Prime Time Replay:

Jimmy Hotz
on Interactive Music

MsgId: *emedia(1)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:01:01 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Welcome to eMedia. I'm the moderator, Paulette Hodge. Tonight's guest is Jimmy Hotz, interactive musician who's done work with such musicians as Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, and others. Jimmy, are you online?
MsgId: *emedia(4)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:07:38 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

Yes Indeed!
MsgId: *emedia(5)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:09:26 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Okay (whew!). Well, as I said before, Hotz, you're an interactive musician, using synthesizers and other electronic equipment to create music online. Can you explain a little more about your background in music, and why you decided to create an interactive music forum?
MsgId: *emedia(7)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:13:55 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Hi, Jimmy. Are you still with me?
MsgId: *emedia(8)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:15:34 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

Sorry, Netscape blew me away.....But I'm Back.

I have been a professional musician for most of my life and I wanted to empower all people to play music on a level they could only hear in their minds and interact with one another in a way that was previously impossible.

MsgId: *emedia(11)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:21:54 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

How did you get involved with working with synthesizers? How did working with synthesizers evolve into The Hotz Corporation?
MsgId: *emedia(13)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:26:31 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

I had played guitar since the age of 7 began working with Electronics at 12 and Keyboards at the age of 13. I started working with synthesizers in the early 70's and have lead many major stars into the use of technology.
MsgId: *emedia(14)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:29:34 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

One of those persons mentioned is Mick Fleetwood, who helped finance The Hotz Corporation when it was starting. How did you develop a relationship with Fleetwood?
MsgId: *emedia(15)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:34:39 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

I began working with Fleetwood Mac in 1975 as a sound consultant and have worked on several Fleetwood Mac records as well. Mick and I were working on a B.B. King record together and had a long discussion one night that inspired me to go ahead and create the first Translator. I had been carrying this idea around in my head for close to 10 years.
MsgId: *emedia(16)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:37:50 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

What is the Translator, and how does it enhance the performance of the user? Just a brief explanation of your invention.
MsgId: *emedia(17)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:40:25 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

A brief background on the Hotz Translator Technology: In order to fully appreciate the full implications of translator technology it must be understood that for the first time in the history of musical instruments an otherwise lengthy learning curve has been virtually eliminated. This concept effectively removes an imposing barrier faced by anyone attempting to play music for the first time and gives the experienced musician a quantum leap in musical capability.

The key to this essential concept lies in the fact that the computer is utilized in an area in which it excells thus freeing the musician to explore the territory of expression and deal with the "human elements" of making music without being burdened by the mechanical and technical side of the equation.

Traditionally the process of becoming accomplished on a musical instrument involved years of training. This is because the human brain must learn certain technical skills by repetition. In addition to the co-ordination and physical conditioning required to accurately play traditional instruments, there is considerable musical knowledge which must be absorbed and put to use in making "musically correct" choices within the genre that the musician has chosen to perform.

This all means that real proficiency on a traditional musical instrument is a daunting obstacle. Even musicians with many years experience and considerable technical expertise often find themselves still lacking ability in some areas. For the majority of musicians there are still some limitations, some barriers.

Translator technology opens a new door by short-cutting a huge part of the learning curve. The years of repetition and practice needed to aquire technical skill is all but eliminated by automating this process with the translator engine. The vast musical knowledge of chords, scales and the intricacies that define various musical styles are now contained in the most comprehensive database ever assembled, for instant access at the touch of a proverbial button.

In essence it is machine doing what it does best and allowing humans to do what they do best by supplying the spark of inspiration that can, for the first time, translate directly into music.

MsgId: *emedia(20)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:42:32 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

In the description of your website, you describe the Hotz Trax system as simple enough that users without formal music backgrounds can use it. How does Hotz Trax help someone who wants to compose original music, but has only very basic music reading skills? Is it possible to have no experience in music and still be able to use Hotz Trax?
MsgId: *emedia(21)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:44:01 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Sorry, Jimmy. I think you've answered the question I'd just asked...
MsgId: *emedia(22)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:46:58 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

How would a person with very basic or no musical background use the Translator through Hotz Trax? Is Hotz Trax for experimenting, or can someone just learning about music use it as a teaching guide to song composition?
MsgId: *emedia(23)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:51:25 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

Absolutely, as just stated all of the years of preparation that were necessary on a conventional instrument have all but been eliminated. A beginner can have immediate gratification with Hotz Trax and a shareware version of this product "HotzPlayer" is available for free downloading on ... HotzTrax and HotzPlayer use the same patented Translation Engine as the Hotz Translator but have a limited feature set.
MsgId: *emedia(24)
Date: Mon Sep 30 21:56:06 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

How much of your time in the interactive space is spent working with beginning composers/musicians? Or do you work more with more experienced and experimental clients?
MsgId: *emedia(26)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:03:57 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

For the most part I have worked with professionals over the last 25 years. However, I created Hotz Trax for the masses and it is not merely another software package for your computer. It transforms your PC into a new kind of musical instrument for the Digital Age. It's an instrument that you can play instantly -- even if you've never played a note before. More than just an instrument, though, it's actually a powerful interactive music system. You're going to be able to play along with songs you choose from every style imaginable, even your favorite artists. Best of all, you can't play a wrong note!

That's just the first level. Hotz Trax is tons of fun, but a toy it's not. You can take this new instrument as far as you want to go. You can record yourself performing along with backing tracks recorded by studio pros. You can jam with friends in real-time using the PC keyboard, mouse, and external MIDI controllers. You can also send files you've recorded across the Net to friends -- where they can listen and jam along using the Hotz Player. And if they have Hotz Trax too, they can add their own tracks to the session and send the results back to you! You can even publish your tunes in the Hotz Virtual Music Studio ( to share your music with the world!

