BIO for Jamie O'Connell


This web site exists so that I might share some of my interests and give away some useful utilities and files. I enjoy programming, music and art. It's ideal when I'm able to mix them all together, so that's what I've tried to do here.



I grew up in during the sixties in Westport, CT. I attended  high school at Barlow (Amenia, NY) and Staples '71. I then did a year at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. After an involuntary stint in the military (US Army Germany 1972-74), I returned to New England College in Henniker, NH. It was there that I met and joined The John Wardwell Blues Band. After 8 years of performing and touring with the band I finally tired of the road and living in poverty. So I went back, finished college and became a Software Engineer.

I first accepted a position at Renaissance Computing, Inc. in Cambridge, MA. There, I was able to work on and learn the mighty Multics operating system and develop systems using PL/I. I maintained and enhanced the Janus DBMS component of the Consistent System. I also had the chance to delve into DOS and Windows programming since the very early stages of their development.

In August 1991 I entered into an agreement with Twelve Tone Systems (now Cakewalk) to create a software synthesizer driver for the FM sound chips starting to appear on the market at that time.  It was a DOS based driver accepting MIDI at one end and converting it to low-level primitives that controlled the FM chips to create sound.  Cakewalk received a lot of accolades regarding the driver, and I have say that I thought it was pretty cool too.  I did a few other contract jobs for Cakewalk before convincing them to hire me full time.  So this August is really my 19th anniversary of working there.

Since February 1996 I've been developing software at Cakewalk in Boston, MA. In addition to working with a first rate team, I find this is a perfect fit for my programming and music interests. This place places a premium on integrity and quality. I actually get paid to play with synthesizers and other toys while helping to create the worlds best sequencer software for Windows.

Since joining Cakewalk, I have worked on five major releases of Cakewalk Pro Audio, three versions of Cakewalk Professional, ten versions of Cakewalk Home Studio, Songwriter and nine versions of SONAR Producer and Studio, seven versions of SONAR Home Studio -- plus international and OEM versions of all of the above.  In addition (with some help), I have created Guitar Studio 2, Guitar Tracks 1 and 2, Guitar Tracks Pro 3, Club Tracks, Music Creator, SONAR LE and worked on Project 5 and Audio Creator.

Jamie O'Connell - website author








 Jamie O'Connell - c1978

With John Wardwell Blues Band



I discovered that I have a real love for computers and programming, so that's what I do mostly now. I'm self taught on ASM, Pascal, Visual Basic, C, and C++, and I study available literature at every opportunity. Most of my free time (which is not very much) is spent creating MIDI and digital sound software -- much of it is available here, in the MIDI Tools Catalog and MIDI-OX page.

My other great interest is music. I play bass and guitar (wav 136K), and Steel Guitar. During High School I had the opportunity to play with a great songwriter and singer, John Compton.  He went on to form and record with Appaloosa before setting off on a solo career.  For eight years (1974 - 1982), I played bass and toured with the John Wardwell Blues Band. During that time I had the opportunity to share the stage with such blues greats as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, Jr. Wells and Buddy Guy. I've spent some time as a sideman, playing with Otis Rush, Jimmy Dawkins, Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson, and Big Mama Thornton.  I love the Blues guitar stylings of Freddie King, Albert King and T-Bone Walker.  In a more contemporary vein, I like the music of Chris Whitley, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa. Here's a story by Frank Zappa, it's called Edgar Varese: The Idol of My Youth

Sample Songs:

One file created with SONAR 2.1.  It's a cover of Albert King's, "Oh, Pretty Woman".  I played all the parts except drums (those were from SmartLoops):


 Jamming with Buddy Guy


 Performing with Otis Rush


Here's some more featuring Steel Guitar (my newest obsession).


Copyright 1996-2010 by Jamie O'Connell. All rights reserved.
This page was last modified on 10-03-10
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