demo for mit museum

downloads: mp3 | ogg

ars electronica 2011

"The synth patch has been greatly augmented now, as we're streaming it to DoppelLab at Ars Electronica. A bit dense, but lotsa complexity."

downloads: mp3 | ogg |

mit music | machines

"An excerpt from the MIT Music | Machines synth patch."

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halloween 2011

"Synth patch now running is simple, moody, omnious. Enjoy."

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Ray of Hope

"Did new synth patch yesterday for my talk tomorrow @ NYU - ambient doom is gone, it's now a Ray Of Hope."

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Terry Riley/White Hills

"The base inspirations for this patch were Terry Riley and The White Hills. OK, there's maybe a bit of Tangerine Dream in there too, but it's hard to avoid that with an analog sequencer... Terry Riley is one of the original pioneers of minimalism and the introduction of Indian music into that genre - hearing "A Rainbow in Curved Air" back in high school was a life-changing experience. Terry is at MIT this week, and will be performing in Kresge Thursday night - I hope to be bringing him through the Lab probably tomorrow. White HIlls are one of my currently favorite rock bands - playing in the rawest of space rock genres - distorted guitars and synths soaring against solid drums & bass. - can the twain meet? Listen and let me know."

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Museum Patch 1

Just a quick update to let any interested parties know that my synthesizer rig was successfully installed at the MIT Museum last Friday. It's now streaming online via in stereo, and if you go to the museum in person, you'll hear it running live in quad, which sounds much better than the streaming stereo mix (FYI, the MIT Museum is on Mass Ave, just down from Miracle of Science). This patch is essentially a superdrone based around a simple minor third.

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Museum Patch 2 - inspired by The Boredoms

A quick update on the synth for everybody who's potentially interested, esp. as I can't say much on its Twitter feed. I should probably put this thing on Facebook, which would be a much better place to expand the dialog. The second patch I made at the MIT Museum is totally done now, and you can hear it live on the stream. Listen to it at, and let me know what you think if you're inclined - it's running in physical space in Quad, of course - stereo on the stream. Note that this one has absolutely NO sequencer of any sort on it - all of the patterns you hear were made entirely from hand-patched logic (counters, ands, ors, flip flops, ring counters, rate multipliers, etc.). It's an entirely different kind of composition environment from the norm - you really need to simultaneously be an engineer while being an artist and something of a performer. The inspiration for this patch started with the Boredoms - if you don't know who they are, you should. In particular, I was thinking of SuperRoots 9. The beauty of the patching interface is that you can never exactly nail what you start out to attain, but on the other hand, you get drawn into places you wouldn't have normally gone once you start. The 3 drummers that Yamantaka Eye performs with lay down a compelling rhythm that my hand-patched logic and analog processing can't match, of course. But this patch definitely has a strange jumpy groove once it gets into gear, and the 2-chord pad is archetypical too. Yes, Boredoms rule today! BTW, this patch took every cord I had, plus a good 30 more wires just shoved into the pin jacks - check out the photos here and here - the latter shows the kind of logic section patching complexity you need to build a sonic environment like this one.

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Museum Patch 3

The patch that's running now finally annealed into something aesthetic - no real inspiration, but it feels like "beautiful rings of analogue smoke wafting off against a violet sunset, punctuated occasionally by the strange howl of some night animal on the prowl". Or perhaps to some of you "a long-winded analog whine".

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Patchwerk I

I just put the current synth patch on to record. It will record for the next hours. Hence it's YOUR chance to be caught on tape. This patch is entirely interactive soundart - completely controllable via our web-based "PatchWerk" Interface in real-time (subject to a roughly 3-5 second stream delay). Go to Patchwerk and sign in to play. As cover it today and it's been heavily tweeted, join your colleagues from around the world controlling a massive modular synth. It's been much as I suspected - some people find really beautiful spots to let it sit in for a bit, while others prefer what sounds like a world war. Have to admit, as unruly as this patch is, it's not boring. Patchwerk works.

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Patchwerk II

OK gang - I'm recording this synth patch for posterity. Now is the time you can chime in with your controller chops and participate in this one. For those of you who haven't heard it, it's a much different sonic environment than the last one. That one was pure sound art - I let people wage war with it. This one is a new-agey psychedelic love fest. Yes, you can all commune with one another by twiddling a knob or switch and take things collectively higher. Nothing you can do sounds bad - it all works. So have fun, and I'll capture the moment on tape (or flash)...

Earlier Version:

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Final Version:

downloads: mp3 | ogg

Massive Modular meets Minsky Muse


In December of 2017, as part of the 50'th anniversary celebration for MIT's CAVS (Center for Advanced Visual Studies), I was invited to install my synth into the experimental hall where Alcator C-Mod was residing, MIT's most recent tokamak reactor used in plasma fusion research. I was provided with several waveforms coming from various sensors on the tokamak acquired during its record-breaking run from a few years ago, when Alcator C-Mod had attained the largest recorded plasma pressure, and used these ubiquitously in this patch. While most of these signals were used as direct audio (they have a wonderful otherworldly flavor), some were adopted for modulation envelopes and slow control - the tokamak cycle exhibited a variably noisy build-and-release structure as the magnetic fields were ramped up to concentrate the plasma before it went terminally unstable, which worked well here.

downloads: wav (3 min) | wav (10 min)

older recordings

jam sessions | synth home