PreSonus Blog

"...and Kindo was his Name-o"

“…and Kindo was his name-o”

It only took a few listens to Buffalo, New York’s The Reign Of Kindo to make me realize I was a jazz-rock fan. It’s important to distinguish them from what a lot of folks call fusion, which seems to err a little more heavily on the jazz side of things—and often the smoooooth jazz side of things.

Not these guys. The Reign of Kindo’s potent formula begins with a distinctly jazz-fueled approach to arrangement, rhythm and chord structure, delivered with urgency and song structures typically associated with rock. As such, they are a must-listen for both rock and jazz fans looking for a refreshing groove that isn’t too far off the beaten path.

Fleet, often busy drumming drives the bulk of the Kindo repertoire—frequently mixed right up in your face, where it belongs. Lead singer Joe Secchiaroli commands a voice that is simultaneously assertive and approachable, and the bulk of their recordings are bathed in wall-to-wall piano. While the bulk of the sonic structure here is vocals, bass, drums, and piano, guest instrumentation livens things up via sax, cello, and… hey, was that a singing saw? Cool.

And they give us a lot to choose from. Musically speaking, The Reign of Kindo’s Nimbit Store offers a couple of full-lengths includingThis is What Happens and Live YouTube Sessions, a couple yuletide EPs and a single. There’s also a ton of apparel options available, and it’s nice to see them breaking out of the “band name on a T-shirt” mold with hoodies, kids’ shirts, and even a classic mesh trucker cap—call it a utility/fashion fusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Livingston Taylor

Boston’s Livingston Taylor began his career as a performing songsmith nearly straight out of high school, having first picked up the guitar at a spry 13 years of age. His songwriting (seemingly seasoned straight out of the gate) and personable, relatable stage presence garnered notice from live music fans and critics alike. 1970 saw him land his first record deal, releasing his eponymous debut on the esteemed Capricorn Records. Last year—that’s 44 years later—he released Blue Sky, his 18th.

Having performed around 80 shows per year in that timespan, he’s really played any type of gig you can imagine, from coffee shops to large festivals to opera houses, landing a couple of Billboard charting-hits along the way: “I Will Be in Love with You,” and “First Time Love.” And it’s that breadth of experience (well, okay, and also his songs) that landed him the coolest gig he’s ever had: that of Professor at Berklee College of Music—a post he’s held since 1989.

His discography, most of which is available via his Nimbit store, is peppered with a couple best-of collections, a covers record, and also a sort of self-cover record. Good Friends finds Livingston taking some of his more familiar tunes into decidedly jazzier territory—great for established fans that enjoy a new spin on the familiar. Furthermore—and we don’t see this too often at Nimbit—he has distilled his Berklee teachings down into a good ol’-fashioned book, “Stage Performance,” which is also available for sale.

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Here’s a great video that came to us from L.A. producer/songwriter/engineer AG! She’s made the jump over to Studio One from Pro Tools and Logic—and she’s also using a couple Sceptre monitors and the ADL 700 preamp.

AG has worked with Natalie Imbruglia, and done music production for TV shows including Gossip Girl and Grey’s Anatomy. Check it out!

Thanks AG!

Category Artist | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



PreSonus Artist and good friend Vigilante (AKA Big Brother 84)11026061_10152897650819565_2693729241254768716_n recently launched the worldwide We Are One tour,  And as if that’s not enough to keep him busy, he also just announced this remix contest, which (so far) is offering prizes from PreSonus, Keith McMillen Instruments, Waldorf, MeldaProduction, and many more!

Complete, official rules are linked below, but here’s the short, unofficial rules:

  • Download the stems
  • Remix the track
  • Submit by e-mail before April 10, 2015

 

Have fun!

Click here to get the stems and read the full rules.

Click here to visit the official Facebook group.

Category Sweepstakes/Contest | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



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You know—for kids!

Steve Roslonek of SteveSongs has been
 writing and performing his award-winning
 music for kids and families for fifteen years, as both a touring and recording balladeer and children’s TV host. In that time, Steve has won numerous prestigious awards including two Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, a NAPPA Honor, two iParenting Media Awards, and a Kidscreen nomination for Best Children’s TV Host. He’s also released a ton of kids-first recordings that are silly and educational in equal parts.

Like much kid-targeted media, there’s a heavy leaning toward funny animal themes here—lots of bugs, rabbits, ducks, dogs, and even a rock’n’roll werewolf—all trumpeting 101-level life lessons on the merits of vegetables and tooth-brushing. For a music-purchasing grown-up who normally might feel like they are merely enduring a children’s record, there are occasional nods to popular songs that in-the-know adults will enjoy a knowing laugh from. A smart move on Steve’s part, and it’s what establishes him as a purveyor of family entertainment as opposed to children’s entertainment. Add to that his sincerely inspired wordplay, (rhyming “Canteloupe” with “can of soap,” never would have occurred to me) and there really is something for everyone.

