Guido Helbling - About Me

Guido Helbling - About Me

I was born in May 1976 and raised in the picturesque town of Jona on the shores of lake Zurich, Switzerland. Untroubled childhood years were spent playing around with my sandbox friends or going swimming at the local lido.

I would love to boast that I started experimenting with my tape recorder or composing chamber music on my gran's spinet at a young age, but I actually had no such interests at all.

After finishing school, I completed a four-year apprenticeship as a design engineer, learning how to build cisterns and faucets. But after finishing my apprenticeship, I realised that this kind of work would not fulfil me in the long term.

Playing music, on the other hand, seemed much more fascinating to me - and it ultimately led to my interest in sound engineering.

After re-training as a sound engineer, I ended up working at a concert venue for a number of years, supervising concerts and events.

During this time I was introduced to the world of film production and realised I had a natural talent for sound editing and post dubbing.

I pretty much devoured all the available books on the subject (back then, there weren't that many). Ultimately, though, I had to figure out most of it by myself. Things became easier when the first portable (and affordable) hard disk recorders were released, which finally inspired me to buy my own gear.

I have always been enthusiastic about high-quality equipment and convinced that investing in first-rate gear pays dividends. You will certainly know this is true when you visit one of those special places on the planet that you might never be able to visit again. This particular moment needs to be captured in the best possible quality - after all, making a sound recording is like capturing part of your life for eternity.

In 2006, I founded my label, Soundeffects.ch. Some years later, due to a certain popular search engine, I had to re-brand it - with considerable effort - to Avosound (under which name it still operates).

As a field recordist, I did not discover the joy of traveling until I was roughly 30 years old. I have been passionate about collecting the sounds of the world ever since. My travels have taken me to China, Vietnam, Tibet, Myanmar, Iceland, New Zealand, South Africa, the USA, and many European cities.

I prefer individual traveling on foot, as the most interesting recording locations are rarely found in beach resorts. This style of traveling brings you into close contact with countries and their people. Adventures guaranteed!

Traveling will help you get some perspective on your life; it will make you feel humble and small again, because the world out there is so big. And beautiful. There is so much to see... and to record!

Between travels, I worked on a number of sound editing and sound design jobs for feature films and documentaries (theatrical and television). In my everyday work as a sound editor and sound designer, I use a lot of my own recordings. Custom recordings will give your tracks a unique character and a signature sound.

The range of creative choices in sound work is enormous and endlessly exciting. Sounds can stir (or manipulate) emotions and tell stories in a non-verbal way. Sounds can be harsh and cold but they can also suggest warmth and security.

Sound design, therefore, is an extremely valuable tool in feature film and documentary production. Unfortunately, it is also frequently overlooked.

As a sound designer, I use individual noises and sounds to shape the story and/or intention of a film. Sounds fill the gap between language (voice) and music. And, believe me, the gap is huge!

Guido Helbling - About Me - Today

I currently live and work in Winterthur, Switzerland. I have my own sound editing & sound design studio with industry-standard equipment like Pro Tools, Soundminer, 5.1 Surround Sound monitoring, a massive sound archive, as well as equipment for mobile sound recording (interior/exterior).

I usually procrastinate by playing bass guitar, hanging out at the local indoor rock climbing centre, day-dreaming, making travel plans or taking care of my orchids.

Music I currently listen to

- Daughter, Still Corners, The Cure (I could listen to The Cure every day)

The movie that changed my life

- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (my first cinema visit)

This book changed my life

- The Trip to Panama by Janosch; Magic Cleaning by Marie Kondo (it works! well, mostly...)

Favourite Movies

The Conversation, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, (anything by Sergio Leone, really), Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Revenant, Star Wars (the original trilogy), The Village, The Others, Green Book, Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, Apocalypse Now, Hateful 8, Seven, Cloud Atlas and many more...

Places I want to visit again

New Zealand, Vietnam, Iceland

Places I haven't visited yet

...too many to list..

My advice for orchid lovers

If you want them to bloom, you need to use fertiliser

My advice for travellers

It's not an adventure until all your plans fail!