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Diego Stocco: A Journey Into Dustland


When we last checked in, sound designer Diego Stocco was traveling to Milan to put on live shows that featured him playing... trees. With a pencil sharpener for a tuner, a bow, a bonsai and Ableton Live, Diego brought the lush sounds of the forest to the beautiful Italian city.

Diego's latest project, Dustland, sees him trading in the wood for steel to make sound. Long known for his custom-built instruments and unique approaches to recording sound, the Los Angeles-based musician fashioned a "Fence Bass", a metallic string instrument. Creating a large cinematic sound, Diego's Dustland is a moody piece that could very well be the soundtrack for a modern, albeit dark, Western film.

All of the sounds and textures for the Dustland audiovisual project come from the Fence Bass. The sounds generated are in real-time; there are no preexisting loops or post-effects added in. For the project, Diego built a chain of processors that he controls with LiveĀ 8 via a SoftStep pedal board.

Diego Stocco is a sound artist for film and TV and has worked professionally with composers Hans Zimmer, Paul Haslinger and Trevor Morris.