User:SyntheticThought

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Biptunia.jpg

“Very nice music, I like the 10 TET! Congrats!” —Tolgahan Çoğulu


“Listening to your music now and it’s great!” —Brendan Byrnes


"Kurt Cobain liked (your old band) Bomb. Kurt turned me on to Bomb." --Krist Novoselic


SyntheticThought a.k.a. Feen, real name Michael W. Dean

I'm in the music group BipTunia. https://biptunia.com/ Our microtonal music is here; https://biptunia.com/?s=microtonal

BipTunia has made many albums (14 as of March 2019). All but the first 7 contain some microtonal music.

It's not a jam band. It's very structured music. I work on music a good percentage of my waking hours these days. And possibly when asleep too.

I've played music since 1978. First played a synthesizer (hardware) in 1980. Built a small synth in 1981 (PAIA kit.)

First put out a record in 1985 with a jazz-punk group called Baby Opaque.

I've made and released several microtonal VSTs, and a microtonal sampler. Most are for Windows, but one is for Mac. You can get them free, here.

I put out a xen compilation album called "Microtonal Freedom (A Benefit Compilation Album for Lyn Ulbricht)." Some of the folks on this wiki are on that album. More info here. And you can listen to it free, here on Spotify.

I used to do the Freedom Feens radio show., from 2011 to 2018 I don't make new episodes anymore, but they still play replays on 16 commercial stations around the US.

I've been podcasting regularly since 2006.

I write and edit tech books: https://www.oreilly.com/pub/au/3220

I make documentary films: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1543780/

I was in a very cool band called Bomb that was signed to Warner Brothers and played in a lot of dive bars around America, Canada, & Europe.

Last gig I played was in 1999. Touring is a young man's game. There is video of that gig though.

Fun facts: I have no trouble speaking in front of a crowd, have done it a lot, but prefer to avoid people. I am self-employed, work at home, am often up all night and sleep in the day, and sometimes go weeks without seeing any humans other than my wonderful wife.

My user name SyntheticThought is from a line in a BipTunia song. The phrase was created by Phil Wormuth, the Poet Laureate of BipTunia. He and I went to college together, back in the early 80s.

I love cats. Have 3 cats. Bob, Beast, and BipCat. They're awesome.


Oct 16, 2018 update: Stopped editing the wiki, for the same reason good editors usually leave wikis; frustration from admins not blocking people who make counterproductive edits, when those people will not stop, despite repeated warnings and temp banning.


March 20, 2019 update, I had started helping here again, but quit again. And am watching people who don't know me throw me under the bus on the Xenwiki Work Group. No good deed goes unpunished.

There are some actual untruths there. One person said I've vandalized other people's work here. I have never done that.

I may come back to fix broken links as they become broken, or update things I created on here. But I won't be adding new pages, and won't be involved in wiki politics and day-to-day decision making / arguing / "art by committee."

Here's what I've done on this Wiki:

--I combined two pages with a lot of redundant info (Artists, and Bands, combined to new page, "LISTEN.")

First I discussed it with Kite, Jacob, Mike B. They OKed it.

Also got the admins to add a LISTEN link on the left sidebar. I believe that is THE first thing noobs will be looking for if they stumble on this page and are curious.

--Plus found all the long-dead links on those pages and deleted dead links, put on the talk page what I deleted (for historical completeness). Then I found working Listen links for artists when possible.

Those two tasks took about 3 weeks of about 3 hours a day.

I spent an afternoon putting this up: "Making Microtonal Music is Easier Than You’d Think." Was tricky formatting it all, and adding the links. Kite suggested I do that. It's a 9000-word intro to xen for noobs, lots of hands-on info, not a lot of maths, great to actually get people making microtonal music.

--And I wrote a few short tutorials on doing specific things in Scala.

--I updated the VST page, looked for dead links, and found live links.

--I wrote the suggested Conduct page a few people are freaking out about. I wrote that after discussions with Stephen Weigel, Kite, and Tae. Talked a lot about it with Mike B. and Tyler. Tyler, gave me of push back, but I did it anyway, so people could see what I was talking about rather than sending bits here and there as PMs.

It the loud minority here wants to no use that page, that's fine. I think it's a mistake to not use it though.

--I never blanked anything, except Viagra spam.

--Added my music and my VSTs, to the Listen and VST pages.

--Regularly backed up the half-gig of data for this website, to have a recent backup in case things crash and data is lost.

--Other than that, just helped the community when possible. Put together a compilation album, made some free xen VSTs, and patiently answered a lot of questions from people, especially people new to xen, on the Xenharmonic Alliance Facebook group, and the Microtonalitaly Facebook group.

That's pretty much it, that I recall. Certainly nothing destructive, despite untruths being spread on the Facebook Wiki Workgroup.


Read "The Great Failure of Wikipedia" from November 19, 2004, for more on my opinion on wikis.

This was written by Jason Scott, one of the people who helped build Wikipedia in the early days: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/808

tl:dr version of Jason Scott's article: The productive contributors leave because they go from "being a content creator to being a content defender.".. When a very few people dump all over everything, and admins don't stop them, because admins don't want to be "mean." (In other words, when the admins are not admining.)

And usually a few editors jump in and tell the people trying to make things work that they're being "mean."

Or the editors and admins think a wiki is a democracy. When they should think of it as private property jointly owned by the admins and editors who have made useful edits.


WANT TO CHAT WITH ME?: Like many microtonal musicians, and many musicians in general, and many synth players, and most software designers, I have Aspergers.

So I have a hard time reading sarcasm, especially in text, especially from people I haven't talked with a lot.

So if you're kidding with me, add "lol" or I'll never know.

And if you're pissed at me, and don't explain clearly, I'll never know.

If you're trying to convey something more subtle, explain it in plain English or I'll never know.

These are, by the way, good overall suggestions for anyone talking to anyone on the Internet.. People don't know your baseline, then they can't read between your lines.

Being an aspie is actually a plus. It helps me ignore outside distractions to have more focus for doing complex projects I enjoy.


Me on Facebeast.

Me on Twitter.