Is it sound design, or is it composition?

Is it musicianship, or is it technical control?

Is it live, or is it Ableton Live?


Diego Stocco is simply one of the best bleeding-edge musicians, composers, and sound designers – all in one. And that has made him rightfully in-demand in the media of technology (Spectrasonics), movies (Sherlock Holmes), TV (The Tudors), and games (Assasin’s Creed). He’s of course also a big hit around sites like this one.

Now, he’s sharing his secrets. He revealed about a week ago that he would be offering the first of his sound design courses, “Rhythmic Processing,” for US$9.99. (That’s a fairly incredible price, given Diego’s skill set – this is sort of jacking-into-the-Matrix-level learning at ten bucks.)

But it might not have been immediately clear what he was actually doing, or why it’s compositionally important. Now, he’s also sent CDM two SoundCloud tracks that walk through first the technique, and then reveal the musical results. (And if you’ve been watching TV or movies, and somehow didn’t know this was his music, you’ll recognize his signature style right away.) Take a listen:

What I like about this becoming pedagogy is that it could encourage other musicians to build their own idiomatic styles. So much of the result here taps into Diego’s playing style. It fuses traditional musicianship with electronics. But unlike in-the-box approaches, which often do tend to result in a mind-numbing sameness, working in this fashion means that a lot of the output is to do with your musical input. And that means that it won’t just be fun to watch this video series. It’ll be fun to hear the results of the people who learn from them.

And that seems to be Diego’s aim, too. In the blog post explaining the series, he talks about that hope:

I wanted to create a series of educational videos that would work as a direction to point at, and not as an absolute destination where everybody ends up at the same time with the same results. I hope you’ll enjoy the experience and feel inspired to create something unique!

Introducing Feedforward Sounds series [diegostocco.com]

Get it yourself: