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Modulate This! Synth Blog Turns 9


Wow – the last year has ben my busiest music year ever! I released more music and played more shows than ever before over (photos) with my solo work (, I formed a new duo and released an EP., I continued to host the Boulder Synthesizer Meetup which just passed the two year mark with over 190 members. I produced a few shows in Boulder, one of which one a “Best Of” award by Westword Magazine.

As a result posts on Modulate This! came in bursts – but posts did come  ^)

Looking Back

Here are some highlights and representative posts from the last year.

I some really cool interviews this year, like Interview with Gary Numan,


and, Interview with Composer Reinhold Heil on His Work on The Helix TV Series on SyFy


I continued to share research in mindmap form like my Post on What’s New in  Live 9 (mindmap viewed over 13,000 times).


I’ve gone deep with instruments like Absynth and shared some tips on sound design -  NI Absynth Tip: How to Set Channel Volume, Overall Preset Volume and Enable Automatic Channel Level Adjustment.image

Last year I fell in love with the Octatrack and did posts some posts passing along tips on it and electronic music rigs in general, like How to Run Your Elektron Octatrack (and Other Elektron Gear or Gear that Runs on DC) on Battery Power with the Tekkeon myPower ALL Plus MP3450i


I’ve come to know some really cool people in my synth journey, so there were posts like this one trying to spread the word about their projects - Art + Music + Technology By Darwin Grosse - A Must Listen Podcast for Electronic Musicians


I also had the good fortune to fly out and perform and do installations at festivals so I did a few show reports.

Video and Photos from My 9 Box AudioCube Mountain Oasis 2013 Adventure with the Bob Moog Foundation.

Electro-Music event coverage.

Looking Forward

Here are some links you might find helpful going into year 9.


Thanks for reading, watching, and listening. Here is to another year!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician, Boulder, CO <<< Support the effort with a music buy :^)

Modulate This! Synth Blog Turns 8


Modulate This! just turned 8 years old – woot!

Looking Back

In looking back at last year’s posts here are some categories which were areas of focus and also were were popular with readers.

My companion YouTube channel was still popular and is closing in on 870,000 views. Even though I’ve moved away from doing tutorial videos for the most part, my older tutorial videos continue to be of interest. Most of the new content this year was made up of videos of sound design experiments and concert footage from my shows. Here some some highlights.

Looking Forward

Here are some links you might find helpful going into year 8.

Thanks for reading, watching, and listening. Here is to another year!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer
Boulder, CO

As Modulate This! Turns 7 Years and 7 Months I'm Taking a Sabbatical


After 7 years and 7 Months of posting on Modulate This! I’m going to take a sabbatical from technology blogging.

The timing is right. Over the last year I’ve spent time going even deeper with Ableton, Maschine,  Absynth, Zebra, ACE, ElextraX, Predator, Fab Filter Plugs, Blofeld and  Resolume. I’m also jumping into the Electron world with Analog Four. I’ve really transcended a lot of the “tech” (and have built up a nice palette of patches from INIT)  allowing me to  focus on music creation. Also, my 2013 show is in great shape.

So I’m really looking forward to a very creative late spring and summer working on new material, performing shows, and finding new ways to express ideas with keys, AudioCubes, pads, grids, antennas and interactive visuals.

Also, summer is just around the corner I plan to spend more time in the wonderful mountains around Boulder (I took this shot today during lunch while on a mountain bike ride on a bluff overlooking Boulder).

If you want to keep up with my artistic work stop by:

Have a great summer – and take some time to get out of the studio and enjoy the burning fireball in the sky :^) All old posts remain active so have fun reading posts created to date.

See you soon,

Mark Mosher
Electronic Musician | Composer | Performer
Boulder, CO

Modulate This! Turns 6


Modulate This! just turned 6!. Thanks to all you readers out there for your continued support. I also want to thank fellow artists and electronic music bloggers who have supported this blog through reblogs and RTs, and who have educated and inspired me through their wonderful work. Finally, I want to thank my wife for her endless support of my blogging shenanigans – especially on those days when an idea for a post turns into a 5 hour exercise.

It’s Been a Great Year With Many Highlights

  • I was able to travel to play some shows which allowed me to meet some readers face-to-face and as a result I got to highlight their work through interviews.
  • I released the free “Sounds from a Distant Outpost” Themed Live Pack which was downloaded over 2,000 times to date and has yielded some cool compositions by other readers.
  • I went deep for you Blofeld and UltraNova owners with some super geeky posts.
  • I launched a companion Mindmap Mindmeister channel for you visual thinkers with some popular maps like the Blofeld 411. The channel has had over 24K views.
  • Videos continue to be popular and my combined artist/Modulate This! YouTube channel is about to cross 570,000 views.
  • I released the open knowledge “9 Box Method for performance, improvisation, and spontaneous tribal jams with music, sound, and light” based on AudioCubes and Ableton Live. This has turned into a music/science student outreach program with an install in a Denver K-6, as well as a jumpstart for some of you Ableton AudioCubes users.
  • I launched Patchlab as a Modulate This! Microsite. My original idea with this was to do a stream of consciousness patch library for you with individual patches. Unfortunately my schedule became too busy; and while I’ve left the patch stream up, I’ve repurposed this to be the root site for my larger free sound libraries. I consider it a success nonetheless as I got feedback that the patches in the patch stream and sound vignettes on soundcloud inspired some to go deeper with their instruments.

To Celebrate the 6th Anniversary I’ve Done a Site Refresh


  • Improved Search: Promoted the search box into the top nav bar. After 5 years of posting my categories were getting a bit out of control so now you can just search for items.
  • New Layout: Clean and less cluttered. Went from 3 columns down to 2 with a wider content column to make room for HD videos and bigger photos.
  • Social Footer: I simplified the social footer making it obvious how to share posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
  • Right Column:
    • Hot Categories: Rather than list every category I’ve crated a list of “hot” categories. These are topics that I’ve written a lot about or are getting a lot of traffic.
    • Social Badges: I’m quite active in social media which I find perfect for micro blogging. Rather than try and incorporate that content back into this blog I’ve offered social badges so we can friend up quickly. I’ve also linked to my artist sites and music.
    • Banners for Friends:  I’ve placed banners for other organizations I support – like the Bob Moog Foundation and Electro-Music Radio. I’ll be adding more banners in the months to come.
    • Recommended Sites: I’ve kept this in the right side to highlight great blogs, friends of Modulate This!, and super heroes in the world of experimental and electronic music and sound.

What’s Next?

You’ve probably noticed in the last year that I’ve started doing more classic blog-like “diary” posts focusing on the technical side of my personal journey through the world of electronic and experimental music and sound. In some ways, Modulate This! has become the technical companion to some of the activity on my artist blog.  I’m going to continue down this path as the feedback I’m getting is that this more personal viewpoint is helpful to fellow artists. I will continue to find ways to use Modulate This! as a platform to support artists and developers who are shaping the future - including indie artists and small companies. I’ll also continue with more behind-the-scenes posts on synthesis and sound design as a way to give back and inspire other artists.

Onward to Modulate This! 6

Here is to another year. Thanks for being part of Modulate This!

Mark Mosher
Electronic/Experimental Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Synthesist | Composer | Keyboardist | Performer

Synth Geek Blog:
Artist Site:

Your Modulate This Holiday Gift is Ready - "Sounds From a Distant Outpost" Ableton Live Pack Plus Samples


 Update: I'm updating this soundset so it is currenlty offline.

I'm very excited to announce that your FREE holiday gift is now ready for download! It is an Ableton Live Pack called Sounds from a Distant Outpost.

Sounds From a Distant Outpost is more than a sample sound library. Over 30 hours in the making, it is a set of 12 deep and expressive instrument racks that will transport you to a dark and distant outpost. From here you will be able to explore the sounds, machines, and creatures of this world.  These instruments will help spark your imagination and I hope inspire you to create your own soundtrack for this world. Of course, the instruments will also help add an interesting "edge" to any sound or music project.


The  source audio is made up of some of my field recordings as well  as original synthesized and re-synthesis harmonic content.  The concept for the instruments was based on a back-story I created as the project progressed. Fueled by the story and setting, I translated these source samples into Ableton Live racks and meticulously programmed them to create playable dynamic instruments which are placed under your command via macro parameters, velocity, after touch, and modulation wheel mappings. I've also provided the original source samples for the project so those who don't have Ableton Live will be able to use these samples as oscillator sources in synths like Absynth, Alchemy, ElectraX and Blofeld.

