Christopher Laird Simmons

Christopher Simmons

Christopher Laird Simmons has been a working journalist since his first magazine sale in 1984. He has since written for wide variety of print and online publications covering lifestyle, tech and entertainment. He is an award-winning author, designer, photographer, and musician. He is a member of ASCAP and PRSA. He is the founder and CEO of Neotrope®, based in Temecula, CA, USA.


  1. Avatar photo jasongadgetguy
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 1:18 AM PDT

    I was scared when I saw this title. I thought it was a computer that was writing music, like an article rewriter only with songs. Phew! 🙂

  2. Avatar photo Cole
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 5:43 PM PDT

    I thought Peter Gabriel was still touring… Anyway, these products do look to be astounding, but imagine what would happen if MC and another Austin company, Infinite Response, got together. Infinite Response makes 76-key lightweight folding controllers…

  3. Avatar photo InPeeR
    Nov 9, 2010 @ 6:42 AM PST

    Less the delayed start and the oh so cheezy Rat Pack’ish intro, Victor and his gang’s new offering from Music Computing did nothing less than lit the proverbial fire under the current Open Labs brain(strain)trust to get a viable, affordable and sensible Core i5 (at the least) upgrade path rolled out and less we not forget the all coveted 64-bit drivers? Which they seem to think current users haven’t outgrown 32-bit yet? Frankly the days of metering and dictating what OL develops and/or rolls out to their flock of sheeple have been squashed thanks to some friendly good ole’ American Capitalism aka competition!!

    And no way could one address Victors new bride without acknowledging his ex-girl and her family. You know those Gen3/4/5 owners admiring the seeming greener pastures Victor’s Music Computing is currently offering: 64-bit, which he mention numerous times during the broadcast, Windows 7 support and of course Core i5, which if no one noticed OL currently has began touting Windows 7 and Core i5 on their “The New” XXL and LXD respectively. Kind of strange to offer it but not provide an upgrade path. Though as of today, 11/8/10 @10pm PST, an official response is forthcoming sometime around 7pm Austin time zone I’m assuming?

    Playing the devil’s advocate for a second. If OL opts to play fiscal hardball and dig deeper into current owners’ pockets–some of which are already on the books for $7000> worth of OL goods–just to get them equal to Music Computings’ MiKo/NeKo arch-nemesis, Ebay could eventually become a grave yard for MiKos and NeKos. But if OL does the right thing, they may well leverage themselves back into the public perception as the leader in this now two horse show they find themselves embroiled in!! For now I have to give Vic and MC a slight advantage. I just saw the vid and realized they put volume knob on top even though the FireBox is in the rear!!

    Also if anyone from OL reads this. Get yourselves a PR firm to handle announcements. Your techs grinding axes and blaming the old boss(es) on the forum or anywhere on the net isn’t a good look for your “new look”!!!

  4. Avatar photo Chris
    Nov 9, 2010 @ 4:37 PM PST

    Hi, InPeeR,
    I did understand why Open Labs chose to forego 64-bit Windows intitially, as they had just rolled out Pro Tools support a couple of months prior to the current gen, but the dread iLok 64-bit drivers did not yet exist (Logic owners on mac have had same issues, with EWQL Play, etc.). Still, presumably now with Pro Tools 9, and other products being 64-bit, Presonus drivers being 64-bit, there would be no reason not to. I’m not quite sure we can call Music Computing and Open Labs “arch nemesis,” since they are uniquely different products, perhaps not in concept, but in execution. The StudioBLADE is truly portable and fits into any setup for actual keboard players and gigging/touring musicians (try lugging a Neko XXL around… NOT!), and while the OL “experience” circa the Timbaland/TSE era was to have repackaged open source products, OL’s current focus seems to be on exclusive home-brew apps. I think Victor’s new venture, which uses more formidable DAWs like Studio One, and the re-skinned “house brand” synth, as well as control surface utilities, makes a lot of sense in both keeping costs down, providing more value to customers, and provides a nice complement to existing keyboards like a M3 or Motif, without being a direct replacement. Put side by side, I think a lot of folks will admire the simplicity of the user experience with the StudioBLADE. Having owned both a NeKo TSE and NeKo XXL (see my reviews elsewhere on this site), I found good and bad with both. In the end I preferred the sit down and play aspect of the TSE over the battleship of doom approach with the XXL – too much to go wrong, and stalled development, no control surface support for SONAR, etc. I will be doing a review of the StudioBLADE this month here, so keep your eyes peeled, and your ears uncovered – and your mind open. 😉

  5. Avatar photo InPeeR
    Dec 3, 2010 @ 11:30 AM PST


    C’mon let’s not act like PT is the only DAW? Let OL tell it they’ve been messing around with Studio One since it rolled out. That’s all a moot point now. Come Dec 10th, its gonna be a crawl or ball defining moment for Open Labs. My vote is for the the former. Reason being their doing what I said they may do, “dig deeper into current owners’ pockets”?

    I’ve tried to give them benefit of the “drought”. But the current hardware upgrades their offering in my eyes do nothing more than mask the reality they need to restart that revenue stream ASAP. The FY2011 1st QTR cometh.