Diego Stocco uses his Apogee Symphony I/O, Ensemble and ONE to capture unbelievable sounds buried within ordinary objects and traditional instruments
Diego Stocco’s fascination with the natural world has allowed him to push the creative limits of music composition and sound design. In addition to building and recording his own custom instruments, Diego finds the musical potential within virtually every seemingly ordinary clank, bang, sizzle and rumble encountered and often unnoticed by most. To Stocco, anything can function as a musical instrument.
Check out Diego’s creation “Gramohanger” below.
Listen to Diego’s “Gramohanger”
Using Apogee’s Ensemble to capture sounds from a dry cleaner, Diego Stocco has caught the attention of even NBC’s Today Show hosts with his latest project, “Music from a Dry Cleaner”, who featured it on their popular morning broadcast.
“Almost everyday, on my way to a local bakery, I walk in front of a dry cleaners. When they have the front door open, I hear a lot of interesting sounds coming from their work equipment. Eventually, the different mechanical and steam sounds sparked something in my mind, so one day I asked the owners if I could record a piece of music by using their machines as musical instruments”
Diego Stocco – Music From A Dry Cleaner from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.
What inspires you from a musical standpoint about the natural world?
Nature itself contains a treasure in terms of musical sounds, which are not so organized and controllable as those created with traditional musical instruments, but that’s what I like about it. For example, imagining a tree as an instrument can be seen as an invitation to get inspired in making music with something different; leaves, cortex and twigs instead of keys, fingerboards and strings.
How did you get started being a sound engineer and sound designer?
It’s been a gradual process, I started playing with synths and samplers when I was a kid, I was fascinated by how sounds could be shaped in different ways.
I remember being so excited during my first visit to a recording studio; that day I sampled a bunch of wrenches and metallic objects collected at my grandfather’s garage. Few years later I started working on commercials, radio jingles and sound efx, and from there I went on working on different projects.
You’ve been involved in projects using Apogee’s Symphony I/O with Patrick Leonard to capturing the sounds of a bonsai lemon tree using ONE’s internal mic. Why did you chose Apogee for these projects?
I’ve chosen Apogee many years ago when I bought a Rosetta 800 for my Pro Tools HD system, I wanted to hear the best sound possible coming out of my rig, so it was a natural choice to continue using the new generation of Apogee converters.
For the project with Patrick we had specific needs in terms of inputs and outputs, I had a whole set of custom instruments in front of me that needed to be recorded separately, and we were going to mix the music in 11.1 with the new DTS Neo:X surround format. The Symphony I/O was the perfect solution because we could choose exactly the configuration we needed, and it worked great combined with my laptop and Ableton Live.
Patrick Leonard & Diego Stocco from Diego Stocco on Vimeo.
For the piece “Imaginary Hummingbirds” I used the ONE because I wanted to keep the recording process simple without giving up the sound quality; I was walking around the garden with my laptop, playing a little part on a lemon tree, few notes on a dismantled piano, finding elements here and there.
Hear “Imaginary Hummingbirds”
What does Apogee offer that you haven’t been able to get elsewhere?
First of all I know I can rely on excellent quality and useful features across the different interfaces, and second I can switch between them anytime thanks to the Maestro control panel, which makes the whole experience of using Apogee easier and consistent.
Stocco recently made use of many of his custom instruments while working as the Featured Solo Performer for Ubisoft’s popular game “Assassins Creed: Revelations”
You can check out the instruments he played here>
Check out Diego’s Behance page here>