All summer long (and then some) select dealers in the USA are offering discounts of Kozmic proportions on StudioLive mixers. These deals include savings of up to $700, which is enough to get you and several high school friends into the Guns’n’Roses reunion tour, and almost enough to get you and a friend to Oldchella in October.
Just so things aren’t all purple-hazey, let’s be clear. This includes the following StudioLive Mixers:
One of these is the right mixer for you. If you haven’t checked in on the StudioLive mixers for a while, take a look at the below. We’ve done a lot to add features to these boards in the last few years via firmware and software updates. Some recent feature additions include:
Click here to find a dealer in your area, or shop online at:
In this video we’ll explain some of the basics you’ll need to know about networking for the StudioLive AI Console and StudioLive RM Rackmount mixing systems. You’ll hear about switches and routers while learning what a DHCP server does. We’ll also explain what an IP Address mode is and the differences between the modes supported by the StudioLive AI and RM mixers.
In this video we’ll explain some of the basics you’ll need to know about networking for the StudioLive AI and RM mixing systems. You’ll hear about switches and routers while learning what a DHCP server does. We’ll also explain what an IP Address mode is and the differences between the modes supported by the StudioLive AI and RM mixers.
Wow, there’s a lot going on today. This is a long post, so let’s jump right in!
Studio One 3.2 is available now! This is a FREE update to existing owners of Studio One 3, including Artist and Professional editions. Click “Check for updates” in Studio One to get it for yourself. Click here to visit the newly-updated Studio One site for even more details.
Read the full change log by clicking here, but here’s the short version of what’s new:
New firmware is available for the entire StudioLive AI line from your my.presonus.com account, allowing for control from UC Surface 1.5.
The new firmware for RM Mixers brings hotly-anticipated cascading to the RM series StudioLive Rackmount Mixers. Any two RM mixers can be cascaded via AVB to combine their channel counts. This update also adds a new Stage Box mode, in addition to the existing Remote I/O + Monitor-mixer mode.
This mega-release also brings a number of other new features and refinements, including a whole slew of bug fixes. To see the full rundown of new features and fixes, check out the UC Surface 1.5 Release Notes and the UC Surface 1.5 Release Addendum, available on your my.presonus.com account as well as on the Dowloads section of the Product page for each mixer at PreSonus.com.
This update adds support for cascaded RM mixers and Capture control—if you’ve installed the above-mentioned firmware and Capture 2.2. This update also adds support for USB 3.0 on Mac OS X 10.11.2 or higher. Get UC Surface 1.5 here.
Capture can now be remotely controlled by a StudioLive CS18AI and UC Surface. You can now control virtual soundcheck, transport, and Record arm; drop markers; and keep an eye on record times from anywhere in the venue—among other improvements and some bug squashing. Get it here.
Studio One Remote has been updated for Studio One 3.2 compatibility, and is also now available for Windows tablets! Studio One Professional owners can get the Windows version from their my.presonus.com accounts; Apple users can get it via this link to The App Store.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday at a close, we’re proud to announce PreSonus Tuesday! We’ve got a couple of new discount offers for you to close out the new year—and we’ve extended a couple of favorites that we had running last month. Check it out:
First up, the AudioBox iOne has had its price permanently dropped to $89.95 USD. This is the ideal portable recording interface for guitarists, and should stuff cozily in most stockings size 12 or larger. Pack it up, take it with you, and record your best riffs directly to your iPad. You can then wirelessly transmit your recordings to Studio One on your main computer for mixing and editing. This is not a rebate, so there’s no proof or purchase required.
Speaking of rebates, we’ve got a new rebate going on the iOne’s bigger Brother: the iTwo and iTwo Studio have a $10 instant rebate this month. The iTwo works just like the iOne, but offers two XLR/1/4″ combo jack inputs to work with, allowing you a bit more connective versatility. If you’re looking for a single-purchase combo pack that includes everything you need to be recording on Christmas morning, check out the iTwo Studio—you get the iTwo interface, Studio One 3 Artist, an M7 microphone, and HD7 headphones—plus all required cabling. As an instant rebate, there’s no hassle with rebate forms.
We’ve also extended our existing Black Friday StudioLive AI Rebates until December 31—this year, Black Friday lasts over a month! Can you believe it? Our award-winning StudioLive AI mixers can now be had for the following post-rebate prices in the USA:
Furthermore, don’t forget that we’ve got a couple other offers that are carrying over from November until the end of 2015:
Both of the above are also instant rebates—cash on the table, at the register. Or credit in the account, at the laptop for those of you who aren’t of the brick-and-mortar persuasion.
Rehearsals started on Monday, September 15. Everyone came in with instruments: Joe had already set up his drums, and the film had rented a B3 and Leslie for Bernie. Rick the Bass Player had one of his Laklands, Rick Springfield had his Gibson SG, and Meryl had a Fender Telecaster. We had backup instruments, as well, and Danelectro sent us a couple of guitars (more on those later).
Neil, Mark, and I made several trips to the 14th St. Guitar Center to get pedals for Rick Springfield’s setup, and Line 6 sent us a guitar wireless system for Meryl. The premise is that Ricki (Meryl) is trying for stardom and is currently slugging it out in clubs in the San Fernando Valley, playing every Tuesday night at the Salt Well.
