Art + Music + Technology

Micah Frank has been doing it for more than a decade. And by "it", I mean pulling amazing sounds out of the air, formatting them to be playable, and releasing them through his company Puremagnetik. I've long been a fan, and finally was able to corner Micah for a podcast chat.

In this one, we talk about everything from his background as a New York session drummer through the development of his favorite sample packs, and also talk about the tools of the trade that he finds useful. We also talk a little about the business of sample pack creation and even a little about collaboration with other artists. But mostly we talk about how one becomes a sample pack developer, and the joy that comes with embracing that gig.

I really respect Micah's work; if you haven't heard it, check it out at the Puremagnetic site, try out some of the free packs, or maybe pick up a little gift for yourself (I'd recommend the "b-systems" packs made in collaboration with Richard Lainhart, or the new Cinematic stuff we talk about in the podcast...), but enjoy our discussion!

Direct download: podcast_137_MFrank.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:26am CDT

There are a few people that I've known forever - even if we don't talk often. Paul Vnuk is one of those people - we were Milwaukee folk at the same period in the late 90's, have interacted with Mike Metlay over the years, and still cross paths during NAMM shows. But we seldom seem to talk; we are often busy (especially, as you'll hear, when Paul is multi-tasking at full throttle), so it seems difficult to get the time. So, we needed to make time.

I had a problem with this week's interviews, and Paul was willing to jump into the podcast for a nice chat. And the hour went by in an eyeblink; Paul has worked on so many interesting projects that I was left with a book-load of questions for the next interview (or three...) that we'll do. Nevertheless, Paul was happy to talk about whatever I'd bring up, and I wanted to talk about everything!

So we talked about recording tech, Paul's background, working on Ma Ja Le, doing loop libraries for Sonic Foundry/Sony, learning new instruments and working on remote collaborations. A fascinating interview with a really interesting guy - and I already can't wait for our next chat. And I can't wait for that next release!

So enjoy!!!

Direct download: podcast_136_PVnuk.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:12am CDT

Dino J. A. Deane is a bit of a force of nature. He's been a session horn player and touring musician, he was one of the earliest proponents of live/real-time sampling, a sound designer before that was a widely-known 'thing', and a practitioner of Conduction, a method of real-time composition developed by Butch Morris. And he's still rocking it out there, working with a group in Denver called FluxCrew, continuing to record, and pushing the envelope with the methodology behind Conduction.

I've been getting pushed by several friends to talk to Dino, and it finally happened. And boy, am I glad I did. Dino is a deep well, and I was blown away by the people he's worked with and the experience he's had - whether working the punk/jazz scene during New York's loft heyday, tripping over Arp 2600's in L.A. during the first golden age of home studios, or exploring the brittle edges of sampling with early Akai and Ensoniq systems.

I hope you get into this conversation. If you want to know more, you need to check out his work at, or take in a bit of live action in his YouTube channel. You can also find out more about Butch Morris at


Direct download: podcast_135_DJADeane.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 6:17am CDT

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to visit David Beaudry at his design studio in LA. It was pretty interesting; behind a laid-back facade was a passionate and excited designer/developer that clearly was "into" his work - and the practice of interaction design in general. On that day, we talked details about fluid dynamics, the generalities of getting gigs and and joys and pains of working with Max over the years.

I was really pleased to get a chance to interview David for the podcast, and his over-the-phone delivery - and insights - is just as amazing as his in-person. This is one of those interviews that seemed to go by in an eye-blink, because each question led to many potential next questions, and once we got rolling there was much stopping us. It was also cool that David doesn't try to shield anyone from the tough questions: What is the "hard thing" in the implementation of his designs? How often do you have to deal with difficult customers? When do you end up in no-win situations?

David was into talking about it all, and we are the beneficiaries. I hope that you enjoy this chat as much as I did; it was an eye-opener on many levels, and will really give you some insights the next time you are at a museum installation, kids' theme park or educational kiosk!

Direct download: podcast_134_DBeaudry.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 7:59am CDT

Sometimes you run across 'old souls' - people whose depth belies their physical age. Cory Metcalf is one of those people; he seems to have been born to both art and philosophy, and the depth of his expression is remarkable.

Cory is one half of the group Noisefold (David Stout, from podcast #10 is the other half), but is also an active teacher and solo artist as well. He's about to launch into a new journey even as some of his existing work is getting attention, and he (like me) is in the middle of a physical move to a new location. Since we were diverging in location, I decided to take the opportunity to touch base with him for the podcast - and to document his story.

And an amazing story it is. Cicadas, films school, monkey gods and meditation all make appearances, but not it a typical "I'm dropping my groove onto your lap" kind of way. Cory is incredibly introspective about influences (both internal and external), and is able to embrace and integrate influences in a way that doesn't subsume his own voice. How that happens is at the heart of our discussion, and I hope you find the exploration interesting.


Direct download: podcast_133_CMetcalf.mp3
Category:Performing Arts -- posted at: 8:27am CDT