Remember in my last newsletter when I said I should be able to move into my studio before the end of June? Not so fast: We discovered a problem where the crew finishing the walls cut several expensive, high speed data cables embedded in those walls (and the floor). Repairing that damage has thrown the schedule into disarray.

But on to the good news:

My latest album Finite Space is now shipping, and will soon appear on all of the major streaming services. Steve Turner of Australian Control Voltage also did an in-depth interview with me where we dove into how several of the sounds and sequences were made. I will also be hosting a Listening Party for the album on July 13.

Plus, I shared a bill with Michael Stearns in June that was very well received; we are looking forward to sharing an extended gig at the Paradiso in Santa Fe in September. I will be previewing at least part of my set at Knobcon the week before.

The background thread weaving through all of the this is the way I make music: I don’t have the depth of musical practice that many other accomplished musicians do, so I have found ways to have technology help me get my ideas out of my head and have them vibrate the air. Is that cheating?


  • featured article: Rick Beato recently released a video about why music is getting worse. In it he implies making good music should be hard work. I have mixed feelings about that…
  • Alias Zone updates: My latest album – Finite Space – is now officially released. I have a number of reviews convince you to give it a listen, a deep-dive interview on its creation, and a listening party scheduled.
  • Learning Modular updates: I created a custom WavPak for the ModBap Osiris oscillator with a trick where musical intervals are embedded in the wavetable. Here’s how to use it.
  • Patreon updates: New posts since the last newsletter include an article on applying hocketing in a modular patch, impulse response samples of my new studio, and indexes for my recent interview and Osiris video.
  • upcoming events: A listening party, Knobcon, playing the Paradiso in Santa Fe with Michael Stearns, and maybe even more…

Alias Zone Updates

My latest album – Finite Space – is now available. You can get streaming, downloadable, and physical CD versions (including a bundle with stickers, glow-in-the-dark stars, and a patch cable) from the Alias Zone Bandcamp page; it should be available on all of the streaming services soon.

The video above is an interview by Steve Turner of Australian Control Voltage (AU-CV) where we take a deep dive into how the tracks were created, including patch and sequencing tips. Other interviews and videos will appear soon.

I know you’re busy; how can I convince you it’s worth your time to check out my album? Rather than me tell you how great it is (which it is, but I’m understandably biased), what if I quote a number what other electronic musicians plus music reviewers have to say about it?

Ian Boddy:
“Some lovely work on there, and great to hear modulars used in such a musical way.”

David Helpling:
“…sounds wonderful! You have such restraint musically, though your pieces are never static… continually moving and morphing. It sounds so very ‘alive’.”

Robert Rich:
“Nice bass extension on the low notes. A fresh take on sequencer melodies that avoids the overtly Teutonic zone.”

Bart Hawkins:
“…absolutely a brilliant work of electronic ambient space music. This album showcases Chris’s mastery around the modular synth and his ability to blend organic sounds in a pristinely clear hypnotic space ambiance. Finite Space demands your attention with its pulsating rhythms and evolving sequences. I simply love the deep and powerful low end that enriches the sonic tapestry. The immersive atmosphere of Finite Space is always moving, engaging you through all of its four tracks.”

Paul Rijkens for iO Pages:
“…a nice combination of Berlin School sequencing and space music. But there is also more and that manages to distinguish Chris’ music from its peers. (…) I think this is a particularly strong album. It sounds just a little bit different from the electronic music I normally hear, and I like that. “

Robin James for Brainvoyager:
“With Finite Space we get a carefully constructed excerpt of Infinity. (…) Each slowly-unfolding piece is its own cinematic journey, inviting you to explore Chris’ dreamscapes and imaginary worlds.”

Steve Sheppard for One World Music Radio:
“…a perfect example of top notch electronic music with an added twist of a global infused manifestation of sublime quality. This has to be the finest for me this year with ease. I defy anyone to press play on this album and not be totally immersed by the experience that follows. Albums of this ilk do not come around that often. As such, one has to say that Finite Space is a total masterpiece of a release…”

Bart Hawkins (again):
“The sonic clarity, balance, dynamics and detail in the production of Finite Space makes this one of my favorite albums to listen to for the pure pleasure of it, as it transcends conventional auditory experiences. The depth and immersion of this album is amazing. Finite Space is a remarkable album, a must have.”

