C.O.S.T.EL.L.O. is short for Computer-Operated, Synthesized, Totally ELectronic Logic Orchestra. Mike first developed the concept of having a virtual band where he could write and arrange songs to perform live, without needing other musicians, in 1985. Unfortunately, the technology available at the time was not up to the task of performing live- the first brain for COSTELLO was an Apple IIe with 64K of RAM, a 5.25" floppy drive- and no hard drive at all!
Today's technology, though, has totally enabled this venture. Mike can write, sing, play and produce custom arrangements for every song he chooses to perform. It's like having a full band at his disposal, while singing all the background vocals, too! Live, he adds the lead vocals and instrumental solos to provide the finished musical product. He's devoted a lot of time over the past few years recording backup band parts, and constantly adds more tunes to the repertoire.
Mike uses a fully loaded MacBook Pro as his main music computer, running Presonus' Studio One Pro digital recording suite. In addition to his saxophones, flute and other real instruments, Mike uses an array of hardware and software synthesizers, with both keyboard and various wind synth controllers. He has at his disposal digital models of virtually every instrument, from the drums at Abbey Road studios, Steinway grand pianos, orchestral samples, and every important synthesizer developed to date.
Trapped for days here due to the Coronavirus restrictions, I'm using the time well by transitioning to software-based synths for my live shows, I offer you a peek into where the action takes place.