The History of Sounddogs.com
by Rob Nokes
The sound editing company Sound Dogs was originally created in Toronto in 1989 by Greg King and Nelson Ferreira. The man “The French Connection” was based on, Detective turned Producer Sonny Grosso said to Greg and Nelson “you two work like Sound Dogs” and the name stuck. Greg’s Father illustrated the first company logo shortly thereafter. In 1991 I became Greg’s Assistant and in 1995 we moved to Los Angeles. The late Paul Huntsman of ToddAO kindly introduced us to his friend Bob Grieve, who six years earlier had declined to become a founding partner of Soundelux. Sound Dogs USA was formed with Bob Grieve, Greg King, and to Bob’s surprise myself, but that’s another story.
Sound Dogs USA was surrounded by giant companies like ToddAO, Skywalker, SoundStorm and the aforementioned Soundelux. Since we recorded a lot of great sounds we hoped to use Sounddogs.com as a marketing tool with Picture Editors, and we hoped publishing sounds would become a profitable business. Remember this was 1996, just two years earlier Amazon was launched as a book seller, and iTunes did not exist.
Bob, Greg, and I nurtured this internet company and launched it on May 1st, 1997. Back then, the web was tiny and people used slow modems. I remember our first storage tower was a Raid 5, 9 GB and it cost $5,000. Sounddogs gained notoriety and we provided sounds early on in the picture cutting stages to great movies like As Good As It Gets, Jerry Maguire, Titanic, and Stuart Little. In 1998 we were invited to a meeting with Kleiner Perkins, a Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm, but we did not exaggerate our projected sales. That distinction would be left to companies like Audio Highway, Beatnik, License Music, and Sonomic. We did work with impressive companies; Apple, Microsoft, Sun, Avid, and Digital River.
The early years were difficult though, sales were small and expenses were high. We did customer service, librarian work, marketing, basic VB programming, and spent nights fixing hardware. After Sound Dogs did "The Insider" for Michael Mann, the movie got an Academy Award nomination for best sound. My partners started to see Sounddogs as a drain on the successful sound editorial company. That was reasonable, so in 2001 we separated.
I knew the results would eventually come because Sounddogs’ customers were so enthusiastic and happy. As sales got better, I travelled the world, recording sounds and meeting people. I was in Iceland and met these people who were saying how great Sounddogs was and they had no idea that I had cofounded the company. In 2001, I met someone random in Thailand who also loved Sounddogs. People all over the world were using Sounddogs and talking about it.
In 2004 we acquired the sound library and trademark of SoundStorm, a sound editorial company nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for The Ghost and the Darkness. SoundStorm has a fascinating history because its corporate predecessor was a company called Walla Works, which had employed the founding partners of Soundelux, arguably the greatest sound editorial company of all time. In 2014 Sounddogs acquired the sound library assets and trademarks of ToddAO / Soundelux. The history of these great companies is worthy of a book.
In addition to our acquisitions, Sounddogs continues to travel the world recording unique and challenging sounds to meet all of your needs. The list of movies and tv shows our sounds have been designed with is so extensive it would be safe to say that a majority of Hollywood productions contain sounds from Sounddogs’ libraries.
In 2016, with the launch of our new web site, Sounddogs’ goals remain the same, great customer service and immediate delivery of any sound imaginable. Our customers trust us to help them get their job done so they can focus on what’s most important to them. My personal cell phone number is on our support page, if you are not taken care of I want to know about it.
Located in Woodland Hills, California, Sounddogs is the best source for sound effects and production music. Sounddogs can be reached at: Support@Sounddogs.com | 877-315-3647 | 310-399-4557.