Los Angeles, CA - USA

Sonicsmiths is Michael Hobe and Sam Estes, based in West Los Angeles, California, USA. Sam and Michael met at Remote Control Studios in 2008 where they worked on designing musical instruments and musical sound design on films including Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight, Inception, Rango and many more.


In 2014 they formed Sonicsmiths, working with many A-list composers on several films and video game projects including Mad Max, Inside-Out, Halo 4, and Agent Carter. Sonicsmiths specialize in capturing high-quality raw audio for mangling and manipulating into unheard of sounds and instruments for composers to use in music scores and soundtracks. 

"As we manipulate our audio, having low-noise, crystal-clear-capturing microphones are a must. sE's are our go-to."

"We have worked with just about every classic vintage and modern mics you can think of - the sE's are consistently in our cabinet and used on every session we do."


"The RN17s are the perfect percussion and guitar mic. The extremely accurate and quick transient response is perfect for capturing all the nuances that come off of the guitar. We record acoustic with two different techniques, depending on a desired result. The wide capture, where we place one down the neck and one near the sound-hole, is great for a wide image or the ability to blend a "thinner" sound with the richness of the body. You have to be careful for phasing and mono compatibility.

We then will process each of the channels differently and re-layer to create a very unique sounding processed guitar. If phasing and mono are an issue, we love doing the RN17s in X-Y about 5-6 feet away and about 2 feet above the sound hole, pointed at the sound hole. This gives us a great rich sound and is perfect for stretching and manipulation, while keeping the core sound of the guitar intact."


"For sound design, we really love using these mics up close to capture every single little quiet transient that can come off the source we are recording. For instance, we were creating a 'rumble-pad' and took a small pebble on a brick and scraped them together with the RN17 within an inch of it. Then slowed down that sound, so that all the lovely high-frequency sounds created an unworldly sound that we further tuned with comb filters to create tones."

"Our sE RN17s have been a god-send. They capture every transient perfectly."

  • Black Mass (Music Sound Design)
  • Inside Out (Sample Instrument Design)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Sample Instrument Design)
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • The Dark Knight Rises (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Kung Fu Panda (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Rango (Sample Development/Sound Design/Musician)
  • Megamind (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Despicable Me (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Inception (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • The Good Wife (Composer, Additional Music)
  • Sherlock Holmes (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Angels and Demons (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Music Sound Design)
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • The Dark Knight (Sample Development/Sound Design)
  • American Horror Story: Season 2 (Synth Programming/Sample Development)
  • Agent Carter (Synth Programming/Sound Design)