The end of June/early July was a busy time, as I performed in quad at the Currents New Media Festival, and then played at SynthaCider in the Denver area. The main article this month will be some of what I learned about quad sound; I also edited together and posted a video of the SynthaCider performance.

After that, I had Part 2 of my Oceanachine interview with Shueh-li Ong, became re-acquainted with my Monster studio modular after a year away, composed and recorded a piece for an upcoming modular-only compilation, and more. The details:


  • featured article: I had the pleasure of performing in quad at the Currents New Media Festival, along with Sine Mountain (David Soto) and Jill Fraser. Here are some notes on how we approached quad for that show.
  • Alias Zone updatesI edited together an “official bootleg” of my performance at SynthaCider.
  • Learning Modular updatesPart 2 of my Music & Chat interview with Shueh-li Ong, this time focusing on modulars as well as MIDI. Also, the course sale is over…but I dropped my prices anyway, for those outside of the US having to deal with the strong dollar.
  • Patreon updatesSeveral new posts for my Patrons, covering some new module choices, recording techniques, and more.
  • upcoming eventsI will be playing at the Chill-Out Room during Knobcon in September.
  • one more thingA classic electronic music book is being re-issued – but you only have a few more days to reserve a copy.

Alias Zone Updates

In early July, I performed a special version of The Cave at the SynthaCider event in Lakewood, Colorado, incorporating my ATV aFrame electronic frame drum along with a few other new sounds. The event was streamed live on YouTube, but unfortunately the internet bandwidth at the location was poor, meaning there were a lot of frozen and stuttered frames in the video – along with a few brief audio dropouts. 

Fortunately, my wife Trish shot a substantial portion of my performance on her iPhone, which ended up having higher quality as well. So, I edited together a composite of the two, using the best available source at any given moment, and repaired the worst of the audio glitches. The result is the video above. I call it an “official bootleg” because the quality isn’t up to my normal videos, but I thought the performance was worth preserving and sharing. 

(Click here for the stream of the entire event (including sets by Modulus10, El Roachy, and Moss Pig); click here for the original studio version of The Cave.)

I also composed and recorded a new piece for the next installment of an all-modular compilation. That should be out by the end of the year; I’ll let you know when it ships. Before then, I plan to break down each of the individual tracks for my Patreon subscribers.

Learning Modular Updates

Shueh-li Ong of Oceanachine and I had so much fun with our interview back in June, that she invited me back for a Part 2 in July. That stream of that interview is above. This time around, we focused on two main topics: the early days of MIDI, and my involvement with modular synthesizers both past and present.

Also, fun fact: Roughly 2/3 of those who visit my web site, Facebook page, etc. are from outside of the United States, where I am based. And right now, the US dollar is very strong against other currencies, making things like my courses more expensive for those outside the US. That (along with inflation) was one of the reasons I ran a sale on my courses during June. The sale is over, but I decided to go ahead and lower my normal prices, hoping to make it easier for those of you who are outside the US.

Patreon Updates

It was an interesting month, as I transitioned from live performance using my portable system (including Pandora’s Box – my new gigging modular case) to using my studio modular (The Monster) for the first time since I broke my leg last July. While I was at it, I wrote the following posts for my Patreon subscribers:

All of those posts are available to +5v and above subscribers. (For $5/month, you get access to these plus a few hundred previous posts, and you can cancel any time; if you sign up for a year, you get two months free. Patreon is where I’m posting all of my educational content these days, covering modules as well as composition, recording, and performance; if you want to take your skills to the next level, please check it out – even if for just a month.)

Upcoming Events

September 10: Chill-Out Room at Knobcon, 8:30 PM

I will be performing in quad at the Saturday evening Chill Out Room during Knobcon Number 10 in Schaumburg, Illinois. Meridian Alpha (Jim Coker) and I will be among several of the acts playing in quad; I will be on of the earlier sets.

I am also tentatively scheduled to perform at the next New Mexico Control Voltage event October 1 at the Press Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and possibly in quad October 29 at the Synthplex show in Burbank, California (with Jim Coker as Meridian Alpha in a duo configuration). I’ll keep you posted as those dates draw closer.

One More Thing…

One of the first comprehensive books that taught electronic music was Allen Strange’s Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls. It is long out of print, and original copies are very expensive if you find them.

This prompted Dr. Jason Nolan to track down Allen’s partner Pat and secure rights to reproduce the book, complete with new clearer photographs, plus new introduction and testimonials. Jason launched the book as a Kickstarter project, and it is already successfully funded; the campaign closes August 5 – so if you want to reserve a copy, click through to its Kickstarter page now and place an order!

(And if some of you are wondering if this is competition to Kim Bjørn’s and my book Patch & Tweak, both Kim and I are supporters of this project. Allen Strange’s book is very much “of its time” including patch techniques on now-vintage equipment to get around limitations of the technology at the time – such as using repeating envelopes to fake then-expensive echo machines. It is a fun historical reference to have around, and might even give you some new compositional ideas based on these older ideas and techniques.)

Thank you again for your support. I get to spend the rest of August in the studio – editing my next album among other projects – before hitting the road again in September. I hope I get to see some of you at my upcoming gigs!

still having fun –