Voltage Connect 2017 Presenters
Voltage Connect featured these three keynote speakers, in addition to several conference presenters.
Friday, March 10, 2017
9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
David Friend has been a lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management and is an active supporter of music and the arts in Boston. He is a trustee (emeritus) of the New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is on the boards of several corporations, including netBlazr, Inc., FastPort, DealDash, AudioCommon, and Cyracom International.
Friend holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from Yale University and attended the Princeton University Graduate School of Engineering where he was a David Sarnoff Fellow. He is an avid marathoner, distance cyclist, windsurfer, and hiker.
Friday, March 10, 2017
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Daniel Haver joined the founding team of Native Instruments in 1997 as a shareholder and managing director. As an avid fan of electronic music, he was fascinated both with the sonic possibilities of software synthesis and with the wider creative implications of audio software. As a passionate entrepreneur who had previously owned a media design studio in Hamburg, Germany, he also recognized the business potential of the emerging computer revolution in the musical instruments domain.
First, Haver outfitted Native Instruments with solid business structures and created a longterm marketing and distribution plan. A crucial element was the setup of U.S. representation in Los Angeles, which became Native Instruments North America, Inc., in 2002. Haver also guided the creation of a diversified portfolio, evolving the initial Reaktor software technology into the Komplete line of software instruments and effects, and initiating breakthrough products such as the digital DJ platform Traktor and the groove production system Maschine. His passion for industrial and graphical user interface (GUI) design also defined the distinctive look and feel of the company’s products, and his strong marketing background allowed him to define a highly distinctive brand that contributed to Native Instruments' unique status in the industry.
Today, Native Instruments is run by Haver as CEO and Mate Galic as president, and currently employs around 400 people in its offices in Berlin, Germany; Los Angeles, California; Tokyo, Japan; Shenzhen, China; and London, England. Haver remains the driving force behind all strategic decisions as well as a pursuer of a systematic expansion course on all fronts. His passion for sports challenges, which made him spend his teenage years on the motocross circuit, is nowadays realized in sporadic snowboarding, wakeboarding, and kite surfing trips.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Marcus Ryle, cofounder and president of leading music technology company Line 6, has been responsible for driving innovation in Line 6 products since its inception. He cofounded Fast Forward Designs in 1985, which developed groundbreaking products for Alesis, Digidesign, and other companies before evolving into the Line 6 brand in 1996. Prior to Fast Forward Designs, he was a design engineer for Oberheim, where he helped create several now-legendary analog synthesizers.
Ryle's long history and expertise in technology and product development have resulted in bestselling musical instrument and audio products in several categories, and the coinvention of 19 U.S. patents. In 2012, he was inducted into the first annual Keyboard Hall of Fame and the inaugural Guitar Player Hall of Fame. A classically trained pianist, Ryle has played keyboards and/or created sounds for several motion picture and television soundtracks as well as numerous professional recording artists including Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Christopher Cross, Chicago, Chaka Khan, and Lee Ritenour.
Jonathan Bailey B.M. '08 is a technologist and musician with more than a decade of experience in building innovative products. As chief technology officer at iZotope, he leads the design, research, and development teams in the strategy, planning, and delivery for iZotope’s award-winning line of products, including Ozone, RX, Neutron, and Iris. He also works in close collaboration as part of iZotope’s executive leadership team to catalyze and drive organizational and personnel development within the fast-growing company.
Before joining iZotope, Bailey was chief technology officer at Curious Brain and lead developer at Sonik Architects. With degrees in computer science from Stanford University and electronic music production from Berklee College of Music, he also is a prolific performer and composer.
Athan Billias has spent most of his life with MIDI. In the early '80s, he was the sales manager at E.U. Wurlitzers in Boston and sold the Cars not only nine Roland Jupiter 8s, but the DCB-to-MIDI converters to go with them. He was the product planning manager for Korg, Inc. in Tokyo, Japan, from the Korg M1 (the largest selling synthesizer of all time) up until the release of Korg's first auto accompaniment keyboard (the i3) in 1993. After a year spent revoicing the Alesis QS8, creating the sound set that shipped with the Sega Saturn, and developing E-MU sampling libraries, he became the vice president of Ivl Multimedia and licensed MIDI-controlled vocal harmony technology to Yamaha, Brother, Ricoh, and Sega for their ISDN-network MIDI-based karaoke systems. In 1998, Billias joined Yamaha as the marketing manager for music production, and he has been involved with the product planning and voicing for every Yamaha synthesizer from the S80 to the Montage. He is currently the director of strategic product planning at Yamaha Corporation of America and has been on the executive board of the MIDI Manufacturers Association for 20 years.
