So, who are you?

My name is Nitin Kulkarni and I am from India. I studied my bachelors back in India in Electronics and Communication Engineering. I moved to Europe in 2015 to study masters in Embedded Systems. I studied a dual degree masters programme by EIT digital. Under which I did my first year courses at TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands and I came here to Stockholm to study my second year at KTH.

I grew up in a small town in southern India, mostly listening and learning north Indian classical music. I learnt Tabala, an Indian percussion instrument during my school days. I had never held a guitar, until I started college but I started learning it on my own since its the best instrument to sing with. Eventually I learnt about electric guitars and being an Electronics student, I built a distortion fx box in my second year when I learnt the basics of Analog circuits and Linear integrated circuits. I think I have, kind of always been fascinated towards the application of technology in the field of Music.

How did you end up here at MIND Music Labs?

In the last semester of my masters programme, I was applying to companies for masters thesis opportunities I found out about MIND through a friend who was finishing his thesis here at that time. Fast forward, I completed my thesis, which is now one of the components of ELK and  was then offered a full-time position as a software developer. I was happy to join MIND 🙂

What is your role at MIND Music Labs?

My role is a mix of both low level software and at system level. My work mostly deals with developing the audio drivers for ELK which is very close to hardware and integrating the various components of ELK to produce one whole software for the system. I am responsible to make sure all the software components are embedded into the system to satisfy the end user’s requirements. I use a build system called Yocto to build the ELK Music Operating System.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is writing stable and robust drivers for different architectures, because that is the core of the audio system. Any issue with that basically means that the system has crashed and believe me, I have seen many crashes while developing 😉  Linux kernel is a complex piece of software and keeps evolving constantly so I need to keep up with the architecture and adapt to it. With the other part of my job, where I need to keep track of all the different components of ELK, the challenge is to automate as much as possible. It should be just one button press, that should produce the final software.

Best guitar solo ever?

Best solo for me is by Guthrie Govan in a song called “Drive Home” by Steven Wilson. I never followed western music so much earlier. I started following Prog Rock after moving to Stockholm and meeting my fellow musician friends who all are Prog Rock fans. Now I am loving this genre the most.

Most desired piece of vintage gear?

I am not so much into gear stuff but I would like to own a Sitar. Planning to buy one soon. I have been listening to a lot of Sitar off late and I think it would be the best string instrument for me.

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