Gary Goetzman is the producer of the film, and he led the rehearsals, with assistance from Neil and Mark.
We started with a basic line check; the kick drum was miked with an ATM 250. All the other drums were triggered. Joe has triggers built into his custom Drum Workshop kit, and we just plugged out of the trigger module into my Radial DI boxes. We needed to make sure we had signal; one great thing about recording with PreSonus® Capture™ is that the send is pre-fader, so the fader position on the StudioLive AI console is irrelevant; the recording software uses the input gain level you set on the head amp actuators (trim knobs). It’s a really nifty design because it allows the house mixer to change the fader levels for the live house mix without affecting the recording.
Along the same lines, once we had the guitar amp levels where we wanted them with the Radial JDX boxes, we also took a “clean” feed, plugging the guitars directly into my Radial ProDI boxes before the amplifier, in case Neil and Mark wanted to “re-amp” the guitars during mixdown.
A quick aside: I’ll bring it up again later but I want to stress that Gary and director Jonathan Demme wanted authenticity, and they got it. Every note you hear is what was played by the musicians; there are no overdubs of instruments in this movie. There were a few extra band takes for vocals because of bleed but all of what you experience in the movie is Ricki and the Flash performing as you watch.
It was a treat to watch these professionals at work. Gary took five people who had never played together in this configuration and turned them into a band. Each song got a workout. Gary kept the band focused; they worked on one song at a time until they felt they had it down. From where I sat, it really paid off; by the end of rehearsals, I felt like I was mixing a band, not a loose knit group of musicians jamming, but a real, tight band.
When we started rehearsals for Ricki and the Flash, we discovered that some things had to be changed. Part of what we faced was the reality of working with musicians who were used to the big stage in a club environment.
A brief review of our cast:
Drums and backing vocals: Joe Vitale. Joe has drummed for, among others, Joe Walsh (he co-wrote “Rocky Mountain Way” with Joe); Stills-Young Band; The Eagles; Crosby, Stills and Nash; and the re-formed Buffalo Springfield. Joe has written a book about his life as a musician called Backstage Pass.
Bass: Rick Rosas, aka Rick The Bass Player. Rick played most recently with Neil Young in Crazy Horse. He was also part of the Buffalo Springfield reunion. Rick passed away a few weeks after finishing the band scenes, and we miss him very much.
Keys: Bernie Worrell. Bernie was a member of Parliament/Funkadelic and joined Talking Heads for a number of albums. He’s in Jonathan Demme’s concert classic film Stop Making Sense and has played on countless sessions with artists as diverse as Keith Richards, Jack Bruce, Dee Lite, and Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
Lead guitar and backing vocals: Rick Springfield. Rick has been on the big stage since the late 1960s, first with Zoot, and then as a solo artist. For a time, Rick starred in the soap opera General Hospital, and he has many hit records, including “Speak to the Sky,” “Jessie’s Girl,” and “I’ve Done Everything for You.”
Rhythm guitar and lead vocals: Meryl Streep. One of the most well regarded actresses in the world, Meryl learned to play guitar for this movie. Meryl had never played in a band before but she has sung in many films, including Mama Mia and the recent Into the Woods, so she adapted quickly to the role of Ricki.
I have been “pushing faders” as a front-of-house (and sometimes monitor) engineer since 1979. I’ve mixed in wretched bars with “thrift-store” PA systems, and I’ve mixed bands at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. My background is live sound; working on a movie required some adjustment in my approach to mixing.
Music coordinator Mark Wolfson and Neil Citron, the music wrangler, have worked together for many years. Among other projects, they worked on the film That Thing You Do (also with Ricki director Jonathan Demme and producer Gary Goetzman). On this film, I worked with Mark and Neil to create an authentic club band feel.
One thing that we encountered from the get-go was a reluctance to show microphones on camera. This created some interesting challenges, as we had to find a way to capture the sound without showing any microphones beyond the vocal mics. Some solutions were simple: We could take a DI off of the bass, and we used triggers on the drums and then used drum samples that we sampled from Joe’s Drum Workshop kit. We hid the hi-hat and overhead mics as best we could.
Thanks to Audio-Technica, we had excellent condensers: an ATM 450 on the hi-hat and an ATM 4050 on the overheads. We were able to hide the ATM 650 dynamic on the Leslie high side and the ATM 250 dynamic on the Leslie low side.
The guitar amps presented a problem, though. We needed to capture an authentic sound without showing mics. Trying to mic the back of the amps proved unwieldy at best. It also didn’t sound so great.
Neil and I put our heads together and decided to call our friend Peter Janis at Radial Engineering. Peter sent us two JDX active speaker-simulator direct boxes. We were able to plug out of Meryl’s Fender 65 Deluxe reissue and Rick’s Fender Bassman 410. The Bassman reissue proved tricky because the speaker output has an RCA connector; we had to make two ¼”-to-RCA custom connectors. At the time, the JDX required an external supply, as well; now it’s available with the option to run on 48V phantom power.
