Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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All wired up: Local music company aims to make studio-quality recordings mobile


Photo By: Diego Abeloos/Town Crier
Photo Diego Abeloos/Town Crier

Doug Wright, founder and president of Sonoma Wire Works, plays his guitar using GuitarJack, which allows musicians to connect their instruments to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Class of 1990 Los Altos High graduates Doug and Michelle (Reynolds) Wright have a simple goal in mind: to provide musicians with the convenience and ability to play, record and share music simply by reaching into their pockets or turning on a tablet.

The couple – former high school sweethearts – started Sonoma Wire Works in 2003 while residing in Sonoma County. They moved back to their hometown in 2008, steadily developing a wide range of music software products among the way.

Doug, the company’s president, noted that the company’s overarching aim is “to make products that allow musicians to capture music themselves – less of an engineer’s tool and more of a musician’s tool.”

With this in mind, he pointed to products like GuitarJack, an iOS audio input and output interface that enables musicians to connect guitars, keyboards, microphones and other hardware to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The product is ideal for recording chunks of music – guitar chords or lyrics – whenever inspiration strikes, Doug said.

“For me, I never really ever have a whole song. I just have a new riff that I want to record,” he said. “It’s just super fast and super intuitive.”

When coupled with one of the company’s multitrack recording apps – FourTrack for the iPhone or StudioTrack for the iPad – GuitarJack also serves as an easy-to-use amplifier and recording studio on a mobile device, he added.

Other products, like RiffWorks, a Windows and Mac compatible guitar recording software program, and DrumCore, the company’s extensive drum loop library, provide customers with low-cost, do-it-yourself alternatives to traditional – and pricey – recording studio sessions, Doug said.

“We have more than 20 different well-known, A-list drummers and 45 gigabytes of content, which is just thousands and thousands of loops,” Doug said of DrumCore, which features former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, former Carlos Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, percussionist Luis Conte and more.

The inspiration behind the products stems from an unfilled personal need he recognized as a musician. As a member of rock bands in his early days, Doug recalled being tasked with the dual roles of guitarist and audio engineer during studio recording sessions.

He quickly discovered that the combination of using his technical know-how while simultaneously attempting to engage in the process of creating music was stifling.

“If you look at almost anyone in the music industry making products, we’re all musicians and we’re all doing it because we want the products as much as the customers do,” said Doug, whose products are available on Amazon, through distributors and dealers worldwide and locally at Present, 162 Main St. “We’re very in touch with the needs and desires of our customers because we are them.”

The company is also dedicated to making products locally, added Michelle, vice president of marketing. Hardware manufacturing for GuitarJack, for instance, is done in San Jose.

“We’re trying to do as much American-made as we can,” she said.

As for the future, Doug noted that the company plans to focus on converging its mobile and desktop products.

“Tablets are getting so powerful,” said Doug, who also teaches courses in audio software programming locally at Cogswell College.

“They can basically do anything that the desktops I originally programmed Riffworks on could do. You’ll start to see less difference between the desktop software we make and the mobile software … but all (fulfilling) the original purpose of making recording music easier and more accessible to musicians.”

For more information, visit www.sonomawireworks.com.

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