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Blastwave FX Sound Design Competition Banner

Results (Top Twenty)

Winner (scroll down for top twenty and judges' comments): Tobias Poppe of Dusseldorf, Germany (now Los Angeles, CA) has won the recent Blastwave FX Sound Design Competition. Poppe and all other participants downloaded 50 free sound effects from www.blastwavefx.com and created a soundtrack to footage of water balloons hitting people in the face. The winning prize was a one-year Mix Magazine subscription and the BLASTDRIVE ($5,999), a 397 GB Comprehensive Lifetime Sound Design Solution (CLSDS) featuring 31,700  sound effects on a Glyph Hard Drive, a sound effects search engine (Mac/PC) and recently announced Free Updates for Life.

 View the winning entry plus the next top twenty below. Click icon next to play button to select videos.

“After listening to the sounds provided by Blastwave FX, I BLASTDRIVE started manipulating in all directions”, commented contest-winner Poppe on his artistic approach. “Putting sound on slow motion gives you a lot of opportunities to go crazy, but I wanted to be a bit more simple, serious, refreshing, positive and open - like water. A little bit in conflict is the extreme slow motion of the footage, which I felt I needed to serve. To do so I used more segmented kind of sounds and slow, low bassy sounds to complement the slow visual motion.”

Notable Judges  for the Blastwave FX Sound Design Competition included 2009 Academy Award Winner Richard King (Dark Knight), 2000 Academy Award Winner Dane Davis (Matrix) and 2009 Golden Reel Nominee Charles Deenen (Need for Speed: Undercover).
Speaking to the quality of the Blastwave FX sound design entries, Dane Davis (Matrix)  said, “I found the
selection process to be maddeningly difficult!  After listening to each entry several times, I then listened to my favorite nine over and over and over again.”  Blastwave FX Sound Design Competition Balloons video Laura Sinnott, Blastwave FX’s contest director said,  “This competition was a success for Blastwave FX – we had an unprecedented number of contestants register and participate from all over the world. The quality of submissions were stellar overall, and the enthusiastic reaction
to the sound design community we are building and Blastwave FX sound effects library was inspiring! We’re already looking forward to the next competition!”



Top Twenty

(judges' comments below):

1. Kyle Gray (Bethesda, Maryland), Sound Designer and Editor for Animation, Shorts and Film. 

2. Michael Caisley (currently Chicago, IL), Sound Designer for Games.

3. David Barnaby 

4. Joseph Mollinelli 

5. Frank van Bracht

6. Sebastian Marin

7. Kaplan Akincilar

and...(in no particular order)

Sam Lehmer

Adrian Jolly

Francisco Garcia

Carlos Zarattini

Austin Shannon

Lars Gelhausen

Michał Fojcik

Alex ? (please email us your full name!)

Cleveland Bledsoe Jr.

Will Morris

Phil Booth

Marshall Watson

Roland Shaw


 Judges' Comments

Charles Deenen:

What i was looking for was the following:
- Sound design which served the purpose of picture; to promote water
- Fresh approach, without sounding too distracting from the purpose
- Bending of sounds in an interesting way
- sounds which didn't remind you of other commercials or movies as to avoid correlation to those movies/commercials

#1 Tobias Poppe

On first play, this really stuck out as one of the best ones.  Interesting sounds without too much over-processing.  It really served the purpose of the commercial well.  Great work.

#2 David Barnaby

This one didn't struck me at first, but grew on me rapidly. The refreshing feeling at the end made me believe that this was clean water, and made it a really neat spot.  Sounds were not too over-processed, but just enough to give it a fresh edge.  It served the purpose of the commercial really well.

#3 Sebastian Marin

The "glass" music made this commercial bring the message of "clean water" home very well.  Sebastian took a big risk by not focusing on water-sounds, but instead tell the message with glassy sounds.  Risky, but job very well done.

Dane Davis:

I found this to be maddeningly difficult!  After listening to
the top twenty several times I then listened to my favorite nine over and over
and over.  And then my fav four way too many times......

There are strengths and weaknesses in all of these cool submissions.  It
would be easy to cut together the strong parts of each into one killer
piece... But that is not the task at hand!  In the end it's a flip of a four
sided coin.  Here's the best order I can come up with for the top three:

#1 Kyle Gray   

The time suspension in the beginning is very transporting. I appreciate
the sustained subjectivity and soft, less aggressive feel of the splashes.
The neighborhood sounds in the beginning help give a jumping off point to
the reality departure of the water balloon time experience. The subtle
musical tension and release seems to fit the drama and playfulness of the

#2 Joseph Molinelli

The musicality of this one serves the balletic nature well and keeps it
whimsical, almost revelatory rather than militaristic until it resolves into
a literal splash on the Main Title. Continuing literal splashes on the end
titles helps to seal the whole thing into a remembered experience.

#3 David Barnaby   

The strong pre-impact time suspension suggests more mystery than doom,
which is appropriate. The splash Impacts are abstract enough to avoid too
violent a gesture. The "refreshed" breaths add a needed lightness and
"survival" to the resolution. Everybody's ok.

Richard King

#1 Michale Caisley

All the entries were very well done, but this one grabbed my attention because it bedded the water theme into a real world environment, done with a bit of wit. There was a sense of telling a story with the sounds, which obviously helps one to connect to the visuals. The water theme was nicely executed - from the big whompy impacts to the sound of delicate droplets.

#2  Frank van Bracht

#3 Kaplan Akincilar

For more information about the competition in general click below:


For more information on sound design competitions and new sound effects libraries, contact Pro Sound Effects (master distributor and licensor for Blastwave FX) via email at blastwavefx@prosoundeffects.com





Copyright 2009 Blastwave FX