Q: Who are you? Where are you from?
A: I’m Zach (he/him/his). I work on core engineering at Modulate. I’m from Maine, but I’ve lived in Boston for the past five years.
Q: What’s your background? What did you do before Modulate?
A: I studied computer engineering at Northeastern University with a focus on machine learning and signal processing. I’m a DJ and I play cello, so I also completed a minor in music recording.
Q: How did you first discover Modulate?
A: I met Mike and Carter at an Audio Engineering Society meeting well before Modulate was formalized. At the time, I knew nothing about machine learning, and they were still figuring out the audio bit, but over time it’s all come together!
Q: Why did you choose to join Modulate?
A: Deep learning paired with audio makes for a powerful and underexplored combination. Modulate’s voice skins solve a fun and useful problem that is uniquely tractable using deep learning. When I first heard a voice skin on the website I knew I had to be a part of this!
Q: What’s the voice skin you’re most excited to use, and how do you plan to use it?
A: I can’t wait for a Justin Roiland voice skin that can choose between Rick, Morty, and all of the other characters he voices. It would be so entertaining to be able to drop spot-on impressions in normal online conversations.
Q: What’s your ideal work environment? Any special strategies you use to stay effective?
A: Anywhere with quiet mornings, a sunny window, and good coffee is a good place for me to work. I try to set aside an hour or two every day to work on a hard task with no distractions. Structured deadlines help me work, but I appreciate a little free time to explore new ideas.
Q: Tell us about something you must have in any culture you join?
A: Transparency is a must for me. After doing a 7 month co-op at a large audio company, I can really appreciate how wonderful it is to be able to explore ideas and parts of the company that don’t apply to my day-to-day work in order to gain inspiration or just for fun.
Q: Who are you outside of work?
A: Outside of work, you’re likely to find me somewhere in nature. I ski, mountain bike, and climb so check anywhere with altitude. I also produce music and DJ for friends’ parties.
Q: What’s something you’re great at that few people realize?
A: I have 17 years experience knitting sweaters, hats, and socks.
Q: Leave us with a fun tidbit - a favorite joke, a story from your past, an obscure riddle, whatever you like!
A: As a small child I learned to communicate with signs long before I could talk. I made up signs for everything from a bell pepper to a yak!"