loudBox: The new kid on the audio block
PHILIPPINES, MAY 31, 2011 - Make some noise for loudBox, the latest addition to Amorsolo Street's Sound Row. Partners Rico Blanco, Manuel Legarda, Sach Castillo, Allan Feliciano and Edsel Tolentino have pooled their extensive industry know-how and experience to innovate advertising audio production on their terms.
Blanco, best known for Rivermaya and his successful solo career, has been a force in the music industry for nearly two decades. Sound frontman and loudBox's resident composer Castillo has earned his stripes both as a singer and songwriter. Feliciano is possibly the most prolific composer in the industry and formed Noisy Neighbors before co-founding loudBox. Legarda, known in rock circles and beyond as part of Razorback and Wolfgang, started dabbling in advertising as an audio engineer, later moving into arranging and songwriting. Joined late last year by award-winning independent creative, writer and occasional guitarist Edsel Tolentino, who takes on an agency relations role, the loudBox team is poised to bring a key change to advertising sound.
The founders saw the potential for growth, with room for another player. Most of them were formerly associated with HIT Productions. On choosing a location so close to their previous base, Castillo explained, "Everyone else is here. They could be posting a project few doors down. The main intent is to make it as easy as possible."
LoudBox officially opened in July 2010 with two studios. Expanding to the adjacent space this year, loudBox now has a terrace and a spacious mojo lounge for small events. Phase two, completed last April, now gives loudBox a total of five fully equipped post rooms and five composer rooms spread over 400 square meters. The lounge mural by Dan Matutina and the wall for temporary exhibits makes the new space a cool and laidback area for clients, composers and creatives to chill. Tolentino is positive about launching the Loudbox Play event series, an offshoot of spontaneous jam sessions, in the near future.
As a value-added offering to the existing clientele, the loudBox Tribe was convened--a music-sourcing model that engages musicians from other genres, including electronica, indie film and gaming. The production outfit's advocacy is to train promising young sound engineers and to foster new talents as a response to the issue of succession in the industry.
The process does not change the way film scorers and composers normally work, says Castillo. "It's just that they don't have to jump through the hoops that we are used to." Head of music Allan Feliciano matches the brief to a composer and asks for a melody, which he could then arrange and produce. The results have been encouraging.
Edsel Tolentino and the loudBox engineers
Within the tribe are personalities recognized in the music scene, among them Top Suzara (formerly of Freestyle), Malek Lopez, Diwa de Leon, Marcus Davis and Teresa Barrozo, who composes music for Brillante Mendoza's films. Up Dharma Down's Armi Millare is in training as a junior engineer.
The growing list of loudBox clients include DOT, Globe, Coca-cola, Datu Puti, C2 and Clear.
From the sound of it, loudBox's fresh approach and energy have such a fresh ring to it that it won't take long for the industry to sit up and listen.
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