Mr Spiral

Hi there. I’m Mike Metlay. Pleased to meet you!

Dr. Mike Metlay

Dr. Mike Metlay

I live in northern Colorado in the United States. I have a Ph.D. in nuclear structure physics from the University of Pittsburgh that I don’t use very much these days, except to convince people that I might be a little harder to fool than some others (unidirectional Ethernet cables that improve the sound of digital music streams? Seriously?). I will never see age 50 again.

My wife and partner-in-crime of roughly a quarter century teaches at Western Governors University and shares my love of Doctor Who. I am not jealous of Benedict Cumberbatch or Michael Fassbender, although apparently I should be.

My older daughter is in college with a major in World Domination and will probably own you within 20 years. My younger daughter plays ambient music under the name Mystery Bubble. Both of my daughters show up at science fiction conventions in cosplay garb and pretend they don’t know each other.

I have a fair number of good solid friends that are a great comfort and blessing and inspiration to me. I used to be a really good listener to people’s problems; I lose patience a little more quickly these days but I try not to be cruel about it.

I tweet once in a while when I think I have something worthwhile (or at least funny) to say. I used to get on Facebook four times a year, whether I needed to or not; I do it a little more now and try to be sensitive about hassling folks too much. I really should finish putting up the drywall in my tiny home studio someday. And my lawn doesn’t get cut often enough to satisfy my elderly neighbor across the street. Sorry, Norma.

I make my living as the Editor of Recording Magazine (, and I recommend that you head over there to learn more about my professional life, if you’re interested in recording technique and technology. Drop me a line there and I’ll happily tell you how to mike a guitar cabinet, or how to tell the difference between FET and Vactrol compressors, or what to do if your lead vocalist gets nervous during a session and can’t sing… and if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find you someone who does.

This blog and the events I discuss here are for my “other life” — the life of an electronic creator of beauty, stretching from 1981 to the present day.

I do have a personal website for Atomic City at, where you’ll want to go if you want to sample my music (and maybe buy some), or send me a personal email, or learn more about the generalities of my work in the real world, the virtual world, and the radio world.

Here on this blog, though, I’ll be focusing on the exciting Now as well as the nostalgic Then; while WordPress makes it easier than my main site to provide a nicely organized history of my 30-plus years in music, the main emphasis will be on the musical and creative endeavours I’m enjoying right now and will be presenting in the future for your perusal, and the thought processes and artistic pitfalls and victories I encounter along the way. I hope you’ll join me for the trip, and derive joy from the art I create and the words I pass along.

As I like to say when I start a concert, and in the words of Drew Carey: Come on, let’s have some fun!


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