We also used two of the new Audio-Technica AT 4080 active ribbon mics for room/ambience miking. These mics sound glorious, and they really helped Neil and Mark re-create the room sound when they did the mixing later.
With the system tuned, we were ready to watch five musician/actors become a band.
Eric Welch, House Engineer at PreSonus HQ, discusses some of the projects we’ve recorded here at home. He discusses his use of the Studiolive 32.4.2 AI, QMix, Studio One, and myriad other PreSonus technologies.
For more on the StudioLive 32.4.2AI, click here: http://www.presonus.com/products/StudioLive-AI-Series
For more on Studio One, click here: http://studioone.presonus.com/
All of the inputs were routed into a StudioLive™ 32.4.2AI console. Besides doing the live mix, the other half of my job was to ensure that every note was “Captured” during both rehearsals and filming.
Here’s how we did it:
Neil Citron, Mark Wolfson, and I wired the stage and then set up two recording systems. The first was set up on my MacBook Pro, running Mac OS X 10.8.5 and connected to the console using FireWire. I was running Universal Control-AI (with Virtual StudioLive-AI control software) and recording with Capture 2.0.
We connected the DB25 outputs of the 32.4.2AI to a Tascam X48 recorder because we needed to track SMPTE time code. This way, we also had two copies of each recording; as anyone who has ever lost a file knows, you need to back up, back up, back up.
The great thing about recording with Capture™ is it is literally effortless. Once my FireWire connection was secure and I knew the computer and console were talking to each other, all I had to do was open Capture and make one mouse click, and we were rolling! Of course, it helps to have the drive path set and the files named. I find that, given the option, it helps to set this up in advance, although the only really crucial setting is the file path.
We noticed that, according to the X48’s meters, the DB25 analog output was 6 dB lower than the digital signal coming into Capture. I’m not sure why the levels were different but comparing the WAV files in Studio One confirmed the difference.
Jeff Pullman, C.A.S, was the Production Sound mixer for the film and was a pleasure to work with. He also was very helpful in getting some sound isolation products so we could have a cleaner recording.
We did some test tracks with Neil playing so we could make sure the rig was running; then we started rehearsals.
The five musicians that make up the band Ricki and the Flash are all top shelf players. Their credits are the stuff of legends; you hear them on the radio every day. Of the five, only bass player Rick Rosas and drummer Joe Vitale had played together before, as the rhythm section of the reunion tour for the legendary Buffalo Springfield (no relation to Rick Springfield).
Bernie Worrell is a visionary funk keyboardist and a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. His credits include Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads. Rick Springfield is a fantastic guitarist who also played Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital.
Meryl Streep, of course, is one of the most renowned actresses in the world.
To get them to be Ricki and the Flash, we set up in the World Famous Rodeo Bar in the Murray Hill district of Manhattan. The Rodeo Bar is a long, narrow room with a brick wall behind the band. We were in a small space, and they were very LOUD.
We set up the band in an authentic club configuration and laid out the monitors for them. We used three StudioLive™ 312AI cabinets for the vocalists and keyboard position and a StudioLive 315AI for the drum wedge.
When we first set up the wedges, we decided to just use them in the standard DSP configuration. The speakers use Dave Gunness’ TQ™ (Temporal Equalization) settings to correct for the acoustical issues that arise in a coaxial design. In addition, each box has DSP settings designed to assist the user in different acoustic situations. There are four settings on the back of the speaker, accessed by a small button. The settings are: Normal (full range for front-of-house), LBR Source (for low-bit-rate digital audio, such as MP3 playback), Floor Monitor (for stage wedge), and a custom User preset.
Neil Citron is a long-time studio engineer, guitarist, and all around great guy. He ran the Mothership for Steve Vai for 15 years and is a member of the Sapphire Group, a bunch of audiophiles in Los Angeles. Neil has incredible ears and was brought in to teach Meryl guitar, be the music director, and record the performances.
Neil and I set up the wedges, supervised by Mark Wolfson, and we ran some program material through them. We really liked the sound of the default Normal setting, so we left it. As soon as the band showed up, we quickly realized that the stage mix just wasn’t “there.” A quick button-push, and the boxes were in Stage Monitor mode; they sat perfectly in the mix, with no additional EQ required.
We used one StudioLive 312AI plus one StudioLive 18sAI subwoofer per side of the “house” PA. We put the top boxes on using the SP1BK subwoofer pole; this also allowed us to steer the top box to reduce reflections off of the brick walls.
Thanks to Brad Graham, Rapco generously provided us with microphone cable and snakes to wire the stage. We wired the guitars using Radial JDX DIs to get the sound of the amplifier, not the guitar. We used Radial JDIs on the bass and keys. Thanks to Roxanne Ricks of Audio-Technica, we had A-T mics on the Leslie and hi-hat. We also used the fantastic A-T ribbons for ambient room miking. We had triggers on the drum kit; more about that later.
Here were the basic challenges:
I’ll get into the recording aspect in the next part.
I need to give major props to Gary Goetzman, the producer, who took five musicians who had not played together before (with the exception of the rhythm section) and turned them into a real band in two weeks. Everyone was at the top of their game, and the professionalism of the band and producer really shone through.