KMI Staff

Keith McMillen

Keith McMillen has been an innovator in audio and music technology for nearly 30 years. He has been working his entire adult life on one single problem - how to play live interactive music in an ensemble using extended instruments moderated by computer intelligence. This goal has required him to create dozens of new instruments, patented inventions and numerous successful companies in order to advance the technology sufficiently to reach his musical objectives. Keith began his audio career in 1979, when he founded Zeta Music. The company's revolutionary electronic instrument designs created a new market in the music industry, and the brand Zeta is the "gold standard" for electric and electronic string instruments.

In 1992, as Vice President of Gibson Guitars, he founded and ran G-WIZ (an R&D lab for Gibson); and led the effort to devise ZIPI (a musical instrument control language that avoided many of MIDI's limitations - ZIPI later evolved into OSC). Keith worked with UC Berkeley's CNMAT and created a new technology group focusing on audio networking, synthesizers and string instruments. As Director of Engineering at Harman Kardon in 1996, he headed a division dealing with complex audio processing and distributed music networks.

In 1999, Keith founded Octiv, Inc. an Internet audio signal processing company that addressed the problem of inconsistent audio quality across disparate delivery platforms. Octiv produced the best selling "Volume Logic" plug-in for iTunes as well as fundamental advances in teleconferencing. He led the company as both technologist and business guru raising over $20M from VCs such as 3i and Intel Capital. In April of 2005, Keith sold Octiv to Plantronics (NYSE:PLT) and is personally funding the current operations of the BEAM Foundation.

Keith received his BS in Acoustics under James Beauchamp from the University of Illinois where he also trained in classical guitar and studied composition with Herbert Brun, Scott Wyatt and Sal Martirano. Keith has spent 25 years developing MAPPS - an integrated computer composition, notation and performance system.

View the Keith McMillen Timeline

  • Conner Lacy, Software Director

    Conner is KMI's creative coding guru. As an artist and art technologist, he develops in a variety of mediums and builds practical tools that catalyze and bolster creativity. Conner earned a B.A. in Music and Digital Art from the University of Virginia and an M.F.A. in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College.

  • Sarah Howe, Software Support

    Sarah is the technical and software support specialist of Keith McMillen Instruments. When not hard at work, this Mills grad can be found pushing buttons, making ambient electronic music, and mind-gazing with fractal intensity.

  • Matthew Hettich, Product Specialist/Video Content

    Matt is an electronic musician, beat maker, DJ, max/MSP nerd, and violinist. Matt holds a BFA in Multi-Focus Music Technology from The California Institute for the Arts and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Medias from Mills College. He regularly releases music under his own name and as Wake.

  • Evan Adams, Operations Manager

    Evan currently manages operations at KMI. He also has a dog named Midi.

  • Nick Wang, Hardware Engineer

    Nick is a musician and electronics enthusiast who holds an MFA in electronic music from Mills College and a BS in political science from MIT. In his off time, Nick enjoys circuit bending and all things glamorous.

  • Dan McAnulty, Hardware Director

    Dan is a photographer, guitarist, habitual former of thoughts, and an always fascinated student of electronics.  He is happy to have served hard time at MIT as well as good times for avant-garde behavior in the Mills electronic music MFA program.  Dan is proud to be able to call KMI his home away from home, often until late into the evening.  In addition to his work for KMI, he is a contributor to Open Music Labs, a collecting place for the compilation of knowledge about electronic interfaces for artistic and musical purposes.

  • Nathan Zorndorf, Hardware Engineer

    "Nathan Zorndorf hails from the Bay Area and studied DSP arcana at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His Finnish lineage belies his insatiable thirst for thumping 808s and gooey Rhodes goodness. An aspiring code dwarf, he enjoys mining solutions to logic puzzles, crafting disco dance grooves, and pretending to be a dwarf."

  • Chuck, Software Engineer

    Chuck has been programming anything with gates for over XXX years. He is one of the few people on the planet who has memorized Knuth (look it up) and is often called away on missions requiring advanced mountaineering skills. He is capable of code densities that other programmers do not believe is possible. That is all we can say.

  • Rasheedah Noble, Office Manager Extraordinaire

    Armed only with her wits, the radio, a command of QuickBooks and a well-placed Devil's Food cake, Rasheedah keeps the KMI offices moving.

  • Tom Ferguson, Product Specialist/Artist Relations

    Tom is a double bassist and electronic musician, employed at KMI as a Jack-of-all-trades. A graduate of UC San Diego's decidedly different music department, Tom enjoys experimental optics, reading, and living in a post-literate world.

     

  • Carson Whitley, Technical Support Director

    Carson fields tech support questions and queries at KMI.

  • Michelle Cook, Accountant

    Michelle is the accountancy wizard at KMI. She is a graduate of Sacramento State with over 20 years of experience. Her interests include drag racing, fishing, and spending time with the family.

  • Barry Threw, Technologist

    Barry is the technologist behind the KMI software experience. He creates rich immersive and interactive media experience by developing systems and tools that combine sound, video, network, and audience interactions. He has a dual major in Music Production & Engineering and Music Synthesis from the Berklee College of Music, as well as a M.F.A. in Electronic Music & Recording Media from Mills College. He also serves on the board of the BEAM Foundation.

  • Stephen Wright, Quality Assurance

    Holding a degree in Religious Art History and Electronic Synthesis from UCSC, Stephen is the Quality Control man. Masterful at Chinese Gongfu tea service and odd-time signatures, he vigilantly ensures proper Feng Shui in the KMI Inventory. You can catch him performing around the Bay Area with Cash Pony and Inner Ear Brigade, or in the bike lane as his alter-ego "LFO Man."

  • Jon Short, VP of Sales

    Jon has been with KMI since March of 2010. He is a Music Industry grad from California State University Chico. Jon spent 3 years with The Music Link as a National Account Manager, worked for OTR Studios in Belmont, CA and spent time on the road as a tour manager. Jon keeps himself busy in the SF Bay Area music scene with his various musical projects; Kajillion, Life Changing Decisions, and February 5th.

  • Dave Criss, Sales Manager

    Dave joined the KMI team in February 2013 as the Account and Rep manager. He received a BAS in Sound Arts from Ex'pression College in 2009. Dave currently divides his time between KMI, freelance audio engineering, and drumming in the Bay Area with his band February 5th.