A broad majority of Steve’s SteveSongs songs feature Steve on lead vocals and guitar, surrounded not only by a bang-up world-class band, but also a shout-along gaggle of enthusiastic rugrats. Mostly folky-acoustic and always squeaky clean, there’s a diverse array of instrumentation and musical themes here that dally with rock territory while never getting any heavier than, say, Paul Simon’s Graceland.

Steve’s Nimbit profile offers no fewer than eight full-length albums available in both MP3 and CD, as well as softcover and hardcover editions of Shape Song Swingalong, a DVD, and t-shirts available in various flavors of small. Steve’s pretty good about keeping his tour schedule up-to-date as well. Check it out so you and the cubs can contribute to The Shape Song in person sometime, and maybe hitch a ride home in Dan’s Orangutan Van.

Except that hitchhiking is never safe, kids, so don’t.

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Don ConoscentiChicago’s Don Conoscenti is a musician’s musician through-and-through who enjoyed a supportive musical upbringing. While now best known as a decorated singer/songwriter in acoustic circles—he’s a winner of the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest Songwriting Competition and was a National Academy of Songwriters’ Acoustic Artist of the Year finalist—fact is the guy cut his teeth by learning drums before learning guitar, and established his acoustic claim after many years spent as a “die-hard rocker.” Never one to be bound by the limits of genre loyalty, Don is also an accomplished flautist and vocalist.

His “few rules” mentality also applies to his approach to the guitar—he’s the only guitarist I’ve ever seen use multiple capos on a guitar, including partial capos. If you’re a guitar player, good luck trying to figure out how to play his songs just by listening to them. For you he released the hilariously titled Capo Abuse and Guitar Techniques video.

Don’s rock’n’roll beginnings have proven a major asset in his ability to stand apart in an ocean of acoustic-driven songwriters. The rockin’ influences in Don’s work aren’t worn on his sleeve, but instead bubble up through the cracks in a much more subtle manner than is typically associated with rock music. So far, he’s nine self-released albums into his career.

On his latest release. High Desert Sessions, Don turned to PreSonus Studio One to make the entire record on his own. Of the experience, he says, “Thanks to recording software like PreSonus’ Studio One Professional, I can now produce, track, orchestrate, mix, master and immediately upload the finished product to Soundcloud and my Nimbit Store, which then allows me to sell it through my website and social media pages within minutes of mastering. It wasn’t easy to learn how to do all that, but there’s a lot to love about the end result of that process. Thanks for listening and look for a summer 2015 release featuring some heavy hitting guest artists including Ellis Paul and Grammy-winning artists Paul Buckmaster, Bill Miller and Lloyd Maines.”

Demo versions of the High Desert Sessions are available now on his Nimbit store.

 

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Posted by Ryan Roullard



Abraham Martinez

Abraham Martinez in his studio

La Carta Perfecta – En Vivo was a big record for Danilo Montero in 2014—so big, in fact, that it won a Latin Grammy for Best Christian Album. The live album was mixed by Abraham Martinez, pictured above, in Studio One Professional 2.

Martinez is a full time FOH audio engineer for Marcos Witt, a well known worship leader and music artist in Latin America. When not working with Witt, Martinez spends his spare time rackin’ up Latin Grammys. He’s collected three in only four years:

  • 2011 Best Christian Album (Spanish Language) Lenguaje De Amor Alex Campos [CanZion / MV Records]
  • 2012 Best Christian Album (Spanish Language) 25 Concierto Conmemorativo Marcos Witt
  • 2014 Best Christian Album (Spanish Language) La Carta Perfecta – En Vivo

We had the chance for an e-mail exchange with Abraham to get some additional details. While Abraham has been using Studio One—and other PreSonus gear—for a couple of years now, this is his first Latin Grammy award for a project mixed in Studio One. Abraham came into the Studio One fold the same way many users do—via PreSonus hardware.

“Back when I recorded more, I used an an M80 preamp and ACP88,” says Martinez. “More recently I’ve used an ADL 600 for tracking vocals and bass. I also use a StudioLive mixer for its audio quality and ease of use for work on our church campus. I have always associated PreSonus with value, but had never considered them a serious DAW developer until I tried Studio One!

“Now I use Studio One for exclusively for all of my mixes in my personal mixing studio, AMmix,” Martinez continues. “We also use it at our church to to record and mix our plays. The main thing that drew me toward Studio One was it’s incredibly intuitive workflow. It felt natural immediately, especially for mixing. I remember having to go back to my old DAW to finish an older project and hating it as it felt primitive in comparison. What kept me working in Studio One however, was its audio quality and professional features. That is something I just wasn’t willing to give up.

“Studio One doesn’t disappoint,” Martinez asserts. “The drum editing and quantization features are the best by far. I love that there are never problems with clicks and pops and everything stays perfectly in phase. Audio quality and ease of use are Studio One’s strengths.

Martinez speaks from experience when comparing Studio One to other DAWs and workflows.

“I found my workflow to be much faster and fluid in Studio One, as apposed to Nuendo, which I worked on before for many years. I recently did a comparison of working completely ‘in the box’ with Studio One against my hybrid hardware/software setup—and I can honestly say that the differences were minimal. I now feel completely comfortable working completely in the box when I have to!”

