Composer for multimedia, Producer and also currently studying Electronic Music composition at the private college of Music Saint Louis in Rome, @Giacomo Satoru Quintili is this month SoundGym Hero!
How long have you been on SoundGym?
I created my free account on November 11th 2018 (about 4 months from now) I started exploring the unique SoundGym features (a social media for people like me), doing my daily workouts for about 2 weeks and then (thanks to my school) I upgraded my account to premium.
What was your first connection to music?
Since I have memory: I used to play simple melodies on my upright piano (that I still have) however, I was not trained in my very early ages, so I couldn't develop perfect pitch. Music was constantly present during my life (piano lessons at 11-13 years old,writing songs with friends during high school, etc), but I decided to listen to her "seriously" (in a professional way) only about 4 years ago, at the age of 21.3
We know you are currently a student at Saint Louis College of music, tell us more about that?
Saint Louis is my "second home", a place where I can truly be my-self and be proud of it. It's a place where a certain percentage of its usefulness is to teach you new skills; internet can also be a big teacher, but in school you can get personal assistance and immediate feedback from expert teachers (people you can actually meet and talk to). Another big chunk of percentage is the community (colleagues) and opportunities that it offers: events, laboratories, masterclasses, etc...
A student who simply goes to college to only pass the exams and get his degree is wasting half (and even more) of his money spent to go to that college! Thanks to it, I met many professionals, some of them offered me to work with them (I worked as a Sound Designer for video-games for almost a year). It's a place where you can both learn a lot of skills, compare with others, and take opportunities, just like SoundGym!
Tell us more about your work as a composer for multimedia?
Composing for multimedia contents requires some additional skills, You have to learn how to "tame" your composition skills and creativity and to aim them to a specific target required by a client and, as a professional, mistakes are not allowed.
Here`s one good example of that, once a guy asked me to compose a track for the menu of his arcade sci-fi game, and, at the time, I couldn`t calibrate my composition abilities, so I made it way too aggressive: a simple ambiance loop with some electronic elements here and there would have been fine!
Sure you can propose a rough "demo version" of the music that will eventually be adjusted (with several new versions) to fit that specific request, but it's just the life preserver tool in "balance memory" game here on SoundGym: you cannot fail the target too many times, that's why reading/listening CAREFULLY to the very first notes from the client is one of the most important steps in the entire production process.
Right now, I`m mostly working as a producer for some friends of mine: they bring me their songs (most of the time only vocal and an acoustic guitar) and I deal with the rest. I think being a producer is a nice middle ground where I can improve my `composition aim`, because you still have some limitations to respect, but they are not as tight as for multimedia contents, also it`s nice to help friends. One friend of mine, Giorgio Piccinini,
recently released his first EP, this is the very first production ever created both by me and him, so don`t go too tough on us!
What has been your most significant musical influence?
My father grew me mainly with Classic music (Bach, Mozart, and many others), also with some famous rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and some Italian songwriters such as Gaber, De André, and I could down the list. To be honest, I was constantly overwhelmed by music, both at home, and at school, so I really cannot answer that question.
Thanks to that, I`m always open to new genre and sounds, and I tend to analyze everything I hear that sounds new to me (like a new toy).
Have you made music today?
I do write songs on my own when I feel inspired, but I prefer to not publish them because I feel that it`s not the right time yet. That`s why I help others producing their songs, they feel ready, that`s the right time to play! Sometimes it may happen that one of my studies/experiments sounds right enough to me, so I upload it on my Soundcloud page.
Tell us a bit about your workflow at the studio?
Comfort is number one priority: get rest, have a fresh mind, take regular breaks (to `reset` ears and brain), drink and eat properly (fuel for body and brain) and, last but not least, enjoy!
I use to start trying to visualize the big picture in my mind, how the song/composition will eventually sounds like, if the genre is new to me (or I don`t feel confident enough), I go to listen some songs of that genre (trying to internalize, rather than copying). Sometimes I just improvise on the keyboard or on a guitar, or I take some time to find an interesting sound, to begin with.
I also tend to deal with creative activities when I have a fresh mind (e.g. find a new sound), and more mechanical ones when I`m tired (e.g. organize the project).
Any habits you have before starting a session?
Get rest before starting (usually at morning) and make a good hot coffee :)
One free plugin that you recommend?
I recently discovered `Temper` by Creative Intent, a free distortion plug-in with a nice interface and a lovely sound (it can be really aggressive), and I made a couple of demos experimenting with it, it`s very simple to use (it`s power relies upon automation).
Which three plug-ins you can't live without?
If by plug-in you mean `audio plug-ins` such as EQs, Compressors, etc, I would say that I can survive with stock and free plug-ins, The ones I cannot live without are VSTs like Kontakt, Amplitube, Serum… and many many more.
What does the future hold for Giacomo Satoru Quintili in the music industry?
My composition teacher told me one important thing, as a student, it is crucial to learn the basics of as many roles as possible (producer, composer, songwriter, sound designer, etc). I do agree on what he said, this way I can find out What I like most, What I`m better at And, eventually, being able to better communicate with future collaborators. So I hope that whatever I`m going to do, it will be something between these.
Last question, what is your favorite SoundGym feature and why?
I especially like the `learn`, `video` sections, and the community in general where you can access to POWER: knowledge xD I like it because of it`s coherence and structure, and also because of rewards. But again, no rush: watching thousands of videos is useless if you just forget about them the next day… It takes some time to internalize and master new skills, practice will help consolidate pieces of information before they fly away.
You can follow Giacomo here: