Ska is one of those musical forms that, like surf rock, relies heavily on a fairly strict set of rules. It’s difficult to stray to far from the established formula and still sound like a ska band. Get too far off, and it’s not ska anymore. Play it safe, and you sound just like everybody else. I tell ya, it’s hard out here for a rude boy.
But Bim Skala Bim, formed in Boston in 1983, has managed to avoid either pitfall entirely, by adding a modicum of rock ‘n’ roll and—perhaps surprisingly, calypso—to their two-tone infrastructure. The result? I dunno. Call it four-tone, maybe. But whatever it is, the guys must really love it, as they’ve been at it for 31 years. In that time they’ve toured with homies The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Dropkick Murphys, and dropped nine full-length albums, most of which are available on Nimbit.
Oh, and it’s not just the band that loves what they do. Bim Skala Bim was a major force in launching third wave ska in the first place—or was it the third place—and about million bands followed their lead well into the 1990s. Furthermore, hometown pride is strong in The City of Champions, and they’ve decorated BSB liberally with no fewer than 10 Boston Music Awards and eight Boston Phoenix Reader’s Poll awards, and they’ve been recognized by Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” twice. In March of 2013, Boston Business Journal rated Bim Skala Bim’s Bones as album #19 in their “Boston Top 40 Albums of All Time” list.
Their Nimbit store is full to the brim of albums dating back to their early days, and also includes a rarities compilation and a few singles. Perhaps most notable is 2013’s Chet’s Last Call, featuring the band’s original lineup revisiting the roots that got the band—and a lot of fans–skanking in the first place.
Did you know? Studio One and Notion can run simultaneously, giving you the combined magic of both? This is true in no small part to Propellerhead’s ReWire. Here’s how to set it all up! Wait, slow down. First, let’s address what the heck ReWire is, and why you would want to take advantage of it.
ReWire is an industry-standard bit of software that serves as a communications platform between two DAWs. Having a couple DAWs (in this case, Studio One and Notion) allows them to stream up to 256 audio channels to one another. Furthermore, ReWire sees to it that both DAWs operate in precise synchronization, and provides shared transport functions between them. In other words, you only need to use a single set of play/stop/FFWD commands to control both DAWs simultaneously. ReWire has been getting DAWs to hold hands and play nicely together since 1998.
But why? A buncha reasons, including but not limited to:
If you’re wondering “How do I get ReWire?” You’re going to like this answer. If you’ve already got Studio One (Producer or Professional editions) and Notion, then you’ve already got ReWire. Here’s how to get rolling with ReWire in Studio One and Notion.
A couple notes: (See what I did there?) Unlike other notation software, you can output up to 32 pairs of audio from Notion. This means you can have full control over the whole mix right inside of Studio One. One example would be to use Notion busses to separate brass, strings and percussion, and then create separate channels for them inside Studio One.
While it’s pretty simple to get ReWire set up, we understand that computers are temperamental beasts from time to time. So if you run into a couple of bumps in the road through this process, check out our knowledgebase article on troubleshooting your ReWire setup.
The end result? Here’s Studio One and Notion, playing nicely together:
Like Nimbit, Kid Pan Alley is all about empowering people through music. But unlike Nimbit, Kid Pan Alley is quite an analog affair, and targeted to a suitably younger demographic evocative of the outfit’s name. KPA was founded some 14 years ago by Paul Reisler. His vision is to instill musical creativity, teamwork, and confidence in folks by getting them rolling early—while they’re still impressionable youngsters.
It’s working—and it’s not just kids who are taking notice. To date, the organization has fostered 2,500 original songs that have been performed by over 35,000 children. Some KPA projects have included world-renouned artists including Delbert McClinton, Sissy Spacek, Cracker, Amy Grant, Kix Brooks, Raul Malo, Suzy Bogguss, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra—and the organization sports recognition in the way of Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Gold awards, 6 ASCAP Foundation awards and a Grammy nom.
This recognition and growth is due in no small part to the key element that that separates Kid Pan Alley from a lot of other youth music programs: the children are writing their own songs. Paul finds that kids are better collaborators than most adults—perhaps because they’ve yet to “develop” the sort of ego and self-importance we associate with a lot of adults; creatively, kids’ malleable brains are not yet bound by the rules-based blinders of adulthood. These children are encouraged to produce in an off-the-cuff, fun spirit—and even quieter kids are seen to light up like Christmas trees at the opportunity to contribute to a song.
KPA’s Nimbit store offers collected works from no less than 13 region-specific Kid Pan Alley residencies, as well as four collections, including the Grammy-nominated Kid Pan Alley Nashville, and the perhaps misleadingly-titled Unreleased Favorites.
Kid Pan Alley is Kids’ music, by and for kids—and once you’ve heard it, you may begin to feel that there’s something a little sideways about the notion of children’s music being written by adults.
Interested in getting Kid Pan Alley rolling in your neighborhood? Click here.
Check out this video for a ton of musical kids who are equal parts adorable and confident:
Hey there, #TeamPreSonus, we figure you’re likely a musician, and that means you are probably a little used to getting into parties for free. It never gets old, right? Right. So, in keeping with what makes you comfortable, we’d like to give you and your little buddies a FREE PASS to the 137th Audio Engineering Society International Convention in Los Angeles. It runs Oct. 9-12, 2014.
What’s AES 137? Oh, only the biggest, best, pow-wow of sonic bigwiggery to ever an America. If you’re up for rubbing elbows with Craig Anderton and/or hailing a taxi with Alan Parsons, this is the show for you. Furthermore, there’s a quarter-tonne of exhibits, clinics, talks, and showcases on anything Audio Engineering-related, including but not limited to:
I mean, really. Click here to take a look at the extensive presenter list. It’s like some hackers got Quincy Jones’ contacts list off of iCloud and just pressed CTRL+C, CTRL+V.
It’s really more than you can see in four days, but it’s still worth trying. Interested? Of course you are. Click here to get your passes, and be sure to visit us at Booth 1533 when you get to LA.
UPDATE 9/30/14: Stephen Marsh will be joining us! Come on by the booth at 2:00 on Saturday, Oct. 11, for a meet ‘n’ greet with Stephen and the team.
Here’s a video of Stephen opining on the Sceptre monitors.
[This just in from John Taglieri from Dawg Pound Studios!]
Hey there, I’m John Taglieri from Dawg Pound Studios. Based in Hanson, Massachusetts, our studio boasts a 200 square foot live room full of drums, vintage amps, a ’64 Hammond, and close to 30 mostly-vintage guitars and basses to choose from. Our control room is full of great digital and outboard gear to help make sure we capture the music as accurately as it is performed—and make it sound amazing. I’ve produced close to 20 CDs for myself and clients, and as an engineer/producer have had two Billboard charting CDs (a #74 and a #112), a #1 single on Amazon, a total of 11 top ten singles on Amazon & iTunes, as well as a Best-Selling Alternative EP on iTunes. The studio has been touted as having a great-sounding live room, and a control room that sounds true. What you hear at the mix area is what it sounds like out in the real world as well.
One thing I’m proud of is that we use a lot of PreSonus gear in the studio. When I had my studio at its old location in New Jersey, it was very piecemeal. I started really working with PreSonus when I moved the studio to Massachusetts three years ago. I did the studio build from scratch and wanted the best gear that I would feel comfortable with. The room didn’t exist, so I worked with an acoustic engineer to get the design right, got some help from Auralex to tune it, and then chose PreSonus for workflow, live room monitoring and control room mixing. Currently I’m using the following;
For my latest EP, Days Like These, we had a great and fun situation. We assembled top musicians from all over the country, including Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Michelle Branch), Rich Redmond (Jason Aldean, Ludacris), Alan Bowers (Rachel Allyn), Chad Cunningham, as well as myself on drums. We also got Lee Turner (Darius Rucker) & Eric Ragno (Kiss, Alice Cooper) on keys and Greg Juliano on bass. Keith LuBrant, Joe Gilder & myself handled guitars, and we used writers from the US & Australia.
Tracks were cut in eight different studios around the country, as well as at Dawg Pound Studios, and on all different DAWs. We then used DropBox to get the .WAVs to Dawg Pound Studios, where Studio One Professional 2 was used to assemble and mix all the tracks. Dozens of tracks were done in-house as well as sent in. All songs started at my studio with acoustic guitar, vocals, and click tracks, and ended with final mixes. The workflow was effortless. Working with Studio One and my FaderPort, mixing was a great experience. I had just added the FaderPort to the system and I can’t tell you how much it streamlines mixing. It makes subtle mix, pan and FX moves far easier than using my trackpad. I run a tricked-out Mac Mini with a Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad. We must have done something right because the EP debuted on release week on the Billboard Independent Album chart at #112, which was quite an honor.
Running PreSonus in my studio has brought my studio up to a level of quality that I can truly be proud of. I am putting out sounds rivaling any other studio thanks to the quality of my inputs, the workflow, the ease of mixing, true quality stock plugins, great preamps, and I know my clients love the custom monitoring setup in the live room during tracking. Stop by the studio’s website and Facebook and check us out!
It’s been a good couple years for Boston’s Adam Ezra Group. They’ve successfully engineered a brand of country rock that is simultaneously rootsy and forward-thinking. The formula is paying off, as the band were the worthy recipients of the 2013 New England Music Awards “Band of the year,” and also earned “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” from the same committee in 2012.
Ezra and his six-piece Group are the kind of guys who are more than just pro musicians. They’re the sort of rare-blood all-or-nothing types who truly believe in music as a force for change. That’s well in-line with what we’re about here at PreSonus and Nimbit—so, hats off, guys. When not touring and recording, all of the guys are activists and community leaders, whose efforts include volunteering for relief effort in Kosovo and practicing environmental geography in South Africa.
While they’ve demonstrated a reliable and consistent recording output—ten full-length albums since 2000—at the end of the day, Adam Ezra Group is all about the live experience. Their impassioned performances have drawn deserved comparison to guys like Bruce Springsteen, and have found them touring in quite good company: Rusted Root, Jason Mraz, Goo Goo Dolls, Blues Traveler, Los Lobos, and Dwight Yoakam, to name a handful.
AEG is currently touring with a StudioLive 24.4.2 and recording their live shows for release, so when you see them live be sure to scream real loud so that you can hear yourself when the recordings are released!
From a marketing perspective, Adam Ezra Group’s Nimbit store is full of good stuff—their offering includes four full-length releases and a couple singles. But they really shine in the merch department, including nearly a full wardrobe of Ramble-themed apparel. One notable non-wearable offering: custom purple beer coozies! In terms of non-Ramble Adam Ezra merch, there are no fewer than nine custom t-shirt choices available, stickers, and my personal favorite—AEG temporary tattoos! Furthermore, they’ve got their concert calendar kept completely up-to-date, so give it a gander and see when you can catch Adam Ezra Group when they roll through your town—looks like they’ve got a handful of east coast shows booked at the time of this writing.
Introducing Ceres: rich, high fidelity with recording-studio sound.
PreSonus studio tools are used worldwide by recording engineers who need to hear every audio detail. Now you can, too. Ceres active monitor speakers give your home or office the sound of a studio listening environment and provide flexible connection options, professional controls, and the convenience of wireless streaming audio from any Bluetooth source.
Based on the technology found in our widely used studio monitors, but with the ease of use and convenience of Bluetooth, PreSonus Ceres speakers let you hear audio with the same accuracy and detail of the original performance right in your own home.
For more info and to find a dealer, visit http://hear.presonus.com
Here’s producer/songwriter Joe Solo hanging out with Matt Conrad, PreSonus Quality Test Lead, at the PreSonus booth back at NAMM. Joe was kind enough to spend some time sharing his thoughts on the Temblor T10 subwoofer and Sceptre S8 monitors. This isn’t so much a review as much as an enlightened conversation that offers a wonderfully complimentary set of perspectives; that of of a seasoned producer and a quality control expert. Check it out!
When not talking shop at our NAMM booth, Joe offers a ton of valuable insight for making it in the music business. To sign up for Joe’s FREE Music Success Video Nuggets and weekly tips email, go to www.joesolo.com. You can also get more info via the Music Success Workshop on Facebook.
Join Mark Williams—PreSonus’ Director of International Sales, and Martin Atkins—Music Business Department chair, entrepreneur, label owner, and producer, for an in-depth clinic at SAE Chicago on how to record, mix, master, digitally release, market and sell your music with Studio One recording software, PreSonus StudioLive mixers and recording interfaces, and Nimbit direct-to-fan online marketing and sales tools.
We’ll record Blake Novia‘s stunning vocals LIVE, mix them, and have them available online for sale by the end of the presentation. Attendees will leave with a copy of Studio One Artist and a three-month subscription to Nimbit Premium—you’ll be able to repeat the process and have your own music for sale online, direct-to-fan!
Not only that, but attendees will also be entered to win a pair of Eris E5 studio monitors!
Sept 26, 2014
10:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m.
820 North Orleans Street, Suite 125/135, Chicago, IL
The StudioLive RM32AI and RM16AI created the most significant online buzz in our history of product releases. We were up to a whopping 16,000 views of our release videos for these products in mere days, and responding to the Facebook and YouTube comment threads on the matter have seen Ray Tantzen, our Sr. Product Manager, seriously distracted from bringing his next stroke of genius to store shelves, venues, and studios. Don’t worry, he’ll catch up—and thanks for all your great questions. With the cat out of the proverbial bag, we’ve done our best to keep up with customer interest. Fact is, if you really want to get to know one of these things, the best thing you can do is get one of these things. But where? When? Who?
Click any of the icons above to get the ball rolling on a preorder!
If you’ve heard the RM-series mixer buzz but don’t yet understand what all the fuss is about, take a look at the videos in the playlist below to learn a bit more.
Here’s a couple videos regarding the RMAI line from Sweetwater and Full Compass.