Diego’s Bassoforte Jam

Sound designer and composer Diego Stocco had a bunch of old junk lying around, including the keyboard of a dismantled piano and a chimney cap.

So he did what any self-respecting sound design super-guru would do, and made a franken-instrument, the Bassoforte:.

Few days ago I started thinking about how I could re-purpose the keyboard of the dismantled piano I keep in the garden, so I thought to build a new instrument by combining it with some other parts I had laying around. I ended up with this mechanical hybrid thing I thought to call “Bassoforte” (bass + pianoforte).

The neck is from a broken electric bass, as a bridge I used a cabinet handle, the pickups are from a guitar, and the part at the top where the strings are attached is a chimney cap, which works as resonator as well as percussive sound.

The track I created is a tribute to my Dad who is a big fan of Western comic books and “spaghetti western” films, and because of him I am too.

Stocco also installed guitar pickups and ran the output through AmpliTube 3, expanding his sonic palette.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

You can find out more about Stocco’s Bassoforte, too, at his Behance blog.

16 thoughts on “Diego’s Bassoforte Jam

  1. hmmm, not really sure what to say, it's reminescent of
    the street corner one-man-bands, you know, has the cymbals
    strapped to the knees, the banjo across the chest, the harmonica
    mounted infront of the mouth, the bass drum strapped behind him
    triggered by lifting the heel of his foot….except those one-man-bands
    of the old days did it in real time.

  2. Don't listen to me ? Was I overly critical ? I was being honest.
    It would have been awesome had he created the music in real,
    now that would have been inspirational.

  3. Yeah. Don't listen to you. Diego Stocco is only one of the most incredible sound designers and instrument builders around today, and you're going on about a "one-man band of the old days did it in real time."

    you need to get in real time.

    My jaw always drops when I see Stocco's creations. You are not being overly critical, just totally off bassoforte.

    LOL.

  4. The guy could take a freak'n broken hubcap, paperclip and a dixie cup and make a tune with it. He's always inspiring and gets me to constantly think outside the box.

  5. You must be one of those musical genius types, because the music and certainly the instrument is nothing short of hilarious bad-ass-ed-ness. haha. I can't make franken-instruments but I can make franken-words to describe said macroawesomisity. Rock on. Actually sounds a little bit like a DIY depesche mode satire made in a barnyard. The thing I like most though, the music, as well as the sounds themselves are totally visual. It makes me want to write a story to go with it.

  6. He's the MacGyver of musical instruments.

    But he makes it harder to justify buying new gear, when he can take a pile of old crap and make it sound awesome.

  7. Hey guys, thanks so much for your comments! : )

    I thought to say a couple of words about the first comments because I think there might be some confusion about what this video is.

    "It would have been awesome had he created the music in real, now that would have been inspirational." Well ah ah, I have two hands man, and I have to record several parts at different times if I want to create a multitrack piece. The video shows the exact timeline of how elements came into the mix and those are the actual takes when I played them. The idea here is to get the most out of the same instrument and obviously I can't record the grooves while I'm playing the bass line and the "string" line, even with multiple players, besides the physical limitations of the instrument, the sounds would just overlap into a giant mess.

    Also regarding inspiration (and I'm not referring to my own pieces) there are several musical masterpieces that didn't happen all in real time and are extremely inspiring. I'm sure each of us have their favorite musical heroes that recorded an album that inspired you to do more music.

    Regarding the "one mand band" analogy, I have to tell you that I have maximum respect for that form of music making, and I wasn't trying to do a performance like that (at least not with this video). Anyway, I wouldn't be offended at all if someone calls me that way because I've seen amazing performers that bring a lot of life into the musical scene even if they are just playing at the corner of the street. This artist here is one of my favorite, his name is Claudio Montuori "Birdman":

    To me it doesn't really matter how people want to label music, if it makes you feel happy then it worked! : )

  8. Diego

    Very impressive work, as always.

    I like the spaghetti western vibe of this. Maybe you need to add some Morricone vocal effects for other people to get it.

    Not sure why some people got hung up on the issue of live performance vs multi-tracked recording. A total non-issue.

    It would be cool, though, to see you do works like this live – using a looper, for example. Also would be cool to see you put your orchestra of original instruments to work all in one piece.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  9. To me it doesn't really matter how people want to label music, if it makes you feel happy then it worked! : )

    This is exactly how I work and this is one of my favorite quotes- "One of the interesting things about having little musical knowledge is that you generate surprising results sometimes; you move to places you wouldn’t if you knew better." — Brian Eno

    Diego- thanks for always pushing the boundaries and your contribution to omnisphere it has become my go to synth when I want something otherworldly.

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