Richard Boulanger, professor of electronic production and design at the Berklee College of Music (also known as Dr. B.), is an internationally recognized composer, performer, author, lecturer, developer, and the founder of Boulanger Labs. He holds a Ph.D. in computer music from the University of California, San Diego, where he worked at the Center for Music Experiment’s Computer Audio Research Lab. He has continued his computer music research at Bell Labs, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Interval Research, IBM, and One Laptop per Child. Boulanger has appeared in and premiered his interactive orchestral and chamber music compositions at the Kennedy Center, the Seoul Opera House, the Beijing Central Conservatory, and Shanghai Symphony Hall; and his Radio Baton and PowerGlove Concerto was premiered by the Krakow and Moscow Symphonies. Boulanger’s Csound-based iOS apps include csGrain, csSpectral, and csJam. With BT, he has published a Csound-based app for the Leap Motion Controller called MUSE, and he recently composed and performed a major symphonic work built around these apps called Symphonic Muse. Boulanger has published articles on computer music education, production, and composition in all the major electronic music and music technology magazines; and for MIT Press, he has authored and edited two canonical computer music textbooks that are used around the world: The Csound Book and The Audio Programming Book. Among his many grants, Boulanger was a Fulbright professor at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland. At Berklee, where he has been teaching for over 30 years, he has won both the Faculty of the Year Award and the President’s Award.
Ramon Castillo has composed music for PUBLIQuartet, Gamelan Galak Tika, Alea III, Ensemble Robot, the Loud Objects, and various other ensembles and festivals. He has performed with artists such as the Kronos Quartet, Signal Ensemble, Wu Man, Terry Riley, and Gamelan Galak Tika.
As a full-time faculty member and associate chair of the Music Department at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, he teaches musicianship and music business, and directs several ensembles including the Contemporary Electronic Ensemble. He also works with a small team of faculty to overhaul the core musicianship curriculum. In addition, Castillo teaches composition part time at Berklee College of Music.
Castillo created the Bleep Blop Electroacoustic Ensemble to encourage young composers to become familiar with new musical media and experimental performance techniques. Bleep Blop has worked regularly with several domestic and international artists including Sandeep Das and NonDuo. Castillo has personally developed much of the technology (hardware and software) in use by the ensemble.
Daniel Clarke is a senior product designer at Focusrite and Novation. Over the past five years, he has been involved in the development of a variety of award-winning products, including the Focusrite Red 4Pre Thunderbolt interface, Novation Bass Station II synthesizer, and the Novation Launchpad Pro grid controller. Most notably, he was the lead designer for the recent Novation Circuit groove box, focusing his 16 years of experience in creating electronic music to produce unique user experiences with standalone sequencers.
Clarke is a keen proponent of removing obstacles when creating music, making the experience easier for musicians while ensuring that they can maintain their creative flow.
Chris Clepper, after initially exploring film, found it was most satisfying to combine art with cutting-edge technology. A focus on computer music and video led to a tour of North America with the Mego label (possibly the first to use only laptops) and a world tour performing video with Tortoise. Living in Chicago, Illinois, Clepper worked in a variety of genres: experimental music with Kevin Drumm, indie rock with Thrill Jockey and Drag City, improvised jazz led by Ken Vandermark, and Chicago house centered around Derrick Carter. Returning to visual art in the mid-2000s, he helped develop the OpenGL/video library GEM for Pure Data and created interactive video installations that ended up in many permanent collections, including the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Clepper studied film at the University of Texas and art and technology at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He taught technology to artists at SAIC and art to technologists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his current role in research and development at Eurorack synthesizer manufacturer Tiptop Audio, he has worked on products such as the Trigger Riot, Circadian Rhythms, and ONE. In his spare time, Clepper is the director of Art Technology New England, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering a community for technology artists through talks and workshops.
Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain founded monome in 2005, pioneering the grid-based performance interface. This open-source tool encourages people to envision and build their own musical systems, fostering an international community in which people share code, sounds, and ideas. Currently, monome is exploring new territory in the modular synthesis environment with radically different proposals.
Crabtree and Cain have had their work shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in addition to numerous international performances. They live in upstate New York, where time is shared with apple orchards, shiitake stacks, and birds of all size, color, and song.
With 20 years of experience in the music software industry, Matthew Davidson has designed the user interface for a number of award-winning products including Digital Performer, Volta, MX4, and others. Davidson is the creator of BEAP, the music synthesis tool used at Berklee, and the author of a number of well-known applications for the monome, an open-source music controller. He has been a faculty member of Berklee's Electronic Production and Design Department since 2012.
Michele Ducceschi is a Newton International Fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is currently developing numerical schemes for nonlinear string vibration, including collision models for the string/fretboard interaction.
Ducceschi holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA), with a scholarship funded by École Polytechnique in Paris, on nonlinear vibration in plates. He is also part of Physical Audio, a company devoted to developing real-time physical modeling plugins.
Eran Egozy is an entrepreneur, musician, and educator, serving as professor of the practice in music technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is the cofounder and chief scientist of Harmonix Music Systems, a preeminent game development studio that has developed more than a dozen critically acclaimed, music-based video games. Harmonix was founded in 1995 with the mission “to allow everyone in the world to experience the joy of making music.” Beginning in 2005, Harmonix developed Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2, fueling the explosive growth of the music games category to more than $1 billion in sales. Harmonix then created the award-winning franchise Rock Band, which sold more than 13 million units. From 2010–2014, Harmonix released the Dance Central series, the first fully immersive dance games for the Kinect. More recent titles include Fantasia: Music Evolved, Beat Sports for Apple TV, and several virtual reality titles for Sony and Oculus Rift.
An accomplished clarinetist, Egozy performs regularly with Radius Ensemble and Emmanuel Music, and freelances in the Boston area. He serves on the boards of several Boston-area nonprofit organizations and mentors and invests in several startups around the city. Before cofounding Harmonix, he earned degrees in electrical engineering and music from MIT, where he conducted research on combining music and technology at the MIT Media Lab. His current research and teaching interests include interactive music systems, music information retrieval, and multimodal musical expression and engagement.
Mark Ethier is cofounder and chief executive officer of iZotope, an industry-leading audio technology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds degrees in music and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a member of the Boston Committee for the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Driven by a passion for audio, iZotope develops software that inspires and enables the creative community to achieve technical and artistic excellence. The company has spent more than 15 years developing audio production tools, focusing on music production, with solutions for mixing, mastering, and creative effects; and audio post production, with tools that enhance audio for film, broadcast, video, and new media.
Daniel Fisher B.M. '89 is both an alumnus (dual B.M. in music synthesis, and music production and engineering, cum laude) and a former associate professor of music synthesis at Berklee College of Music. Prior to Berklee, he studied analog synthesis at Northern Illinois University (NIU) on their Moog System 55 and Putney VCS3. After NIU, he joined the U.S. Army for 13 years and eventually became the keyboardist for the U.S. Army Rock Band. After working as a soundware engineer for Kurzweil Music Systems, Fisher became chief soundware engineer for Sweetwater’s Soundware Development Facility. Fisher also wrote the "Synth Tricks" column for Keyboard Magazine for five years, as well as articles for Electronic Musician and MIX. For the past 20 years, he has been hired to create factory patches for Kurzweil, Moog, Korg, Roland, Alesis, E-MU Systems, and TC Electronic. Fisher has also written owner’s manuals, including the Moog Sub 37, and created a Soundpack for Moog’s Model 15 app called Psychotropic Synthesis. In his current position as director of product optimization at Sweetwater Sound, he creates value added soundbanks and quickstart guides for current keyboards. His additional duties include teaching synthesis to all incoming Sweetwater engineers and creating YouTube videos for new keyboards, synths, and effects.
Ivan Franco had started on his research path by 1995 at GASA, an environmental research group dedicated to virtual reality and computer simulations. During this time, he also cultivated his passion for music, playing drums in several rock bands. From the combination of these two interests, he began a self-taught exploration of computer music. Frustrated with the lack of physical engagement from the computer, he turned to human-computer interaction studies to rethink physical interfaces in media art performances, later pursuing his master's degree in digital arts at Pompeu Fabra University, where he developed his own electronic musical instruments and presented work at relevant electronic art festivals. In 2002, he was invited to join YDreams to manage the company's research and development lab, where he would further explore his knowledge in the areas of user interface design and ubiquitous computing. During this time, YDreams became one of the most celebrated award-winning Portuguese tech companies, featured in Wired, CNBC, and The Economist. Franco won several awards and has been an invited speaker at many universities, corporate events, and art festivals. Currently he is pursuing his Ph.D. in music technology at the Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory and McGill University.
As a DJ, producer, label owner, and journalist, Mate Galic was one of the most prolific figures in Europe's burgeoning techno scene of the '90s. His passion for sound and the continuous evolution of electronic music made him a relentless explorer of all related technology.
When Galic came across Native Instruments' groundbreaking synthesis software, Generator, he was electrified by its vast creative implications and joined the company as shareholder in 1999. Since then, he became deeply involved in Native Instruments' product design and eventually played a crucial role behind many of the company’s product milestones.
As chief technology officer and president, Galic today steers the strategic direction with chief executive officer Daniel Haver and oversees the technological research, design, and development at Native Instruments. His mission is to further advance a paradigm of inspirational music technology that is profoundly innovative while remaining accessible to musicians of all backgrounds.
Amos Gaynes is a product developer at Moog Music, where he has contributed to the development of multiple award-winning synthesizers, analog effects, and apps. After an inspiring meeting with Bob Moog during his youth in Asheville, North Carolina, Gaynes's life has been shaped by an enduring fascination with electronic sound and technology. His design philosophy is informed by 20 years of experience composing and producing electronic music as well as a decade of interaction with Moog users. He believes in designing tools that help artists connect to their inspiration and explore the outer reaches of sonic expression.
