Image Not Found


I am an engineer

It's not just what I do, it's who I am
I have been doing it since I was a child,
and I will do it until I die
Fortunately, now I get paid to do it

I am also a composer/philosopher/songwriter
Unfortunately, even though I was once a drummer, I have no ability to actually play a melodic instrument

So, as an engineer and problem solver, I found a workaround

The Virtual Progressive Rock Band is an attempt to create music in the Progressive Rock, Rock and Metal styles, using Virtual Instruments

For those of you who don't know what that means, here is a quick introduction. Except for the vocal parts, which I sing in the traditional way, live with a microphone, all the rest of the instruments are "played" by the computer

The music is NOT composed by the computer. I compose each and every note, one at a time, slowly. Then the computer renders my composition into a listenable form

A variety of technological tricks are used to create virtual instruments. One approach is called "sampling". To make a sampled instrument, actual players play bits and pieces of notes, mutes, bends, slides, etc in a studio. The sampling software then puts these pieces back together to create a semi-realistic performance. The best software includes semi-intelligent algorithms to select the string or articulation that a real player might use if he was playing the part

Other techniques include simulation, synthesis and digital signal processing, where math is used to create instruments and effects. The best simulators actually create a detailed mathematical model of a real instrument

It is a tedious, time consuming, maddening and frustrating way to make music. Each and every note has to be tweaked, again and again for hours and hours. Imagine editing a photograph one pixel at a time. But, in the end, I can finally make music

And the results are surprisingly good, well worth the time

I realize that the purists might say that this is not actually music, since it is missing the magical real-time communication between players that occurs in a real band. But, I would argue that it is still the creative product of a human mind

Art evolves with technology...maybe someday, this will become the dominant style...or not

And, speaking of evolution, the project has now evolved into something different..I have added live players!

Two old friends, and fine musicians, Bill Giles and Denny Bales have joined the project!

Since I live in Northern California, Bill lives in Southern California and Denny lives in Oregon, it's still a virtual band, but the addition of real players improves the results substantially

Bill composes his bass parts. Denny sometimes plays my parts as written, and sometimes composes his own parts


Native Instruments B4
Native Instruments Kontakt
Native Instruments Guitar Rig
Native Instruments Massive
Native Instruments Absynth
Native Instruments Pro 53
Vir2 Electri6ity
Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass
Toontrak DFH Superior 2
Applied Accoustic Systems Tassman
Applied Accoustic Systems Ultra Analog
Adobe Audition

How it was created

All pieces were initially created in Cubase using the mouse and computer keyboard
MIDI velocity and note start times were individually adjusted to get a better feel
Some of the parts were later played live, sometimes as written, sometimes modified or created by the players