Art + Music + Technology

The largest US manufacturer of Eurorack Modules is Pittsburgh Modular. They are inexpensive, sound great and are readily available from a lot of retailers. The company also produces a set of pre-loaded systems that make it easy to get started in modular synthesis, and has created an excellent bit of documentation to go with them.

I was hoping to talk to the owner, Richard Nicol, for the podcast; with the help of Jim and Elisabeth at Synthtopia, it came together for this episode. Richard talks about his start as a fledgling builder, his work with other circuit designers, his vision for the product line and his perspective on module creation. It was really intriguing to hear about his ideas, but also reassuring to see a plan laid bare.

An awesome interview, and a great way to understand how a database developer becomes a "modular mogul" (triple-grins to this - wait until you hear about his personal modular system...).


Direct download: podcast_094_RNicol.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 10:39am CDT

One of my favorite people to hang out with at Cycling '74 gatherings is Jeremy Bernstein. Jeremy is a long-time developer with C74, and has left his fingerprints on all sorts of Max system - his work on Jitter visual systems, the pattr preset system and the Max for Live system have all had a major impact on the media arts world.

But it's really interesting to not only learn where he came from, but where he is going as well. Jeremy has been bringing his obsessive personality to the chess world as well, and has even found a way to mesh chess and Max through his chess-runner object. But overall, we get to see the life of a smart, interesting and engaging guy.

Take a listen to me talking with a friend about the past, future, and the bredth of interests of a pivotal figure in Max development. Enjoy!


Direct download: podcast_093_JBernstein.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 1:59pm CDT

I first met Dennis DeSantis when we was working with Ableton as a presenter during the NAMM show. He was always super level-headed and seemed able to weather almost any storm. I've always appreciated his musicianship, his deep knowledge of Live and his ability to help bring people together for almost any project.

But his most recent effort - the development of the book Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers - has sort of put him in the spotlight. He was kind enough to chat with me about his background, his passion for providing answers, and his perspective on talent and working style. This was a fascinating insight on an industry professional's view of his landscape, but also a view of the difficulties assembling the career that you'd like.


Direct download: podcast_092_DDeSantis.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 10:32am CDT

Dan Trueman is one of those people whose list of accomplishments will blow you away. He's an accomplished fiddler, specializing in the Hardanger fiddle. He's the inventor of the laptop orchestra, having started it out of his teaching position at Princeton. He developed a number of new Max objects, as well as developing the PeRColate object set, which opened the door for using Perry Cook's physical models in the Max environment. And he's written and performed a ton of music in a ton of different situations.

So, how do you get to be That Guy? Turns out, it's all about having a passion for playing, coding and composing - all simultaneously. In this chat, Dan talks about how he manages the process of working in several contexts without feeling like he is required to 'blend' them. The result is an amazing body of work.

You can find out more about Dan's work at Many Arrows Music.


Direct download: podcast_091_DTrueman.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:21am CDT

Talking with Miller was amazing - he was in town (Boulder) to do some work and performances at CU-Boulder. I dropped him a line, he was up for a chat, and Eric Lindemann was kind enough to let us use his kitchen (after a nice dinner).

Wow - what a great talk. But that damned Tascam recording screwed me again, so the audio quality for the first 30 minutes is a mess. I pulled all of the software strings I could to make this interview work, because there is a lot of information being presented for the first time (that I know of...).

Miller is performing this coming week at a local planetarium; if you are in the area, you need to check it out. But if not, you'll want to keep up with Miller's work at


Direct download: podcast_090_MPuckette.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 1:00pm CDT