PreSonus Blog

 

An interesting bit of recording industry foreshadowing, discovered in a thrift store by our own Carl Jacobson!

This pic is snapped from the back of 1963’s “Dave Brubeck Live at Carnegie Hall.” Tape splicing to edit a performance may seem downright quaint by today’s standards, but this raises a great discussion.

What would Teo Macero say about today’s editing practices in music?

And when it comes to editing a performance, where do you draw the line—if at all? What will you NOT do?

Category Just for Fun | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



FREE LIVE WEBCAST!

PreSonus LIVE Airs Today! 2 p.m. CST / 3 p.m. EST / Noon PST / 19:00 GMT

http://www.presonus.com/videos/presonuslive

Join PreSonus Technology Evangelist Justin Spence as he takes you on a guided tour of the StudioLive 16.0.2!

The 16.0.2 packs a lot of mixing power into a very portable package. Tune in to learn some of its innermost secrets.

Category StudioLive 16.0.2 | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Ain’t no party like a Craig Wood party

[This just in from DJ Craig Wood, thorough wordsmith and PreSonus advocate. He recently got a FaderPort, and apparently it has changed his life. I recommend going to the kitchen for a minute and making a sandwhich, as in the Twitter-era, this is War and Peace. Not to mean it's long. I mean it's a literary classic!]
Hey PreSonus! Below you’ll find my review of the omnipotent controller that is the PreSonus FaderPort. Feel free to publish, post, tattoo, etc!
Having spent several years working “in the box” with Apple Logic 9, my production partner began to view it as a bit of stagnant piece of software in terms of both its functionality as well as its ability to get our creative juices flowing. We decided to jump ship to PreSonus Studio One after having been told by many of our colleagues that we’d be in for a treat. To sweeten the deal, the timing of our new purchase coincided with a PreSonus promotion offering a FREE FaderPort. After spending many hours over the course of a week with this baby, I’m wondering how I could ever live without it.
After many years of hands-on time playing guitar and DJing, there’s nothing I appreciate more than being able to incorporate a bit of tactile response within my little basement studio setup. There’s something refreshing about being able to press the keys of my MIDI keyboard, hit the pads on my Maschine MK2 or turn the knobs of my beloved Virus B module. PreSonus’ FaderPort has certainly found a spot in my “Hall of Things to Touch in a Non-Creepy Way.”
Installation
What installation? Seriously. I simply connected the USB and AC power and I was running! I couldn’t get any easier than this. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t try FaderPort with my other DAWs, Ableton Live 9 and Logic 9/10… and why would I? Studio One is the sh*t! But I digress.
On the Surface
The controller itself is easy enough to figure out, and comes with the essentials which I will conveniently breakdown in bullet-point fashion to prevent a wall of text from forming:

  • A touch-sensitive, silky-smooth motor-controlled (YES, motor-controlled!) fader that makes about as much noise as rubbing your hands together (you’re doing that right now, aren’t you?).
  • The standard array of transport/channel buttons (Play, Mute, Solo, etc.) in addition to a bonus “User” button to define your own actions and a “Shift” button to obtain secondary functionality with the transport buttons.
  • A row of buttons dedicated to quickly access different window views (goodbye “F” keys!).
  • A row of buttons dedicated to navigating the tracks of your mixer…that consequently results in your motorized fader adjusting to match the volume of the respective track. In other words, less screen starting and more fader moving!
  • An “endless” pot control for the respective track channel’s balance.
In Practice
Let me make this perfectly clear: if you own Studio One, you need to own FaderPort. Personally, I like to work fast when inspiration strikes. Being able to keep one hand on my trackpad with the other hand on FaderPort has me working at speeds that would make the Flash bow his head in shame. The ability to quickly access interface windows and physically adjust the volume on any given track is an incredible time-saver. The buttons have a satisfying”click” to them.
Parting Words
While reading this review you may feel as though my tone is a bit shill. I assure you I’m no salesman, just an excited music maker who has taken a strong liking to a simplistically brilliant piece of hardware that works straight out of the box. By eliminating the need to constantly hunt for keyboard shortcuts, I can apply that time saved to the one thing every producer–no matter how famous–strives for: more opportunity to be creative.
About the Guy Who Wrote This
Craig Wood is a nerd who has surrounded himself with technology and music throughout his 32 years on this Earth. He’s one half of the EDM production group that goes by Stepchild. (Shill: Debut EP available on Heavy Artillery Recordings!) He enjoys heavy basslines, drop-kicking mannequins, and writing review bios in the third person. He will not rest until he unleashes his revenge against the six-fingered man.

