Using Thor to create a three part harmony song.

Here are some ways in which you can use Thor, a software synthesizer developed by Reason Studios, to create a three-part harmony piece of music.

  1. Set up a multi-timbral patch: In Thor, you can create a multi-timbral patch that allows you to play up to three different synth sounds simultaneously. Start by selecting the “multi” option in the “source” section of the Thor device.
  2. Choose your synth sounds: Select three different synth sounds that complement each other and create a harmonious blend. You can choose from a wide range of presets available in Thor or create your own synth sounds by adjusting the various parameters.
  3. Assign each synth sound to a different MIDI channel: In Thor’s “modulation bus routing” section, assign each synth sound to a different MIDI channel. This allows you to play each synth sound separately on your MIDI keyboard.
  4. Create a melody: Using your MIDI keyboard, create a melody on the first synth sound. Experiment with different note lengths, velocities, and articulations to create a dynamic and expressive melody.
  5. Add a second harmony: Once you have your melody, create a second harmony on the second synth sound. This harmony should complement the melody and create a sense of depth and richness.
  6. Add a third harmony: Finally, create a third harmony on the third synth sound. This harmony should fill in any gaps in the melody and create a full, rich sound.
  7. Mix and master: Once you have your three-part harmony piece of music, use Thor’s mixing and mastering tools to adjust the levels, add effects, and create a polished final product.

Remember, creating music is a creative process that requires experimentation and practice. Don’t be afraid to try different sounds, melodies, and harmonies until you find something that sounds great to you!

Dealing with death

Dealing with the loss of a loved one, especially a child, can be incredibly difficult and devastating. It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, including grief, anger, and disbelief. It’s important to remember that everyone grieves in their own way and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

One way to cope with the loss of a son is to focus on the memories you have of him and the time you spent together. You may find it helpful to talk to friends or family members about your feelings, or to seek support from a therapist or counselor. It can also be helpful to find ways to honor your son’s memory, such as setting up a scholarship in his name or creating a memorial in your home.

It’s also important to take care of yourself during this difficult time. This may mean practicing self-care, such as exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep. It can also be helpful to connect with others who are experiencing similar loss, either through support groups or online communities.

Remember that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions and to take the time you need to grieve. You are not alone, and there are people who can help you through this difficult time.

Ghost Ship

The following is a poem that my friend Liz LaVenture wrote after the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland. She has graciously allowed me to reprint it. I find it beautiful in the power of her language.

Ghost Ship

People on the edge –


Creative, innovating minds –


Intersecting oppressions –


Intersecting life experiences –


Men, Women,

People of Color, Latina/o, White,

Gay, Straight,

Cis, Trans,

or Gender Fluid –

Together. –

Searching, Creating –

a new Way.

A New Life –

of Affirmation,

Acceptance –

Creatively, Peacefully

in Harmony.

Gone, Dead –

Erased in a Flash of Flame –

a Cloud of Smoke.

Sailing a Sea of Dreams –

on a Ghost Ship.

Liz e LaVenture – 12/09/16

Liz e LaVenture – 12/09/16

In Honor of John McCain

With thanks to Meghan McCain, one of the most inspirational eulogies I have ever heard.

“My father gone. My father is gone and my sorrow is immense, but I know his life, and I know it was great because it was good. And as much as I hate to see him go, I do know how it ended. I know that on the afternoon of August 25th in front of Oak Creek in Arizona, surrounded by the family he loved so much, an old man shook off the scars of battle one last time and arose a new man to pilot one last flight up and up and up, busting clouds left and right, straight on through to the kingdom of heaven. And he slipped the earthly bonds, put out his hand, and touched the face of god.

I love you, dad.”

What Inspires Me

This is a story of an author and how his works have inspired me. John Sundman has written several novels including “Cheap Complex Devices” and “Acts of The Apostles” as well as “Biodigital” and “The Pains.” I first learned of John’s works with AOTA and never looked back. I read this book 17 times the first year I bought it and even jumped at a chance to own a draft copy of the book that John signed for me. As the years passed by and my kids were grown, I would continue to refer to AOTA during difficulties and tribulations. There is a reoccurring theme (in my mind mostly) of a main character liking the works of a certain guitar player’s band playing at the Royal Albert Hall. I don’t want to ruin even one iota of this ground breaking book for anyone. Suffice to say, I pretty much say this all the time. Really. 

Throughout the years I would hear from John either with a tweet or I would checkout his website HERE. John lives in Martha’s Vineyard and is a retired firefighter (I know, he’s an amazing human being) as well as a husband and father. His bio is the bio by which all bio’s would be judged (and found wanting.) You’d think that this successful author would be one of those guys whom you would see at comic cons surrounded by sycophants and no way would you ever get a word with. You’d be wrong. John is one of the nicest and caring individuals you’d ever meet and I have had the honor of trading emails every now and then. So if you are ever by chance at the Royal Albert Hall someday, turn it up. Thanks John.

You can get a copy of “Biodigital” here at:  for the price of a simple email subscribe to his newsletter. He is as unpretentious as they come.