In 1996, Dan Green founded an innovative effect pedal company named 3ms Pedals near Chicago, Illinois. Two years later the company moved to St. Louis, MO, and began producing table-top noise devices as well as effect pedals for experimental musicians.
In 2002, we changed our name to 4ms Company (d/b/a 4ms Pedals) and only a few years later created our first digital meta-instrument: the Bend Matrix, a 4x8 dynamic routing matrix, automatic circuit-bender, and octophonic mixer. In 2009, we moved to Austin, Texas, when we began designing Eurorack modules.
In 2012 we moved to beautiful Portland, Oregon, where we currently have our studio in the west coast nexus of synthesizer makers. In 2016 and again in 2017 we won Electronic Musician's Module of the Year!
Pictured below: (from left to right) The original white panel prototype for the Spectral Multiband Resonator, A stack of Bend Matrixes, 4ms's first digital meta-instrument, and Dan Green playing with a video screen.
Where we are now :
In our workshop along the banks of the Wilammette in northeast Portland, OR, we can be found assembling modules, designing circuits, and making music. All our products are built and tested by hand.
4ms Company's mission is to make music better by designing and building innovative musical instruments. We aim to inspire new ideas and change the way you create music.
Far from traditional instruments or clones of classic circuits, our devices include poly-rhythmic clock modules that create evolving complex mathematical beat patterns, resonator filters that cast pop music into micro-tonal keys, a chaos generator that confounds attempts to make the same sound twice, a morphing oscillator that can create wavetables from live audio, and many more innovative devices. All our designs are original, high-quality and tweaked to perfection.
We also offer DIY kits, and publish many of our designs as open-source projects. Rather than replicate concepts from the past, we strive to turn unique ideas into playable musical tools that expand the possibilities of music.
4ms Company regularly donates to the Synth Library at S1 Portland to make artists residencies possible. The Synth Library in Portland brings artists from around the world and provides hands-on access to synthesizers and dj equipment for people of all experience levels, including many workshops for female-identified and non-binary people.
Pictured below: (from left to right) The PC board layout for the Spherical Wavetable Navigator, a poster of all 4ms modules, and the 2019 4ms crew.