Geoffrey Gee B.M. '87 is a pianist, composer, and sound designer with 30 years of experience in the musical instrument industry. He studied classical piano at Indiana University and holds a degree in professional music from Berklee. As an artist and clinician, he has performed across the United States and in 22 countries around the world. His Carnegie Hall debut was an improvised solo piano concert at Weill Recital Hall in December 2015.
In the 1990s, Gee was a senior soundware engineer at Kurzweil, responsible for the factory voicing and MIDI touch response for acclaimed professional keyboards including the K2500 and PC-88, as well as digital pianos including the Ensemble Grand Mark 10. As an independent sound designer, he has worked with companies such as Synthogy and SONiVOX, helping to develop and voice software instruments. In 2008, he introduced the Kontakt-based instrument Plectrum, a collection of completely original acoustic instruments created from prepared instruments, found sounds, and natural environments.
Currently an international baccalaureate music instructor at the Long Trail School in Dorset, Vermont, Gee remains an active performer, composer, conductor, and sound designer based in upstate New York on a 95-acre farmstead, where he lives with his partner and their five children. Over the past year, he has been voicing sounds and generating strategies and techniques to exploit the extraordinary potential of the Roli Seaboard Rise five-dimensional keyboard controller.
Darwin Grosse lives at the intersection of art and technology. As an artist, he has provided sound, music, and visuals for movies, videos, dance, and musical performances. As a technologist, he has worked with the Cycling ’74 team for more than 15 years on the development of the Max programming language, and he's a longtime contributor to Recording Magazine. He has also been an active educator, teaching visual programming and sound art/design at the University of Denver through 2016, and conducting various classes and workshops throughout the 2000s.
Grosse’s current activities include a role as a collaborating digital artist with Third Law Dance Theater, a contributing author and product reviewer with Recording Magazine, and a performer with several music groups including THHG, NoPoem, and other solo and collaborative works. He is also the director of education and customer services with Cycling ’74, where he helps Max users become better at their work. Currently based in Northfield, Minnesota, Grosse continues developing his own performance system, including modular synthesizers, Arduino microprocessors, Monome interfaces, and Max running on many, many computers. He is an avid coffee drinker, which makes all the above possible.
Leon Gruenbaum started playing classical piano at the age of 5. During his youth, he took classes in piano, clarinet, and music theory at the New England Conservatory as well as a summer stint at Berklee College of Music. In 1985, he received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
In 1988, he invented the samchillian, a relativistic keyboard controller, for which he received a patent, and he subsequently began recording and performing with it worldwide with artists such as Vernon Reid, James Blood Ulmer, and many others. Gruenbaum has showcased his invention with his own projects including L.E.G. Slurp, Math Camp, and, most recently, with Genes and Machines, a band that features his compositions, vocals, and the samchillian.
Chris Halaby is CEO of KVR Audio. In addition to managing the KVR team, he contributes a sporadic blog, featuring interviews with artists and product developers with an occasional opinion thrown in for good measure. Before joining KVR, he was founder of Muse Research and CEO of Opcode Systems until its merger with Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1998.
Halaby has many years of composition and performance experience in the music industry, including several years with George Coates Performance Works, Gary Palmer Dance Company, ACT, and many other musical entities. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; the Doolittle Theater in Los Angeles, California; and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, California. He still performs with various groups in the Bay Area. Halaby holds a bachelor’s degree in art from Stanford University.
Jack Hotop '73 grew up listening to records that his father, a guitarist, recorded with the Joe Mooney Quartet and to his work on several Broadway albums, which helped ignite Hotop's passion for jazz and classical music. Many members of his mother's family played the piano, so he started taking piano lessons, and after getting his Gibson 101 organ, he started gigging with high school bands before attending Berklee to study arranging and composition. Hotop has done film, television, and session work as well as performed on world tours with the Drifters, Gloria Gaynor, and Silver Convention. He had been performing locally with Equinox and Rat Race Choir before joining Korg in 1983. Since then, he has done several videos, demos, and a lot of sound design for Korg synths and workstations. He's been featured in Keyboard and Electronic Musician magazines, and when time permits, he's been able to perform as a member of the John Entwistle Band, the Robin Zander Band, and with Leslie West.
Ben Houge is an artist working at the intersection of music composition, digital art, video games, performance, and gastronomy. Highlights of his 20-year video game career include composing the acclaimed string quartet soundtrack for Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001) and developing an innovative cell-based music system as audio director of Tom Clancy’s EndWar (2008). In recent years, he has been developing a series of multisensory dining experiences he calls “food operas,” drawing on recent technological advances to achieve an unprecedentedly close pairing of music with a meal. From 2004 to 2010, he lived in Shanghai, China, where was active in the Chinese art community, and his real-time, multichannel sound work has been exhibited internationally. Houge is an associate professor in the Electronic Production and Design Department at Berklee College of Music. For more more information, visit his website.
