MATRIXSYNTH: BeauSoleil - Prison Made Modular

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

BeauSoleil - Prison Made Modular

Fascinating. Title link takes you to the full story. Charles Manson ties below.

"BeauSoleil got his first hands-on exposure to electronic music during the recording of the soundtrack. "I needed to enhance the sound palette of the basic rock instrumentation we'd used. I read Polyphony magazine [which later became Electronic Musician] and a couple of books by Craig Anderton to learn how to build my own circuits and instruments. From there, I graduated to building modules from scratch using parts from electronics surplus houses, and I used the modules to create new sounds." Thereafter, he studied audio electronics for several years in a prison vocational electronics program. This learning phase gave him the opportunity to develop skills he has put to good use ever since as a synth programmer and engineer. In 1984, he persuaded Jerry Kovarsky of Casio to loan him a CZ-1 synth in exchange for developing sounds for the instrument. (Kovarsky is now with Korg.) This was BeauSoleil's first experience with digital programming, but because the instrument was based on an analog architecture, he was able to complete several volumes of sounds. He is also a guitar player, so Casio later provided him with a PG-380, a MIDI guitar synth that he still uses as a stand-alone instrument. Actual programming of the PG-380 had to be done on Casio's rack-mounted VZ-10, from which patches were transferred on a data card. This programming experience and his connections at Casio later led to programming gigs with Ensoniq for the KT-76 synth, Kawai for the K4 synth, and Kurzweil for the K2000."

Update via the comments:
"Robert Beausoleil was also a member of the Manson Family before his imprisonment."

From Wikipedia:
"He met Charlie Manson in Topanga Canyon in 1966 and later went on to be one of the group who killed Hinman, allegedly for defaulting in a drugs deal. Accompanying Beausoleil that night were Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner, both later involved in other murders."


  1. Robert Beausoleil was also a member of the Manson Family before his imprisonment.

    Pretty interesting read. The murder he committed is still a bit of a mystery.

  2. i remember this name very clearly from the books on CHarles Manson. I believe BB was a Manson family member.

  3. Crazy. He was involved in THE murder. Interesting that the article doesn't mention that.

  4. Actually, not THE murder. Just, one of the murders from the Manson crew. More links on wikipedia. Never thought I'd be blogging about this...



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