Interview with Sector Omega
Sector Omega is a fairly young but promising Spanish demo group with currently only two members, Yero and JosSs. Since its foundation in August 2003, the group has released four demos ('Mirages', 'Decadentia', 'Nagatabi', and 'The Message'), some of them as a co-op with Stravaganza. This is a short interview with the two members of Sector Omega, focusing on the history and future of their group.
First of all: What are the two of you doing in real life?
Yero> My name is David Geronimo, 24, and I live in a city near Barcelona. In real life I'm taking a PhD in Computer Vision.
JosSs> My name is Jose Manuel Perez, I was born in 1971 in Madrid, and I'm an architect in real life.
What's your personal scene history?
Yero> Both of us started in the modscene without knowing what the demoscene was. I started in 1996 with Scream Tracker, and then moved into Impulse Tracker. In 1999, still using snailmail, I joined SoundFactory, a Spanish modscene group. In 2000 I saw my first demos, "Myth of Orion" by Anaconda and "Bakkslide7"; the latter is still one of my favourite prods ever. The same year, Maali asked me to join a newly founded demogroup (Vivid), and I also joined BAFH (a European group which released huuuuuuge art-packs). Finally, in April 2001, I turned back to the Spanish scene and entered Concept, a well-known Spanish 64k group, also as a musician. And finally, in October 2001, I attended my first party: bcnparty'01 :)
JosSs> I started... well, could be in 1991, don't remember exactly, using a really basic two channel tracker called "Wham! the MusicBox" on my old ZX-Spectrum. Then, C64, nice cracktro tunes and loaders; Amiga500, incredible demos and lots of oldskool files; PC286, Soundblaster-Pro, FastTracker, modem 56k, internet, modulez, Euskal & Bcn Party, Adsl, Hugi, CoolPhat, Dfstars, contribs with razor1911, Sector Omega, ARGH!!!
What are you primarily doing in the scene nowadays?
Yero> Well, nowadays my main occupation in the scene is Sector Omega. I'm the org, coder and graphician, so almost all my spare time is wasted on the demosystem :) But apart from this, I am also the director of modulez.org modscene portal and co-admin of Spanish Report System, a Spanish slengpung-like portal.
JosSs> At the moment, Sector Omega is also my main preference, I'm now tasting the advanced features of modern trackers for So's soundtracks. In the rest of my free time, I try to make chiptunes and oldskool stuff just for fun. I'm an "active" member of CoolPHat and Dfstars, co-admin at modulez.org, and I'm always open and ready to collaborate with other interesting projects in the scene like razor1991 chipdisks, music-coops with others sceners (hi and thnx to all) and, of course, hugi diskmag ;)
When and how did Sector Omega start? Who had the idea to found the group, and on what occasion did it happen?
Yero> Sector Omega was born the last week of August 2003. I had made some gfx and music works for some demos, music disks and compos (some of them unreleased!!! and forgotten on some lost HDD), and I felt like starting with serious demo-coding. I had made effects for DOS, just small experiments, you know, but now I wanted to make full demos, not one-effect experiments. So I started coding a system. I had the idea to found a group, but I didn't want to make the music too, so I asked JosSs. I had known him for a couple of years, remembered introducing him to modulez, encouraging him to keep tracking (he was a tracker since early 90s), and we had already worked together for two music disks of modulez, some one hour compos, co-ops, etc. So I just asked him to join, as I consider him to be one of the best musicians in the current scene. And well, then we started demomaking :)
You've released four demos so far - Mirages, Decadentia, Nagatabi, and The Message. Some details about the making of these demos would be interesting. How did you come up with the ideas?
Yero> Uhmmm... I like themed demos. I enjoy watching abstract lights and color demos, but I prefer demos that tell a story, or send some kind of message to the watcher (although our demos won't always keep this idea, I promise :). I really don't remember how I came up with the ideas for these demos. They just appear together with other ones, and finally one of wins. For instance, before starting the work on The Message, I was thinking about some interesting ideas for about a month, but none of them satisfied me. But suddenly, that happy idea appears, looking at pictures, listening to tunes, watching tv and then next ideas come up quite easily.
JosSs> In my case, inspiration appears when talking with Yero, looking at his first drawings... then I start to imagine the demo and the sound for every stage, looking for the samples I need (which is a really hard work because I don't have exactly the sample I have in mind) and then we try to fit together the sound and the ideas... it's a nice evolution.
What tools do you use for making your productions?
Yero> For the code, I use VS6. I had planned to move into .NET, but since I use the same version at work, and I don't have much spare time, I keep using 6.0. For the graphics part, I always used Photoshop, I feel comfortable with it (don't like Gimp). And for the 3D part we've used several apps: for Mirages, I used a very simple freeware modeler, which exported .TRI files; for Decadentia, I used MAX because Stravaganza's system had a really nice max exporter; for Nagatabi, I think I used Max too, but I exported .3DS files and then loaded them with 3dsLib. And finally, for The Message we had our own MAX exporter, although d0up (the modeler for that demo) used XSI, then exported the files to MAX, and finally exported the files to O3D (our internal 3d format). About music libs, I used FMOD for the first demos, but now I've moved to BASS, in order to SOMEDAY use .MO3 format (if JosSs stops delivering me mp3s!!! :).
JosSs> Well... all of Sector Omega's soundtracks (till now) are made using MadTracker. 90% of the samples are from CD-samples or made by me using Reason (Malstrom) or other synth soft (kile's Ksynth for example), and barely edited using Goldwave.
What are the future plans of Sector Omega?
Yero> Hmmm.. I suppose that we must keep working on the system, especially improve the max exporter and work more on 3d coding, that's something I know our demos lacks. However, I like how our demos are evolving from one to another, and I hope to keep the same style while developing new effects and improving coding aspects.
JosSs> In the future I want to try other music soft like Cubase or Reason for the soundtracks... I only need more free time! And yes... I promise to use .MO3 format for tracked files, Yero ;)
Yero> About presenting demos in future parties, we are quite busy nowadays in real life (I really miss those 8-hours non-stop tracking sessions when I was at high school..), so we don't know when we'll be able to present another prod :) In any case, every time I watch any new cool release at pouet, I say to myself: Ohhhh, I'll start tomorrow with another one! :D
Thank you for the interview!
Adok/Hugi, Yero & JosSs