Tag Archives: Creator Stories

Jane Creating Sound for Video: Creating as a composer and filmmaker


SoundClouder Jonathan Ochmann is a freelance filmmaker and composer from western Germany. Jack of all trades, Jonathan writes screenplays, has directed short films and is a visual effects artist. He also dabbles in composing music for video.

Jonathan uses SoundCloud to showcase his experience in both composing and directing. When he connects with a filmmaker interested in his work, Jonathan also offers help with visual work advice. “That way, I’m pretty much always ending up doing work on both ends and not getting enough sleep.”

Being able to juggle both work as a sound and video creator comes down to finding creators who are even more successful and hardworking as inspiration to improve his work. “I’m always looking for people who work harder than myself, who are smarter and more creative and most importantly more critical of my own work than I could ever be due to the inevitable lack of objective distance I have to it. Obviously it becomes increasingly harder to find these people when you keep pushing yourself and try to work 15 hours every day but when you do it’s really rewarding. Very few things are as much fun as working with people who have similar work ethics but hopefully completely different backgrounds and interests that expand your creative and personal horizons.”

Stumbling across a vast network of creators was Jonathan’s biggest surprise when he signed up for SoundCloud to have a place to store his compositions.

“After I saw that beautiful waveform player on a science blog, I totally judged it by its cover, which led me to sign up with the sole intention of hosting some compositions that I had written, not knowing that there was a whole community of creators and listeners behind that initial appeal of the user interface,” he said. “And it turned out that a lot of filmmakers and game developers were already using SoundCloud to look for new material and I was approached by a number of different people who asked if they could either use my existing music for their work or if I would be interested in composing original music for projects,” Jonathan said.

In light of this, Jonathan points to personal connections that he’s made with people on SoundCloud as the best part of his SoundCloud experience.

“When you live in a digital realm almost 24/7 like I do and are almost exclusively interested in super geeky stuff, it can be a little hard to find people in your physical surroundings to bounce ideas off of, or just have a good chat without boring them to death. And I guess that extension of one’s reach is a quality of the Internet in general, but for me specifically, SoundCloud has provided a platform and an interface to connect with a bunch of really talented people.”

This wraps up our series of hearing from creators who have experimented with video. Have you ever composed or created music for video? Let us know in the comments. We’ll be sharing more stories from the community so stay tuned.

Jane Creating Sound for Video: A Creative Commons Journey


Ted Laderas is a sound engineer and an amateur cellist from Portland, Oregon. A track called “Silhouettes” he submitted for the “Instagr/am/bient” weekly challenge from communal sound-making SoundCloud group Disquiet Junto has landed in different videos through Creative Commons. See the videos in which “Silhouettes” has been used here.

“It’s incredibly energizing to see that people like your music so much to include it in their video,” says Ted, who says “Silhouettes” has led to opportunities to work with dance choreographers and more video producers. “It provides me with new contexts with which to think of my music.”

SoundCloud has become a tool for Ted to showcase his portfolio of sounds easily. “SoundCloud has been incredibly useful as a way to show my work to others, especially video producers. I keep a wide variety of tracks available on my page, and one of the people I worked with who produced a video for Stumptown Coffee discovered a track he wanted to use in the video.”

Beyond using SoundCloud as a tool to upload and maintain his work, connecting and being inspired by the community has compelled him to continue to create music. From participating in SoundCloud groups like Disquiet Junto or fuelling feedback from track comments to create an album, Ted finds that putting your work out via Creative Commons means more people can hear your work.

“Hone your craft,” he says, “Put it out there for people to hear, even if you’re not completely finished. Listen to audience feedback, but don’t be a slave to it. Encourage like-minded people and share their work with others. Be grateful for what you’ve achieved. Your positivity will drive you forward.”

We’re continuing to profile more creators involved in creating for video and film. Stay tuned on the blog, Tumblr and Twitter this week.

Brendan Interviews With SoundCloud Creators at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

One of the best aspects of our time on the Royal Mile at Edinburgh Festival Fringe was connecting in person with many local SoundCloud creators. We sat down for interviews with former SoundClouder of the Day and singer/songwriter Amy Duncan, Dave Hook from Scottish hip hop group Stanley Odd, and folky Royal Mile regular Megan D.

Amy Duncan + SoundCloud

Amy Duncan

When Amy Duncan dropped out of music college and moved back to Glascow, she was unable to bring her double bass, her primary instrument at the time. Luckily, “There was a guitar sitting propped up in the corner of the flat I was staying in. I just picked it up and started making little tunes on the guitar and then started singing.” Now four albums into her music career, the multi-instrumentalist is playing out regularly with a wide variety of collaborators.

Her recent Creative Scotland funded album Cycles of Life gave her the opportunity to work with acclaimed producer Calum Malcolm. What was it like, working with a producer for the first time? Intimidating, but then great:

Amy’s main collaborator, Fiona Rutherford, a harpist and composer herself, “opened up the whole [local] folk world [of collaborators].” For her recent show at the Festival Fringe, Amy was joined on stage by Fiona and many other collaborators:

Amy says being named SoundClouder of the Day gave her “such a boost,” and finds the commenting on SoundCloud “really really helpful”:

The Fringe show was recorded for everyone unable to attend it and several of the tracks have been uploaded to Amy’s SoundCloud profile. Hear more of her interview, including what being SCOTD was like, on the Community Team’s profile.



Stanley Odd


Scottish hip hop group Stanley Odd, fronted by mc and lyricist Dave Hook, have had an excellent year – their album Reject was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year Award and they toured New York City for the first time. Demand for tickets was so high that they had to add shows.

We sat down with Dave for a wide ranging conversation about his life and music. He’s an energetic, positive, and well-informed person so when we asked him what it was like to play shows in the birthplace of Hip Hop, we weren’t surprised when he said it was “amazing”:

The most surprising aspect of that trip was realizing how many people had discovered their music through online means like SoundCloud:

Like his lyrics, Dave was honest and thoughtful when interviewed. Because it’s still fairly rare to hear the Scottish accent in contemporary music, let alone in hip hop, we were curious as to how he came to find his voice:

More of his interview is also available on the Community Team’s profile.

(photo by Jannica Honey)


SoundCloud + Megan DMegan D

And now the story of a magical thing that happened at the SoundCloud Shack. Comedians Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin were podcasting live from the shack, talking occasionally with people they’d pull in off the street. SoundCloud creator Megan D happened to walk by on her way to busking up the Royal Mile. After a few moments of convincing, she agreed to stop and play a song. A crowd began to gather as she started singing.

If you haven’t been to Fringe, you should know that is difficult to get people’s attention on the Royal Mile. There are hundreds of performers competing for  attention. But Megan transfixed everyone. No one spoke, they just stood in silence waiting for her to finish. And when she did, the crowd burst into a sustained applause. It was clear to everyone present that we’d experienced one of those rare but incredible spontaneous moments made possible by live music. Megan first walks by at 16:20 in the below recording of the podcast.

Naturally, we asked her to come back and perform on her own the following day. This is Megan’s first years as a licensed busker: “Last year, I didn’t busk a lot, but I did go to lots of shows. But this year is the first year that I’ve got the busking license and I’ve been busking everyday and loving it.”

Megan first posted her music to SoundCloud about a year ago, when no one knew she was writing music. The reaction was instant and positive:

 Hear more from Megan in this set, posted to the Community Team profile.