Dan Lehrich ’04 has worked as a sound designer, audio director, creative director, and producer in and outside of the video gaming world. He was a creative director in the Guitar Hero business at Activision, where he and his team focused on conceiving and developing transformative music-gaming experiences.
At Disney, he was senior producer of mobile for Disney Infinity and was part of the team that successfully launched a $1 billion franchise. Lehrich is a classically trained musician and a media technologist with an interest in production, controllerism, and interactive art. He currently works at Magic Leap.
Paul D. Lehrman is a composer, writer, producer, and educator. He has a bachelor’s degree in bassoon performance and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies. He was principal author of MIDI for the Professional, the standard college textbook on MIDI, and has written more than 600 articles on music and audio technology, including a monthly column for Mix magazine. His film scores have been featured on PBS, A&E, History Channel, and Canal+.
Lehrman has served as a consultant for numerous hardware and software companies, including Apple, Digidesign, Kurzweil, Roland, Yamaha, JBL, AKG, and Passport Designs. In 1985, he was cocreator of the first graphics-oriented MIDI sequencer for the Apple Macintosh. In 1987, he created the computer music program at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Since 2000, he has been on the faculty of Tufts University, where he is director of the music engineering program, teaching courses in computer music and electronic musical instrument design, and directing the Tufts Electronic Music Ensemble.
In 1998, Lehrman was commissioned by music publisher G. Schirmer to create MIDI sequence files for performing the revolutionary 1924 George Antheil composition, “Ballet Mécanique,” and he has since produced more than 20 performances of the piece at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, Davies Symphony Hall, London Festival Hall, and the National Gallery of Art.
Grace Leslie is committed to harnessing the expression granted by new music interfaces to better understand the link between music and emotion, with the ultimate goal of employing musical brain-computer interfaces to promote wellness. She is a visiting scientist in the affective computing group at the MIT Media Lab, where she develops musical brain- and body-interface systems to invite expression and experience of emotion. On a parallel track, as a flutist and electronic music improviser, she maintains a brain-body performance practice. She builds brain-computer interfaces that reveal aspects of her internal mental state—those left unexpressed by sound or gesture—to an audience.
Leslie completed her Ph.D. in music and cognitive science at the University of California at San Diego, where she studied the expressive movements and brain dynamics supporting music engagement at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience. During the 2008–2009 academic year, she was a researcher at IRCAM in Paris. She has also worked on audio DSP and user experience design projects for Sennheiser and Motorola. She completed her undergraduate and master’s degree work in music, science, and technology at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University.
Jason H. J. Lim B.M. '13 is a Glasgow-based musician, creator and educator who works between the worlds of traditional musical instruments and experimental electronics. With a background in classical and contemporary music as a multi-instrumentalist, Lim graduated from the Electronic Production and Design Department at Berklee College of Music and then launched his first entrepreneurial startup, designing and building modular synthesizers in the Eurorack format. Under the branding “Instruō,” he now designs and releases his own range of analogue and digital instruments, which are used by musicians and artists worldwide. Instruō acts as both a branding and a stage name. Lim performs on stage and in the studio with an ever-evolving rig of customized modular synthesizers and controllers, combined with an array of electric and acoustic string and percussion instruments.
Along with synth development, performance, and studio work, Lim is now a part of a team of tutors at Scotland’s leading electronic music production studio, Shoogle Studios, where he teaches a program in sound design and audio synthesis.
Moldover has been described by John Tackett of Crowd Wire this way: ”A musician at heart, inventor born of curiosity, and innovator by necessity, I believe the world calls him the 'Godfather of Controllerism' for damned good reasons."
History notes only a handful of artists who successfully pushed the limits, both with their music and with the design of their musical instruments. What Bach was to the keyboard and Hendrix was to the guitar, Moldover is to the controller. Disillusioned with "press-play DJs”, Moldover fans eagerly welcome electronic music’s return to virtuosity, improvisation, and emotional authenticity. Dig deeper into Moldover’s world, and you’ll uncover a subversive cultural icon who is jolting new life into physical media with "playable packaging,” sparking beautiful collaborations with his custom jamboxes and drawing wave after wave of followers with an open source approach to sharing his methods and madness.
Ernst Nathorst-Böös has a wealth of experience, with more than 30 years in the music instrument business. Starting as an early importer of synthesizers into Sweden, Nathorst-Böös later worked as a technical writer, musician, producer, and product designer before cofounding Propellerhead Software in Stockholm in 1994. As chief executive officer, he has grown the business from three employees to one of the world’s leading companies in music creation software, producing innovative applications, interfaces, and technology standards. Propellerhead products are used by millions of professionals, enthusiasts, and casual musicians, with Rack Extensions, ReWire, and REX technologies becoming de facto industry standards.
