SignalsUnder Tests

Heavy Tones b. 1985 | 38.8048° N, 77.0469° W

Richard (Ricky) Graham, Ph.D., is a musician, technologist, educator and business owner based in Alexandria, Virginia. Ricky is an Ableton Certified Trainer and he produces and performs music under the alias, Signals Under Tests. He also designs software. Graham’s academic research is centered around computer-assisted music composition and instrumental music performance. He developed the first iteration of his live performance system for multichannel guitar as an artist-in-residence at STEIM in 2010. He received his Ph.D. in music from Ulster University in 2012. His writing on performance systems design and electroacoustic theory has been published in the proceedings of the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), Electroacoustic Music Studies (EMS) Network, and the Irish Sound, Science, and Technology Association (ISSTA) conferences. Journal articles and artist statements by Graham have also been published in Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press), the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), Emille (Journal of the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society), and Divergence Press (University of Huddersfield). Compositions from his 2012 album, “Nascent,” were performed at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) and the national Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference. Ricky was also an artist-in-residence at the Elektronmusikstudion (EMS) in 2016 and 2017 and he has presented his research and performed his music compositions at a number of prestigious research institutions including Bauhaus-Universität, Nokia Bell Labs and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research on performance systems design, spatial audio for augmented reality and sonification featured at the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium (TIES), AES International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality (AVAR) and the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society Annual Conference (KEAMSAC). In late 2017, Graham formed the audio technology company, Delta Sound Labs, with messrs, Edwin Park and John Harding. The company brought a series of products to market, completed an artist residency at the Technicolor Experience Center, secured vendors across the globe and participated in music festivals, conventions and conferences including Moogfest, Musikmesse, Superbooth and New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Delta Sound Labs also featured at Ableton’s Loop 2018, Moogfest 2019, CES 2020 and NAMM 2020. His recent music collaboration with Hellmut Neidhardt (N),  “Disrupt/Construct,” was released by Denovali in 2019. A new Signals Under Tests music release is slated for 2022.


Fuse Factory (December 3 2021)



Improvisation for Appalachian Dulcimer and Audio Effects Processing (May 28 2020)


A Brief History of Pitch Pines (Signals Under Tests Remix; April 19 2020)

"A Brief History of Pitch Pines Signals Under Tests Remix" is a response to audio samples provided by film composer, Paul Vinsonhaler. Paul is releasing his own master of this track under the title, "A Brief History Of Pitch Pines." This version was mastered by Jake Fader.


Land of Youth (May 1 2020)  – FP Creative Remote Collaboration Project

I used Lempner’s recording, the beginning of Stuligross’s percussive recording and Cloyd’s spoken word recording. I used elastic audio and time stretching techniques to process Stuligross’s material to create large textures and I used simple layering and repitching techniques to process Lempner’s material to create droning harmonies. The arrangement is laced with heavy tones and ethereal and broken guitar loops, as per the usual case. The piece begins with a woodwind pedal point, courtesy of Lempner, along with a granular take on Stuligross’s offerings. The aggressive percussive strikes also come from Stuligross. The wash of white noise throughout the piece was achieved by excessively time-stretching Lempner’s open instrumental attack. Cloyd’s spoken word closes out the piece. 


Dualism (March 6 2020)

Released in 2020 on Hivemind Records (UK). Jaipongan materials (provided by Riedl) formed the basis of a disparate, beat-driven composition. Vocal and rebab samples were processed using granular synthesis and elastic audio tools.


Disrupt/Construct (2019) Studio Album 

Graham collected musical responses to a series of his own guitar improvisations from Neidhardt over the period of a year. Graham then crafted this album at the Elektronmusikstudion EMS in Stockholm, Sweden. Disrupt is a series of buckling themes that function as self-contained, shorter musical compositions. Construct presents a semi-improvised stream-of-consciousness piece that stands in contrast to the disruptive nature of its counterpart and divides into three self-contained musical movements.

· Vinyl edition limited to 100 copies
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[release date: December 13 2019 | Denovali Records (GER)]



Querschalltapes (2013) Endless cassette: 60 second loop

Limited, hand-numbered edition 49 pieces.
Engraved metal packaging.
Price: 35 €
€ 4.10 postage (domestic),
€ 8.90 (EU)
€ 15.90 (Worldwide)


Aidan Baker – Origins & Evolutions (2012)

Scored / prepared guitar materials were contributed to this record by a slew of guitar players for this release on Install (NYC) in 2012.


Nascent (2012) Studio Album

"Nascent" was released in 2012, featuring a series of ambient works collected throughout 2010 and 2011. The disc features collaborative efforts from Michael Andrews and Laura Graham. Philip Byrne mastered this disc whilst wearing a tin foil hat (his words, not mine). The disc artwork is by Tennessee based Artist, Jon Kenney. Music from "Nascent" has featured on MTV and in independent films. 


Mecca (2010) Studio Album

"Mecca," was released in late 2010, featuring Artists from the US, Japan, Germany, and Finland, and was featured in Guitar Player Magazine, Guitar International Magazine and on regional and national TV (Ch. 5) and radio (BBC Radio 1).