Word has come that Juan Antonio Arguelles, well-known among the world’s loosely held computer music community as Arguru, died on June 3rd, 2007, in a car accident. He was a software developer, and if such a thing as a canon of independent music software developers should ever exist, he would certainly be high among their ranks. For a while, it seemed that near every tracker in existence stemmed from his code: Noisetrekker, Renoise, Psycle, FastFucker, TraxVox, Aeonix, Aodix, FreeBase. And a litany of other bits of software all over the place, including some 36 machines in Buzz, the DiscoDSP plugins, the massive synth Voyager, and the most excellent sampler Directwave.

I didn’t know the man well but have had the occasional exchange with him on web forums over the years, always pleasant, and have been a fan of his work for years. What has always struck me about him was his persistent generosity as a programmer. Much of his software was given away free, and the source code of many of the trackers he initially developed was made public (most of them can still be found floating around various tracker shrines).

It is sad, if inevitable, to see the passing of a fellow traveler. Argu was one of the good ones and will be missed.

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