The History of Synapse

Synapse was created in the final days of 2000 when, FINALLY, there came along a music production tool that would allow the speed of creativity to survive the production process, thus allowing music production "at the speed of thought". This was instrumental to choosing the name Synapse, as the speed of thoughts in the brain occur via neurotransmitter conduction across gaps between neurons - the synapses. The program in question was Propellerhead's Reason v1.01.

Propellerheads Reason Logo

The first song ever produced was a song that I'd been working on since I got my Korg X3 sequencing keyboard in 1993. I tried to complete that song, but the hardware limitations of the X3, as well as dependency on other expensive hardware (that I didn't own) relegated that song to the internals of the keyboard, seemingly dooming it to be "trapped" within the X3 forever. Until Reason prevailed.

Korg X3 Sequencing Music Keyboard

I was working on that song forever. After programming the basics into the X3's sequencer, I began improving it, tweaking it, perfecting it. Funny thing, perfection... it never lets you complete a task on a productive schedule.

Buzzmonger Magazine

In September 1996, Meat Beat Manifesto was touring through Dallas at the Deep Ellum Live venue. I was working as an event photographer for Buzzmonger Magazine, and was assigned to do event photography and also interview Meat Beat Manifesto's lead man, Jack Dangers. I asked the battery of questions one would expect from a music magazine interviewer, but I had one question I needed to ask Jack. "Why is it that your remix albums always sound better than the versions on the parent album?!?". I was enlightened to learn that you work on a song, NOT until it's perfect (there is no such thing), but just work on it until "there aren't any elements that piss you off". This allows you to actually FINISH a song instead of working on it forever. Later if you have continued inspiration on that song, or want to take it in a new direction, or just remove a few elements that started to bother you... build a remix of the song. That explained why the remixes always seemed more "thought out" than their original incarnations.

Meat Beat Manifesto's Subliminal Sandwich

Fast forward to Christmas 2000. I got Reason and started to get busy. I began duplicating my "trapped opus" into Reason. I spent the next few weeks getting it to the point where I was happy enough to call it finished (applying what I learned from my interview with Jack Dangers). WHAT A RELIEF! My mind began to swim with thoughts of the next songs. I was doing some DJ appearances around 2002 at the now-defunct SandBar in Deep Ellum with James Parker. I used our sets there to debut my music to the public.

DJing at the guerilla rave

Now, whenever inspiration strikes, I launch Reason, do a "mind dump" into a new song file and start working. Sometimes the song gets done that day... sometimes I have to save it and keep revisiting it when further inspiration strikes. So far, I've made over 60 tracks spanning 15 years, along with hundreds of snippets to use in other songs or flesh out into their own realizations.

- Chris Brackman, creative force and one-man-show behind Synapse