Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

Read more:

Loading...

Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

Read more:

Loading...

Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

Read more:

Loading...

Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

Read more:

Loading...

Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

Read more:

Loading...

Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

Read more:

Loading...

Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

Read more:

Loading...

People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

Read more:

Loading...

Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

Read more:

Loading...

Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

Read more:

Loading...

Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

Read more:

Loading...

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.

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos