Please introduce yourself and tell us how you got involved with sound design.
My name is Max, I am the founder of the audio tools label Audiomodern and I also compose under the name "Max Million" focusing on futuristic sounding electronic music. I specialize in sampling and audio work and I remain dedicated to the creative process in order to develop a unique sound in between breakbeat, IDM and ambient electronica .
I've always been interested in music and sound, ever since high school, playing in bands during my studies in a conservatory and after that I went to a music technology college where I got really involved in electronic instruments.
The starting point for me was after my first releases on the Lyon-based label, Ultimae Records. I released a 2 series sample pack(s) called "Discrete Energy I & II" which included some of my personal collection of sounds and loops and were sold from my personal website at that time. The feedback exceeded my expectations and I decided to house the whole sound design project into a new label, that's how audiomodern.com started.
What sparks inspiration for creating a new sample/preset library?
Observation, perception, understanding new movements in both music and technology and desire. Desire itself is an inspiration. Every man desires to do something in life. Where there is no desire, no way would open out. Yet too much of desire creates problems. I try to understand where to draw the limits to my ambition and experience a constant need to keep my inspiration alive and the desire to make sound.
Would you care to share any of the tools of your trade?
My favorite piece of gear right now is the Sherman Filterbank 2x2 rack, for its unique characteristic sound, routed into Little Labs VOG(s) which hold a special place in the studio as well. As for digital, Ohmforce's Ohmicide is a VST I frequently use and almost every piece of software from Cycling 74, this includes Max for Live of course.
What's the one piece of gear you would love to have in your studio?
I'm very curious to try the Symbolic Sound Kyma X System.
What is your sound design process? Do you start with a sound in mind or do you play around and see what comes out?
As it is not a routine process for me, I'd say both. If you really, really want a particular sound, you may just have to use that synth/instrument or sample it. Particular types of sounds just fall out of certain instruments and not others. I spent years ignoring this, and struggled to copy sounds with the wrong gear. A tricky thing is to decode whether the sound comes out from one unit or a chain of units and find the rest of the units or the settings they might have. Then you must connect the dots in order to achieve that sound.
So either I go for a particular sound I have in mind and try to use that gear and sample it, or get creative, experiment and investigate unexplored areas of my gear. Most of the times I work around the second option.
Which of the libraries you have produced is your personal favourite?
Every library or instrument that makes it to the product line is crafted with lots of musicality and ready to drop straight in for new inspiration. Each one has it's own uniqueness and character. I can recall all the hours spent on making each one so it's rather difficult to pick just one. But to answer your question fair I'd say "Metamorphis" only because it's the bigger one we had at the time (1.28GB).
What would your ultimate sound design gig be?
I'm starting to get very interested in this new form of interactive album releases.
What are some tips and tricks for a budding sound designer who's looking to start in the business?
As with any work of art, you discover the most important things as you go. You learn by trying things that don't work, going down dead-end streets and doing a lot of experimentation. But to answer the question I think one important thing is to provide people the tools they need to boost their workflow. In the end, that's what it comes down to.
What music are you listening to right now?
At this time I am working on my upcoming album and I don't hear as much music as I prefer to be focused on my own compositions. I found that this works better for me when I'm in the creative process. It helps me to stay focused on what I do. But the last thing that stuck on my CD Player for months was Hol Baumann's Human.
What's next for Audiomodern?
Next in line will be a large ( around 4GB ) and very unique KONTAK Instrument wich will be ready in about a month. It will be the first that we worked with the professional GUI designer Karsten Doering (www.karstendoering.com) and the kontakt script professional Katerina Mantzari as well. This will be included also in our upcoming "Everything Bundle" coming in a special packaging as well.
After that we will start working on our first app release both for IOS & ANDROID. Some ideas for a series of music releases are thrown on the table as well.