Tell us a little bit about yourself and your sample libraries?
I have been composing for 20 years and started my career as a sample library developer in 2005 with Bela D Media producing Anthology Celtic Wind. During the next years I also produced Anthology Spiritual Wind, Sampled Landscape and Retro Flute. In 2009, I decided to leave Bela D Media to establish my own name as a company. After thinking carefully about it, I contacted Best Service. Best Service is one of the most renowned companies and one of the first established.
I found in them the perfect partnership. Due to their more than 20 years experience, they know better than any other company how the business works. I couldn’t think of a better option to distribute and edit my sample libraries. Now, after 4 years and 6 successful releases together I can say that we are a family and my wishes are to be working together for my whole life.
How do you prepare or should we say, how does one start making sample libraries?
I think there is only one successful way, and that’s being a composer first. As a composer and sample library nerd, you know what you would like to see and doesn’t exist. That’s how I started. I am a huge fan of Celtic music and have been playing such music for long, so I decided to release a Celtic library. The concept that I used for it, was really successful and I have kept improving it in every sample library.
How long does it take to make a sample library? (recording, mixing, programming etc.)
In my case it takes a long time, of course, depending on the project. First I think of several ideas that I would like to develop. After choosing one, I look for the right musicians, plan the recording sessions, take the samples and edit them one by one, program them in the sample player, test them, compose demos…all by myself! I could hire an assistant for help, but I really like to be involved and make every single part of the library. Conducting the musician to do exactly what you expect or listening to all the samples, is something absolutely important. If there is any secret in my libraries, that’s the main one. I like to say that all my libraries are hand crafted.
Can you give us a little insight on your creative process? (microphone placement, equipment used, vst software)
Depending on the project, equipment can vary, but in general I like close and dry sound to get the most possible detail. Dry recordings also allow you to blend the library with other instruments just placing an appropriate reverb. I love Steinberg stuff and use Wavelab as my main editing tool. Since I am with Best Service I use Engine sample player for all my libraries. It is a really powerful and reliable piece of software that is getting better every year.
How much sound design is involved in making sample libraries?
My first approach to sound design was Sampled Landscape, and it keeps being one of my favourite libraries. After that, Epic World raised the bar, and from that moment, every sample library has a big part of sound designed patches that complete the idea of the library. For real instruments there is no sound design at all.
What inspires you to make such amazing products?
Many things! Music itself, books, movies, everything with magic inside. In fact, I like to think of my libraries like if they were a book full of magic; same as those great books that when you read them touch you emotionally for ever. I like them to have a concept, to tell something special, not to be just a bunch of samples. That’s why a great art (cover, interface, etc) or a good title is so important for me. The sound design part is something that also helps to achieve this goal.
Everything that goes beyond technique or tangible things is the most important ingredient for my products. My main goal is making inspiring sounds for composers. Sometimes I think that such a task is even more fulfilling than composing.
That’s why my quote is: “samples with soul”. Samples full of life and soul is what I record.
Any specific “lessons learned” on a project that you could share?
There are so many things! But the main one is never trust the word of a musician telling how good he is until you listen to him playing. I have had to cancel quite a few sessions after 5 minutes of recordings…
How can a composer approach you to become a demo writer for your sample library? (Do you accept demo reels from composers?)
Of course. In fact many of my main composers now, approached me in this way. Just write an email through www.samplelibraries.com with a demo featuring some of my libraries.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep making much more sample libraries, of course. Before the end of this year a new one will be released and right now I am preparing everything for the recordings for next year sample libraries. Of course, I don’t think of retirement even when I get old.
Any tips, hints or motivational speeches for the readers?
Be yourself. In a world full of people trying to imitate other’s music or creations, being yourself must be where you have to hold tightly not to get lost. Before a career, music is something that is really deep inside of us. It cannot just become a profession where everything is valid as far as you get money. That’s not the reason why we love music and why we started up our future as musicians.