It only seems fitting to write about the birth of the name Voltage Control on the anniversary of my first trip around the Sun.

In addition to my love for technology and how humans interact to build software, I have an immense passion for music. I’ve toured the US and Europe with bands and solo projects. I even own a professional operating recording studio, The Still.

The Still
The Still

In recent years, I have focused my obsession with music towards modular synthesizers, specifically eurorack synthesizers. This format was developed by a German audio manufacturer Doepfer in 1995. At a fraction of the cost of other modular synths, Doepfer’s made modular synthesizers more accessible and they quickly grew. At the time of this writing, there are over 200 manufacturers, each making anywhere from one to hundreds of different module designs. You can find everything from simple 70s era throw backs to esoteric digital insanity.

I began collecting modules in 2007 and have amassed a sizeable collection of modules. Currently my case contains around 200 modules. I tend to favor the more esoteric modules and love getting lost in the wormhole. I will patch for hours, refining and evolving the sound; enveloped in a sea of blinking lights.

Me with my Synth
Me with my Synth

Just like good software, modular synthesizers are modular, meaning they are comprised of many modules that perform specific roles. This gives you flexibility to adjust the order of components (modules). Adjusting the order of modules allows the modules to control or manipulate each other in new and interesting ways.

I’m sure you can imagine that connecting 200 modules together can be quite chaotic. Managing this chaos is the central element that draws me deeper and deeper into my eurorack synthesizer addiction.

As I began to think about naming my fractional CTO consultancy, I was drawn to the parallels between how I work with my synthesizers and how I help companies. Adding order to chaos and extracting the full potential of what lies beneath a set of tacit resources is my superpower. Selecting a name related to my modular synthesizer obsession became my branding focus.

Patched Synth
Patched Synth

Synth modules have many knobs that allow you to control characteristics of the sound. A module is considered voltage controlled when you can remotely control it’s knobs using other modules. The control voltage is supplied from one module to another module through a patch cable. Rarely will you see a keyboard attached to a modular synthesizer, but if you do, it will use control voltage to set pitch and volume of the notes you play. Instead of keyboards, modular synthesizer patches run independently, after some initial input, much like a software program..

Control Voltage helps you harness your true potential.

I knew without a doubt that Voltage Control was my name when I began to think about voltage as potential. The word voltage is defined as an electromotive force or potential difference expressed in volts. Everything I do, from my workshops and fractional CTO coaching is in service of supporting my clients to capitalize on their full potential.