Let’s Listen to Lorin Tone

Lorin Nelson

Reported by Orb Emerald

Many of us are familiar with a DigiWorldz resident named Lorin Tone who is an absolute sound aficionado.  We had a Q&A session with him recently and he filled us in on some of his experiences as an accomplished computer user, inventive sound designer, virtual traveler, and friend to many.  Here’s what he tells us about his early years…

Lorin Nelson-Agentz-1981- (on the left)

Lorin said, “In 1984, I was studying electronic music at UC Santa Cruz.  A friend of mine got one of the first Apple computers and we spent a lot of time learning how to use it.  At the time, it was considered to be a novelty item that would likely fade away. To be honest, my first experiences involved playing a text game called “Zork” on that Apple.”  We had mentioned the game Zork in an interview with BRO Geneband in one of our past issues of HyperGrid Zone Magazine.  For those of us who have played this ‘text only’ game, we realize how advanced things have become in the computer world.  It also dates us, but we won’t go into that lol.

More of the story…  We wanted to know about his experiences in virtual reality.  He gives us a glimpse into his very first days.  Lorin recalls, “My first sight of a virtual world was in December of 2006, when I was working as a video projectionist at a Tech convention.  One presenter that I worked with was Philip Rosedale,  the founder of Linden Lab.  His presentation was, of course, regarding Second Life.  At that time, I’d seen nothing like it before (other than 3d applications on Cray and Silicon Graphics computers).  But this Second Life thing was interactive in nature. It grabbed my curiosity, so I gave it a try.”

Lorin Tone-Discovery Grid-Synapse prototype

He goes on to say, “At that time, Second Life had an orientation landing area which I first landed at, where I met a British lady named Judi Newall who is my SL friend and partner to this day.  In general, the people I met tended to be quite friendly, and I got into doing collaborative builds with folks a few months in.”  

For those of us who do know him, most of us have had immersive experiences inside areas that Lorin has helped create using his sound files and applications.  We asked him to tell us about his skills and interests in those areas.  He mentions, “I began studying electronic synthesis and advanced audio engineering in 1976, so my primary (indeed, only) area of virtual worlds expertise is in audio recording, inworld sound effects and music design.  As far as my building skills go, I’m very good at making pine boxes.”  Pine boxes Lorin?  Creepy! 

Lorin Tone-Digiworldz-Synapse Display

He’s a clever guy with a lot of knowledge and he’s generous with his advice.  He wants new residents to know that, “Patience is a key factor for people who are new to virtual worlds.  I would advise new residents to ask questions while in the process of learning and also in that process, to pay extra attention to efforts or activities in which they have ‘real world’ abilities.  In virtual worlds, the opportunity to engage in projects and communities…well, the possibilities depend on what one is seeking, but are quite literally limitless.”

He adds, “My best and favorite virtual worlds projects have always been collaborations with one or more people.  In the collaborative process I’ve found that I always tend to learn new ways of doing things, and of course, it tends to enable me to meet new people.”

When asked about some of his favorite creators he opens by mentioning one of his greatest mentors.  “Hands-down favorite:  Madcow Cosmos, in Second Life.  I collaborated with him for a few years, and the man was brilliant and twisted in a very entertaining way.  He left virtual worlds to follow his real-life occupation of being a head chef.  The man was endlessly creative and prolifically impish.  I learned so much while ‘working’ with him.”  We’ve all at some point in time experienced the loss of fellow virtual friends.  I’m recollecting some of them now, it’s sad when they go, and we never see them again.  

Lorin Tone-Digiwordz-Aurora Display

Lorin drops a few more names that we may have heard of,  “Beyond Second Life, OpenSim opened up an enormous selection of grids to meet people in.  On various grids; TR Lifter and DA Admiral create vehicles,  Modee Parlez is a pirate who builds sailing ships and hosts naval battles,  Alia Soulstar is a great builder who especially enjoys Sci Fi and is curator of the Nuna Gallery art collection, OldeSoul Eldemar is a source of wisdom and humor, Ricky Maya provides virtual world artists with space in which they can show their work, Holli Would is a fun person who creates virtual world games, Tenbears Running creates large environments that are designed for entertaining exploration, Xon Halostar is a long-time friend who is skilled at design and implementation, Steelman Gothly is a top-notch coder who has been very helpful, Douglas McCloud builds vehicles and goes out of his way to help people who are learning, and the list goes on forever, including Orb Emerald, the genius behind Hypergrid Zone Mag!  (lol)”

Alia Soulstar-Nuna Gallery-3rd Rock Grid

“In virtual worlds, everything and every kind of person is right there.  The trick tends to be in choosing a direction to take when seeking out the people to assist in the implementation of artistic builds and visions.”

If you want to get your fill of fascinating places to visit, Lorin suggests, “Sandboxes, because they are there for people to experiment in.  Alia Soulstar’s Nuna Gallery at 3rd Rock Grid because of the large collection of work that’s displayed there.  And speaking of large collections of art, Ricky Maya’s expansive Legends Manifest collections of art sims. Alternate Metaverse grid is one that I’m just getting established at.  While all OpenSim grids tend to have their own personalities and artistic directions, I tend to experience enjoyment when exploring them,  I value learning experiences gained and get so much joy when any given collaboration turns out well.  I urge everyone to get out there, explore and create!

Lorin Tone-Alternate Metaverse Grid

Some of the places Lorin wants to share are:

Nuna Gallery, 3rd Rock Grid SLURL:  hop://

Synapse and Aurora displays, Digiwordz Grid SLURL:  hop://

Legends Manifest, Digiworldz Grid SLURL:  hop://

Lorin’s Sound Effects Shop, Discovery Grid:  hop://