Nathorst-Böös is the founder and chairman of Allihoopa, a social network that connects people, music content, and music apps. He was a founding member of the International Music Software Trade Association (IMSTA) and has certificates from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Ahrens University of Rapid Growth, and FEI Stockholm.
Steve O'Connell graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1983 with a B.S. in computer engineering. His master's degree from Stanford in 1983 was in electrical engineering, concentrating in digital signal processing. Having completed summer internships for RCA, IBM, and ATT, upon graduation his first position was at ATT in Whippany, New Jersey, doing digital television compression and delivery. After a couple of years at ATT, he went back to school for a year at Princeton.
That's when O'Connell's Lyricon broke. A saxophone player for years, he once purchased a Lyricon wind controller along with MiniMoog and Oberheim SEM synthesizers. Apparently, the best person to repair his Lyricon was a guy from the Bronx—Sal Gallina. Gallina was consulting for Yamaha on the development of the WX7 at the time, and procured a couple of small firmware jobs from Yamaha for O'Connell before he got a full time position helping migrate the physical modeling work that CCRMA was doing to future Yamaha products.
O'Connell moved to California in 1989 to a group that eventually became Korg R&D. Subsequently, O'Connell started BitHeadz in 1997 doing commercial software synths for Macs and PCs. After another round with Korg R&D in 2004, he released some software synth under his own name for iOS in 2011. Currently, he is doing software and firmware development for a contract engineering firm in Rhode Island.
Joe Paradiso is the Alexander W. Dreyfoos (1954) professor in media arts and sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, where he directs the responsive environments group. He received his Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 1981 and a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Tufts University in 1977, and joined the Media Lab in 1994 after developing spacecraft control systems at Draper Lab and high-energy physics detectors at ETH Zurich. He has also been designing and building electronic music systems since 1974, and researching and lecturing on musical controllers for the last 20 years. His current research explores how sensor networks augment and mediate human experience, interaction, and perception. This encompasses wireless sensing systems, wearable and body sensor networks, energy harvesting and power management for embedded sensors, ubiquitous/pervasive computing and the Internet of Things, human-computer interfaces, and interactive music and media. He has published 300 articles and technical reports in these areas, and run installations and performances at venues ranging from Ars Electronica to the Museum of Modern Art.
Steve Pardo is a professional game composer and audio designer. As a lead composer and sound designer at Harmonix Music Systems, he has worked on titles including Rock Band VR for Oculus Rift and Beat Sports for Apple TV. For both titles, his music gameplay designs and prototypes heavily influenced core mechanics. His early audio design work is showcased in the Rock Band and Dance Central franchises, and he has composed the original soundtracks for games such as Grim Dawn, Gigantic, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Chariot, The Magic Circle, and Fated.
Pardo also composes music for games independently through the audio production house SkewSound. He studied at the University of Miami, where he received a bachelor’s degree in studio music and jazz, and a master’s degree in studio jazz writing. He lives in Boston with his wife, Amy, and two children.
Joo Won Park wants to make the everyday sound beautiful and strange so that the everyday becomes beautiful and strange. He performs live with toys, consumer electronics, kitchenware, vegetables, and other non-musical objects by digitally processing their sounds. He also makes pieces with field recordings, sine waves, and any other sources that he can record or synthesize. He draws inspiration from Florida swamps, Philadelphia skyscrapers, his two sons, and other soundscapes surrounding him. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Florida, and currently teaches music technology at Wayne State University. His music and writing are available on ICMC DVD, Spectrum Press, MIT Press, PARMA Recordings, Visceral Media, MCSD, SEAMUS, and No Remixes labels.
Rishabh Rajan is an educator with seven years of experience in higher education, having taught in schools in India, Malaysia, and the U.S. He is also an accomplished electronic music producer, writing future bass music and performing mashups on Ableton Push under the alias code :MONO. He has worked as a sound designer for Twisted Tools and Bela D Media, and is currently developing sample libraries of Indian instruments with Crypto Cipher. His products have been used by BAFTA-, Emmy-, and Grammy-nominated composers from around the world. He has written three eBooks on sound design, which are all available on the Apple iBookStore. He has also developed over 30 sound design and music production streaming video courses for macProVideo and AskVideo. He hosts a YouTube channel where he regularly posts sound design tutorials and Ableton Push mashup performances.
Thomas L. Rhea pioneered the introduction of synthesizers internationally as a Moog synthesizer clinician, functional design consultant, artist relations specialist, documentation writer, and marketing executive. Publications include articles and reviews in Computer Music Journal and many owner’s manuals such as the Minimoog owner’s manual.
