Sound Design and Audio Editing for audiobooks, films, multimedia and music projects
As a sound designer, composer and music producer I am creating music and sound design for films, documentaries, theatre plays and multimedia. My styles are contemporary and experimental film music as well as ethno-cultural flavoured world sounds, vibes and rhythms by using various traditional acoustic as well as electric and virtual instruments, synthesisers and field recordings. Also I have a special focus on producing, editing and mixing music and soundscapes as a combination of stereo and binaural 3D Audio for animations, audiobooks, games, virtual reality and music projects.
I have been an active musician since the early 1980s, at first mainly as a bass player in live bands and for studio sessions. From the nineties I also work as a sound designer and audio engineer in my own studio in Germany on music productions, post-mixing and premastering for many artists, record labels, media agencies, tv, film and theatre productions. In addition, various audiovisual web and multimedia concepts were realized for clients. Currently, I am working as a freelancer in my JAYSOUNDDESIGN studio for clients on music production, composing, sound design and audio post mixing as well as on my own binaural 3D audio music project.
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- Koch Music International
- Oldenburgisches Staatstheater
- Karstadt Strenesse Fashion
- Michael Sagmeister
- Espenlaub Verlag
- Rolling Stone Magazine Germany
- Messe Frankfurt
- SaturnMediaMarkt Group
- Westermann Schroedel
- DW-World Bonn
- Fairchild Books New York
- Collins Educational Glasgow
- RAG-Stiftung Essen
- Media Group One Munich
- WDR TV Cologne
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Interview with Jens Helmstedt
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Beside sound design and music production for clients, I follow continuously my own music project, where I am recording and producing Worldfusion music and soundscapes as a combination of stereo and binaural 3D Audio. To compose and record music for my project as well as in commissioned work for clients, I use various traditional instruments from different cultural regions of the world such as oud, saz, tanbur, sitar, tampura, santur, kanun and guzheng zither, array mbira, hang, tongue drum, zurna, ney and bansuri flutes as well as upright and electric bass, cello, accordion, shruti box, harmonium, electric piano, several mallet instruments, waterphone, orchestral ensemble strings and brass, but also synthesizers and self-designed virtual instruments created from different sound sources. Also I am recording global rhythms and grooves under use of a wide range of percussion from Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East, combined with jazzy vintage drums or urban electronic beats. Additionally I use field recordings of organic sounds and natural atmos. My current music albums are ´Seafarer Adventures´ with tracks inspired by adventure stories of seafarers and narrations of historical sea voyages and discoveries as well as the album ´Bronze´, inspired by the history of the Bronze Age and visits to archaeological sites of Hittites and Assyrians in Asia Minor and the new music album ´Polar´ with Ambient music and soundscapes of the polar regions. Released on Spotify and all mayor platforms.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What is binaural immersive 3D audio and for which kind of projects is it useful? - Binaural 3D Audio simulates the human spatial hearing via every kind of stereo headphones (no special models are required). When listening to stereo audio with headphones, the perception of all sources of sounds is located inside of the head between the left and right ear. With binaural 3D Audio the sound appears outside of the head and can be anywhere within a full 360° three-dimensional sphere. Voices, instruments and sounds can be positioned around the listener - in front of, behind, right, left and even below or above and everywhere in between. Binaural 3D audio sounds amazing in audiobook, radio play, shortfilm or documentary video productions and can enrich the listening experience of dialogues, atmos, foley, sound effects and music. But also music productions of artists and bands that are mixed as binaural 3D audio can sound interesting as an alternative to stereo mixing. There are also more immersive multichannel audio formats such as Ambisonics that are used for audiovisual presentations, sound installations and AR/VR projects. For music tracks or most videos I prefer to produce a combination of stereo and binaural 3D Audio,
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I have been an active musician since the early 1980s, at first mainly as a bass player in live bands and for studio sessions. From the nineties I also work as a sound designer, music producer and audio engineer in my own studio in Germany on music productions, post-mixing and premastering for many artists, record labels, media agencies, tv, film and theatre productions.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I worked on every kind of music genre when editing audio. For individual sound design I have a focus on music and audio productions of organic sounds, natural atmos and virtual acoustic environments as well as ambient / fusion / world music tracks. To compose and record soundtrack and background music, I use traditional acoustic and electric instruments, but also synthesizers. All tracks are edited with professional modern audio tools and effects. Music, foley, SFX and ambience atmos will be produced and optimised to support stories and scenes in films, animations, games, audiobooks, theatre plays or any other promotional, entertaining, documentary editorial or educational multimedia production.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Please send me a message via the contact button on my SoundBetter profile and describe your project and needs. I will send you a price offer and additional information. If you accept, I will start to work on audio editing of your already recorded audio or compose and produce new music for your project. Please send me a Quicktime movie of your animation or film scenes and your already recorded audio files via Dropbox, Google Drive, WeTransfer or I will provide an upload link to my cloud/server. I will do sound design and audio editing according to the clients wishes and the necessary specifications. After that I will provide the audio master via a password protected download link. According to the agreement one or more revisions are included.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My speciality is sound design and music production for audiobooks, films, music and multimedia projects as well as audio editing and post mixing services of already recorded music tracks, dialogue, atmos and foley recordings.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Every project is different, so there are always new challenges ... It remains exciting.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I always work for the project to realize the wishes of my clients. For this I use my many years of experience and professional tools.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: There is often a misconception about 3D Audio, because this term is often used differently by manufacturers of home entertainment audio systems. 3D Audio is not Dolby Surround 5.1. format. Within immersive 3D Audio the sounds can be positioned anywhere within a full 360° three-dimensional sphere. To get the full experience of binaural 3D audio you need to listen via headphones (no special models are required), but depending on how it is mixed it can be played also most properly on stereo speakers and soundbar systems. Multichannel 3D audio formats such as Ambisonics can be used also for sound installations and in virtual reality projects.