Category FaderPort | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Sonic Sense Pro Audio just posted this first-look (first-listen?) video of the Sceptre S8 CoActual monitors. They compared the Sceptre S8 ($749, each) to the much more expensive Genelec 8050A ($2195, each) and the Adam A7x ($699, each) monitors. All monitors involved in the shootout were cautiously miked and measured, and detailed frequency response and phase charts are presented for each.

Sonic Sense is very thorough, which I suppose makes for the “Sense” part of “Sonic Sense.”

Click through to the Sonic Sense blog post here to get their full review, but in the meantime here’s a snippet:
“As promised, the sound quality truly does stand up well beside high-end monitors that have become “household” names in the studio world including ADAM, Genelec, JBL, and Neumann.”

 

Category Studio Monitors | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



[This just in from the always-a-gem-producer Lisa Simmons of HeatRox Entertainment. HeatRox recently had a great score, landing their new song "Living in the Moment" in a recent episode of the Disney Channel's Austin & Ally.]
Hey Ryan!
How are you? Hope you are having a great week! We are so excited for the new Austin & Ally episode, “Sports and Sprains.” We used the PreSonus Eureka on this song. Funny story: The tracks recorded with the Eureka were intended to be for the pre-demo only… but they sounded so good that many of the background vocals recorded on the Eureka wound up in the final mix! The final song was recorded with the Ross Lynch at one of Disney’s recording studios.

We co-wrote and co-produced “Living in the Moment” with an amazing team of writers and producers: myself, (Lisa Simmons) Francisco (Flinst0ne/ Stone), Christian Salyer, Styliztik Jones, and J Scott G. We had so much fun!  On Disney’s promo you can hear the instrumental in the background, but the full song will be performed by the actor himself on the upcoming episode.
Over the weekend, “Sports & Sprains” charted at number seven on iTunes as one of the top children’s shows!
Best Regards,
Lisa & Stone

Category Eureka | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



The kind folks at American Musical Supply just announced their incredible PreSonus giveaway, including a whopper of a $5,129 prize package that includes:

It’s easy to enter, just click here and fill out their form! This is an incredible chance to get a whole lotta stuff with minimal effort, which is always a popular proposition.

 

Category Sweepstakes/Contest | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



[This just in from Scott Szeryk!]

Hey PreSonus, I hope all is going well!!  We have just released out latest live video “Celtic Rainbow,” all recorded at the Aeolian Hall, in London Canada, June 8, 2012. on Studio One and the StudioLive 24.4.2.
Here is some insight as to how we recorded our show, “Live at the Aeolian Hall.”

We multi-tracked the entire show via the Studio Live 24.4.2 into Capture.  Great care was taken on ensure that the instrument sources all sounded top notch (drums, bass, guitar, keys) and appropriate mics and DIs were used to capture the sounds of the instruments.

Drum mics were as follows:

  • AKG D112—kick
  • Shure SM 57s—snare top and bottom
  • Shure KSM 32’s—toms
  • Shure KSM 137—hi-hat and ride
  • AKG 414s—overheads

For post-production (mixing and mastering) we used Studio One, and things were kept pretty simple as the performances and sounds were good at the source.  I’m not a “fix it in the mix” type of engineer, so the sounds have to be great to begin with. Also we didn’t use any drum samples whatsoever. The drums sounded great and basic EQing (cut some of the boxey mids) and slight compression (just a hint, 2:1 with slow attack to keep the bass response) were used on the drums, and that’s it. Guitars were plugged straight into the Fractal AXE FX2, bass and keys ran DI.  The XMAX preamps on the StudioLive are so good that it helped the mix come together pretty quick!

Guitar Manifesto can be purchased by clicking here.

Category StudioLive | 1 Comment »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



Studio One Courses and Methods from MusicEd.PreSonus.com

There’s nothing short of a wealth of resources online for learning about Studio OneJohn Mlynczak recently compiled this great list of online educational resources from Lynda.Com, Groove3, Berklee School of Music, and more. It’s also available on MusicEd.PreSonus.Com, but we thought the whole PreSonus community should be aware of ‘em as well.

There’s some great  info here that is available in many platforms, including books, videos, and entire online courses. These include options for every user, regardless of your level of experience with Studio One. Maybe you’re a seasoned producer who’s looking to dig deep? Perhaps you recently upgraded Studio One and want to learn more about the new features you’ve gotten access to?  Maybe you’re just starting out? No matter your level of experience with Studio One, there’s valuable information in here for you!

