I've had a long-time interest in listening to and creating unique music. I've been recording since the 8th grade, where I used to splice beeps into reel-to-reel tape to create audio tracks for filmstrip presentations. Look up the word filmstrip, youngsters... I was quite the multimedia geek at an early age! I also bought my first synthesizer back in 1975 while still in high school, when actually owning one was still a rarity. It was that, or buy a car. I chose the synth, and I was hooked.

When I was growing up, I couldn’t afford professional recording gear, so I learned to make do with used and semi-functional technology. One advantage - not realized until much later -  is that when you learn to make the best recordings you can with terrible equipment, you actually become more-accutely aware of sound, and you learn many tricks along the way that can be applied to your future recordings, even when you can finally afford better technology. With an apparent ear for what sounds good, I’ve been approached by other musicians and filmmakers to clean up their audio files. Modern audio optimization tools are still just tools; one still has to know what sounds good. I’ve saved many “lost” recordings for clients that didn’t take the time to think much about capturing audio while they were filming an interview or documentary footage. 

One particularly good “save” was the remastering of a wonderful song composed and sung by England’s Emmazen. She wasn’t happy with the way the final track sounded, so I volunteered to analyze her song's sonic structure and put it back together again so that all the instruments had more presense, and so her amazing vocals would stand out as they should. I did not have access to the original multitrack master recording; everything was achieved using a stero WAV file as the sole source. 

Here are the before and the after versions of the track:

Original version (before remastering): “A Mari Usque ad Mare"

Enhanced version (after remastering): “A Mari Usque ad Mare"

(Listen with headphones for best results, but even with typical laptop speakers you should be able to tell the difference.)

Lately, I've been getting involved with some documentary filmmakers, helping out when I can with live location audio recording and interviews. I also did the sound recording for a trailer for an independent film, which was a new experience. I've also been shooting some of my own HD video projects. As usual (for me anyway!), these projects are more conceptual/artistic in nature. Watch "Whiteout" to get a taste for my recent work (best watched directly on YouTube in full-screen 720p). I also do occasional live sound engineering and help set up for recording of live band appearances at a local radio station. Audio engineering is more of a hobby, but something in which I've always been involved.

As for my musical endeavors, I've been creating a lot of ambient electronic pieces lately using generative music software. The tracks at the top right are examples of that process; it definitely isn't pop music! I've released two CDs: "Life Unsettling" (available on iTunes and CDBaby) and "Live in Princeton," (on the Ethereal Live netlabel), both of which I'm pretty proud with how they came out. Of course I did the package design too! I still have a backlog of hundreds and hundreds of hours of solo and band sessions that I'll probably never get around to mixing and mastering, but it's still fun  to dig into the archives and listen to the older material when I can. More PYXL8R music is always being added to my Soundcloud page, so take a listen… it is definitely not pop music! My big dream is to do a movie soundtrack someday!

For over 19 years I've been playing keyboards with Brainstatik, a unique instrumental band that I co-founded. It has provided an important and productive outlet for my musical creativity, and it's always fun to play in front of a live audience! Samples of my band's music are available here at the bottom right, and to learn more about this aspect of my musical life, please visit Brainstatik's site here. A few samples are available at the right sidebar of this pages. More songs can be heard on this page.

I've also been actively involved in the local electronic music scene in my area, and love to surround myself with open-minded and creative artists and musicians. For several years I  produced and hosted the Cosmic Coffeehouse events, which were evenings of live music performed by underexposed up-and-coming and always-unusual artists. I provided a venue to showcase these "musical misfits," whose music was too different to be welcomed in the rock clubs or in the "regular" singer/songwriter-oriented coffeehouses. My band had always faced a similar dilemma, which was the genesis of the idea to create my own music series. Unfortunately, I had to give it all up in 2006 after my job moved to New York City, and my free time was slashed by a 5-hour roundtrip commute. The ghost of the Cosmic Coffeehouse's website is still here... I hope to revive it someday!

Me in my element: surrounded by synthesizers! 

Photo by Ruth Strohl-Palmer during a 2008 Brainstatik performance 

at the amazing Sarnoff Labs Theatre, Princeton, NJ

Contact me at pyxl8r@me.comRésumé available upon request. This site ©2017 by Ken Palmer. Images by other artists and photographers are shown for portfolio purposes only. Requests for removal of images owned by others will be honored immediately. Do not copy or otherwise infringe upon my -- or anyone else's --  work!