This project is also a social experiment. Rather than just provide a Live Pack, I've created a dedicated social microsite so you can share your notes and work with the library. I’ve also offered a SoundCloud drop box so you can share your original sound or music compositions.

I've had a great time creating - to coin a phrase - this  "story-based sound design with social remix" experiment.

I hope you enjoy your gift. I'm looking forward to your notes and creations.

As always, thanks your support. Have a happy, safe holiday filled with electronic music!

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist

Modulate This Blog Turns 5 - Thank You Readers, Artists, Fellow bloggers and Wil Wheaton!


Modulate this just turned 5. Woot! In thinking about it, that’s a long time in “internet years” and it’s causing me to become a bit introspective.

Thank You!
Before I say anything else, I wanted to thank the loyal and growing number of readers and subscribers who take the time to read and comment. A special thanks to other artists and technologists who’ve agreed to be interviewed and or shared insights and/or supported the blog by allowing me to use your pictures in posts. Last but not least, all the other bloggers and Twitter folks out there who also believe this is not a zero-sum game and who embrace cooperating, sharing, reblogging, and RTing.

Thanks Wil Wheaton SNAGHTMLa9c046a

I wanted to thank the writer and actor Wil Wheaton. What does Wil Wheaton have to do with this blog you ask? If it wasn’t for Wil there may not have been a Modulate This! Here is the story.

I don’t know Wil Wheaton personally. Never met him. But back in the early 2000s I was working for a large PC Manufacturer and was leading research on using the internet to solve some business problems. I became fascinated with the internet as a publishing medium for the masses and started to think about how I might contribute. As blogging emerged, it didn’t take me long to find Wil Wheaton’s blog as he was an early pioneer. At the time his blog was called Wil Wheaton dot NET  and now it’s called WWdN: In Exile.

I knew Wil’s work from Star Trek and was drawn into his candid posts about growing up as a child actor, being a geek, being a video game fanatic, the creative process, his transition from actor to writer, and now his “insider” view of getting back into acting. I was inspired by how he jumped into the deep end of the blogging pool and helped grow and influence blogging. In case you're not familiar with Wil's blog, this excerpt from his about page explains it nicely.

While most celebrities are happy to let publicists design and maintain their websites, Wil took a decidedly different turn when he started blogging in 2001. He designed, coded, and maintained WWdN entirely on his own, until he "blew up" his sites' database in 2005 and moved his blog to the TypePad service. In 2003, readers voted WWdN the “Best Celebrity Weblog.” Wil's blog was chosen by C|Net for inclusion in their 100 most influential blogs, and is an "A" lister, according to In the 2002 weblog awards (the bloggies) Wil won every category in which he was nominated, including “Weblog of the year.” In 2007, Wil was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Bloggie, alongside Internet powerhouses Slashdot and Fark. In the 2008 weblog awards, Wil was voted the "Best Celebrity Blogger," and in 2009 Forbes named him the 14th most influential web celebrity. This is all amusing to Wil, who doesn't think of himself as a celebrity, but is instead, "just this guy, you know?"

So, in 2005 when I was considering ways to use the internet to give back to the electronic music community and as a way to connect with other artists, Wil’s blog inspired me to take the plunge into blogging. I was also influenced by his technology choices. I went with Typepad, and feedburner very early on – and I still use them today.

In general I feel he blazed a path for all of us bloggers and continues to show us how to use this communications form well to connect, engage, and grow communities around ideas. I also learned a lot by watching him blend technologies on his blog to create a unified solution.

Through Modulate This I’ve been able to create and share ideas.  Modulate This has also let me meet and connect with other artists and those passionate about electronic music technology who I would have never met otherwise. And now my art is better for it and my life is richer.

For me, this year was special in that I’ve started getting emails from others who tell me I’ve inspired them to start their own blogs or to get out there and share their ideas on twitter, or to finish their album, or to post a track, or go to a meetup and connect with others  – so it’s come full circle and that is very gratifying.

All that being said, I just wanted personally thank you Wil Wheaton for inspiring me to start Modulate This! If I ever meet you in person, I owe you big time – and we can start with me buying you a beer. If this happens, I will of course blog about it :^).

Mark Mosher, Blogger, Electronic Musician, Boulder ,CO