Sound design is about listening. It’s not about what you create, but the things you leave out.
The Unfinished is me, composer and sound designer, Matt Bowdler. I live in Oxford with my wife and two daughters.
I have been creating cutting edge, cinematic sound design for less than a decade, but my sounds are regularly used on Hollywood movies, AAA game scores and hit TV shows around the globe.
I have collaborated with the likes of Hans Zimmer, Stephen Barton, Sascha Dikicyan, Martin Phipps, Lorne Balfe and Paul Haslinger.
And I’ve also created original synth programming and sound design for audio developers such as u-he, Spectrasonics, Spitfire Audio, SonicCouture and Access synths.
To have a creative sonic partner when putting together the musical world for a TV show or film is such a joy. Matt understands the projects we work on instinctively, and provides unique sounds to bring life to the characters.
The Unfinished patches don’t feel like presets – I’ve used them on three very different movies in the last few months. Incredibly imaginative and useable.
It takes A LOT for me to be inspired by synth patches. It’s so refreshing to know that I can load up patches by The Unfinished and find instant inspiration. There’s a “soul” to Matt’s sounds that is hard to find in today’s overcrowded marketplace. Thank you Matt.
Each time I download the latest collection from The Unfinished and start scrolling through the sounds I feel like a kid on Christmas morning unwrapping presents. Beautiful, dark, ethereal, angry, lush, intense and much more in every set. I’m a fan.
The Unfinished sound additions are unique and inspiring. The sounds are exceptionally crafted and are easily implemented in any project. The Unfinished packs are extremely applicable for scoring all types of media and I highly suggest adding them to your sound library.
As a regular user of Omnisphere, Zebra and the NI products I’m constantly amazed at how often Matt is able to produce such brilliant patches for the synths I love. He seems to breathe life into my plugins every month in a way that no one else can. Keep up the awesome work. I can’t wait for the next release.
A LIFE OF SOUND DESIGN
The best thing about being a sound designer (and a composer) is that 75% of the job is listening. Listening to music, listening to people tell their stories, listening to the environment you’re in. Listening to the space in between sounds.
Being a good sound designer is not about what you make, it’s about what you leave out. Honesty, integrity, not taking short cuts. What you choose to delete, what you feel isn’t good enough, is what shapes you.
You’ve also got to enjoy it. Your pleasure in programming a synth or manipulating audio comes through in your ideas. That is why I only create sounds I would 100% use in my own projects. If it doesn’t enthuse me, how can I expect it to grab anybody else’s attention?
I love sound. Music has been with me since I was very young. My dad would listen to Mahler, my brother would listen to Ultravox. It’s all in there somewhere. But I was always interested in the sound of storytelling. Films, television, radio… the interplay between music and the natural environment, how specific syllable sounds could make dialogue more tragic, more humorous. And I’ve always enjoyed design: the aesthetic of ideas. Sound isn’t just about what you hear, but what you see, taste and feel.
Sound is a journey. It can evoke in you emotions and memories you had forgotten, or merely misplaced. It can take you to a specific moment in time. It can take you to places you’ve never been.
The wind in the trees, my young daughters’ laughter, a heavily detuned saw wave… I just listen. Breathe it in. Engage the senses. And pass it on.