A noted lecturer on the history of electronic musical instruments, his Ph.D. dissertation on the topic is cited in The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, in multiple entries in The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, and now in The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Second Edition.
Rhea conceived, oversaw the development of, and wrote the first music for OxyLights, the world’s largest permanent music and light installation, as recognized in The Guinness Book of World Records. An artist in residence at the Institute for Electronic Arts in 2000 and 2001 at Alfred University, he explored the use of DVD technology for the presentation of film clips, with a focus on electronics in the soundtrack.
Randy Roos began his work with guitar-controlled synthesis in the mid-1970s, using an ARP 2600 and a 360 Systems pitch-to-voltage converter. He was one of the first to use the ARP Avatar guitar synthesizer (also linked to a 2600), and this setup was used extensively in Mistrial, his critically acclaimed 1978 release.
In the mid-1980s, Roos switched to guitar-controlled MIDI and began writing and producing music for television. He has scored hundreds of shows, including 15 seasons of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers and several in the NOVA series. For the majority of his synthesis elements on these programs, he used MIDI guitar. His discography includes Photogenic Memory, three solo releases, and two with the group World News, with guitar-controlled synthesis featured on all of the albums.
David Rosenthal '81 has been a keyboardist and in Billy Joel’s band since 1993, and also serves as musical director. He also is musical director for Ethan Bortnick, and has toured or recorded with Robert Palmer, Cyndi Lauper, Enrique Iglesias, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Steve Vai, and many others.
Rosenthal was associate musical supervisor and synthesizer programmer for all four productions of the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical Movin’ Out. As synthesizer programmer, his credits include Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and Alicia Keys. As an orchestrator, his credits include Joel, Phil Ramone, Rainbow, and Yngwie Malmsteen. Other career highlights include many television shows, concert videos, and video clips; the Broadway production of A Tale of Two Cities; two Grammy nominations, and numerous gold and platinum albums.
Gadi Sassoon B.M. '04, a composer and producer from Milan, Italy, was composer in residency at the NESS Project. Known for bringing together traditional technique with the frontiers of sound synthesis and sound design, he is part of the Just Isn’t Music composer roster at Ninja Tune, and his compositions have been heard on television, movies, and games—most recently on NBC’s The Blacklist and Fox’s Pitch.
Sassoon has collaborated as a synthesist and producer with record labels such as Warner Music, Circus Company, and BBE. His musical alter egos include Memory9, a cult United Kingdom bass act, and the Infinity Orchestra, a neoclassical/electronic hybrid project, as well as a few undisclosed monikers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music synthesis from Berklee College of Music and a master’s degree in sound arts from Middlesex University London.
Pat Scandalis, CTO and acting CEO of moForte.com, has worked for a number of Silicon Valley high tech companies. He has held lead engineering positions at National Semiconductor, Teradyne, Apple, and Sun, and has spent the past 23 years working in digital media. In 1994, he was an audio digital signal processor (DSP) researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He cofounded and was the vice president of engineering for Staccato Systems, a successful spinout of CCRMA that was sold to Analog Devices in 2001. He has held vice president positions at TuneTo.com, Jarrah Systems, and Liquid Digital Media (formerly Liquid Audio). Prior to moForte, he ran Liquid Digital Media, which developed and operated all online digital music e-commerce properties for Walmart. He holds a B.S. in physics from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Huston Singletary has worked as a fulltime employee with Ableton for over 10 years, both stateside and within their Berlin headquarters. He currently works internationally alongside the Berlin-based Ableton sound team developing and managing preset design and content creation for Ableton Live. He is a longtime music producer, programmer, multimedia composer, and synthesizer fanatic, and a big fan of synth wave and dark, retro-style music. As a sound designer, he has worked as a preset designer with countless instrument manufacturers and software instrument companies over the years, including Spectrasonics, Toontrack, Sample Logic, Rob Papen, Roland, McDSP, Akai, Korg, and others. A prolific finger drummer and beatmaker, he is also featured regularly on the Melodics website and is constantly showcasing production techniques with Ableton Live, Push, hardware synths, and modular gear through his popular Instagram page.
Dave Smith is an instrument designer, Audio Engineering Society fellow, and Grammy winner who founded Sequential Circuits in the early '70s. In 1977, he designed the Prophet-5, the first polyphonic and fully programmable synthesizer, and the first musical instrument with a microprocessor. He was the driving force behind MIDI specification—in fact, he coined the acronym. After Sequential, he was president of DSD, a research and development division of Yamaha. He also started the Korg R&D group in California. He was then president at Seer Systems and developed the first software synth for Intel in 1994, followed by the first professional soft synth, Reality. He then returned to hardware, starting Dave Smith Instruments (DSI) in 2002. The DSI lineup includes the Prophet 12, Prophet ’08, Pro 2, Mopho, and Tetra synths, and the Tempest drum machine, codesigned with legendary designer Roger Linn. The Sequential Prophet-6 analog synth was released in 2015, followed by the OB-6 designed in partnership with Tom Oberheim. The Prophet Rev2 16-voice analog synth is DSI’s latest product.