Are you curious now? Then go to the Finite Space page on Bandcamp and stream the previews; I hope you come to the same conclusion and order your own copy. My music has to pay for itself, so your support means the world to me.

Learning Modular Updates

The ModBap Osiris has been my favorite digital wavetable VCO for awhile now. I have one in both my studio and live modular systems. I love it so much that I created a custom WavPak that contains some of the favorite patch tricks and sounds from my Monster modular synth, divided into East Coast, West Coast, Formants, and Harmonics banks. Among other things, this allows me to have many of my favorite core sounds in my live system.

But the real trick with this WavPak is what I did with the Y axis: Instead of just loading more waves, I filled them with the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th harmonic of the source waveforms. That means as you modulate the Y value, this WavPak smoothly crossfades between different consonant musical intervals to the root: octave, octave + perfect fifth, two octaves, two octaves + major third, two octaves + perfect fifth, and three octaves. (By the way, it’s a trick I wouldn’t mind seeing others also implement…)

When layered with a second oscillator tuned to the root pitch – or with the Osiris’ own subharmonic – the result are musical intervals under voltage control. Used with the Osiris’ subharmonic plus its stack & detune algorithm, and now one VCO sounds like three – with custom waves!

The video above demonstrates this WavPak, along with some patch ideas. Click here to download the WavPak (currently free!).

Patreon Updates

My Patreon subscribers get a direct connection into how I think when creating a patch, composing a piece of music, or making an upgrade to my modular synths or studio. Even when I release information publicly, my subscribers get additional background information and insights.

Since the last newsletter, new Patreon posts have included:

  • Hocketing, revisited where I discuss this technique for trading off voices (potentially with entirely different patches) when playing a musical line, and give an example of its use on my most recent album. Patch and sequencing details as well as my plugin effects choices are also discussed.(+5v and above subscribers)
  • Recordings of impulse responses from my untreated, highly reverberant studio space to be loaded into the IR reverb of your choice. In addition to hand claps, I also used claves for bright-biased and a djembe for bass-biased responses. With some plugins, the latter may produce the sound of your instruments being played through a djembe drum’s body! They were recorded in MS (mid/side), with one element pointed at me for a more direct sound, and one element pointed at the walls for an even more reverberant sound. They also make some pretty cool percussion samples on their own… (+5v and above subscribers)
  • More on my Osiris WavPak including links to other Patreon posts that demonstrate some of the modules and techniques used in its creation (those posts do require a subscription), as well as an index for quick location to a particular part of the movie. (1v/oct and above subscribers)
  • Album Breakdown for Finite Space which also includes a handy index for locating directly to specific topics in the nearly hour and a half interview. (Free to everyone.)

For those who are not subscribers (and those who are), I encourage you to check out the index for my Patreon channel: There’s a ton of useful of content up there (around 500 posts so far!), and a 7-day free trial if you want to try out a subscription and access a particular post that’s not already free.

Upcoming Events

July 13, noon MDT, Bandcamp Listening Party

I am throwing a “listening party” on Bandcamp for my new album Finite Space where I will be live in the chat, posting details about the creation of each new sound as they appear in the music, as well as answering your questions. Click this link to RSVP for this special event!

September 7, Chillout Room, Knobcon, Schaumburg Illinois

I will be one of the featured performers in the Chillout Room Saturday evening during the Knobcon convention near Chicago, Illinois. The room will be set up in quad, and I plan to develop a new set for the occasion. The Knobcon show itself is also a great hang for fellow synth-heads.

September 14, Paradiso, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Electronic music legend Michael Stearns and I will be performing at the Paradiso in Santa Fe in quadraphonic sound. Our sets will be much longer than the ones we played recently at the Albuquerque Museum. Times and a link to buy tickets will appear later on the Alias Zone website, as well as the Alias Zone Facebook and Instagram pages and in the next newsletter.

I’m also looking at playing in Denver, Colorado this October. More on that as things develop. Let’s just say you should draw a circle around the weekend of 11-13…

So as you can see, I’ve been quite busy despite my new studio not yet being finished. I hope that happens during July, when I can then start moving in and wiring everything up – including an immersive Atmos surround-sound monitoring system, which should be an entire new world to explore.

my musical future remains bright –