How it all began:
Synthcom Systems, Incorporated began when Neil Bradley and Jeffrey McEachin got into an online argument in 1994. We quickly found out that we shared a common love of synthesizers and electronic music, and started discussing the idea of extending the Jupiter 6 firmware to give it additional MIDI capability. We were shocked to find out that we both live in Portland, Oregon, and were soon getting together to study schematics and Jupiter 6 board operation. It wasn't long before we decided that we'd be better off not using any of Roland's software, and started over from scratch. By late 1995 we were beta testing the first version of Europa. But then, in late 1996, the enormity of the project and real life caught up with us, and Europa went into hibernation.

In May of 2000 we realized that we're not the kind of people who can just quit on a project, so we resurrected Europa. Actually we started over, as Neil had developed a new OS which made Europa's timing much tighter, and Jeffrey reworked the Europa hardware to take advantage of the new 8051-compatible chips which was introduced during our hiatus. In January of 2001, we began beta testing again and finally, in November of 2001, we have released a prime time ready product - Europa!

Our goal:
Being musicians as well as technologists, we are more than a little tired of companies that deliver inferior or overpriced products. Our goal is not to become fabulously rich or famous, but instead to create electronic music tools and enhancements for both our own music making and yours. We're musicians building cool stuff for other musicians, and if we can get paid to do so, that's great!

About the founders of Synthcom Systems, Inc.:

Neil Bradley:
Neil Bradley, born and raised in the Portland, Oregon area, started writing software at age 7, and by age 9 was writing assembly language games on his TRS-80 Model 1. Fascinated by the endless possibilities of this device, he spent the greater years of grade, junior, and high school programming games, operating bulletin board systems, and other hackish sorts of computer related things. Trained as a classical pianist from age 6, his love for music was always present, and when he learned of the synthesizer and its capabilities during the early MIDI era, he realized, "Pianos? Who needs pianos when I've got *COMPUTERS* and *INSTRUMENTS* hooked together?" It was a marriage made in heaven. Neil stopped playing the piano and instead focused his energy on learning electronic musical instruments, for years playing with nothing more than simple MIDI sequences through cheap synthesizers connected to his Apple //e. In the late 80s, he worked at stereo stores and learned rudimentary music production at a local studio. In 1989, Neil joined Intel corporation and since then has served as an embedded systems engineer designing server motherboard BIOSes, modem/fax firmware, device drivers, and multiprocessor operating systems - attending Portland State University, working toward a CE degree, during the early 90s. In 1993, after being focused everywhere except music, he finally realized that so many of the instruments he loved (but could never afford) were now available to him, and he went crazy and bought several synthesizers, a mixer, and appropriate MIDI gear and started making music again. Neil's other love, video games, routed his attention to create a very efficient video game emulator for the PC called Retrocade (also ported to the Macintosh and Windows CE). It emulated, at a code and hardware level, 120 classic arcade games. This gave him additional hardware insight, methodologies of sound circuitry emulation, and made him a much better embedded systems and software architect. Armed with a Europa upgraded Jupiter 6, Neil is now looking forward to getting back in to the recording studio and making music after an extremely long absence!

Jeffrey McEachin:
Jeffrey had a vague dream in high school of learning about electronics and computers to make weird music and musical devices. After earning a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with a Certificate of Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1985, he forgot all about music and went to work for a defense contractor designing cpu boards and the associated firmware. One day in his veal fattening pen (or cubicle as it is more commonly known), he woke up and remembered his dream, and went out and bought a DX7. Soon he was a member of one of Atlanta's stranger bands, Gabriel & BamBam (which RuPaul once opened for at the infamous Celebrity Club), and went on to be a part of Atlanta's underground electronic scene as a member of bands such as FlatBush, Ether Binge, PVC Precinct, and Sex Pol. In the meantime he quit the evil defense contractor, began designing power distribution and lighting for commercial and industrial construction, and became a Professional Engineer registered in several states. After a year as a rap music producer and impresario, and co-owner of Studio 808 with Chris Brann (who later founded Wamdue Productions), he moved to LA to work with enigmatic songwriter Stephen Lester Brown. But love led him to Portland, where he married and has lived since 1992. Jeffrey's musical output has been sporadic since then, with only a few live shows and one song seeing public release - a collaboration with Dave Fulton on his "Hard Particles" CD. Now that he has designed the arpeggiator of his dreams into Europa, Jeffrey plans to make more weird music and musical devices!

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