Ana Betancourt, CEO of Black Goblin, is a veritable expert on sound.
Her innovative company is currently working on a new collaborative platform 'Thol' to help creatives everywhere, of all disciplines and skill levels, generate custom sound effects for their projects. We just had to sit down with Ana and find out more about this exciting technology, as well as her journey as an artist and Creative Edinburgh member.
Share your origin story! How did Black Goblin get started?
Black Goblin started as a creative partnership with my then-colleague Gabrielle Haley. I had been a sound designer for about 7 years at that point and so we had the idea to band together into a company. Initially, our interest revolved around how to fix some of the problems we often found when collaborating with others. Usually, it had to do with a lack of funds to pay for high-quality sound work as well as time and a barrier of communication between audiovisual project leaders and sound specialists that made it almost impossible to keep projects within budget, let alone make a profit. To do this, we came up with the concept of creating in-house tools and libraries that allowed us to lower our costs by reducing time spent in certain activities of the sound design workflow.
2 years later and countless hours of market research and further understanding of our customers led us to the conclusion that the problems creatives faced with sound were fundamentally around communication and a fear of the technical aspects of Sound creation. And so our idea of a series of small in-house technologies grew to the concept of what is 'Thol' today and transformed into a collaboration platform that streamlines sound design processes and allows ambitious creators to generate sound effects directly into the timeline. Our company has also grown and evolved bringing together the knowledge of other creative sound practitioners, experts in artificial intelligence and other technologies that have allowed us to carry on with the development of our debut product while expanding the remit of the type of projects we can take on.
Tell us more about how Black Goblin works to make sound design accessible for all.
The key lies in our first product, Thol which is conceived as a collaboration platform which allows content creators to collaborate with sound designers or to get started with their projects in terms of Sound if they are solo creators. Our aim is not only to make sound design accessible to all but to make high quality sound design accessible, this makes a huge difference to the way we see our product and how we can best help our customers once it is live.
However the collaborations that we do and the way we have design our services process focuses around making things accessible and making way for the Creative and artistic aspects of Sound design, spending more time with our clients and getting to really know what their needs and artistic goals are and helping them achieve these as best as we can.