1) EDUARDO YOUR SAMPLE LIBRARIES ARE ENDORSED BY SOME OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER FILM/MEDIA COMPOSERS IN THE BUSINESS. CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH YOUR PROCESS OF CREATING SUCH UNIQUE PRODUCTS?
The process is totally different from one library to another depending on what needs to be recorded. One of the most time consuming part is finding the right musicians. If you want a good sounding library you need a good sounding player/singer. No matter what you do, if the player is not good, you will never have a good library.
I am very picky in every part of the process. Until I don’t get the players I want, I don’t start the project. For example I was looking for the right Gregorian choir for 10 years or an African choir for 5 years. It sounds a bit crazy but in the end the wait always pays off.
I also edit everything by myself. I want to be in every part of the project to make sure everything is going well. No one better than yourself knows what is good or bad. That’s why I like to think of my libraries like handmade, nothing to do with an industrial process where you hire someone to chop samples, someone to edit them, etc..
2) YOU ARE A COMPOSER YOURSELF DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING LIBRARIES? WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO BEGIN WITH?
I think it is important to be a composer in order to develop sample libraries. You need to know how to use them to get the best out of them. My inspiration comes from many sources, mainly fantasy literature and movies and ethnic music. Ethnic music has something special, deeper than any modern music. That soul behind every ancient instrument is what I love bringing to life.
Every time I start to think of a new project I think of something that I would love to use as a composer and of course something inspiring. If a library doesn’t inspire you with its sounds, then something went wrong!
3) BESIDES STELLAR RECORDINGS, WHAT ARE SOME DEFINING FACTORS OF YOUR AMAZING SOUNDS?
As I said before, choosing the players carefully and explaining to them very well want you want or need. It’s not just: “please, play the notes” A sampling recording session is like conducting an orchestra. Most of the times the players don’t know what they are doing, it is a strange situation for them. It’s also important to use just great recordings, if something is not VERY good, it is better to throw it away. The user does not care how hard the recordings were, how many times you had to repeat them…the user just cares about the quality and playability, and that’s how it must be.
I like to think of sample libraries like a book of adventures or a movie. It must tell something, express and idea and a feeling from the cover design to how you are touched when you play the first notes in your keyboard. I don’t like releasing just a bunch of samples and instruments.
4) WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE AUDIO TOOLS? YOU MUST HAVE SOME GO TO GEAR!
I love and use a lot Cubase, Wavelab (mainly Wavelab) and Melodyne as main software for developing sample libraries. For hardware: Neumann and Kahayan for mics (U47 and U87 my favorites) and Neve and Avalon preamps.
For field recording I love Zoom H6 and all its accessories.
5) I’M SURE YOU GET ASKED THIS A LOT BUT, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING SOUND DESIGNERS/DEVELOPERS?
Well, developing sample libraries is not an easy task, it takes tons of time, investment, tests…but if you love it then go ahead. If you love what you do there are no barriers. My main advice is:
- Don’t be afraid to fail. You WILL, plenty of times, no matter whether you are experienced or not.
- Be extremely picky with your recordings and the quality of your samples.
Just release stuff you are proud of. If something is just good don’t release it.
- Users expect top quality.
- Record great players with great instruments
- Don’t think of the money you could earn later on, just think of what kind of amazing library you can bring to the world.
- Be patient. Good things take long time.