Courses


Up and Running with Studio One® (lynda.com)

Studio One Version 2 Explained (Groove3.com)

Studio One Version 2 Advanced (Groove3.com)

Studio One 101: Songwriters and Musicians Toolbox(macProVideo.com)

Studio One 102: Producers and Engineers Toolbox (macProVideo.com)

Studio One 103: Advanced MIDI Toolbox (macProVideo.com)

Studio One 104: Mixing and Mastering Toolbox (macProVideo.com)

Free PreSonus® Video Tutorials (Obedia.com)

Recording and Producing in the Home Studio (Berklee Online)

 

Category Education | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



The StudioLive family of digital mixers have become a sonic solution for houses of worship around the globe. We recently compiled this great series of testimonials from live sound engineers who rely on the StudioLive for their events. Thanks much to everyone who had a hand in this!

For more on the StudioLive solution, click here.

Category StudioLive 24.4.2 | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard



So, you want your band on Facebook! Social media has allowed bands to find new fans (and vice versa) like nobody’s business. After all, social media is nothing more than good old-fashioned word-of-mouth, spiced up with a dash of globo-digital instantaneousness and searchability. With 1.06 Billion users, there’s gotta be somebody on there who’s going to like your band. And most importantly of all, Facebook appeals to the human need for soapboxes by making it single-click easy for your fans to tell their friends all about how great your band is.

There’s a lot to go over here. Since you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re online, and since you’re online, you may already know how to set up a Facebook page. For those who like to skip ahead:

  1. Facebook Page Setup
  2. Facebook Store Setup
  3. Best Practices for bands on Facebook
  4. Adding Friends
  5. Dos and Don’ts

Facebook Page Setup:

It’s easy to set up and totally worth the trouble. Note that Facebook layout changes from time to time, so if you’re reading this a few years after publication, the navigation may have changed a bit.

1. From your home page, click “Pages” on the far left.

 

2. Click on “Add a Page.” (Alternatively, you can skip the above by navigating straight to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/, if you’re feeling keyboardy.)

 

 

3. Click on “Artist, Band, or Public Figure. Choose Category “Musician/Band.”



 

Fill out the details in the next few dialogue boxes. These are pretty self-explanatory:


Congrats! You’ll be taken to your brand new Facebook page. It looks pretty empty, but it won’t that way for long.

Populate your page with “About” info including your band lineup and a description of your sound. This process isn’t all that different from filling out a personal profile, which you must have done at least once already, since that’s required to get into Facebook and create a page. So we’ll skip that. Worth noting is that Facebook is picky when it comes to the dimensions of your images—so here’s a handy guide for sizing them appropriately.

 

Nimbit Store Setup

Next up? Add your Nimbit store to your page so you can sell music directly from Facebook. This process is covered in detail in the handy video below. You can get the ball rolling on setting up your Nimbit store on Facebook by clicking this link. 

 

Adding Friends

So, you’ve got your store up and running. Be sure to invite friends to Like your new page by clicking on “See All” in the top right of the “Invite Friends” section.

From there, you’ll get a much better interface for inviting folks to like your page.  Choose the folks you think would like your band and click “Submit”.

So, now what? Let’s look at some of the best practices for making the most of your presence on Facebook.

Frame of mind:


Think twice, post once.  The best way for your Facebook page to serve you is to have it serve your fans first. So, with every element you add or change to your page, consider the fan’s perspective.  Here’s some quick questions to get you in the mindset.

What sort of folks are interested in your band? And, by extension, what sort of content do they like? If your band is highly visual, with lots of lights/costumes/dancing girls, etc., then maybe video is going to be more important to your Facebook presence than text and images. If your band is of the hardcore DIY-touring mindset, post shots of the band crammed into the van, and of the crazy restaurants you will inevitably find out there. (I recommend Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish in Nashville, BTW)

What do you want to have happen? Are you looking to sell music online first and foremost? Or do you just want to get word out about your shows? Consider these things when prioritizing content on your Facebook page. If online music sales are more your bag, make sure that the Nimbit store is front-and-center and easy for your visitors to find.

Best Practices—Dos and Don’ts.


