Hi I am a music produser- media composer and a mixing engeneer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. I worked with Aled Ordu, Ivan Shopov, Saigo and others. I also have a small studio where I produce my own music as Nocktern and record different musicians for my personal projects or for other artists.
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Interview with Nocktern
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: It's mostly what it means. They have a picture in front of their eyes and they are curious if they interpret it well. I tell them that it is free for interpretation so I am more curious about what they are seeing than how they would react after I tell them what was in my head writing this.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: My computer for sure is the first thing. the Arp Odyssey, my apollo twin, my headphones, Korg MS-20
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I compose for different musicians who need an instrumental for their songs, who need additional help on their own tracks or just some enhancement of their sound with adding an extra synth part or just to mix it. Sometimes people are reaching for some extra sound design or to write music for their short, commersial or a play. Everytime the expirience is different but in all of the projects I work on I add something memorable.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Musicians like Lorn, Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, Christian Hanson, Saigo, Ivan Shopov. Their music is so inspired and they always bring something new to the table. I can say that they are my teachers.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is made with the main purpose of being a creative space. Everybody can join me in my studio with the goal of making great music. The mixing setup is made of gear that is inspiring. Like I really love my mixing desk- Soundcraft Ghost 24, Sometimes the only thing I do is run some tracks trough it for this extra analog feeling. The other thing I love in my studio is my synths. You can dive for hours in their sound and shape it in so many ways that will always sound great. Especially the Arp Odyssey with it's strange circuit and the 3 different filter types. I love the gritty sound of it and is something I will never sell.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: For my own pieces I like building the climax of the song first. I write all the parts together and then I spread them in different parts. Like bringing the answer for something that I am emotional about and after that trying to ask the wright questions that are leading to the main thing I am trying to say in the track. When working with other people the most important thing for me is the harmony. I find different progressions that work well and help the vocal or instrument say its story the best way possible. The song is a story so I see it as a movie. The structure is not the same every time. How it connects with the listener is the most important.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I listen. The song has its own soul. It tells you how to approach it. Every time I listen first then I start writing
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Understanding the music.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Soundtrack music. I like that there are no limits. I can tell my story in the best way possible for me. Everybody can interpret what they hear but if everyone is on the same track even if they see different thing then it means I did my job well.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Work on the harmony and melody. The sound design is just a tool.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Nils Frahm or Olafur Arnalds. I think I understand what they want to say and I have more to add. I think it would be a good conversation.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Cinematic, experimental, visual.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I am making music whole my life. I studied classical piano since I was 6 years old. I went trough all the stages of becoming a classical piano performer. Then I left the conservatory in the 3rd year because I was bored of doing the same thing over and over and I wanted to start composing experimental music and for that I needed to clear my head from the classic music. A few years later I started making collaborations with different artsts mainly from the hip hop scene. I was making beats and found myself always using classical instruments which brought a different flavor for the musicians I was working with. Then I started this hard core metal band Them Frequencies where I was on the vocals and found another way to express my self. We are still active and touring still while I am making more and more of my own music. Then I bought my first hardware synth which was Moog minitour. This is still my favorite bass synth. This started a new jurney for me. I started using more and more synthesized sounds and this shaped my style in a different way. After doing a some projects for different artists, movies and plays, I decided to make my own studio where I can bring people that can inspire me and can help building their own tracks. Started making more gigs with my music. A piano EP came to live a few years ago so I made many piano solo gigs while on the same time I was having other gigs with a band I created for playing my own music. It was very inspiring for me to play with them because they broght something new to the songs. Now I am still making music, working with different people and making more gigs so thing are getting better.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Know that you are hiring a musician. Not an engeneer only. If you want an advice I will give you one, but not until you ask me because I respect what you are doing.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: How far do you want to go with this song?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: I try to be as clear as possible so there are no misconceptions. But this can be learned with the years of interactions with musicians. Sometimes they think that you interfere too much. Maybe they are wright but I try to be clear about what and why I am doing this. It's a matter of mutual trust that you build during the process
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Learning about what is in the other musicians heads. What is their musical drive.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I will be honest.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. An analogue oscilator with digital control is the best by my opinion. For effects it depends. If it is an analogue reverb or delay I would prefer it but digital is so convinient and versetile that you can not ignore. Both can be an inspiration.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: 3th album, an album with my friend and partner in the studio- Aled Ordu and music for 2 theatre plays.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: Our album with Aled. His voice is so inspiring that I started making things I didn't expect I will. He is a soul and blues singer-song writer and he didn't even expected that the songs will turn into a cinematic/bluse/hip hop/electronica or whatever it is going to be. It is so inspiring.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Yes. Tien Nguyen- Saigo. He is a great producer and is dedicated to the music.