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



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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

21st August 2013


To Dream…


After a very long gestation, the Synth Documentary “I Dream of Wires” seems to have been born (given that I received my “Blu-Ray Hardcore Edition” the other day).

To clarify, this is the “IDOW Hardcore edition” - which the film-makers have requested it be referred to as (instead of “I Dream of Wires” - this has something to do with them attempting to arrange for a theatrical release…though I don’t quite understand why this makes a difference).

In any case, I have still not found the 4 hours to view the “Masterwork”, but from what I saw by testing that the DVD worked on my system, it looks great (to me anyway). I really doubt there is interest in this release beyond the Synth community, but I’m sure I will enjoy it immensely.

Tagged: I dream of wiresIDOW Hardcore EditionBlu-raysynthesizersmodular synthesizersdocumentaryeurorackmodcan

12th July 2013

Video with 5 notes

Six Guitars

I admit, I’m a Mark Knopfler fan - maybe not the coolest thing going, but I think no one else quite does what he does these days with his unique songwriting/guitar/singing style (note here that I am talking his post Dire Straits career - I think Dire Straits started out strong with the first two albums, but kind of collapsed under their own weight).

So it comes as no surprise that I greatly enjoyed this recent UK documentary “Guitar Stories” in which Knopfler talks about six guitars that have influenced his life and music. Some of the guitar choices are no surprise, but others are.

This sounds like a boring premise, but the British generally do a great job eschewing celebrity worship (well except for Simon Cowell, the Spice Girls…) and really give a sense of the passion that drives Knopfler (who is still recording) and his love of guitar. At the end of it I have no idea how many ex-wives Mark has (by all accounts many), how many rooms his country estate has, how many cars he owns, etc., but I do sense why he still makes music.

It’s nice to see a “Music Documentary” about music…watch it while you can (I have no idea how long it will take before the YouTube copyright police catch up with the poster)

Tagged: mark knopflerdire straitsGuitarGuitaristMonteleoneGuitar Makingdocumentary

8th July 2013

Audio post

Binaural recordings of an Olympic sized swimming pool from various locations in the viewing area - sounds heard include: (unintelligible) conversation, water lapping, the diving board, swimmers splashing, etc. The other set of “Diving Board” recordings feature the sound of the diving board more prominently.

…and forgive the (slight) low frequency bump in the 2nd recording - the CS-10EM microphone that I use is terribly sensitive to wind noise (not something I generally worry about when recording indoors) and, sure enough, the building HVAC system switched on at that moment creating a quick, short burst of air overhead!

Tagged: ReverberantswimmingOlympicspracticepooldivingwaterindoorscalmaquaticsdiving boardSwim Team Practice

Source: SoundCloud / Daniel Ottini Sound

28th June 2013

Post with 8 notes

Talk To The Hans


Anyone who really knows me, knows that I’m not much for Celebrity -especially when it comes to musical types. If you push me on the matter, I might argue that (for other than a handful of Artists) success has more to do with sheer dumb luck than anything else. This is not to discount hard work, but the reality is that “unknowns” work just as hard as “knowns” and often produce music that is comparable; the secret sauce which makes one different from the other, I honestly don’t know (and I don’t think anyone else knows - not all the time in any case)

I don’t really have a problem with the above - that goes with a lot of things in life; but I have an issue when artists can’t admit to this. I know this is largely the media’s fault  - I mean why let the truth get in the way of a good story…and in any case which would you want to read: “Average Singer/Songwriter becomes famous by fluke” or “Singer/Songwriter is more talented than the Beatles”?

So I didn’t expect much truth when I ran across “Superstar Hollywood Composer” Han Zimmer’s posts on a forum related to Virtual Instruments - what I got truly surprised me: (I will give you the Cliffs notes version by quoting some of the best tidbits below):

  • …luckily, I like writing music that at the moment seems to be quite popular. I will suffer the inevitable fall from grace, become yesterday’s irrelevant composer, which is something I’m not looking forward to. But that’s life, isn’t it? I’ll just carry on writing away. 
  • "…I think Bach worked for the major mogul and film studio of his time: the church. Tough deadlines, those Sundays. That he unquestionably produced art, in my opinion, was never by design but by being an extraordinary practiced craftsman first and foremost and - through a confluence of mysteries far beyond me - produced some great works of timeless art."

  • "But if my ambition is not to create art - I’m not that arrogant or pretentious, I’m in the entertainment industry, and so are strippers - I have to have enough ambition to at least not make McDonalds. Otherwise I will be asking myself "what for?"."
  • "I don’t ever lack inspiration. I sometimes mistake bad inspiration for good…but I write pretty much every day. So it’s like running. You keep on developing muscles. I’m f@#ked when I take a break…coming back to writing is sheer torture….Deadlines are good for getting inspiration. The fear of failure can be quite inspiring."
  • "I try to do the best I can within the time and talent I have. Sometimes the idea is better than the execution. But I try not to get stuck and noodle things to death (he says, knowing he’s taking a break from absolutely perfecting the life out of a piece by over-thinking it and spending hours programming expression curves… ) 

  • "I hire trained musicians to play my scores. They are interpreters of music, I’m the composer, the creator of the music that they then perform. Different skill set…There are only 24 hours in the day for all of us. I spend most of my time practising how to be better at composing, not playing, while players spend most of their time practising their scales and learning how to interpret someone else’ music. Most musicians are not composers." 
  • "… I wish I had gone to music school. I know, it’s not too late, but I’m a bit busy. But it’s a good excuse… 
    As a child, I just had the wrong teacher. I took great personal refuge and comfort in music at a rather difficult time in my life. Music was a place to loose myself in, a very private escape. I loved what ‘making up’ music did to me more than anything else. Total ascocial loner. Total Nerd. 
    When I was asked - as a 6 year old - if I wanted lessons, of course I leapt at the chance. But a six-year old misunderstands that the purpose of the lessons was not to help me get the stuff I was hearing in my head to be better stuff, to compose (not really a concept I had), while the teacher wanted me to learn technique and how to play and interpret - not my, but other people’s noise - that I, at the time, had no interest in. I could never explain to him (German piano teachers are not known for their empathy, just The Rules, The Rules!) that, basically, I had a head full of music that I was incapacle of expressing, and that had nothing to do with keyboard technique. So, after two weeks, my formal training ended.” 

  • "Most of the stuff I use on a daily basis is off the shelf software - and not the really expensive stuff, either. The best DAW is the one you’re used to.…I’ve been (more then once) asked to judge “young composer” competitions. After a while you can’t hear the music for the sameness of the sample libraries. I wonder how directors or producers can tell the difference.” 
  • "And no, you can’t sound like me. You are not me, you are you. Just like I can’t sound like any other composer. Not with any degree of authenticity."  

And so on…

Many thanks to Hans - not just for making some awesome film scores (not all of them!), but for being an honest, unpretentious artist and striving for some manner of truth in a world full of hype. 

…and for having some great and quotable responses.

Tagged: hans zimmerfilm musicfilm scoretruth in advertisingv.i. control forum

Source: vi-control.net