Do:

Create Events for your shows, usually. Before doing so, watch for redundant events set up by the venue holding the shows. Having multiple events on Facebook set up for the same show dilutes the messaging and increases the chance that fewer people will be aware of your upcoming performance. Participation in Facebook marketing can vary wildly from venue to venue, so once you’re booked, check in with the booker to see what the venue’s policy is. If they have already set up an event for your show, get the link and share it to your audience and personal friends. Ask to be made an admin of the venue’s event. The worst they can do is say “no.” Post links to your music in the event, as well as on the venue’s Facebook page, so fans of the venue can get turned on to your sound before the show. Post reminders of the show 3 days before you take the stage, as well as on the day of the show itself. Link to the Facebook Event in your post(s).

Invite friends to like/share your page, but be judicious about it. Don’t spam everyone on your whole friend list, take the time to figure out which people might be actually interested in your music. Few grandmas are into Toxic Holocaust, so fan request accordingly. Likes are important for booking, as venues will take a quick glance at your like count, which implies that more folks will pay to come and see you play.

Give away some music! You don’t have to give it all away, of course, but who doesn’t love a freebie? One of the best way to reward your fans and show your appreciation is via Nimbit’s Promo Tool. Getting your fans to download a freebie is a great foot-in-the-door to an album sale. Among other things, Nimbit’s Promo Tool allows for:

  • Share a free download, automatically followed up with a discount on your full album at a specified time
  • Offer a discount on an item, then reward fans who purchase with a thank you message and a free bonus
  • Set start and end times for limited-time-only promos (A window of opportunity is a great motivator)

For more on Nimbit’s Promo Tool, click here. It also works on Twitter—more on that in the next blog post in this series.

Ask questions. People LOOOOVE A soapbox. Most of your fans probably don’t share your privilege of gracing a stage with a PA and a bunch of loud amps. So, give them a little digital slice. Ask who else they liked at the last show, what cover song they want to hear next time, or something similar. Let them know their opinion counts.

Measure and respond in kind. Facebook insights makes it REAL easy to see what posts of yours are performing the best. Take particular note of the “Virality” statistic in Facebook Insights. You can sort this content by value, like an Excel spreadsheet. Check in here once a week or so by clicking on “See All” on your page’s “Insights” panel.

Find out what content was shared the most, as that’s what is getting your band the most exposure to friends of friends. This is your barometer—post more content in a similar vein. Second most important number here is how many comments a particular post has received, as indicated by “Talking About This.”

Respond promptly. Check in to answer fan inquiries once per day, and make sure everyone gets at least one “Like,” or better yet – a response.

Make everyone in the band a page admin. This allows you to divide and conquer, so the bulk of the online marketing efforts don’t just fall on one person. Give each person in the band a couple days out of the week to keep up on social goings-on. Admin settings can be found under the “Edit Page” menu on the top right.

From there, you can assign who is in charge of what, like posting new content, moderating comments, etc. Careful, don’t make anyone in the band that you don’t completely trust a Manager, as they can do things like revoke your access—or delete the page entirely!

Post photos from the road/practice space/backstage. Fans LOVE this stuff. They love access, even digital, to spaces and places they are not allowed into. You get access to green rooms, you get to hang with other bands, etc. Bring your fans in on it. Instagram is also great for this—more on that later.

Now for what NOT to do: 

Don’t:

  • Over-do it. A band that’s too noisy and posts a lot of non-news is more likely to get unliked on Facebook, which pretty much defeats the purpose of the whole “Marketing your band online” idea.
  • Argue. If someone tells you your band sucks on Facebook, you can take it. Trust me, if you’ve ever been booed or heckled, you can take it—and your fans may well come to your defense. Don’t feed the trolls, it only gets worse. Consider a policy of not deleting inflammatory posts (unless they’re REALLY bad) as this can just egg jerks on to post negative stuff more frequently, turning your great Facebook presence into a moderation nightmare.
  • Set up a personal profile for your band, like first name: “Jack”, Middle Name, “and”, last name “the Badgers”. This is a common mistake. Set up your band with a Page  as described above. In setting up your brand as a person, you run into several pitfalls:
    • A maximum of 5,000 friends
    • No opportunities for Facebook advertising, short of small promoted posts
    • There’s always the chance that Facebook will find out your profile is not for a person and remove the account entirely! Profiles, distinct from Pages, are for people only.
  • Set up a Group as your main Facebook presence. Fan groups are OK, but setting up a group for your main band presence on Facebook is less than ideal, as you’ll lose out on advertising opportunities and app functionality like the Nimbit store.


Next up? Twitter!


Category Nimbit | 0 Comments »
Posted by Ryan Roullard