An Interview with DHS of the Soundwavers

by Neil Carr

Dhs's has always impressed me with his arrangements. They are proffesional. They keep in-touch with the original, yet add extra dance-a-bility. Not only this. He also belongs to the group Soundwavers which are equally as impressive as a collective

Real name: Carlo Demichelis
Handle: DHS
Born: 1970
Nationality: Italian

What were your favourite C64 Composers?

Over all, Rob Hubbard. The answer may seems too much frequent but, what you wanna do, he's the one that started it all 😊 I think he's the first that gave a meaning to the word expressivity to computer music. He's also a very talented musician. Martin Galway and Chris Huelsbeck are both great musicians and technicians, their replay routines improved SID music a lot. Together with them I'd put Tim Follin, Dave Whittaker and Maniacs of Noise. Each one with different styles but all are great.

What were your Favourite C64 sids?

Over all I think the Knuklebuster in-game music; it's more than music, it's an experience.
Then the hidden demo Trap music by Ben Daglish, great tune. Then Delta (in-game), Flash Gordon,
Warhawk, Bulldog, Ark Pandora, and many of the classic ones.

What equipment/software do you use?

Uh, actually I have: -Amiga 4000/060 -Athlon K7 1200 PC -Echo Darla 24 audio card -SB Live -Yamaha TX16W Sampler -Yamaha MU100R tone generator -Lexicon LXP5 Multieffect -Lexicon LXP1 Multieffect -Soundcraft Ghost mixer -Korg Mono/Poly analog synth (pre-midi) -Roland Juno 106 analog synth -Roland JD800 digital synrth (my favourite machine) -Sony DTC-690 Dat Since 3/4 months ago I used Amiga for sequencing, instruments and pc in midi and pc and dat for recording (my last 64 release done in this way was Cybernoid 2 \[PedeCyber RMX\], then I made \[but not released yet\] IK ). Then, starting from my remix of Max Headroom I switched to Cubase on PC. All those VST instruments are too nice not to be used ... 😊 Max Headroom was actually done 100% with software instruments.

For me your most impressive c64 Remix has been Delta (Evolution), would you agree with this, and how did the arrangement come about?

Hehhehe... Instead, I think that Delta (evolution) is one of the worst I ever made (together maybe with Bubble Bobble), anyway I'm happy someone liked it 😊) It's too flat, long and not very well EQ'ed.I made it using an old module I made years ago on amiga with Protracker, midizied it with Octamed SoundStudio and played mostly with the JD800 and the TX16W (another intrument I don't use any more). I wanted to make something very hard, with Jungle beats but I think I screwed all 😊)

I see that much of your C64 remixes are Dance orientated, why is this?

Nothing particular. It's true I generally like dance tunes but (most of the times) I try to follow the original tune
style. This is true with Delta and Cybernoid2, while it's not true at all with my version of Fairlight, that was a kind
of experiment.I made some dance arrangements in the past (some published).

You are working on a Rob Hubbard Tribute album, could you tell us about it?

One day or another it will see the light 😊 For the moment only 2 tunes are ready: IK (finished) made by me and a very particular version of Commando HiScore, made by N-Joy. We're taking it slow because we want to make other things meanwhile. Other remixes (at the moment I'm planning a co-op with another well known remixer), other music (other than C64 remixes) and, expecially, make the tunes when we are ready for them 😊

What Rob Hubbard tunes are going to feature on the album?

Apart from Commando HiScore and IK we planned nothing in particular. I would like to make Spellbound, Rasputin (Nastasha), Sanxion InGame (Montague and Capulets - from Romeo & Juliet by Prokopiev) \[hey, after all I'm living Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet! 😊\], Flash Gordon, Kentilla and.... Knukle Buster InGame (it will be an hard one...). For N-Joy, I still don't know his plans. At the moment he's busy setting up his studio (a prof. one).

When do you expect the Album to be released?

You can expect it for the year we'll have a female Pope. 😊 Just joking, I really don't know.

Could you tell our readers a bit about the group Soundwavers?

N-Joy, Pyratronik (almost improductive by now, but still a great friend) and me started in a demo group on Amiga as musicians (Italian Bad Boys, we were quite known 😊) and made quite a lot of tunes. Pyratronik was also the coder of the (for the times) famous utility NASP that allowed people to mix in realtime songs. When we leaved the group and made a group with only musicans. We made some record (dance). Then we made some experience in the game industry (on computer and for those damn looks-like-a-slot-machine-or-a-videopoker-sure-it's-a-money-waste things😊). The most important thing is that music for us is (still) not a real work but a passing. Sure, if we can gain some money from it sometimes we are happy, but for the moment is not a business.

The Soundwavers for me have arranged some of the best C64 arrangments i have heard, you must pride yourselves in producing quality remixes. So what's the secret?

Passion and the wish to be perfect. Ofcourse, this is not possible, infact I've produced many things I have never released. And, sure, a minimum of equipment is necessary.

What non Soundwavers arrangement have you liked?

Many composers are donig a great work: I like everything from o2, he's really talented. Feekzoid is great,
as the LMan is really good. His IK and Wizball covers are awesome.I like most of the remix from TDG, the
rock style of Puffy64, and, tecnically the works of THC Flatline.
Eventually there are some exploding-exploit, for example Jeroen Breebaart with his Special Agent 2001 (Stunning).

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

Hehe, many. Great meetings with a friend to listen to the latest Rob tunes, watch the new demos. Or,
playing first games or learning to code (hehe, I remember the way; assembly direct on the memory, no compilers or shit. Great times! C64 was such a lovely system.).

Did you ever compose on the c64 itself?

No, in C64 times I was mostly a coder, I never tought I'll ever would be a musician. That came later,
on amiga, first with Aegis Sonix (Argh!), then with SoundTracker and the likes. The fact I made a DJ
for sometime in the beginning of the 90 helped.

Is there a c64 sid that hasn't been covered that you would like to hear?

Many ! Rasputin, for example 😊

Who do you think gives the current c64 scene the biggest boost?

Chris and Linus in first place, both promoting the cover and remix practice. Then Jan, with his passionate
work on r.k.o.

What are your thoughts on the BitLive event, and will you be attending?

I would LOVE to be there, but I think it will be a little difficult. How the hell those english can drive on the left side? 😊 Seriously, I think in that period I'll be too busy to be there. 😒

What are your likes/dislikes about the scene?

I've been in various scenes previously 😊 I think this is a good one, there aren't the usual problems with peple hanging around claiming I'm the best, you're a lamer, and similar shit. Most of us care only about music, and that is what counts. Sure, sometimes you listen to the usual sid-rip-with-drums that most of us don't like (but there's people who like it), or, maybe, the next remix of lazy jones (KK like), but, hell, everyone can do what he wants to 😊

What projects have you reciently worked on?

Last work I made is the music for a CD-Rom for a Bank. 70'ish style (hammond, wha-wah, and so on), nothing particular.... but, hell, the K7 1200 Mhz is here! 😊)

What does the future hold for DHS?

Who knows?

Lastly you can say anything you want on this question, what do you want to add?

Music is a magical, emotional thing. For many of us SID music is a way to drift back to our youth.
The extraordinary thing is that there's also many people that didn't live in that period, but likes
SID music a lot. The SID itself was an extraordinary gear. The musicians involved where, in most
cases, genious.

The Rob Hubbard CD is not near to being finished. But it should be worth waiting for, As there is no doubt that the Soundwavers produce some really impressive work.

- Neil

Interview date: 31.03.2001