Oddiction talks Content Banks and more

Oddiction is here to talk about his two Content Banks, and much more.

At the release of his second Kilohearts Content Bank, I'mmortal, Oddiction has kindly taken the time to answer some of our burning questions, and even some of the ones which were just quietly smouldering.

Q – Hi! Thanks for being with us. How are you?

A – I’m doing excellent, thank you for asking! 2022 started with a bunch of new, exciting opportunities that will allow me to pursue some new ideas and adventures over the next few months. Started to learn Reaper this week, always looking for more ways to create sonic mischief.

Q – You're a man of many talents and experiences. How would you describe your career profile in a few words?

A – Oof, it started like many I guess. In a bedroom with ProTracker on the Amiga, a cheap amp, a distortion pedal, and one of those pointy budget guitars. Many bands and instruments switching over the years, across a broad variety of genres, have all left their marks on what I do now. Always felt a bit bored with having to play by the rules of music genres. Well actually, playing by rules in general. All of that, and my super short attention span, did probably help to form the odd and wayward sounds I create nowadays.

Q – Are there any career highlights (so far) that really stand out?

A – I'm really grateful for all that I accomplished so far, and all the past collaborations. The way I was welcomed at Kilohearts, and the excitement for my first Content Bank, was terrific. Other cherished milestones are the collaborations with Glitchmachines and Unfiltered Audio. Two very unique brands, created by truly amazing people. To me, the biggest highlights are the awesome people you meet through your work and collaborations. Hearing what other artists do with your sounds and presets keeps exciting me as well.

Q – Your Kilohearts Content Banks, first Impossible, and now I'mmortal, show off some extreme and exciting ways to use Phase Plant. What are the philosophies behind these banks?

A – I really like odd sounds, and I love distortion. Impossible was super cool to do because I received more or less a carte blanche from kHs for that Content Bank. So I tried to push Phase Plant as hard as possible to display its power. Although Impossible is heavily inspired by the IDM genre, I tried creating something that would work for many different genres. The Content Bank will hopefully excite and inspire people to color outside the box with my odd sounds.

With I'mmortal I wanted to deliver a bit more melodic and playable sounds, but still push Phase Plant and the Snapins in a confrontational way. The Content Bank is named after a Skinny Puppy song and the patches have a broad variety of influences. Growing up in the post-Punk and New Wave era left many great musical impressions. I always have been open-minded to explore all kinds of music and its scenes. Underneath all the raw and danceable energy, EBM and Industrial usually have beautiful melodies and unusual sounds to counterpart those repetitive basslines. But the big picture will still challenge you as a listener. That's what I'm looking for in my sound design. Both my Content Banks will form a nice amalgamation of textures and playable sounds, and hopefully, challenge many artists to push it a little over the edge every now and then.

Q – Do you have to be technically knowledgeable to be a good sound designer?

A – Tricky, most jobs in game-audio and Post-Production ask for some sort of degree. The internet and libraries are full of good sources to educate yourself. Understanding the basics, like signal flow, how to set proper levels, and how things like a compressor or an EQ work, are all good things to know. The rest of the lingo and technique will develop along the way. It's like playing an instrument. You have to practice daily. That said, I value talent and perseverance above all. A person can have all the knowledge and degrees out there, but if the talent and a certain amount of eccentricities aren't there, the work will probably be bland. The best content comes from doing what you love and keeping challenging yourself.

Q – As well as designing sounds, you've worked with developers, designing instruments and plugins. What, in your view, are the important issues in designing great audio tools in software?

A – To me a good plugin (or hardware) stands or falls by its GUI. People that follow me on my socials might have seen occasional rants about skeuomorphism in plugins. Personally, I prefer a 2D GUI design. Crisp design with just enough modulation animation to see what's going on. Phase Plant is a very good example of a clean, yet informative GUI. With ADD, everything that blinks, flashes, moves around, or changes color is just a constant distraction. Visuals are just as important as how the plugin sounds, but without being invasive.

Q – You used your Eurorack modular synth as a sound source for the sample material in I'mmortal. What do you like about hardware, and Eurorack in particular?

A – I'm fairly new in the world of Eurorack. My system is far from complete. It already has a lot of odd modules and it's more or less built to be a huge source and processing station. I like the freedom of modular synths. The only boundaries of Eurorack are your own imagination, budget, and horizontal pitch. But that last thing can be sorted by throwing more ca$h at it. My rack is a hybrid – it integrates with Ableton Live and VCV Rack if I want. I think the charm of hardware is the hands-on approach. Touching the gear, less staring at screens and no mouse clicks, but it also can be really cumbersome. Both have their pros and cons. I have a midi foot controller sitting underneath my Eurorack standing desk. It's set up to control Live or any other DAW. If I want to go DAWless and jam a little, I can click the controller with my feet and start or stop recording sessions without looking at a screen. Jams usually bring forth a lot of useful source materials, without thinking about it. There's a blog about my modular adventures on my website, https://www.odd-aud.io/blog/

Q – Phase Plant is to a large extent a modular synth too. In your experience as a user, how does it compare to hardware modular? What are some of the pros and cons? Where does a tool like Phase Plant, and the Kilohearts Snapin ecosystem, fit in your workflow?

A – Phase Plant and the Snapin ecosystems are amazing. For the last two years, there are two synths that I open for nearly every project; Phase Plant and Unfiltered Audio's LION. If I had to delete all softsynths and keep only two, those would be my choice. Phase Plant is really fast and versatile. The possibilities are endless like in Eurorack, but with patch saving and recall! I often start a patch in either of the two synths and send it into my Eurorack for further design and processing. The only cons I could think of, for some, a blank canvas could be a bit overwhelming and it's super easy to get carried away with modulation and modules, melting your CPU. The tutorial patches inside Phase Plant are a great starting point to learn the synth.

Q – If you could have your dream soft-synth, all real-world technical limitations aside, what feature(s) would you want it to have?

A – Easy, MORE distortions! I love distortion and wave folding. Let's turn this into a Phase Plant feature request haha. More crazy filters models would be awesome. When you use Schlappi Engineering's 100Grit, all other filters could use a little more bite. More granular and spectral modules would be nice to have too. And I really would love to have bidirectional CV control for Phase Plant, so I can hook it up to the outside world and blend it with my hardware, sending audio and CV in both ways.

Q – And if you could write the story of the next ten years of your career, how would that go?

A – Hmm, I'm kind of a “Live Every Day Like It’s Your Last” person. There are new plans and things I'd like to try in audio and I would like to focus on some personal music projects. But if this pandemic has learned me anything, is that enjoying what you have now and making cool memories is the most important thing.

Q – Thanks so much for your time! Where can people go to keep up to date with your news?

A – Thanks for having me! I'm the most active on Twitter, but all platforms, websites, shop, etc. are bundled on my Linktree.

Enjoy I'mmortal and Impossible.

Oddiction (Hans Besselink) is a Dutch sound designer and content creator. Initially experimenting with Breakcore and Industrial Hardcore, Hans was influenced by Mr. Bungle, Venetian Snares, Sisters of Mercy, Sun-Ra, and Atari Teenage Riot. Under the name Carnivore, and as half of the producer duo Lords of Dominion, he's been released on various labels including DNA Records, Thorntree Records, and Megarave Records.

Hans' sound design and content creation career stretches back to 2008, with presets in numerous VST instruments and effects. Hans also contributes on the development side, having a hand in some of the leading audio plugin companies in the industry.

Kilohearts Press Team Tuesday, February 22, 2022

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