Click here to read the Keyboard Magazine Sceptre review in its entirety, but here’s the gist:
“Coaxial design done right. Wide sweet spot for stereo imaging. Accuracy and sound quality on par with monitors costing much more… at the end of the day, what we have here is a $1,400-ish (less) pair of speakers that acts like it’s a $3,000-ish pair.”
And speaking of monitors, I thought this tweet from @AveneMusic regarding the Eris family was quite nice:
I bought my wife some @PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors. They sound so good I’m thinking of replacing my 22 year old NS10s with a pair of Eris E5
— ˚ΛVΞΛ/Ξ (@AveneMusic) October 21, 2014
Well, Mark Williams is back from Chicago, and is pleased to report that The Cold Waves music festival was a smashing success. The show was attended by nearly 2,000 people, and thousands of dollars were raised for Hope for the Day, a non-profit movement dedicated to utilizing music and the arts as a defense mechanism to suicide.
Mark recorded the entire show via the new StudioLive RM32AI, and the recordings have been mixed and polished by Jason Novak and sound great. They’re now available for purchase on Nimbit! All told, there are 12 full sets to choose from, broken down by artist, and there’s also a compilation CD featuring songs from all involved, and Cold Waves t-shirts up for grabs. You can also click here to get the 4-song Cold Waves sampler promo, absolutely free! Proceeds from the Nimbit sales of the show’s recordings will also be going to benefit Hope for the Day. These are exclusive, can’t-get-’em-anywhere-else-not-even-Bitorrent tracks! You can get any track for $0.99, the price for a band’s entire performance is relative to the length of their set, but is always a better deal than buying each track individually.
The lineup was a great mix of stalwart lifers like Front 242 and Die Krupps, and new blood like the Author and Punisher and Youth Code. The full roster includes:
We’re not done with Cold Waves just yet, by the way. We’re in the process of editing together the whopping 60 gigs of video Mark brought back from Chicago, which includes interviews, live performances, and I imagine a surprise or two. Stay tuned!
International Sales Director of Mystery Mark Williams just got back from an incredibly successful trip to Chicago, where he and Martin Atkins hosted a PreSonus Riff to Release clinic focusing on production in Studio One and Nimbit, and followed it up by attending—and recording—the Cold Waves Music Festival, which included Front 242, Fear Factory, Die Krupps, and many more stalwart ambassadors of rivethead culture. More on that in this blog post.
The three-hour Riff-to-Release clinic at SAE Chicago boasted standing-room-only attendance—every chair was taken, and folks who didn’t show up early wound up sitting and standing in the aisles. In a flash of brilliance, SAE streamed video of the presentation into a networked room nearby to accomodate the spillover.
Longime PreSonus forum big dawg and bacon enthusiast Johnny Geib of Home Studio Trainer, presented with Mark on the Studio One portion of the presentation. Blake Novia, a student at SAE, recorded vocals into Studio One, and Johnny and Mark produced, mixed, mastered, and released the recording on Nimbit, all within the span of the presentation.
Don’t believe me? You can get the track here: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/blakenovia1.
Each audience member walked away with a Studio One Artist license and a 90-day Nimbit premium account. Thanks to all who came out and helped make this happen—we should really do this again sometime.
Mark shot a LOT of video on this trip—you’ll find it popping up on PreSonus’ blog and social media platforms sooner than later.
Dave Coffin‘s involvement in the music biz started when he was very young, potentially even prenatal—he was born into a supportive family who raised him in an environment rife with classical music, and you know what they say about kids who hear Mozart while in the womb.
As Dave grew up a little, his aptitude for music was clear, and said supportive family encouraged his musical leanings by buying him a strat for his ninth birthday. Despite having been raised on the classics, Dave found himself drawn more toward mohawks than powdered wigs, and wound up cutting his musical teeth on punk rock.
While his parents may not have been able to sway him from Green Day, Dave Matthews (yes, that Dave Matthews) did. After hearing the siren song of DMB, Coffin cashed in the strat and amp for a Martin, and the rest is history. He wrote and recorded acoustically for six years before pulling up stakes from Maine and shipping up to Boston for college, where he majored in Ellis Paul with a minor in Patty Griffin.
