Learn From The Superfreak Of Sound Design, Diego Stocco

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For several years, sound design superfreak Diego Stocco has been amazing people with his videos, which document the incredible lengths that he goes to in order to create unique sounds. He’s set pianos on fire, he’s made music from a bonsai tree, he’s done beat making with the sounds of a dry cleaner and has even built his own orchestra of custom instruments.

While Stocco’s videos let you see the passion he brings to his work, many people have also been interested in learning more about his technique – from the gear he uses for recording to the software he uses for sound processing to the details of how he transforms raw sound into musical instruments.

For people interested in the nitty-gritty of sound design, Stocco has started a new series of premium ‘master class’ videos, Feedforward Sounds, that will look at advanced and experimental sound design techniques. The videos are primarily designed for producers, artists and audio professionals.

Here’s a preview of the first video in the series, Rhythmic Processing:

Video Description:

Rhythmic Processing is a technique that allows the creation of multiple rhythmic elements, in real-time, from a single instrumental part. The dynamic accents of the instrumental part (in this case an acoustic guitar) are routed into several plugin chains, each one creating a separate rhythmic element.

// In this video I’m showing the concept and full setup of the session, each individual plugin chain and finally how to perform with it.

The individual videos in the series are priced at $9.99. They are HD videos that show, in-depth, both the creative and technical side of his approach to sound design.

“With these videos, I’m sharing the experience I gained out of years of work and countless hours spent in trying to figure out unique ways to create original sounds and music,” notes Stocco. “I’m offering each video for $9.99, which is a very reasonable sum for any professional, but it’s an accessible number if you’re a student and not yet making money out of your work.”

He adds, “If you’re still learning the basics of your DAW and in general just moving your first steps into the sound design field, I would suggest enhancing your knowledge level a little bit before diving into my Feedforward Sounds series. However, if you’re ready for something on a complete different level, feel free to explore FFS01 // Rhythmic Processing!”

Stocco says that there’s also an informal social networking group forming among viewers of the series – see the links on his Facebook post.

“The response is interesting,” says Stocco, “because people are trying the technique right away.”

And, while Stocco uses Live, his techniques translate to other DAWs. “Actually one guy is using Cubase and one Reaper,” notes Stocco.

Here’s an example, by Stef Arseneault, done with Cubase:

See Stocco’s site for more info or check out the first video in the series.

13 thoughts on “Learn From The Superfreak Of Sound Design, Diego Stocco

  1. very interesting! Usually with this, I only use glue compression to have a kick sidechain instruments, snare sidechain a kick, and sometimes I use an eq on an instrument to be side chained with another so it only comes in or out in ordinance with another instrument. but I’ve never used this technique to have a guitar trigger the output of drums or bass! brilliant!

    1. Hi Kevo, thanks for your comment..but the guitar is not triggering the output of drums and bass.
      The guitar riff is actually being transformed in real-time into a beat with three separate elements (BD, SD, HH) and a bass line. That means that by changing the input signal (guitar) also the resulting processing will change : ) The full video shows exactly how to do that, the setup of the Live session, plugin chains, etc..

      1. Hello Diego, why isn’t Paypal offered as a payment method?
        Many people will not or cannot (in my case) buy via credit card only.
        Hope you’ll add Paypal soon.

        1. Hi Jim, thanks for your interest but for the moment I went with the simplest and most practical solution possible (I don’t know how to code) which is this platform called Gumroad. I’ll try to find out a solution for PayPal users as well, but that will require some patience and a separate file delivery system.

          1. Diego – thank you for responding to reader questions. Readers really appreciate it and it also lets them know who’s paying attention

  2. Eheh nice, I love the way this guy works. So much passion in there!
    It sounds like a lot of gating, pitching, distorting and beat repeater. And sure filters I guess..autofilter is awesome for rythmic stuff as well. Just brilliant
    Ciao

  3. I loved Stocco’s video on turning a guitar into percussion, it’s nice he’s showing his audio secrets, but I have a few questions…
    What kind of Microphones were used?
    Some comments on microphone placement would be good.
    The camera focused on Rode power supplies is this important?
    The incoming audio used API 512c preamps was pre-compression and eq used?
    What were the compression settings?
    What were the EQ settings?
    Why did he use Pro Tools when he ended up using Ableton Live?
    The camera showed him converting audio, what software was it and why did he do that?

    1. Hi Bob,

      Thanks, glad you liked it!

      Q: What kind of Microphones were used?
      A: Røde K2.

      Q: Some comments on microphone placement would be good.
      A: Mic placement is a huge subject, but in a very simplistic way, mics position defines sharpness, color, width of the recorded source.

      Q: The camera focused on Rode power supplies is this important?
      A: No, this is a video so sometime I need footage under my VO : )

      Q: The incoming audio used API 512c preamps was pre-compression and eq used?
      A: Yes.

      Q: What were the compression settings?
      A: Mild Compression to avoid peaks.

      Q: What were the EQ settings?.
      A: None.

      Q: Why did he use Pro Tools when he ended up using Ableton Live?
      A: Personal workflow preference. I used Pro Tools to record, Ableton Live to do real-time processing.

      Q: The camera showed him converting audio, what software was it and why did he do that?
      A: There’s no conversion involved, that’s just the Bounce window of Pro Tools.

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