“…more important than what things are called is whether they are interesting to listen to.”
— Ernst Karel, Sound Artist



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6th January 2014


Sample & Hold

A new year and new projects (as if I didn’t have enough)…

I have been experimenting with screen casting some reviews of sample libraries - the first one of which (Soniccouture’ s Tape Choir) is now up on YouTube.

I’m not really interested in becoming that “video guy”, but I kind of got tired of the current state of sample library reviews/walkthroughs, which I can summarize as follows:

  • Why do only expensive/ large libraries get reviewed? Once you spend as much as me on sample libraries you likely own a couple of $50 turkey’s that you might have avoided if you knew how limited they were…and these add up over time (at very least they take up needed hard drive space).
  • Why don’t reviewers check their biases at the door? How many reviewers actually receive the libraries free (“for review”?) from the developers? I can’t say for sure, but nobody seems to be crowing that their review is totally independent.
  • What do ALL the patches sound like? I don’t want to know how to compose with the library, I want to know what sounds I am getting  (I.e Do they sound good?, Is there variety? Do they fit with what I am looking for? Will I have to work at getting my own sounds?)… that is (after-all) what I am paying for.
  • Cut to the chase… I don’t have time for an hour’s long review - why can’t they split reviews into smaller video segments if (the library) deserves so much coverage?

The independence issue really bothers me and has recently seen some very heated discussion on a forum I participate in where (it seems) that criticizing a sample developer (who buys advertising on the site) is “lightly” discouraged. Since musicians get to stick themselves in the firing line with every release, I don’t see why sample developers get a free pass (and I mean that in the most respectful and polite way)…

Stay tuned for more of my experiment…   

Tagged: Soniccouturesample librariesnative instrumentskontaktreviewTape Choir10cci'm not in loveDaniel Ottini Music

10th December 2013

Audio post


One of the things that I try to do when I compose is to look for opportunities to blend the synthetic with the “Organic” - this can include field recordings or samples of instruments (standing in for the real thing). The sophistication of sampling today is impressive, but the better the sample library the easier it is to “smooth” the contrast between the Electronics and the “natural world”.

I purchased Orange Tree Samples “MesaWinds” during a recent sale and initially didn’t think I would get much use out of the library (for those of you who don’t know, this is a sample library of native american flutes).

I was impressed, however, with the authentic sound and variety of articulations - the sound fit in nicely on this track (Ancient Suburban Burial Mound)  that I was working on (which is largely sound design and Electronics), to give it some “humanity” and help to anchor it in the sound-world (in this example, a haunted house built over an Indian burial ground).

This is a case where a fairly simple library nicely delivers a subtle “emotional” punch…

Tagged: Orange Tree SamplesMesaWindsNative InstrumentsKontaktSample LibrariesDemo TrackAncient Suburban Burial MoundDaniel OttiniComposer

Source: SoundCloud / Daniel Ottini

30th October 2013

Audio post

…It may just be this Halloween painting (by my daughter) that’s hanging over my studio desk, but I seem to be very much (musically) in a Halloween mood these days.

In this track (Ancient Suburban Burial Mound), Native American drumming and flute, haunting spectral voices, sound design, and electronics combine to make a suitable soundscape for your ghost story…why do they always build those houses on ancient burial grounds anyway?

Tagged: Halloweenghostlyspirithauntedflutelonelyspiritualancestralancientpoltergeistdrum circle

Source: SoundCloud / Daniel Ottini

27th October 2013

Audio post with 1 note

Some Halloween fun…a suspenseful track combining atmospheric electronics with dark orchestral colours…Tis the season :-)

Tagged: halloweenDarkmenacingSound DesignorchestralmusicDaniel Ottiniatmospericsinisterhorrorfear

Source: SoundCloud / Daniel Ottini

15th October 2013


I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex.
— Fred Rogers (AKA “Mister Rogers”)

Source: misterrogersandme.com

15th October 2013

Video reblogged from A Hidden Sound with 3 notes


One thing that Modulars are great for…is producing “Chaotic” (that is to say “Non-periodic”) drones. Musical uses of such drones remain for consideration in future projects… :-)

Tagged: modular synthesizersSound DesigndronedoepferSnazzy FXDaniel Ottini Musiceurorackelectronic music

3rd September 2013


Name Drop…

Video game composer Olivier Deriviere (http://www.olivierderiviere.com/) liked “Hinterland”; so should you!

Tagged: olivier derivieresoundcloudlikename droppingmedia musicshameless self-promotionDaniel Ottini Music

Source: soundcloud.com

30th August 2013

Audio post

The Muse Moves you in Mysterious Ways (2 of 2)…

Funny thing is that this piece started as a test of the “Focusrite iTrack Solo” which I recently picked up to translate some of my guitar ramblings into something that can be worked on further. Checking for functionality and levels, I improvised this little recording:

Which I liked fine…but I wondered what it would sound like with the “Chapman Trumpet” - not to bore you with further technicalities, but much tweaking later in the DAW (this one Ableton, though I have been working in DP8 as well), we have this final version.

A reminder, that sometimes you have to catch what flows and build structure around it, rather than starting with a clear idea/concept…  

Tagged: creativityOriginal compositionDaniel Ottini Musicguitar sketch

Source: SoundCloud / Daniel Ottini

30th August 2013

Audio post

The Muse Moves you in Mysterious Ways (1 of 2)…

…Where did the Summer go! Despite my promise to myself to stop working on music during the summer, I did manage to start a number of things (some which will now have to be finished in the Fall/Winter!) - like this one:

Tagged: creativityOriginal compositionDaniel Ottini Musicorchestral

Source: SoundCloud / Daniel Ottini

21st August 2013


Video Kills

Lots of reaction over at Synthtopia regarding this study (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/16/1221454110) in which it was noted that how a performer looks is of much greater importance than the quality of a musical performance.

I am really surprised at the “gee whiz” responses, given the state of decay that the business of music now finds itself in  - especially given the propensity of audiences to follow artists who are known for being “seen” (where do these guys/girls find the time…I am stretched to the limit keeping current on my instrument/composing music/learning how to use new techniques-Hardware-Software/TCB???).

A bit depressing, but to be expected given the McGurk Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGurk_effect) - Video did truly kill the radio star all those years ago, and anyone who can’t admit to this is in serious denial.

However, this is nothing more than a reality to be “worked around” rather than a death sentence for music…we can’t put the genie back in the bottle, so we may as well learn to live with it; with expectations lowered, great music will still be written by “ordinary people” (and new “Milli Vanillis” will be born everyday.)

What did you expect? Van Gogh was never interviewed by “Entertainment Tonight”, so why should you be…?

As the band on the Titanic said/did: “play on”.

…all you “ugly” people :-) 

Tagged: opinionMusic businessjustin bieberjustin timberlakejustintimemcgurk effectBusiness of Music

Source: synthtopia.com