Dave’s Nimbit store offers two four-song EPs and the 2010 full-length, The King is Dead. The Dave is alive, fortunately, and so are many of his session-player friends, who joined him in the studio to make their mark on Dead, and it sounds great as a result. Dave’s earnest performance, songs, and sincerity probably helped a lot, too. Give it a close listen, and you may well be able to hear a streak of politically-charged punk rock attitude here—buried quietly somewhere in the songwriter’s heart, and no longer worn on a safety-pinned sleeve.
The Cold Waves music festival is a nonprofit event held in Chicago to raise money for the Hope for the Day, a non-profit movement dedicated to utilizing music and the arts as a defense mechanism to suicide. This years’ event just concluded, with stellar performances from Front 242, Fear Factory, Die Krupps, and many more. The event was a smash success, with over 2,000 attendees at the festival over two days, including over 100 musicians from all over the planet.
Mark Williams recorded the entire show on the new StudioLive RM32AI—the bulk of the recordings are being mixed as I type this, but for now you can click here to get the 4-song Cold Waves sampler promo, absolutely free! Rest assured that more will be up and available on Nimbit very soon, where sales will go to benefit Hope for the Day. We’ll let you know when that happens.
PreSonus donated some gear for Cold Waves’ silent auction, including two AudioBox Studios, two pairs of Eris 4.5 Monitors, one pair of Sceptre S6 monitors, three Temblor T10 subwoofers, four copies of Studio One Professional, some of which were autographed by the festival’s performers.
But just because the Cold Waves show is over, doesn’t mean the story ends here—Mark recorded the entire proceedings including a ton of interviews with Jason Novak and David Shock, Martin Atkins, and more. There’s much more coming—accoring to Mark, “about 60 gigs worth of video and 16 hours of audio.”
Showing off the latest and greatest in London, including the newest member of the PreSonus fam, WorxAudio Technologies!
We talk about Studio One a lot around here. Most users know that Studio One is available in three flavors; Artist, Producer, and Professional. But we would be remiss to overlook the Studio One fam’s spunky kid brother, Studio One Free.
Unlike the 30-day demo of Studio One Professional (also free, bee tee dubs) Studio One Free never times out, and offers more than enough for the entry-level producer/recordist to get some great songs created. Unlike a lot of other Free DAWs out there, you get unlimited audio and MIDI tracks to mess with, so the sky is pretty much the limit from the get-go. Studio One Free is non-denominational, and runs on both Mac and Windows.
We want to make music-making easy, and we understand that sometimes the world of high-tech audio wrangling can get pretty complex pretty fast, especially for beginners. As such, we feel there’s no need to charge you for features you aren’t ready to use. Any version of Studio One can be upgraded at any time to any higher version—so you’re welcome and encouraged to get what works for you now, and pay-as-you-go as your production needs mature.
Click here for a feature-by-feature breakdown of what’s offered in Studio One’s various editions. But in the meantime, here’s the core offering of Studio One Free:
Dave Pensado is a Grammy-winning mix engineer and the host of pensadosplace.tv. His extensive list of credits include Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Michael Jackson, and way more. We’re flattered to know that Dave has been using the Sceptre S6s on his productions of late, and will join us to talk about them on Friday.
Stephen Marsh (Chief Mastering Engineer at Marsh Mastering) has been fortunate enough to count Grammy winners, multiple gold and platinum albums, and numerous chart successes among the thousands of releases to his credit. His Audiophile Remastering credits include Bob Dylan, James Taylor, The Byrds, Nat King Cole, Neil Diamond, and many other legendary artists. Of late, he has had some very kind things to say about the Sceptre monitors, and he will be happy to discuss them in further detail with you at AES on Saturday.
If you’re going to be in the area, come on down. Today is your LAST CHANCE FOR FREE TICKETS, click here to get yours.
Kid Pan Alley
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.
Adam Ezra Group
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.
Bim Skala Bim
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.