
COMPOSER / PRODUCER
-Specialties: Sound Designer, Composer, Field Recordist
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Interview with Kostas Loukovikas
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I’ve been working on a lot of different projects since my graduation, whether it’s recording, mixing, editing or production services for just about everything related to audio. The most common type of work, though, has to do with custom made music composition or sound design, or a combination of these two.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: As for the music production field I’m still fascinated by the work of George Martin and his extensive involvement on each of The Beatles’ albums. I think he is one of the greatest record producers of all time and the most important thing he did was filling in the gaps between the Beatles' raw talent and the sound they wanted to achieve. Regarding sound design I’m impressed by the experimental spirit of Diego Stocco, an italian sound designer and composer, who also constructs exceptional and unique musical instruments. However, I don't really get stuck listening to just the big pros. There are tons of good musicians and sound designers out there that I like to listen to and get inspired, influenced to produce my own style of work.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My main DAW is Logic pro 9. I use pretty much all software, lots of real and VST instruments like Camel Audio plugins, Native Instruments Iris and Waves. For exterior sound effects and field recordings I use the handheld ZoomH6 (although I’m going after Sound Devices shortly), TLAUDIO Ivory 5051 tube (preamp, eq, compressor and limiter), various types of microphones like Sennheiser MKH8060 (shotgun), Octava microphones, Roland M-16DX sound card, Saffire PRO 40 and Yamaha HS 8 monitors for double reference.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: It depends. If I need to sit down and compose a music theme or design a synthetic sound environment I turn on the machines, drop sounds in the DAW, turn knobs and plugins, move faders and listen to what will happen. My aim is to easily start sculpting the sound in order to get the feel that it is closer to the given directions and needs of the assignment. If we are talking about sound effects or field recording I pack all my mobile stuff and go, literally, for hunting :) Especially when there must be an exterior recording. Luckily, I live in a place with environmental diversity and it’s quite easy to access many, widely different, interesting soundscapes. Afterwords, I’m dropping them in the DAW and follow a similar procedure like the one I mentioned above. Overall, all I need for a start is to have as much as possible access to tools in order to morph the material and give it the final shape.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Imagination, I guess. I try to use my imagination and influences to bring a unique feeling to the project and not just coping patterns. The ultimate goal, always, is to deliver a specific sound striking always a balance between realism and storytelling.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I love electronic-based and trip hop music mostly. As I’m already composing and producing downtempo ambient electronic stuff for my own I like working with production centered around these genres.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I love pretty much all the tips Diego Stocco frequently posts. He is a unique sound designer and performer focused on experimental techniques and custom built instruments. The Feedforward Sounds, a video series based on advanced and experimental sound design techniques, in particular, is something that constantly blows my mind and expands the boundaries of my imagination and my perception of sound and music music production. It’s definitely worth a look! You can have a glimpse here: https://gumroad.com/diegostocco
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Here’s a couple I think they are crucial to a successful collaboration: Don’t forget the value of custom content. It gives you material that’s created to exactly match your requirements and fits with your project and vision. Sound can be hard to describe in words, so try to bring references on the table to explain what you’re after. Generally, think that the more elaborate the descriptions of your needs and goals is, the happier you’ll eventually be with our results.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I’m always trying to put myself on my customer’s shoes and be as much collaborative as I can. So, this is what I promise them; that I’ll do my best being in their shoes.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Currently I’m recording and designing sound effects for Sound Ex Machina, an independent studio producing sound effects and Foley libraries. Visit http://soundexmachina.com to listen to some of our work, and read about out leatest news.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Zoom F8 Sennheiser MKH8060, AKG K-271 MKII (headphones), Rode Blimp MkII (windshield) I’m leaving this place for plenty of AAA Batteries :) )