Meet the programmers: AudioThing

Carlo Castellano does his 'Thing

We talk samples and plugins with the Founder and CEO of up-and-coming company, AudioThing.

Tell us how AudioThing got started.

"AudioThing started as a one-man business in 2011 in Italy, but due to Italian bureaucracy and tax burdens, and personal reasons, I moved to Ireland two years ago.

"As a composer, I buy sample libraries and have always been amazed by the possibility of making my own. That pushed me to learn everything I needed to produce mine.

"While AudioThing still remains a one-man company, I started working with a few talented freelancers (graphic designers, sound designers and programmers). AudioThing's philosophy is making unusual products with unusual approaches to ordinary stuff."

Some of your sample libraries use quite unusual sound sources. What's your inspiration for these wacky projects?

"Inspiration is everywhere - everything can be a sound source. I always bring a portable recorder with me everywhere I go. Probably less than 50% of recorded materials and ideas end up as a final product.

"I try to find unusual sources and different techniques for sampling instruments, because I think that there are already tens of libraries with the same sounds or the same concepts. I always ask myself: 'Why should anyone buy my products?'"

"I can spend from one month to even more than a year developing a single product, and if I'm not proud of it, it doesn't see the light of day."

You recently launched two effects: Valve Filter VF-1 and Valve Exciter. How did you find the transition from developing samples to plugins?

"The learning curve is obviously really steep compared to sample libraries. Over the years, I experimented with Pure Data, Supercollider and other languages/environments, but working directly on a plugin is much more compelling and rewarding. Valve Filter VF-1 was in development for nearly eight months, and most of the time was dedicated to debugging and fine-tuning everything. There's still a lot to learn, but I would like to achieve the same results I got with sample libraries: unusual plugins."

Which AudioThing product are you most proud of and why? Which product has been your most popular?

"I'm always proud of any new product I release. I can spend from one month to even more than a year developing a single product, and if I'm not proud of it, it doesn't see the light of day.

"My most popular library is definitely Pong Glockenspiel (ironically, the least challenging library I have ever made). I think the reason is the idea behind the library: something new and strange that creates an alternative to a sound that can easily become boring."

What's next from AudioThing? And will there be an "advanced" version of Valve Filter VF-1?

"I have at least ten sample libraries in development right now, with material recorded several months ago, but probably only half of them will be released. I'm also working on a couple of updates, but my main focus is slowly moving towards plugins. I have lots of layouts and ideas for a couple of synthesiser plugins, but the road is still long, so for now, I'll concentrate mostly on effects. There will definitely be a VF-2 with different filters and options, and probably a couple of free plugins in the future."


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