About Big Daddy

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Where did it all begin...?
I discovered computers in the early 80's - Basically, right around the time the home computer became a financial reality for the masses. Starting with a simple Commodore VIC 20, I taught myself the Basic Programming Language. It didn't take long to exhaust the computers potential, so I decided to upgrade to a Commodore 64. Working as a mechanical assembler for a small computer company based in Burlington, MA at this time, I soon learned the ins and outs of computers. I also learned that I truly loved technology and getting my hands "dirty", so to speak, by digging into their guts. In no time at all, my C 64 was tricked out with all the latest goodies and featured custom Reset and Interrupt switches, installed by yours truly.


I had also discovered music at the ripe old age of 12 and, with a little help from Mel Bay, taught myself how to play piano. Then drums... and bass guitar... and eventually guitar (my preferred Weapon of Choice).


It wasn't long before the two worlds collided, and in 1984 or 85' I bought a Midi interface for the C 64, GlassTracks software and a Casio CZ-101 mini-synth with Midi. What a slick setup that was :)


I eventually moved on to an Atari ST (with built-in Midi) and Dr. T's software (plus a few more Midi modules). I also had a Tascam PortaStudio (the first one) 4 track cassette recorder. It was interesting trying to sync up the ST Midi tracks with pre-recorded Midi tracks on the Tascam manually, but somehow I managed.


Then I got my first Mac and it was all over. the Atari was sold to a friend of mine and I bought a MOTU Midi Time Piece and Performer version 3.something. I could now lay down a smpte track and sync everything up perfectly... yeah right. My little Mac SE did quite a bit with it's whopping 4MB of RAM and 20 MB hard drive. Still using the Tascam for non-Midi tracks at this point.


When I dumped the SE and purchased a used Mac IIsi, I was in the big leagues. Next on the list was a Digidesign AudioMedia II NuBus sound card and an upgrade to Digital Performer version 1.something. I was finally working in the digital domain, albeit with only 4 tracks. But they were digital tracks.


The AM II card made it's way into a PowerMac 7100, which i later upgraded with a G3 266 card from Newer Tech. That system kept me happy for quite a while - Until that is, I discovered virtual instruments. I had to get into that technology fast, but my poor 7100/G3 was not up to the task.


Biting the bullet, I purchased what is now my current machine - A Mac G4 dual 450mhz tower. Since the new Mac no longer had NuBus slots, I needed a new sound card as well. I decided to test the waters with an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI card. After a few hair pulling sessions, it was all sorted out and running smoothly. DP 2.72 became DP 3, and now DP 4 running under OS X on this same machine. Midi gear was replaced with SoftSynths like Reason and my studio shrunk down in size - I've also incorporated a PC into the rig and after many years of being a Mac only guy (for DAW work anyhow), I'm pleased to say that PC's make great DAW's too. They also offer an inexpensive way to take the load of virtual instruments off your Mac.


So where are we now...?

After a very long 11 year stint with a software company, working as a Systems Administrator, I find myself at a crossroads (Translation - I was laid off recently). I still love to play music live, currently with my 5 piece blues band and I recently found out that I also love to teach - I'm teaching private drum lessons to high school students as well as giving seminars on Computer based music and Digital Audio Recording.


So what does one do when they grow weary of the 9 to 5 grind? How can I use my knowledge of computers and music... A knowledge I've spent nearly 25 years acquiring, for the good of mankind?


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