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Soundbake is the boutique sample library brand created by Kirsten Evans. She creates interesting sounds to help provide musicians with the means to find their own special sound. We decided to chat to Kirsten and find out more about her instruments and creative techniques.

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Tell us how you got into the business of making sample libraries...

Tell us how you got into the business of making sample libraries...

I taught myself to write code for my own sample libraries at the end of 2019 whilst I was working for a Swedish film composer, Jon Ekstrand, and living in Stockholm. Moving from the UK to work for Jon, I was given the chance to create tons of musical sound design materials for Jon; the collection of wav files started to build, and I just had to find a better way of collating everything into a useable format. I decided to create project specific libraries that Jon could add to his template! Ever since then I have continued to make sample libraries for Jon, including my free libraries BROKEN STRINGS and AURAL TRADITION, and have started to create my own libraries for my new sample library company soundbake.

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Tell us a little about your studio - main components, how it came together...

I have recently just finished building a new studio! Everything is new, apart from my 2013 Mac Pro that I run as my main computer. I use Logic Pro X when working on my own projects but also use Cubase, Stylus RMX and ReCycle to create loops and samples for other composers. I managed to grab a pair of limited edition grey HS8s to go in the new studio alongside a new Universal Audio Apollo interface and an AKG C414 to capture some new sounds for my sample libraries.

The thing that people notice first in my studio is the fact that I have tried to bring a lot of nature into the space: I have moss panels acting as sound absorbers, a layer of eco-friendly fake grass for my monitors to sit on and a display of material roses to add some colour to the studio. Working environments need to be inspiring as well as functional in the end!

View Broken Strings (Free Download)

Tell us a little about your recording techniques and the people you work with...

My aim with soundbake is to create intimate yet powerful sounds that composers and musicians alike can manipulate into something unique for their music, and to create this type of soundworld I often use contact mics to collect samples for a new virtual instrument. To add yet more character, I try to use my own handmade contact mics and gather as many sounds from one sound source as possible!

The instruments that I have sampled so far have, ironically, all been broken in one way or another. You can get the most fascinating sounds from perfectly crafter instruments, but you can get even more intriguing sounds from those that have been well loved.

Moving forwards, soundbake will be working with a number of solo woodwind players and ensembles across Europe to remotely record samples for a new series of evolving textural libraries. In the times of a pandemic our industry is changing and through soundbake I look to find new ways of recreating that same buzz musicians have when playing side by side, remotely.

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What plug-ins or outboard do you use?

Amongst all of the plugins that I use to edit my samples there are always two pieces of software that I include within my editing process without fail: RX7 and Soundtheory Gullfoss EQ.

All of the RX7 tools help me to isolate element of the sound that I want to highlight and clean up any rumbles, room noise or unwanted blemishes in my recordings. The Soundtheory Gullfoss intelligent EQ adapts to my recordings as they play through and helps me to highlight and enhance my sounds further.

Either one of these is a must have!

View Aural Tradition (Free Download)
Tell us a little about your recording techniques and the people you work with...
What is the library that you created that you are most proud of?

What is the library that you created that you are most proud of?

I think that my favourite soundbake library would have to be BROKEN STRINGS, closely followed by FRACTURED STRINGS! BROKEN STRINGS was the first evolving textural library that I had ever created and was the library that tested my coding skills the most, requiring me to learn how to do everything from scratch. I think I really refined the look and feel for soundbake with FRACTURED STRINGS which is a library that took a lot of inspiration from BROKEN STRINGS. FRACTURED STRINGS was my opportunity to build a library and brand that had the same level of creativity as part of the marketing and packaging as it does in the creation of the sounds themselves. "What's with the food?" Well, as an artistic tool for creatives, I wanted soundbake to be a quirky and innovative take on the virtual instrument concept, and a place to reenergise the way that we perceive these musical tools. Sometimes we can get stuck in our ruts and a little bit of fun can help us out of this.

View Soundbake on Youtube:

"Do you have any interesting plans for the future?"

soundbake is a brand that I hope, one will, will be seen as an educator as well as a sample library company. The overarching aim for soundbake will be to create a hub for emerging media composers to gain knowledge about the media music industry, and for said composer to use soundbake as a platform to springboard off of into a media music career as an interim to assisting.

Every week I will be uploading industry related videos to the soundbake YouTube channel where we will be talking about what it is like to be an assistant right now and how those who are trying to break into the industry can push forwards despite this pandemic. We will also have a 'soundbake recipes series promoting tracks that have been made with soundbake instruments as well as ideas for soundbake instrument combinations. Plus, we will be sharing some snack sized tips on our Instagram that help with workflow, setup and other media music related info!

Our next soundbake instrument will be delving deeper into our evolving textural instrument idea, and keep your eyes peeled for some boutique foodie holiday treats!

View Fractured Strings
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