“I can’t wait to see what Studio One has in store for us in version 3,” he muses.

Watch the video for Danilo Montero’s “Dios de Amor” below:

Category Studio One | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Tom RushNew Hampshire folkster Tom Rush has been in the game since 1961, and having recently celebrated his 50th year of music-making, it’s not hard to see why the guy has endured so well. He delivers everything a listener could want from an acoustic singer/songwriter—adroit, restrained guitar playing, a voice that quietly compels your attention, sincere, relatable lyrics, and—most importantly—great songs.

Really great songs. An adept humorist with a Harvard English Literature degree, Tom understands critical components that escape lesser songwriters: humor and a great story. Add to that a little bit of melancholy and some surprisingly earthy blues romps, and you’ve got a little something for everybody.

Tom is probably best known for 1968’s “No Regrets,” which has become something of a standard in acoustic circles. This is, of course, only fitting—Tom had a major hand in popularizing the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and others, by performing their songs early in his career. Both James Taylor and Garth Brooks cite Tom as a major influence. Furthermore, Rolling Stone went so far as to credit Tom with “ushering in the era of the singer/songwriter. Call it full-circle.

A video of his performance of Steven Walter’s “The Remember Song” went viral in June 2012, causing Tom to comment “I’ve been waiting 45 years to be an overnight sensation, and it’s finally happened!” It’s accrued over six million views at the time of this writing.

Tom Rush’s Nimbit Store has a lot to offer, including a whopping 13 albums, a Blu-Ray, and four DVDs—including a documentary and a guitar instruction course, How I Play (Some of) my Favorite Songs. If you’re new to Tom Rush, start with What I Know. It was voted Folk Album of the Year by The International Folk Alliance.

 

 

 

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Posted by Ryan Roullard



JPHarrisCLRNEG002-large

There’s a paradox inherent in the very notion of country music in an internet age. Country has always been directly influenced by whatever the devil pop music is doing at the time, and crossover hits between the two genres are subsequently commonplace. For better or for worse, this has made for some interesting sonic innovations, and a music writer can’t help but notice that the very things that made country appealing in the first place—earnestness, humanity, and real people playing together in the same room—tend to get a little lost in the digital dustup.

Fortunately for you and I, JP Harris and the Tough Choices play the sort of country music that makes one realize that some things were done correctly the first time around. To both their credit and listenability, Harris and company’s sound is less new-school and more no-school. It shoots from the heart rather than for it, and there’s nary a digital artifact detectable on either of their wonderfully emotive full-length recordings. This isn’t to say the records don’t sound old-fashioned, it’s to say that they sound just right. Perhaps they should have called themselves JP Harris and the Right Choices.

A well-traveled troubadour despite being scarcely over thirty, JP left Alabama to travel the country via freight train at the age of 14, guitar in tow. Over his four vagabond years, JP wound up in California before moving through Louisiana, where he recorded I’ll Keep Calling before settling in Nashville, which is the closest he can call to a permanent home.

JP’s influences don’t seem to draw from any music that came out after 1974. The most overt influences echo Buck Owens, and particularly George Jones and two out of three Hank Williamses in woeful tracks like the titular “Home is Where the Hurt is.” The material isn’t tear-in-your-beer from start to finish, however, as there’s a bevy of boisterous fun in tracks like “Young Women and Old Guitars,” which contains a winking nod to low ends via a double-dose of baritone sax and baritone guitar on the same track.

Both Home Is Where The Hurt Is and I’ll Keep Calling are available from JP Harris’ Nimbit store on CD, digital download, and good ol’ vinyl, which was also done right the first time around.

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



bio-bioWhile Boston’s Vance Gilbert is known largely to singer-songwriter circles, to say he draws strictly from the book of Guthrie would be something of a disservice. While his lengthy discography bears many acoustic affairs, there’s a lot of blues in here. Add the fact that Vance got his start as a jazz singer—you can REALLY hear it in his inimitable, vulnerable vocal tones—and you have a unique blend of influences that create something simultaneously familiar and new. While this would be enough for some artists to get by on,Vance also brings significant guitar and lyrical chops to the table. The Boston Globe puts it better than I could, however, when of 2000’s Somerville Live they espoused, “Young songwriters should study this disc the way law students cram for bar exams.”

Turned out that it wasn’t just young songwriters who took note—over the years, Arlo Guthrie and Anita Baker both chose Vance for their support slot on the road, and he spent a year and a half touring in support of the late George Carlin.

Vance’s Nimbit store is a credit to his prolific recording and release schedule—somehow on top of a busy touring schedule, the man has managed to release a dozen albums since kicking off his career as a humble open mic night regular. Well… as humble as one can be when blowing minds. Some are available as digital download, others as CDs, some as both. Noteworthy among them is Side of the Road, a collaboration with fellow Nimbit torchbearer and close friend Ellis Paul.

 

 

Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard