Don’t miss this Thursday’s PreSonus LIVE: Using the StudioLive CS18AI to Control Studio One!
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.
[This just in from Steve Cook, session bassist extraordinaire!]
This music business is a funny one. We have our steady gigs, we have producers that like to call on us for different sessions, then there’s the ‘X’ factor: the random gig calls. Sometimes they are for a used car lot sale or a hot dog stand dedication, however sometimes they are from the largest pickup manufacturer in the world. I like hot dogs, and I like Seymour Duncan pickups a whole lot as well.
The voice on the other end of the phone was Kathy Duncan, the head of Seymour Duncan, and her request was a simple one: “Can you record samples of every one of our bass pickups? You have creative liberty to do whatever you like, we just need the samples to be consistent, and representative of the pickups their truest form.”
Well, that narrows it down a bit, doesn’t it?
There were a couple of hurdles to leap in order to make this happen. First, we needed to find all the instruments required in which to install the pickups. Second, I found a tech that would come to the recording sessions and basically work on an assembly line of removing and installing pickups. For example, as I tracked the first P-bass pickup, he would be installing the first Jazz bass pickups, then we’d swap instruments, and move on to the second in each type, and so on.
Where the logistics were a bit daunting, the one constant on which I could rely was my recording set up. For this project (and all my home recording projects), I run PreSonus Studio One through a couple of FireStudio Projects, controlled with a FaderPort. The Class-A preamps in the FireStudios sound amazing, and Studio One is an incredibly fluid and easy platform in which to work. The FaderPort made the whole process easy. I had controls under my left hand with a bass in my right. The finished files sound great, and I (and thankfully Seymour Duncan) were happy with the results.
The project was really a lot of fun for me for several reasons. Rarely do we get to sample dozens of pickups at the same time. As I go back and listen to the individual tracks, I have been able to pinpoint exact tones I like paired with certain instruments, and I know exactly which pickups to install in my personal basses—mission accomplished! I also liked getting to know my Studio One software and other PreSonus products more in-depth, and that I have great sounding tools at my fingertips.
Thanks PreSonus, for continuing to impress, and for keeping us Nashville musicians rockin’! You can hear the demos over at the new Seymour Duncan site.
Notion for iOS 2.0.135:
Fixes and Enhancements:
Notion 5.2.380 for Mac and Windows has the following fixes and enhancements.This update went live on Friday, September 4:
By the way, you can save nearly half off on Notion for iPad and iPhone, for a limited time only. Offer expires October 31!
When announcing the winners of a contest, it’s customary for someone in my position to say something to the effect of “choosing a winner was hard.” That was less the case with our BIAS FX Caption Contest—the winners here really stood out from the rest of the pack, and each member on our highly-qualified panel of humorists laughed with equal aplomb at the Grand Prize Winner. But first, the runner-ups.
The following two captions deservedly win an AudioBox iOne Interface, Studio One 3 Artist, Progression 3, and BIAS FX for iPad.
First, there’s this funny, down-to-Earth, and frankly quite relatable gem from Timothy L.:
Next up, from Matt C., should probably win some sort of Dennis Miller bonus award for its left-field reference. Plus, when you look at the age of most of the pedals in the shot, his choice of “1989” is kinda dead-on.
The Grand Prize winner below was submitted by Jeff K. When you consider the letter-to-humor ratio here, you’ve got one of the most efficient funny captions in the history of such contests. Jeff wins the big ol’ prize batch of Studio One 3 Professional, Progression 3, an AudioBox iOne Interface, BIAS Amp Pro, and BIAS FX for iPad.
Congrats and thanks to all for participating—we’ll be e-mailing the winners ASAP.
[This just in from PreSonus artist and good friend Brian Botkiller. His latest record was produced on a StudioLive and in Studio One!]
For my new record, In Case of Revolution, I tracked all my vocals and did all of my mixing in Studio One, as well as instrumental tracking. I began the record in the Studio One 2 era, but I finished the record in Studio One 3. I also mastered 52 songs in Studio One last year bfor a project I was part of called “Weekly Beats,” which challenged participants to write and release one song per week in 2014. I managed to finish the project, and Studio One was integral to that. It was so easy to take stems into Studio One, mix them, then go into the Project section to begin the mastering process. I built a template which I was able to start from, which made the whole process much easier.
[This just in from Ian Ethan Case, who used some PreSonus gear on his latest album. Check out the video preview for some of his astonishing work.]
When I first set out to record Run Toward The Mountains, I wanted to go for the absolute best sound quality I could. I had a unique opportunity to record at a new state-of-the-art recording studio where I basically had unlimited free studio time, and access to some of the best mics, preamps, and converters that money can buy. I worked with the engineer there over the course of two or three days just working on different mic setups, just working on tone.
While I was happy with the sound we got, I also did some experimenting at home where I just have two really good mics and my FireStudio Project; no preamps, rack gear or $600 direct boxes. I was pretty shocked to find that I was actually getting just as good a sound with my home setup, and actually even preferred it a little bit over the “million dollar setup” at the studio! I’d always had great results from my FireStudio interfaces but this gave me a new respect for them, and gave me a feeling of freedom knowing I could record at home and know that I was getting world-class results. It’s a good thing, because I ended up spending two years working non-stop on this album (a 92-minute double-disc), whenever I wasn’t playing concerts. When you’re not on the clock you can take the time to make things right and achieve a level of tightness that’s tough to get to otherwise, and I’m really grateful I had a way to do that for this album.
When it came time to master it, I was so happy with how the tracks had come together that I decided to bring it to the top-tier mastering house in Boston (M-Works Mastering, in Cambridge). I was expecting the mastering engineer, who has worked with his share of Grammy-winning artists and producers, to kind of complain about the tracks I was giving him, as I did all the mixing myself and I’m not a real mix engineer. But he was actually really complimentary of the mixes and only made very small adjustments. I know it wouldn’t have been that way if the raw sound of the interface I recorded everything through wasn’t solid to begin with.
At this point I’m absolutely thrilled with how the album came out and have never been so proud of something I’ve put out there. I’m grateful that I had a way to do it the way I did it, recording at home, despite not having tens or hundreds of thousands to spend on gear.
[This just in from Ryan Gruss over at The LoopLoft. He’s put together a demo song for Studio One 3 featuring loops from Matt Chamberlain Drums Vol. 1 and is making it available to anyone who is interested for free!]
To take Studio One 3 for my first test drive, I wanted to see how quickly and easily I could create a drum mix and song arrangement with the multitrack loops from The Loop Loft’s Matt Chamberlain Drums Vol 1 collection. These drums were recorded at Matt’s personal studio located inside of the famed Sound City complex in Los Angeles and feature 15 channels of 96 kHz / 24 bit audio, so they were the perfect specimen for putting this new DAW through its paces.
Within ten minutes, I had a full “pop/rock” arrangement (intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus/outro) inside of Studio One. I was able to quickly drag and drop the multitrack loops directly into the session, label the song sections with markers, bus the drum tracks (and create their own folder) and most importantly: create a great sounding drum mix.
My favorite new feature in Studio One 3 are the FX Chain presets for drums, which are great for speeding up my mixing workflow. Just by dragging and dropping them into a drum track, I instantly had a great starting point, complete with gating, EQ, and compression. I utilized all these drum presets across all of the close miked drums; kick, snare, toms etc., and tweaked as necessary.
So, now that I’ve created a quick drum mix and arrangement. I wanted to share it with all of the Studio One users out there to let them experiment with mixing and arranging tracks from one of the world’s best session drummers. Try rearranging the session. Dial in your own mixes, speed things up or slow them down—the loops will stay locked to the session tempo! Experience Matt Chamberlain’s power, feel and musicality for yourself!
Click here to download the Studio One 3 demo Song file described above. Submitting your e-mail gets you download access, as well as 40% off the Matt Chamberlain library!