2003   NOVEMBER 10   #314

Daniel Carbonell - El Sonido Hecho a Mano (The Handmade Sound)

"The sound effects aren't important. I believe that it is more exciting and it has more value to study the effects of the sound on the people." Tony Schwartz

So states the quote on the front cover of a Spanish promo 7" for library and ad jingles I found in Barcelona years back. I was attracted to it by the cover artwork of multiple faces in various expressions and the gatefold sleeve, not common for the 45 format. Inside the images of numerous pieces of analogue kit piqued my interest further and the fact that the actual 7" was housed in an inner sleeve plastered with more studio kit sealed the deal.

The single itself contains radio jingles or ads, some for well known companies too. I've complied a selection of what I think are the highlights from this little gem, some of it great musically and ripe for sampling and some just plain hilarious to me because of the dated Spanish language contained in the grooves.

We start with my favourite selection - 'Aquarella' - presumably for a drink of some sort, nice funk licks sit in a tricky time signature with soaring strings and later, a fuzz guitar solo. This segues into 'Simca Mil' which is a car model apparently, they go all out western for this one. Continuing the western theme we get castanets and twangy guitar for 'Veterano'; a Brandy product. Next up is a short sleazy lounge groove quickly followed by church organs and full choir advertising Spains' most famous Champagne - 'Freixenet'. Kettle drums and a voice straight out of the Fast shows' 'Channel 9' announce 'Duward' a make of watch and an altercation at a race track (?) sells 'Pepsi - Miranda' , basically Fanta. The last short is one of my favourites; 'Black & White - a Scotch Whisky - is voiced by a guy who must have had a moustache down to his chin and lapels to match, all ending with a lovely tremeloed guitar twang that could only have originated in the 70's.

- Strictly Kev (DJ, producer, graphic designer and rabid collector of all forms of 'music')

TT-7:17 / 6.7MB / 128kbps 44.1khz
Estudio Carbonell promo

Highlights of the sleevenotes follow - kindly translated for me by Xavier (MafiaGato) and Javier (Nexus) - thanks guys! Check out Xaviers 'La Obsesion Ninja' site at,

The handmade sound

We think that the truly important thing is the effect the sound produces in the listener. Because making sound is, in our opinion, to communicate, to capture an idea using the immense possibilities the recording process gives us.

We are a team of specialists who make this work with care, handmade. Recording means, for us, studying a project, from a record to a radio jingle, making comments about it, imagining, experimenting, collaborating, repeating, improving, and, in the end, creating a new dimension, a different sensation in each case.

Probably not everyone shares these ideas. But there is a small amount of creators/makers that understand them and want their job to be done like this. Quite a few of them have found in "Estudios Carbonell" the human team and the technical facilities to have them done.

Every task, even if small, is an opportunity to put imagination and enthusiasm on the technique and content.

All of this is achieved with people who believe in this philosophy of work, supported by a technology of absolute reliability and the widest and most exclusive range of services.

(They then go on in detail about the equipment used in the making of their productions, editing and 'the cinematographic sound' before continuing with...)

Musical productions

A musical theme for an ad or cinema, either a jingle or an instrumental, can¹t be another song, it has to be something new to the team it is created by. The music has to be done, either in its conception or in the making, "as if everything depended on it". That is how we think in the production and musical department of Estudios Carbonell.

Joan Lluis Moraleda is the responsible for the musical direction and the creative process. He studies the role the music will have in accordance to the campaign or the movie. This way, the composer writes different scores that are either polished or discarded according to the thoughts of the production director, Daniel Carbonell. After assessing and giving ideas, different demos are made which let us hear the bones of the project and see the relevance to the job given by the customer.

Joan Lluis Moraleda, musical director of Estudios Carbonell, has studied piano, composing, orchestral direction at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Barcelona, receiving a degree with honours. He studied in 1970 in Paris the classics and the avant-garde authors, under the direction of celebrities such as Pierre Pierlot and T. Aubin. Since then, he¹s made a tremendous work in the recording world, as a director and arranger for well known artists. In 1974 he received the "Ciudad de Barcelona" Prize for best musical. His creativeness in advertising has been awarded with the "Ampe" prize for the "Simca Mill" campaign.

Daniel Carbonell, director and founder of Estudios Carbonell, is an industrial engineer specialized in electronics. He has also studied acoustics and electro-acoustics at the EOC in Madrid. He started his professional career at the Radio Barcelona EAJ1, then moving to Dubbing Studios "Fono España de Madrid". He was a teacher at the High Fidelity Institute in Barcelona. He has directed and overviewed different close-circuit sound and TV installations.

Daniel is a member of the Audio Engineering Society. As a recordings and music commentator he has collaborated in different publications and at the moment he writes for Barcelona¹s "La Vanguardia". He has also been awarded with the "Ampe 1974" prize for the "Simca Mill" Campaign.

Music and FX Library

With the same ideology of their own productions, Estudios Carbonell, constantly acquires, exclusively, musical themes (library music), free of copyright, which economically solves the necessities of musical background. This way, we try to fill a hole that existed for the advertisements, audiovisuals, ambient and cinema: with justified and appropriate music, that will serve as a comment for either text or image.

The music library has more than 2500 classified themes filed as: young music, happy, romantic music, terror music, elegant ambient, etc.

The special effects library, of extreme quality, has 1600 recordings, based on our own productions and the work of foreign producers. From the scream of an elephant to machine gun shots, of a certain model and calibre, to the murmur of a brook or a mosquito flying.

Agency's service

For any recording or production, Estudios Carbonell provides a complete agency¹s service and takes care of supplying actors, singers and musicians. Plus we also can provide special or characteristic voices according to the character and any musical instrument even the strangest ones. On this aspect, Estudios Carbonell has their own instruments such as classic and electric pianos, vibraphone, drums and electronic synthesizers, the latter being indispensable in contemporary music. The electronic synthesizer is a precious instrument that "invents" sounds and effects operated by a specialist with the required musical and electronic knowledge. Joan Lluis Moraleda has found many sounds in it with the almost infinite possibilities the synthesizer possesses.

(Images courtesy of Strictly Kev)