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Meet Xiao Hou of X Decibel in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Xiao Hou.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Xiao. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Right now I work as a sound mixer/designer, but I didn’t start this way, neither my family works in the entertainment industry. For as long as I can remember, the curiosity to sound has always been the guiding light that led the way throughout my life.

It says you will be good at the things you spend the most time on, for me, that would be anything related to sound. I started as an audiophile during middle school, who refused to skip any music and audio equipment stores in town, to find the music to be played on the best equipment that I could afford at the time. Throughout the years of listening and comparing. I slowly developed the skill of differentiating good sound and bad sound from the technical perspective. That also brought me the opportunity to become a part-time live sound engineer during college, which was the first highlight of my professional career. That’s also where I met my mentor Prof. Qiang Zhou, who inspired me to keep study and continue his unfinished journey.

Long story short, it didn’t take long for me to realize if I want to become the best, I need to learn from the best. In 2012, I moved to the United States. In 2015, I completed a Master of Fine Art in Sound Design at Savannah College of Art and Design. That’s where I met my classmate and later partner in crime – Cindy Takehara. In 2018, one of our sound design works – susaneLand, was selected and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In Jan 2020, one of the documentaries we got the chance to work on called American Factory, which was nominated for Best Documentary Feature for both Oscars and BAFTA.

I feel greatly honored to have many mentors and friends helping along the way, I can not wait to start a new page in 2020!

Has it been a smooth road?
Overall it has been an exciting journey, to be able to do what I like in every moment. Of course, each project we’ve been working on, there were minor challenges such as sleepless nights, creative blocks, talking to clients from the other side of the world at 3 am, etc. But these challenges later became the most memorable moments of all. We like to take any challenges because they push us forward in our careers.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the X Decibel story. Tell us more about your work.
Cindy and I are running a sound production and post-production business in the center of Hollywood. We record and design sound for film and television, commercial, interview, and internet content.

We believe in by collaborating the most creative minds, using the best equipment available, to provide the best experience to our clients, and bring the highest quality works to the market.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
With global economic development and technological innovation, I see more and more international collaborations among filmmakers and media artists. There will be more projects can be done remotely, it will become less costly, and more efficient.

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