Davide Carbone has been at the forefront of Australia’s electronic music scene since the late eighties. After winning an ARIA for best Australian Dance Release as part of Future Sound of Melbourne and playing at the iconic Roskilde Festival in Denmark, Davide relocated to England where he settled down and launched his own imprint BS1 Records. Continuing on with successful releases, Davide wrote music for the BBC, Virgin, Discovery Channel, Samsung and more. Davide also composed the entire soundtrack for Get Amped 2, an MMO with twenty million registered users. As an artist Davide has worked on projects involving Sting, Kylie Minogue, Josh Wink, Moby and Carl Cox.
Davide now resides in Australia and runs s:amplify alongside Josh Abrahams as well as the music production institute School of Synthesis. Davide has composed for clients in the ilk of Ford and the Royal Australian Navy and wrote several finales for the Sydney New Years Eve fireworks show broadcast to one billion people across the world. Davide also designed Carbon Electra, an award winning synthesiser featuring presets from several of the worlds top artists. He has recently been nominated for two APRA Music and Screen Awards.
You’ve been in the industry for quite a while now, how did you get involved with sound design?
I started as a DJ in the late 80’s in Melbourne. I was DJing for a bit then got into music production and started working with Josh Abrahams and Steve Robbins. We formed an Australian electronic act called the Future Sound of Melbourne, which did quite well, from then I just naturally moved into producing a wider variety of music. I moved to the U.K in 1999 and joined a music production house in London called Delicious Digital, which was one of the U.K’s largest music production houses. There we essentially just made sounds for all kinds of different projects.
When did you start s:amplify, and what was the ethos behind it?
I started s:amplify in 2009 on my return to Australia. I really wanted to establish a music production house like Delicious Digital here in Australia, not so much for the sole purpose of making money but to have a cool creative hub where people were able to create. I teamed up which Josh Abrahams who I’d been working on and off with my whole life and said to him why don’t we build a studio and get some producers and composers in and just start writing stuff for everything. So that’s pretty much what we did, we started s:amplify 2009 and built the current studios in 2012.
You have quite a collection of synths here, tell us about some of your favourites.
I love all the synths I have. I love my Arturia Matrixbrute, I love my Moog Sub 37. In terms of soft synths I love Carbon Electra which is a synth that I made, so I’m a bit biased obviously but I also love Sylenth, Massive and Omnisphere. I love Kontakt as a sampler. I tend not to stick to one particular synth but move around a bit to get the creative sound design juices flowing.
You have Maschine set up on your workstation here, is that part of your core workflow?
Yeah it is. It’s always on, it’s always there. With Maschine you can get creative in so many ways. You can pull it up inside your DAW and start getting a few things down or you can just forget about the DAW, get on the unit, go into step mode and start tweaking parameters. It reminds me of late 80’s, early 90’s MPC programming.
What is some of your go-to gear or software when starting a new project?
I primarily use Logic. I have Ableton and Reason, which I use occasionally if I need to use specific features in those DAW’s, but Logic is my mainstay and has been since it first came out as Emagic Notator. I also use everything Native Instruments. Komplete Ultimate is an essential tool for me, not only for the synthesis but also for all the amazing libraries that come with it. Komplete Kontrol and the integration with Maschine allow me stay out of the box as much as I can so I can get the feel of actually playing something which is really important to me. I love my Sythstation and my Moog and my Arturia and my Jupiter. I also track through a Burl Mothership which are really nice AD/DA converters with an analogue saturator.