MUSIC+SOUND AWARDS TALK TO...
CEO + Founder
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, our sponsors, Krotos Audio develop innovative technologies that fundamentally advance the art of sound design.
Featured in blockbusters like Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Jungle Book, Far Cry 4 and Doom, Krotos’ Dehumaniser has wowed Hollywood and the video game industry by making it possible for actors to perform otherworldly creature voices. Dehumaniser Live, the middleware plugin for interactive media, made its debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in The Life of Us, a VR experience from Within. Reformer, Krotos’ latest innovation, makes it possible for sound designers to perform a library of sound effects with their voice or any other audio input. Paula Fairfield, sound designer on Game of Thrones, called Reformer “insanely awesome”.
Founder and CEO, Orfeas Boteas, explains here how he and his team are making their mark on the world of sound...
Can you tell us a bit about your background in sound and what led to you founding Krotos?
My first degree was a BSc in Music Technology and Acoustics. After my graduation, I worked for a few years in Athens doing audio post-production, on location recordings for commercials, documentaries, TV-shows and short films. Additionally, I did music composition for commercials.
I decided that I wanted to do something more creative and get involved more in the game and film Industry. I moved to Scotland in 2011 to study an MSc in Sound Design at the University of Edinburgh while doing some freelance projects.
For my final project, I developed a vocal processor for making monster and creature sounds called Dehumaniser. After posting a video demonstration online, sound designers started showing great interest in the project, so I put it on my webpage for free download. Afterwards, I started receiving e-mails from recognised professionals in the industry that used the software for several films and games all over the world. I was excited about the response and after getting such positive feedback from all these professionals, I started working part-time on the commercial version while doing other freelance work. When Dehumaniser Pro was ready, I incorporated Krotos ltd and after a successful release I decided to do that full time.
Can you give us the low-down on Krotos’ software offerings and tell our readers how it can help in their work process?
Krotos develops innovative technologies that aim to fundamentally improve the way sound is designed. Our flagship vocal processing software, Dehumaniser, was first released back in 2013. It has been used to create all kinds of creature and robot sounds in blockbusters like Stranger Things, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Jungle Book, Far Cry, and Star Trek.
Our second product, Reformer, makes it possible for sound designers, music producers and musicians to perform any library of sound effects in real- time. It delivers the authenticity of real sounds without hours of editing and layering. For example, if a film needs the sound of a big cat roar doing multiple expressions, that would traditionally require hours of tiger sounds, editing the roars until they fit the visuals perfectly. Using Reformer, it can be done instantly by performing our Bengal Tiger library in real time with your voice or any other live input. The same applies to more complex sound design like mechanical effects and Foley, and if you are a musician and might want to use your microphone, guitar, keyboard or controller to trigger any of your own sounds. You can also throw multiple sounds from your own library into our Analysis Tool (which is included with Reformer Pro) and perform them in real time. It’s an exciting and new way of working with sound.
Both products are available to demo for free via our website so I would urge sound designers who may not have tried them before to check them out!
You launched Weaponiser last month. How’s it going down in the industry?
The Weaponiser launch has been very successful so far! We have received such a positive response from our customers about the product and about how much easier it has made their sound design workflow. We created Weaponiser to improve customisation, variation and ease of use when creating weapon sounds. There are some great commercial weapon libraries on the market, but you usually have to edit them and it takes a lot of time to create variations. Weaponiser is also great if you want to create a unique sound and avoid replicating other sounds professionals have used already. These functions make Weaponiser a very unique piece of software which is what was missing from the industry.
Weaponiser is also available as a free demo via our website.
What productions has your software been used on?
Our software has been used on many great productions, spanning both the film and TV industries as well as the games industry. TV and film productions such as Game of Thrones, Stranger Things 2 and The Jungle Book have used Krotos products for their sound design needs. Krotos products have also been used in a wide range of major games such as Doom, Killer Instinct and Far Cry 4.
Plans for the future?
We have more exciting software in planning so make sure you register on our mailing list to find out more!
The winner of The Krotos Audio Award for Best Sound Design in a Feature Film will receive $1,600 worth of Krotos plug-ins!