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Welcome to Sound Motives studio

Sound Motives studio works across radio, podcast and voice projects for publishers, brands and broadcasters.


With over 10 years of experience producing audio projects of various kinds, Sound Motives studio launched in 2017 and has produced projects for clients across podcast and voice.

Hi, I’m Dave O’Donnell, founder of Sound Motives studio.


I began my career in radio, working at independent production company Somethin’ Else in 2008. With much of my time spent producing radio shows across various BBC networks, I took time away from the radio department in 2011 to gain my first experience in combining audio with technological innovation. Working in the digital department, I produced the Cannes Lion winning The Nightjar binaural iPhone game with Wrigley’s.

I left Somethin’ Else in 2013 to launch Mistral Productions, with Gilles Peterson and Simon Goffe, producing work for British Airways, New Zealand Air, Polydor, Rockstar Games and Universal. In 2015, with support from WeTransfer, we began developing a new online radio platform, Worldwide FM, and in September 2016, we launched the station, broadcasting 24 hours a day, with 40 hours of original radio programming each week.

In 2017, following rapid growth and successful content partnerships with Ace Hotels and Lufthansa, Worldwide FM won the industry-leading Radio Academy’s ARIAS Online Radio Station of the Year Award.

In October 2017, I left to launch Sound Motives studio, and have worked with BBC, The Economist,
EY, The Guardian, Google, The Telegraph, WeTransfer and more.

Below are a selection of recent projects, as well as some personal inspirations.

For a complete archive, head over to the blog.

BBC Voice & AI

In October I began working with the team at BBC Voice & AI, helping them with the forthcoming beeb assistant. It's been fascinating contributing to this process, as the team develop their remarkably ambitious project. The voice assistant was announced at the end of...

The Economist – The Intelligence Podcast Production

I'm currently helping the team who make the daily flagship podcast, The Intelligence with podcast production. It's fascinating to see how the team work together with their journalists from around the globe, to make a 20+ minute podcast with 3 different stories per...

The Guardian – Politics Weekly

Off the back of the Guardian Voice Lab project, as well as doing some development work on a forthcoming series due in the autumn, I had the opportunity to produce Politics Weekly for the month of May. Here are a couple of highlight episodes for me, from the four-week...

The Voice Lab – Guardian Briefing

We launched our second project at The Guardian Voice Lab this week! It's a flash briefing that combined human and synthetic voice, which was a lot of fun work on. Working with SSML was a new experience for me, and although working in code was daunting initially, it's...

The Guardian Voice Lab – Articles

One of our responsibilities on The Voice Lab has been to write weekly blog posts about our progress. As Editorial Lead within the team, my posts have approached the meeting point that exists in voice between software developers and editorial/content creators, from the...

The Guardian Voice Lab – Year In Review

As previously discussed in an early blog post, in late October I began a 6 month contract at The Guardian's Voice Lab, fulfilling the role of editorial lead/audio producer within a 4-person software-focused team (alongside a product lead, a programmer and an UX...

The Guardian Voice Lab

At the end of October I was offered a role working on a new initiative from The Guardian developing audio content for Google's Home smart speaker and Google Assistant. Guardian News & Media is pleased to announce the launch of Guardian Voice Lab - an in-house team...

EY’s The Better Question Podcast

Back in August I started working with the gang over at Atomized Studios (part of Freuds PR). They'd begun producing a podcast series for EY entitled The Better Question, which looks to 'answer the better questions that will help CEOs and other senior executives lead...

Strrr TV – Matthew Plummer Fernandez

In his Strrr episode, Matthew explores the role that algorithms play in everyday life and culture. From their beginnings in the simple animations of the 1970s and 80s, through to the cutting edge neural networks and artificial intelligence of today, Matthew reveals the various ways in which algorithms are playing an increasing central role in our lives.

Technology Intelligence Podcast Series One Review

From February through to the end of May, I produced a six-part podcast series for The Telegraph newspaper, as part of their Technology Intelligence initiative. Working with journalist Harry De Quetteville as host, the series explores the future of technology across...

If you'd like to contact Sound Motives Studio, drop us a line and we'll get right back to you.

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