Alexander Bornstein

Alexander Bornstein is an award-winning composer currently based in Los Angeles. His music has been heard on television, independent films, feature films, web series, documentaries in the festival circuit, and concert halls around the U.S. His work has brought him through major music studios including Remote Control Productions and Sonic Fuel Studios.

Alexander is a graduate of New York University’s music composition program. Before this, he studied music and film-making the University of Central Florida in Orlando. For more information about Alexander please see the links below.

We chatted with him about how he’s using the OB-6.

What made you choose the OB-6?

“Synth fans aren’t wanting for much these days with so many great instruments to choose from — lots of them from DSI, as a matter of fact. The OB-6 stood out to me though, because of the amazing collaboration between Tom Oberheim and Dave Smith. Two icons working together on a modern polyphonic synth instantly caught my attention, and after hearing it in person I loved the richness and depth of its sound. Easy choice for me.”

How are you using it?

“It has been very exciting to get more of the characteristic sound of the Oberheim filter into my work. So much music for Film/TV is about building energy, and when I started integrating the OB-6 as a source of that (pulses, stabs, etc.) it completely opened up my sound design. On “Invisible” the season pushes to a very exciting climax, so creating tension and drive was crucial. Being able to layer in both LP/HP pulses and basses with the organic chamber orchestra textures really helped add distinction to what I consider the musical fingerprint of the show. Another scene makes use of an electric piano-type sound that really helped elevate the cue playing underneath it. Discovering these sounds on the OB-6 was very intuitive and it was quite rewarding when I realized how seamlessly the instrument fit in with my sonic palette.

What’s one of your favorite things about it?

“It is so much fun to start from a basic patch and see where you can take things. The onboard effects are a great finishing touch, so to speak, and there’s a real sense of finality when you’ve finished designing a sound. During demos or even sound design sessions with directors/clients, I’ve called up something like a pad I made and the reaction is always quite visceral. That might sound a bit hyperbolic, but I really love those moments when you find textures that bring out your inner synth geek or inspire someone you’re working with to say “I really felt that sound and want it in my movie, TV show, etc.” The OB-6 has provided many of those moments.”

What does it give you that other instruments might not?

“I really enjoy the OB-6 for having such a powerful, lively, and authentic analog sound that is also completely friendly with external tech — specifically DAW/MIDI control. Being able to adapt, edit, and evolve cues is essential to what film composers do and the OB-6 doesn’t create any roadblocks. Most importantly, it is by no means just a source of nostalgic-sounding patches. The modulation sources provide fantastic routings to color the sound however you need — all while providing an onboard sequencer to boot. DSI truly excels at creating deep instruments, and the ability to cover so much sonic ground puts an exciting pressure on composers to do interesting work with it. It is also the first synth I’ve used that was this powerful and is still purely knob-per-function. With a twist and a push, you have your sound.”

Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?

“Explore the X-Mod in combination with aftertouch. I lost a solid hour or two one night getting some very extreme FM textures and then using aftertouch as an expressive way to modify them in real time. Very weird, and very fun. Once you layer in the effects, it is amazing how abstract the OB-6 can get, and I will definitely use a lot of those textures in the future. The OB-6 has been the best of many worlds for me.



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