Matt Jacobson, also known as MJ, is a sound designer who was born in San Francisco and raised in Palo Alto, California. His love of sound design began when he first heard the lightsaber sound in Star Wars, attributing Ben Burtt as a huge role model for his work. He started experimenting with sounds and timbre using his tuba in his undergrad at Northwestern University in Chicago Illinois; he graduated with a degree in music performance for tuba and an ad hoc degree in sound design and technology in 2012. He moved back home to San Francisco to attend a sound and music production studio called Pyramind Studios where he discovered his love of post production and surround sound mixing and recently completed the Vancouver Film School's Sound Design for Media program. He has seven years of self-taught Pro Tools experience in addition to the Avid Pro Tools Post and Music Production Expert Certificates. He has experience with the vast majority of audio production jobs, from Boom Operating to Foley Recording; from Music Supervising to Dialogue Mixing. He is proficient in post-production editing with Pro Tools 12 HD and mixing using the D-Command and Control 24 control surfaces in professional theater environments. He has also mastered the middleware programs Wwise and FMOD for game sound implementation and has knowledgeable experience of Unity and Unreal integration coupled with a basic understanding of audio scripting.
Inspirational Sound Designers
Ben Burtt, Walter Murch, Frank Warner, Skip Lievsay, Richard King, David Farmer, Randy Thom, Gary Rydstrom, Mark Mangini
The Lightsaber from Star Wars
The BB-8 Droid, also from Star Wars, is a close second. They used actual human speech and inflection re-recorded into a talk box
I also love the screech of the Nazgûl and their Fell Beasts from Lord of the Rings. It turns out this was the manipulation of two ordinary plastic cups grinding against each other coupled with the screaming of the director's wife!
I love Altiverb, especially the ability to record and design different impulse responses.
I'm also a big fan of Futzbox (McDSP), UA Teletronix LA-2A, NI's Reaktor (particularly Whoosh), and the classic TCE/X-form and pitch shifting plugins.
My favorite microphones to use are the Neumann U87 for dialogue, the KMR 81 for Foley or SFX, and the Rode NT4 microphone for stereo recordings. For field recording devices, I use Sound Devices 722 and also have a soft spot for my little portable Zoom H5 that I carry with me at all times...because you never know when a great sound will suddenly manifest!
“Mixing is a performance. You sit down at the console, alert, playing the parts in the picture, catering to the emotion and feel of the visual, giving it life. You're a robot, you're a door, you're a laser gun...and you get into it. You should be sweating and breathing hard when it's over with.”
Ben Burtt and his lightsaber sound from Star Wars was the very first time I had ever marveled at an instance of sound design, where the sound was noticed cognitively instead of unconsciously. The very second I had heard that unique lightsaber *shhhwoom* or *bihhhzzouwh* I searched for how the sound was made: “a combination of the hum of idling interlock motors in aged movie projectors and the interference caused by a television set on a shieldless microphone.” I was captivated with the thought process regarding the genesis of that sound. Little did I know how deep that rabbit hole goes! Music and sound effects in video games and movies have the unique power to emotionally move people. I’m enamored with the idea of psychoacoustics and music psychology, or the study of the way people perceive sounds and music on a psychological level. Seriously, the next time you watch a horror movie, just turn your audio off; the movie becomes innocuous. My biggest ambition in life is to change the world with sound.
I excel at post production editing and mixing with emphasis on thoughtful sound design and implementation coupled with a proficient grasp of composition, performance (brass), field recording, Foley, and ADR in both linear and non-linear forms of media in addition to a comprehensive academic background in sound. I am a certified Pro Tools expert and also have extensive knowledge in programs such as Logic Pro, Unity, Unreal, Wwise, FMOD, Finale/Sibelius, and Reason. I am knowledgeable in synthesis techniques using Kyma, Kontakt, and Max. My favorite process is to record crazy sounds everywhere I go and implement them, letting the sound guide the picture instead of the other way around. My favorite sound besides the iconic lightsaber would have to be the disgusting squelching sound of running your hands through pumpkin guts or mac n’ cheese: absolutely perfect for mud or zombies, I love it!
Juke Box Hero (*Post Production*, Drama Feature) - Dialogue Editor, SFX Editor, Music Editor
Sesame Street Workshop - Seanna’s Ocean Friends (2018, Animated Short) - Sound Designer, SFX Recordist
Cohibernation (*Post-Production*, Documentary Feature) - Dialogue Editor
Bella Ciao! (2018, Drama Feature) - Additional Dialogue Editor
Carpe DM Ep. 5 (2017, Podcast) - Dialogue Editor
The Sounds of Healing (2016, Documentary Feature) - Production Sound Mixer (Set 2)
Brenda the Exterminator Part II (2016, Student Short Film) - Re-Recording Mixer - Dialogue, Music Supervisor, Foley Artist
Dr. Voodoo Part II (2016, Student Short Film) - Dialogue Editor, SFX Editor, Foley Editor, Production Sound Mixer, Boom Operator
Dr. Voodoo Pilot (2016, Student Short Film) - Production Sound Mixer, Boom Operator
Monster Music Factory Series (2016, Television, Five Animated Shorts) - Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer, Dialogue Editor, SFX Editor
Thank You for Shopping Star-Mart (2016, Short) - Re-Recording Mixer, Dialogue Editor, SFX Editor
Sense8 (2015, Television Episodic) - Background Actor, Intro Credits (uncredited)
MC Scammer (2014, Short) - Re-Recording Mixer, Dialogue Editor, SFX Editor
Games (and other non-linear media):
My Name is Te (2017, VR Walkthrough) - Sound Designer
Kodos (2016, Student Game) - Audio Supervisor, Lead Sound Designer, Sound Implementer
Roboseum (2016, Student Game) - Lead Sound Designer, SFX Editor
Game Audio Institute (2014) - Featured Sound Designer for Dynamic Music Implementation
Matt M. Jacobson