Tag Archives: Opcode

Back in the Day: Silicon Valley & Music

As told to Linda Jacobson (lindaj@well.com)

LJ: Paul, what were you doing in 1984 — the year before you became a founding staff member of Opcode Systems? How would you describe the “work lifestyle,” routine, and group dynamic behind-the-scenes in your world then? Was the SF Bay Area audio industry back then influenced more by the cultures of the computer industry and Silicon Valley, music industry, San Francisco scene, and/or film industry and Hollywood?

PdB: In 1982 I had purchased a Rhodes Chroma synth and in 1983 created one of the first computer-based electronic music “home” studios in the San Francisco Bay Area around that instrument. I had added the Apple II computer and the sequencing and editing software from Fender along with the SIMPLE System synchronizer for video and audio and the requisite mixers, mics, speakers, 2-channel and multitrack tape decks. I was composing music for film and television and through my friend Doug McKechnie’s connection at Lucas Film I even had a chance to write a demo cue for the final Ewok scene in the latest Star Wars: Return of the Jedi movie, apparently Lucas wanted to hear some other ideas than what John Williams had come up with. Three of us in the San Francisco Synthesizer Ensemble got to write a sketch for the cue. It was exciting to see part of the movie before it came out.

The Rhodes Chroma and Chroma Polaris

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