I’ve long felt that if an artist truly believes in what they’re doing, they should honor their own work as well as their audience by crafting their pieces to the highest standards they’re capable of. Putting my money where my mouth is, I’ve recently rewired both the power and audio in my studio to “raise my game” for the projects I plan over the next few years. In the main article this month, I detail those changes.


  • featured articleMore signal & less noise are the goals of my recent studio revamp.
  • new videos and postsSharing another Alias Zone performance on my Learning Modular channel.
  • Patreon updates: It was a busy month, with a Patch Breakdown of my latest performance, a new patch idea, the first of my Patreon Zoom sessions, and two vintage synth stories from my time at Sequential.
  • upcoming eventsOn October 9 I play live in Albuquerque, New Mexico; on October 10 is my next Patreon Ask Me Anything with guest host Kim Bjørn of Bjooks. 
  • one more thing: I was an editor and historical consultant on a new book: Synth Gems 1.

New Videos & Blog Posts

As I mentioned last month, I’ve been uploading my latest music videos when they become available to my Alias Zone YouTube channel, as I’m working to establish that more an my musical identity (so please subscribe!). However, it’s a simple fact that my older, more established Learning Modular channel has a much larger following – so I’m starting to upload videos to that channel as well, several months after they’ve been released on the Alias Zone channel. The most recent one I uploaded is Devotion (shown above), which is a companion to last month’s piece Náhuatl that I performed for Steve Roach’s SoundQuest Fest earlier this year.

Patreon Updates

It’s been another busy month on my Patreon channel, including:

  • Updating the Monster: a continuation of my Feeding the Monster series from last year, detailing which modules have changed (and why) over the past year and a half. The first two installments covered sound sources and modulation sources. (Both of these are for +5v level subscribers and above; all of the remaining posts below are for all subscribers.)
  • A “thought piece” on layering and modulars: poly synths do it all the time in their presets; why don’t we do it more when creating modular patches?
  • The latest installment in my “Notes from the Studio” – this time on updating firmware in modules.
  • Linked indexes for each of the topics discussed during my Ask Me Anything sessions with co-hosts Trovarsi and with Todd Barton.

Speaking of the Ask Me Anything series, my next one will be October 10 with Kim Bjørn of Bjooks. More details (including pre-registration information) can be found in this post.

Upcoming Events

October 9: Albuquerque Electroniqué (7:30 PM MDT, Albuquerque, New Mexico)

I am headlining a live in-person event of electronic music by New Mexico residents and friends. This will be my first in-person performance since the pandemic started, as well as my first on a “hybrid” system of my portable gigging case, poly synths (sampled & live), and pedals. Click here for more details on the Facebook Event page.

October 10: Ask Me Anything with co-host Kim Bjørn of Bjooks

The latest in my Learning Modular Patreon subscriber “Ask Me Anything” Zoom sessions, this time with guest host Kim Bjørn (pictured above) of Bjooks. As many of you know, we co-wrote Patch & Tweak (although he did all of the gorgeous page layout). Kim asked me to be an editor and historical consultant on his latest creation, the just-announced Synth Gems 1. We’ll be talking about and answering your questions on that new book, as well as modular-based topics such as live performance. A pre-registration invite has already gone out to my Patreon subscribers; followers of Bjooks will also be seeing an invite soon.

November 5: Dublin Modular (7-10 PM Irish Standard Time, Dublin, Ireland)

The folks at Dublin Modular are planning a series of great events between October 30 and November 6. I will be among the artists for the November 5 event at Unit 44 Stoneybatter (44 Park Shopping Centre, Prussia St, Dublin), playing a video of a pre-recorded performance featuring my Monster studio synth, followed by me breaking down the track and answering questions. To learn more about Dublin Modular and all of these events, visit DublinModular.com (site goes shortly after October 4).

November 13-14: SoundMiT (streaming online from Turin, Italy)

I am tentatively scheduled to be one of the performers for this year’s edition for SoundMiT. More info once the schedule is set.

One More Thing…

After I got home from surgery on my broken leg but before I could re-enter my studio, my dear friend Kim Bjørn of Bjooks thought he’d help keep me distracted by asking me to look over some text for a new book he was working on. That initial invitation quickly grew into me becoming an editor and historical consultant on the latest Bjooks project, Synth Gems 1 (written by another old friend, Mike Metlay). This book has an unusual premise: The early synthesizer as a work of art, worthy of exhibit in some sort of museum. But in addition to numerous museum-catalog-quality images of each instrument, we also dove into the history of each one: speaking whenever possible to those who had an actual hand in creating them, and placing them in a timeline of the evolution of the modern keyboard synthesizer. We found that the “conventional wisdom” was wrong for a few of the instruments; we were glad to set the record straight.

The book should start shipping October 1 in Europe, and November 1 in the United States and the rest of the world. If you can’t find it at a favorite musical equipment reseller, you can order it direct from Bjooks.

In addition to rewiring my studio, I’ve been plunged into thinking about what my “on the road” performance system is going to look like post-pandemic. This past year, I had gotten so used to using my entire studio to compose and perform solo pieces, the restriction of “what do I feel comfortable taking onto an airplane?” is proving to be quite a tough constraint. My performance on October 9 is the first step in this direction, and I expect it to change again before the new year. Hopefully next year we can meet in person as I get out and start performing again!

best regards –