Produce Sound Relaunches as Creative Music and Audio Agency
Produce Sound is announcing it’s relaunch as an ‘Audio Agency’. We managed to have a one-on-one sesh with Produce’s owner, Louis Enslin, who also happens to be one of South Africa’s most locally and internationally awarded Composers and Sound Designers. Yup, it was a big day here at iDidTht HQ. Louis broke down the thinking behind Produce’s new positioning, why one of the most well established sound studios in SA would choose to shake things up and most importantly guys, what exactly an ‘Audio Agency’ is?!
Formally trained as a sound engineer with over 20 years’ experience in live sound, studio recording, music production, jingle composition and post-production, Louis is perhaps most importantly, damn passionate about making the industry and the business of sound better. Louis has been steering the Produce ship since 2004 and in the meantime countless sound companies, audio suites, boutiques, in-house sound teams or just kiff guys with laptops and microphones in their garages, have popped up all over the place. In short, the industry has become saturated with ‘sound engineers’– so how do you differentiate yourself?
Louis: ‘At Produce, we’ve always been focused on offering advanced audio solutions. We are not just button pushers, we are Audio Creatives. We’ve always offered more, but now we have fully evolved and it’s officially time to relaunch as an Audio Agency.’
iDidTht: ‘Congratulations, but we can already hear agency peeps gathering their pitchforks. Are you out to steal their clients?’
Louis: ‘Haha, not at all. We’re not after their clients and we don’t want to steal any brands from anyone. We sell creative sound solutions to them. You’re the agency, you connect with the client, you’ve done the research, you know the history, you know the strategy and then you write the script. What we’re now offering is for you to brief us earlier and let us in on your content creation process. Produce then offers you a treatment on what we can create for your script, whether it’s going to live on radio, TV or online. Think of it as the same way a Director treats a script – and we won’t charge you anything extra! That’s what we mean by relaunching as an Audio Agency – we’re solutions driven instead of just being button pushers.’
iDidTht: ‘So you’re kind of like the agency’s agency?’
Louis: ‘Yeah, I like that.’
iDidTht: ‘This seems like a lot of extra work for no extra money. Why on earth are you offering this?
Louis: ‘We’ve actually always offered this but we are now really pushing Advertising Creatives to take full advantage of it. In the end we want to create better work and this is how you do it.‘
How the Process of Sound has Changed
As someone who has been a leader in the sound and mixing game for so long, we thought we’d take the opportunity to get some insights from Louis on how the audio landscape has changed over the past say 7 years. Apart from the obvious technological advancements like VR and Augmented Reality, Louis explains that the biggest change that has impacted the industry is the shift from film to digital. Louis: ‘When Directors used to shoot on film the entire process of creating a 30” commercial for instance would just take longer. Due to the fact that film would need to be processed and editing equipment wasn’t as advanced, one commercial took between 2 weeks to a month to complete. That meant that agencies had more time to brief sound studios and we then in turn had more time to offer comprehensive treatments or even pilots. We actually ended up having at least a full day to creatively riff with clients and artists in studio. Nowadays we’re lucky to even see scripts before we’re recording and we usually end up with around 2 hours in the sound suite.’
To navigate out of this creative cul-de-sac, Produce Sound is now offering the industry a slight throwback to the golden era, without costing you any more money. In fact you’ll probably end up saving money because you won’t end up burning studio time. Produce is giving ad Creatives the opportunity to meet earlier in the process in order for them to provide a sound treatment on scripts. The Produce creative team, including Louis of course, will take the time to fill in the scripts, give them texture, create a story around them, make them more of a communications piece or just add some context, texture or substance. Louis: ‘There are things we can do that the rest of the industry might not even know of and I think that will change the way people see us and also our roles. We’re not just the guys with the equipment who press record – anyone can do that with in-house audio suites and in-house production teams. At Produce we offer creative sound solutions.’
Produce Really Did That
Choosing some of our favourite campaigns from the Produce shed was no easy feat. There are just so many! Below is some of the work we all know and love and some of them also put South Africa on those fancy international award show stages. Really great work can happen if you give it time and treat it right – just the kind of thing an Audio Agency offers.
The Kickass Produce Team
Produce runs as a collective and is home to Louis Enslin, Johan Theron, Theo Potgieter, Nathi Luthango and Jo Darling including a dedicated production and support department: Nelisa Ndzakayi, Andile Ngqola, and Phumzili Solinda who ‘help facilitate the most efficient and trouble-free production process.’
Apart from wanting to shake up the industry, Produce also has a four studio facility to back them up. The operation has four ProTools HDX and HD Native final mix studios. They offer Dolby 5.1 mixing with full Dolby E encoding facilities, music recording and producing facilities and VR (Audio for Virtual Reality and 3D Binural audio). Their services include transcoding, audio re-stripe to picture and cloud-based broadcast file submission services – tbh gang, we have no idea what all that is, but it sounds legit and we figured it would make sense to you.
Not only are they officially offering a new service to the industry, but Produce Sound has also updated its logo and given the website a makeover. In fact, their new website and fresh rebrand is all business in the front and party at the back. There’s a super fun section where you can send requests to Louis and his team asking them to produce the weird and wonderful sounds you’ve always wanted to hear. Anything from what a TV sounds like falling from a 2 storey building to getting them to record someone talking underwater – in their free time, they’ll grab their mics and go for a dip! We gave it a try…
Audio Idea from iDidTht: ‘A Singing Robot’
Produce send us this ‘Robot singing gibberish with an 8-bit drum beat’
Audio Idea from iDidTht: ‘An ant on drugs’
Produce send us this ‘Crazy Ant on Steroids’
Louis has ensured that his team and studio space at Produce has stayed up to date and also that they are now able to lead the charge in modern-day sound solutions and audio creativity. But don’t fret, Produce still offers their clients delicious toasties and cappuccinos all day errday and you’re always invited to Popcorn-Fridays! At the heart of Produce is a team of passionate Sound Creatives who truly want to make the advertising industry better and we’re all about that life! Also, they still happily (and thankfully for all of us), live by their mantra: ‘Gooi mieilies!’
Produced by the iDidTht Content Studio
Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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This Editorial is paid for by Produce Sound. Want our studio to create content that puts your agency/company/kickass ad you made in bright lights for the whole industry to see? View or editorial packages or contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make it happen! #Boom