How an Edinburgh company's tool will generate sound for the video industry

One of the biggest barriers to creating quality videos is sound and while some video producers revel in the opportunity that it provides to give depth and feeling to their videos others see it as a necessary evil.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 7:35 am
Updated Friday, 11th September 2020, 6:24 am

Thanks to Ana Betancourt and her co-founder of Black Goblin Audio, Gabrielle Haley, it will soon be possible for video producers to upload their video and then have accompanying sound effects for the clip suggested for it.

For video producers this development could be groundbreaking.

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The days of paying for stock sound effects or the frantic dash around with a sound recorder to find suitable audio could be over.

Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

Ana said: "When we looked into the market for this product in the UK, we found that the majority of people who work in film are either working by themselves or in small companies.

"We wanted to make it possible for people to create sound that was cheaper but also really high quality and realistic.

"Many filmmakers are mainly visual and have no interest in sound. They see it as a necessary evil.

Ana and Gabriel are developing a tool that will eventually plug to existing editing packages and allow users to create any sound from scratch.

"I would describe it as an Instagram filter but for sound and video.

"You will be able to specify the sound that you want and then the software will create that sound.

"For example, you could describe the sound that you want - say a woman's footsteps in the rain - and then the tool will create that sound for you.

"As the tool develops, it will also be possible for people to upload a video and for it then to suggest the sound effects that would go along with it."

Black Goblin Audio is taking part in the Creative Informatics Resident Entrepreneur project which gives funding to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for the creative industries.

Ana says the project is helping Black Goblin Audio to develop a user interface for the tool and that a minimum viable product will be ready in October.

Ana says the tool builds on technology that was developed in the computer games industry.

"About a decade ago when you bought a computer game, you would get two discs with one containing the audio files for the game.

"Programmers began working on how they could make the game faster and better and developed procedural audio

"This technology would use mathematical equations to generate sound by telling the platform how to recreate a particular sound."

Black Goblin Audio is a participant in Creative Informatics Resident Entrepreneur project which delivered by the University of Edinburgh in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, CodeBase and Creative Edinburgh and is one of nine programmes across the UK that make up the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of the UK Government’s Industrial strategy. Creative Informatics is part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal initiative (DDI Programme) and is also supported by the Scottish Funding Council.

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