MsgId: *emedia(28)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:07:34 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

How did you get involved with Craig Moody and Charles Abronson, (President/CEO and Chair, respectively, of Hotz Corp.)? Who are some of the studio musicians you use to handle Hotz Trax recordings? Do you find that those who start out with Hotz Trax then move onto the Translator system, or feel they should have some formal music training?
MsgId: *emedia(30)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:16:43 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

In the process of growing into a company that can bring the Translator Technology to the world I have met with a host of individuals over the years. Of the two gentlemen you mention, Chuck Abronson was the first to team up with Hotz which included myself and Mick Fleetwood along with other partners. He was a highly qualified individual who has been successful in bringing a number of companies to a high level of success. Craig Moody had been the Chief operating officer of TimeWarner Interactive as well as a founding member of Merisel. Backgrounds on both Chuck and Craig as well as more information on the Hotz Corporation are available on
MsgId: *emedia(32)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:22:15 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Sorry. To finish my last question: Or do Hotz Trax users feel like they would like to have some formal training before they go further with their music composition?
MsgId: *emedia(33)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:28:35 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

Only after achieving a certain level of mastery on the process listed above, do you really start to play music [the fun part] rather than just prepare yourself to do so. On a conventional instrument it can take years of practice and study to develop a reasonably well rounded musical vocabulary. Even the most accomplished, proficient and well trained musicians' have a limited musical vocabulary and continue to practice and learn new structures throughout their life.

The Hotz Translator is an empowering Technology that enables anyone who desires to play an instrument to start immediately at the fun part of the music making process, rather than the frustrating "old method" starting point described above. In a Hotz System the entire process of musical structure memorization and physical pattern layout are handled by the computer. This leaves the user free to concentrate on the most creative aspects of the musical process.

The "Hotz Translation Tables" handle the same exact structure memorization functions as the mind of the most accomplished musician, only it does it on a Super-Human level. Also the Translator can place all of the notes for the current Chord and Scale[each can have their own area's if you desire] in a continuous and efficient layout. This creates a playing environment that is 100% efficient for the current musical structures and frees the performer from the fear of hitting the wrong notes.

The feeling of freedom and release this gives to the performer is much like a feeling of flying under one's own power musically. Instead of relying on your own musical knowledge and physical dexterity to conform to the myriad of possible fingering contortions, you allow the computer to become your real-time musical partner and handle the tedious mathematical memorization while you concentrate on the feel and emotion you wish to express.

MsgId: *emedia(35)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:30:37 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Hotz Trax seems like a program which would be extremely helpful in teaching young music students how to create music and understanding it. Is Hotz Trax used this way now, or will it be used in schools in the future?
MsgId: *emedia(38)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:37:05 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

I had posted this section prior to my last statements but it did not seem to come through. If you look at the following statements in conjunction with the previous I hope it will make it clear that this is actually a new to both learn and play music.

Until the development of the Hotz Translator, learning to play a musical instrument, other than some very simple or percussive device, required; The ability to memorize and instantaneously retrieve information from one's own mental database, all of the notes that comprise the musical structures [Chords and Scales] that are to be used in the performance of a song or piece of music and this must be done continually in real-time[at the exact moments the music changes and progresses]. Simultaneously one must remember and execute a multitude of various physical hand positions and contortions required to transform the knowledge stored in that mental database to the proper note positioning on the instrument, once again in real-time. Additionally, for a reasonable level of satisfaction for both the performer and listener, the entire process of mental retrieval and physical execution must be as second nature and free from mistakes as possible, since a note played out of key with the rest of the music usually creates an unpleasant reaction in most listeners.

It is important to understand that the Hotz Translator contains the most complete database of musical structures available anywhere in a single reference, the bulk of the accumulated expert knowledge base of Musical structure from around the world over the past several millennia is embodied in the Hotz Translator engine. Additionally, it contains many unusual and unique structures that have not been previously classified. It is hardly conceivable that any non-computer assisted human could memorize or mentally access a musical database even remotely close to this, let alone have the training and dexterity to flawlessly perform all of these structures. It is not physically possible on most conventional instrument for one human to play many of the new and unique structures which may be played as simple gestures on a Hotz Translator Instrument.

MsgId: *emedia(41)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:48:47 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Who are some performers you would like to work with using Hotz Translator Technology, among modern groups who seem least likely to use digital/interactive music media (such as folk singer Jewel)?
MsgId: *emedia(46)
Date: Mon Sep 30 22:57:13 EDT 1996
From: Jimmy At:

I believe that eventually the Hotz Technology will be used in the full spectrum of music creation in all fields much like we use any of the tools of the Trade that have become Standard. I am currently working on a project with several of my friends such as "Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac", "Jon Anderson of Yes" and "Paul Hasslinger formerly of Tangerine Dream" that could potentially usher in a new musical era. Such is the power of the Hotz Technology. It is my hope in the near term to awaken a host of other musicians at all levels and fields to this powerful creative tool.
MsgId: *emedia(48)
Date: Mon Sep 30 23:02:31 EDT 1996
From: Paulette At:

Thank you, Jimmy Hotz, for appearing tonight. Check out the Hotz site at Next week's guest will be Doug Rushkoff, who'll be discussing his latest book on cyberculture, called "Playing the Future," from 9-10pm EST.

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