Podcast 97: Diego Stocco

Sound designer Diego Stocco reveals how he makes almost any common object into a musical instrument, how he developed the Experibass (which Hans Zimmer hired him to play on the score for the 2009 movie Sherlock Holmes), the benefits of mixing to multichannel rather than 2-channel, the importance of high-quality audio, answers to chat-room questions, and more. We also get to watch and hear clips of some of Stocco's amazing music.

Run Time: 1:03:28

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Diego Stocco was born in Rovigo, Italy, in 1976. He discovered music at the age of 6 when his parents, hoping to calm him down, gave him his first electronic keyboard. That might have backfired!

Diego is a sound designer, composer, and performer who creates eclectic musical experiences with custom-built instruments and experimental recording techniques. Diego loves discovering hidden sounds from organic sources, objects, and materials, and his unorthodox musical curiosity allows him to produce music with sounds never heard before.

Diego has found several ways to channel his unique approach into the music universe. As a key producer for Spectrasonics, he's one of the principal creative sound designers for the award-winning virtual instruments Atmosphere, Stylus RMX, and the new Power Synth Omnisphere. For this epic project, he built several custom instruments and created playable sounds out of ordinary objects like light bulbs, pieces of furniture, a washing machine, a clothes-drying rack, a typewriter, and many other imaginative contraptions.

Diego created for Epic Score/APM the first three volumes of the Epic Textures series, which have been licensed for numerous marketing campaigns including film trailers like Terminator: Salvation, 2012, Eagle Eye, The Uninvited, and Lady in the Water, as well as video-game trailers like Justice League Heroes, Soulcalibur IV, MK vs. DC, Call of Duty, and World at War and TV shows like Dexter, Daily Show, Cold Case, and many other promos.

His exploration of new sounds doesn't stop there. He created Music from a Tree and Music from a Bonsai in which he played organic-sounding compositions out of actual trees, compositions performed with his own custom-built instruments like Experibass and Bassoforte, and everyday objects for Music from a Dry Cleaner where he played a dry-cleaning shop and its equipment as an ensemble of musical instruments. His video performances have been featured internationally on TV networks like NBC, CBS, CNN, Discovery Channel Canada, NHK, Rai2, Rai3, Rai4, Arte.TV, and Deejay TV as well as major online outlets including Wired.com, BoingBoing.net, and Motherboard.tv.

Diego has also collaborated with legendary producer and songwriter Patrick Leonard. DTS wanted them to create the first musical project mixed with Neo:X, its new 11.1 surround sound system.

Diego was able to bring his vision for music and sounds into films, TV shows, and video games. He collaborated with Composer Paul Haslinger on films Into the Blue, Crank, and Takers, and with Emmy Award-winning composer Trevor Morris for Showtime's The Tudors and CBS' Moonlight. He created the score for High Voltage Software's The Conduit, a futuristic first-person shooter for the Nintendo Wii distributed by Sega. Also for this soundtrack, he shaped intense sonic experiences by building and playing new unusual instruments.

Thanks to his Experibass, Diego attracted the attention of Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer. Hans really loved the pounding tonal grooves and aggressive depth of the sounds Diego was playing on the Experibass and wanted him to be one of the soloists on the score of Guy Ritchie's film Sherlock Holmes. Again, with his Experibass, Diego participated as a featured solo performer in Jesper Kyd’s score for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed Revelations, the highly successful franchise from Ubisoft.

Diego produced the DTS Sound Signature, which he presented at the NAB 2011 in Las Vegas. He is now creating more imaginary sounds and music for films, TV, trailers, and video performances.

Here's the video of this podcast: