I started taking piano lessons at the age of ten. Then I soon had the desire to create my own music and sounds and became interested in synthesizers, MIDI and audio technology in general. I was also lucky enough to have an uncle that introduced me to the first personal computer, when I was seven.
As time went by, all these passions came nicely together, brought me the very first chances to work and led me to study at the “Giuseppe Verdi” Conservatory of Milan, from which I own three degrees in Composition, Electronic Music and Sound Technology applied to music creation with a thesis on Sound Design. Long story short, regarding my musical background, it could be said that I followed an academic path, while I was also doing things my own way as a maverick.
Your tracks can be heard on the trailers of major motion pictures, could you tell us a little more about how you got involved in composing for film trailers?
It all started in 2010, when I was contacted by a Los Angeles based music production house that specializes in writing original music and sound design for high-end motion picture, television and video game advertising campaigns. They heard a couple of my demos on the Internet and asked if I was interested in creating some tracks for an upcoming project.
At that time, I was doing my experiments and research in the field of electroacoustic music, releasing also some sample collections. I knew almost nothing about movie trailers and was struggling a bit trying to find my way in the professional world, after the academic studies. It sounded like a dream to find out that I had the potential to work for Hollywood. The project went well and I started to look around for ways to continue that path. In the last five years, I was fortunate enough to work on many interesting projects that were also the chance to challenge myself and grow professionally. I had the pleasure to work with the great guys at BOOM Library on the SCI-FI collection, for instance.
I guess the real turn for me was in late 2011, when I got in touch with Gothic Storm Music, a boutique British music company with a premium Hollywood trailer focus, and proposed to create the “Advanced Sound Design” Album, a project that really set a milestone in my career, since it was a very complex one featuring many cutting-edge techniques such as Audio Illusions (modernised Shepard tones), exotic convolution, HRTF-based 3D audio, super high frequency recording, etc. and it was used on the trailer for Transformers – Age of Extinction.
What was the original aim for the Sound Designer Collection?
There are some sample libraries out there, which have great sounds but are inflexible, with whooshes and risers difficult to sync and that can’t be repeated too many times without sounding obvious and stale. Other offer a flexible but overcomplicated interface and basic sounds that require a lot of work for not much in return.
So the aim for the Sound Designer Collection was (1) to have world-class sounds and (2) solve the said problems by giving you the tools to manipulate and recombine them to create a huge variety of noises yourself with a lot of control and a very simple-to-use interface. We also included lots of presets to get you going in a breeze and a Random button that creates a new noise in just one click. Beware, if you start to use it, you’ll get addicted: it makes really great sounds.
How long did it take to create?
I started recording the first raw sounds in late 2013 as a base material for my sound design sessions in studio. It’s not an easy task when your goal is to reach world-class quality, worthy of Hollywood film trailers, and also deal with a considerable amount of samples. So the whole project took months and countless hours of work, some headaches and trial and error, but was quite a joy when I reached the target we had in mind for the core sounds.
Which types of music would Sound Designer Collection be particularly suitable for?
I’ve already heard some great uses of it, not just in cinematic tracks, but also in other types of music that wink at powerful and compelling sounds. In particular, I think that the Whoosh and Rise Designer lend themselves to many music genres that already make use of synthesizers and electro-acoustic instruments. So I would not be surprised at all, if we’ll hear some noises from the Sound Designer Collection in the next Electronic, Pop or Rock hit.
What would you say are the Top 3 selling points of Sound Designer Collection?
Thanks to Dan’s brilliant ideas and to Adam Hanley, our very talented Kontakt programmer, I think we’ve fully reached our initial hopes to make an instruments collection that is (1) really easy-to-use, (2) provides the flexibility and power for adapting it to your artistic purposes and (3) gives you fantastic sounds. Last but not least, it does not make coffee but offers some mesmerising light shows that will equally excite you.
Can we expect more titles to be added to this collection in the future?
At the moment, the Sound Designer Collection looks like the perfect trilogy for adding momentum to your tracks. Now I am working on future related products for a new company, Gothic Storm Instruments.
Is there anything else you would like to add about the Sound Designer Collection that we haven’t covered here?
I’d like to give a couple of thoughts regarding the Impact Designer. Some are just considering it a SFX creator but it could be also used as a drum machine on steroids. I’ve heard some really interesting things from other electronic musicians. Also some renowned composers working on hybrid orchestral tracks are using it to enhance traditional percussions. For instance, if you mix toms with the Toms Abominations presets, you’ll get a huge sound that is the best of both worlds.