I’ve just made a binaural render of my Se tu porti il vino, io faccio il pesto. This was written (very quickly!) in 2020 and composed/mixed/mastered in 3rd-order ambisonics (16-channels). I took the opportunity to remaster this binaural stereo version using, amongst other things, Melda’s MCompressor plugin. I love this tool because it allows me to finely-tune several stages of upward compression like I used to enjoy with the (very expensive) TC Electronic System 6000 MDX5.1 dynamics processor. I also used Melda’s MAutoDynamicEQ along with some grit from SoundToys Sie-Q and finally my trusty workhorse, Voxengo’s Elephant Limiter.
The main focus though was on using the binaural rendering potential of the Spatial Audio Designer (SAD) plugins. After decoding the ambisonics signal to a 16-channel immersive format I tried SAD’s various virtual rooms before plumping for the binaural acoustic properties of Luna Studio 4. Before this though I added a touch of immersive reverb with Stratus 3d by separately decoding the ambisonics signal to a 7.1.6 immersive format and then routing it to the main SAD bus before the binaural render. Nice. I think.
But that wasn’t all. I’m happy to be working again with my old comrade-in-arms Marco Trevisani on a forthcoming large project. In the meantime though, this multi-talented friend agreed to provide a video for my short piece. Nice job Marco:
Written for the occasion of Roberto Doati’s* retirement celebration in Piacenza on December 18th 2020, this short piece uses samples Roberto very kindly shared with me of various stages of the wine-making process, including some very juicy hydrophone recordings. As he and I—as well as Giacomo Lepri, who co-organised the occasion—share a love of Pesto alla Genovese, I couldn’t resist recording and combining some of my own samples of a mortar and pestle with Roberto’s wine samples to make this piece.
Because I live in the frozen north and it was already autumn, the mortar was empty of basil leaves and thus made highly exciting, stony, high frequency percussion effects when attacked with the pestle. (An emphasis on higher frequencies is perfect for old men like us though, even if I do apologise to the youngsters in advance, if they feel my mix is a little too ‘top heavy’).
Oh, and of course, given that Roberto and I first met in Padova in 1995 and had a heated discussion about the contemporary relevance of granular synthesis techniques, I fed lots of samples not only through sequencing algorithms but also through my granular synthesis software in real-time. In performing this, I made similar gestures with the mouse as I would when grinding pesto, only here the movement was mapped to spatialisation (ambisonics) as well as many other parameters such as grain length and transposition, instead of basil. Salute e buon appetito!
* The fantastic photograph by Nanda Lanfranco (c) at the top of this post is of Roberto Doati in Genova, 1981.