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Subscriber: null; date: 17 September 2019

McMillen, Keith locked

  • Anne Beetem Acker

(b Bermuda, July 10, 1957). American audio engineer, musician, and owner of Keith McMillen Instruments, based in Berkeley, California. He received his BS in acoustics from the University of Illinois, where he also studied classical guitar and composition. In 1979 he founded Zeta Music, which designed and sold electric and electronic violins and basses. In 1992 he organized a research laboratory for Gibson Guitars. He developed a computerized composition, notation, and performance system, and also helped devise ZIPI, a MIDI-like music control language. At the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley, he researched audio networking, synthesizers, and string instruments. In 1996 he became director of engineering for the audio processing and distributed music networks division of Harmon Kardon. In 1999 he founded Octiv, Inc., an Internet audio signal processing company, which produced the ‘Volume Logic’ plug-in for iTunes that allows digital audio remastering to improve the sound produced by computers and MP3 players.

In 2005 he sold Octiv to Plantronics, and founded Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI), producer of software and technology for the music, computer, video, gaming, ergonomic, and assistive technology industries. KMI products include: QuNeo, a versatile multi-touch pad controller; 12 Step, a chromatic, polyphonic pedal controller with pitch bend and velocity sensitivity; SoftStep, a programmable pressure-sensitive pedal controller; the KMI MIDI expander; StringPort, a Mac-based synthesizer and processor hardware and software suite for string instruments; and K-Bow, a wireless controller bow for string instruments.

In 2004 McMillen started the BEAM Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to a new Western classical music movement, which he calls ‘NuRoque’. It promotes the use of enhanced instruments connected by interactive computer networks.