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About this blog

Dr. Mike Metlay is an electronic musician, author, editor, educator, impresario, radio personality, and kindly pedant. He is a former Editor of RECORDING Magazine (whose MPN forum he considers his godchild 😇 ) and goes by "Dr. Mike" because there are a whole lot of Mikes in this forum and he's the only one who's got a Ph.D. in nuclear physics.


He's released a ton of music, played a lot of live shows in North America and Europe, taught a lot of people how to work with synthesizers and pro audio gear, written a bunch of stuff (including online courses, owner's manuals, and a very pretty book called SYNTH GEMS 1), and has an opinion on just about everything in the world of music technology – which he regularly shares with anyone who will listen, as well as everyone who won't.


Dr. Mike's musical alter ego is Mr. Spiral, aka Spiral Sands: an avatar in the virtual world of Second Life, where he performs live for worldwide online audiences and encourages community building through a mutual love of electronic music. Besides his solo albums, he also runs the mindSpiral series of live concert events and the RadioSpiral online interactive radio station.


In this blog, Dr. Mike and Mr. Spiral take turns talking about music, technology, human beings, and the many ways in which they intersect.

Entries in this blog

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

Recently, Benn Jordan, the well-liked if sometimes controversial YouTuber, announced that he was never doing another review video. His reason was simple: the environment was so toxic, and he was being attacked in so many ways, that it was simply no fun to do any more... and why should he do something for no benefit and no profit if it wasn't fun?   I dropped a note in the comments section for that video. What I ended up publishing was just a few lines – basically agreeing with him that

Dr Mike Metlay

Dr Mike Metlay in General

The Synthesizer, Solo

That's not a misprint. I am not talking about the synthesizer solo, that mainstay of so many genres that can take the form of everything from eloquent expression to playful banter to outright wankery.   I am talking about the synthesizer, solo. As in, one synthesizer, played on its own, with no other instruments, no overdubs, no multitracking, no sequencing, no MIDI, nothing. Just that one synth.   Has it been done? Yes, a few times that I'm aware of. The classic example is o

The Piece That Won't Fit

Mashing up some quotes from The Prisoner and the Principia Discordia with a bit of my own blather: of all the Pieces That Won't Fit in the world, the most frustrating one is the individual human being. A person cannot be neatly pigeonholed, generalized, categorized, stamped, filed, indexed, or summarized.   Unlike computer punch cards (remember those?), people don't come with a warning not to fold, spindle, or mutilate – which is a pity when you think about it, because that is exactly

The Point of Contact

Hello and welcome! In this little corner of the music universe, I've set up a soapbox to stand on and speak with passersby about this, that, and especially the other thing. I hope you'll enjoy my ramblings and perhaps take away something from them. (Well, something more than "Yep, he's definitely playing pinochle with a Tarot deck.")   I'd like to start off my table of nonsense with a little introduction to my absolute favorite music tech topic: what I call the Point of Contact. There
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