Kelly Snook is a music producer, engineer, and musician based in London and Portland, Oregon. She is one of the developers of the mi.mu gloves and an adjunct professor of music technology at the University of Brighton with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering. She spent two decades as a NASA research scientist before turning her attention to music full time in 2010 when she joined Imogen Heap as her music and tech assistant. Her primary research focus is in data sonification as a scientific tool through interactive audiovisual immersive environments. Her initial project at University of Brighton is the creation an interdisciplinary Fab Lab in the College of Arts and Humanities. She also runs her own recording studio, called It's Not Rocket Science Studios, in Portland, producing and mixing music by independent musicians.
Loudon Stearns is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, a course author and instructor at Berklee Online, and an active media artist. In the Contemporary Writing and Production Department at Berklee, he prepares students to work as independent composers and producers in a technology-laden music industry. Online, he focuses on the latest electronic music styles and music technology innovations, showing students how to analyze contemporary styles and use the latest music technology in their own works.
In his own productions, Stearns pulls from a broad range of skills in the creation of multimedia performances that include live music, projection mapping, dance, visual art, and interactivity. Of particular interest to Stearns is using the world as a performance space by using internet streaming to coordinate numerous performers and audiences on different parts of the globe.
John Teele began adding features to the Kurzweil K250 sampler in 1987 and has been hooked on music technology ever since. Over the past 30 years, he has developed music and audio software for brands such as Kurzweil, Alesis, Akai, Bose, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Sonivox, and, most recently, Fishman. At Fishman, Teele is working on cool guitar technology, such as TriplePlay wireless MIDI guitar. During 16 years at Kurzweil, he was a key developer for most of their pro synths and effects, including the K250, K2000, K2500, K2600, KDFX, KSP8, PC3, PC3LE, and PC3K as well as many home digital pianos. Over the years, he has worked on plugin synths and effects, surround processing, room correction EQ, digital video, sample editing tools, sequencers, arpeggiators, easy-play, user interface design, physical modeling, and more. A recent area of emphasis is on techniques to improve the musicality of controllers.
When not at work or at the golf course, Teele is singing and playing bass in various bands, providing live sound and live recording services, and doing studio recording and production. He has developed many of his own plugin effects, including room simulation reverb, a dynamic loudness compensation tool, and a profiling mastering tool.
Scott Tibbs began his musical career at the age of 11, working in Las Vegas, Nevada, show bands. By the time he graduated from high school, he was a seasoned veteran in both writing and performing, working with numerous entertainers such as Lola Falana, Cher, Diana Ross, Wayne Newton, 5th Dimension, Dionne Warwick, and many others. It was also in Las Vegas where he began conducting his own orchestra and big band arrangements in showrooms.
Tibbs received a B.A. in film scoring from Berklee College of Music and an M.A. and Ph.D in composition from the University of California, Los Angeles. During these years, he also continued his commercial writing and performance pursuits outside academia.
Tibbs's music and orchestrations have been performed (conducted by him) by the London Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and Polish National Radio Orchestra, not to mention nearly every session orchestra in Hollywood, California. From BET to the Grammys, from television’s One Tree Hill to commercials and film trailers, his music is everywhere in today’s media.
Scott has amassed a large body of music with numerous recording artists such as Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Howard Jones, Bruce Springsteen, Nelly, and Lil’ Wayne, among many others.
Alexandros Tsilfidis is a cofounder and CEO of Accusonus, a high-technology startup that aims to revolutionize music production through artificial intelligence. He has an electrical and computer engineering background, and holds a Ph.D. in audio signal processing and a master's degree in acoustics. Tsilfidis is the author of several scientific papers, book chapters, patents, and a book on architectural acoustics. As an undergraduate student, he worked as an electronic musician and composer, writing music for premiere Greek theater shows and films.
Joe Waltz is driven by a love of music and a passion for building things. As a youth in Akron, Ohio, he built audio amplifiers, mixers, and other electronics gear. In 1984, he moved to Boston, and shortly thereafter he was hired by digital audio pioneer Lexicon, where he was a key contributor in designing products, including the JamMan. In 1997, Waltz relocated to New York City to join Eventide as lead developer and product visionary for many groundbreaking products, including the H8000.
Three years later, he left Eventide to found Manifold Labs and lead development of Plugzilla, the world’s first dedicated plugin player. He continues in a consulting role with Eventide, championing the company’s successful entry into the guitar effects market. Throughout his career, he has composed, performed, and recorded music, including several records as the artist Frattura Waltz. For the past decade, he has collaborated with Leon Gruenbaum in building a family of innovative keyboard instruments.