[This just in from good friend and four-star general in the war against the machines, Brian Botkiller! He shares his latest track, “Morphogenic Residents,” and details some of the methods to its particular brand of oddball. When not repairing his Buddy Holly glasses with gaff tape or tracking down elusive rhymes for “morphogenic residents” and “triskelian,” Brian Botkiller is one of the main guys at OBEDIA, who have been slingin’ their brand of world-class recording technology training to the masses for nigh on ten years now. Strongly recommended.]
I usually record and mix/master in Studio One, but I don’t do a lot of virtual instrument work, so I wanted to do a track entirely in Studio One and explore it a bit more. MC Tahina is an old friend and part of one of my favorite bands of all time, The Gluey Brothers. He wanted to do a track together, so I had him come over to Botkiller studios. He showed up, and while walking him in I said, “I’ve got the drums set up, and you can plug your guitar into Studio One if you want.” He said, “I’ve only got lyrics,” which I thought was awesome. So, we needed a beat. I opened up NI Battery and Impact, and laid down a quick beat, then did some overdubbing with my DDRUM Dominion kit. I wanted to fool with the timing on the audio and MIDI, so I quantized it in some crazy ways and got a cool groove out of it without having to do more work, because Studio One does everything in the blink of an eye.
Next, Tahina did his vocals. I plugged straight into my PreSonus FireBox, my favorite audio interface of all time, and gave him a click and headphone mix, and he just went for it. We had vocals in minutes. I then opened up some previously saved channel strip presets (another favorite S1 feature,) and had a vocal mix in no time. We then laid down the bass, using Native Instruments Kontakt. Tahina did those, on the fly, on a MIDI keyboard straight into Studio One. I did some edits here and there, quantized fast, and boom, bass done. Here’s some video:
I wanted something else in the track, so I took out my turntable, dropped a plate on it, ran it into my FireBox’s SPDIF input, and did some scratches. I’m no Mix Master Mike, but I really liked how they added to the track. We then sat down and just mixed organically, with me laying down some light backing vocals and other little bits. He was really impressed with how fast Studio One allowed me to work. I got everything done fast, and then jumped into mastering in the Project pane, and my song was done.
This was great because the weeklybeats project (http://www.weeklybeats.com) requires me to write, produce, and record a song per week. It has to be turned in by Sunday at 6pm MST, and I really like the project. It’s not a competition or anything, but just a personal challenge—by the end of the year, I should have written 52 new songs! I wanted to do it to get myself into the practice of writing faster, and releasing fast, instead of agonizing over a track forever. It’s really opened my mind and made me work fast and be creative. This is why Studio One is always in my workflow; I can’t do fast production like this in any other DAW, hands down. It’s the fastest daw in the west, east, or anywhere else.
As always, thanks for what you do and for being awesome.
Hear the track below.
From Musikmesse 2014! The incomparable KATFYR describes the production of his #1 hit on the BeatPort dubstep charts, “Lose Control.”
Here, we take a look at his workflow and some of the methods to his madness. Pay attention, here’s a master at work!
[This just in from Kirk Farmer of the Dirty Rumors, who are living the PreSonus life to the fullest!]
Thanks for the invitation to be included in your blog. We are called Dirty Rumors. We’re a quasi rock band / jam band from Roanoke, VA comprised of Kirk Farmer, (Me) on lead vocal and guitar, Tim (Caesar) O’Sullivan on lead guitar, Scott Sutton on bass, Ben Hite on keys, and Thomas Wilson on drums. We’re more of a jam band than anything. Our live performances are heavy on the long instrumental jams with variety of influxes including rock, funk, blues and county. We actually have a large collection of live tracks that can be streamed from our website. Most of which were also recorded using the same equipment and software we used to record the EP. The EP is called Unity Gain and was released online through TuneCore.com in January.
I was originally introduced to PreSonus when I worked as a recording engineer in Raleigh, NC. I saw a demo of the StudioLive 16.4.2 at a show put on by one of your distributors in Greensboro. I was particularly impressed with it’s ease of use and by the transparency of the preamps.
I few years later, I relocated to Roanoke,VA and brought on a business partner named Nate Potter in order to expand my mastering studio, K-14 Studios service offerings to include mobile, multi-track recording. Nate was also a big fan of the Presonus gear and owned a 16.4.2, and also introduced me to Studio One.
Tim and I formed Dirty Rumors in September of 2012. When we made the decision to record our EP, it was only logical that Nate and I produce and engineer the project using the PreSonus gear that we had been using to record our clients with.
As mentioned before, we primarily use the 16.4.2 for tracking. One of the great things about this setup is its mobility. All we need is the board, the laptop, the snake and some mics and we’re in business—literally! We use Capture to track everything, including overdubs. Once we get the tracks back to the studio, we use a FirePod as a speaker/headphone interface, and mix the sessions on Studio One. We also use Studio One’s project page for mastering.
The things we like most about the PreSonus hardware are the quick setup time and the preamp quality. With other digital mixers, we can potentially spend a significant amount of time just getting the board settings where we want them. Using any outboard gear just adds to the process. With the 16.4.2, we can be powered up and signal and level checked in less than 10 minutes.
As far as the preamps are concerned, the transparency and gain insures a good recording the first time, every time. This is paramount when recording a live show where we might not get a second take. They also allow for a great deal of flexibility during the mixdown process. We can make a lot more creative decisions about the overall sound of the project when we don’t have to contend with preamp coloration introduced by your hardware.
On the software side, Studio One is undoubtedly the most flexible and user-friendly DAW I’ve ever used. It’s intuitive, powerful, and very easy on my CPU. In the past, I’ve primarily used Pro Tools and Audition, both for their different strengths: Pro Tools for tracking and Audition for mastering. Studio One combines the best of both worlds in one very dynamic suite.
Nate and I are currently working on a video project for a band from Lynchburg, VA. Again, we used the PreSonus gear for the tracking, and continue to use Studio One for the post- production processing. Our last major project was the Unity Gain EP, which we created ourselves from start to finish. Dirty Rumors is rumored to be recording a concert video in May at the new amphitheater in downtown Roanoke. We plan to use the 16.4.2, tied in to the FOH board through a splitter snake to record the audio from the show. We’re also talking about recording a full length album this summer, and PreSonus is along for the ride every step of the way!
We’re happy to report that PreSonus Artist KATFYR’s track “Lose Control” is currently sitting at the #2 spot on Beatport’s Dubstep chart, notably above some guy called “Skrillex.” We’re equally happy to also report that the track was made in none other than Studio One!
If you’ve ever wanted to see what makes a track like this tick, you need look no farther than to KATFYR’s demonstration of Studio One at NAMM 2014, where you can see how “Lose Control” was built from the ground up.
Sincere congrats to a good friend doing good work. If you’re so inclined, why not help him out a bit, and get a copy of the track and bump him up to #1?
Christopher “AudioCzar” Smith is no joke. The man’s been cranking out track after track for a long time, now, and in the last year he’s settled on Studio One Professional for all of his sonic endeavors. Fortunately for us (and you) I was able to get him to answer some questions about his production habits, and why he’s chosen PreSonus.
When he’s not producing music, he’s also producing excellent videos full of Studio One tips; at the time of this writing he’s up to 20 and counting. Click here to see all of the Czar’s vids.
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
I’m Christopher “Czar” Smith, originally from Memphis, but I live in Nashville, TN. I am an audio engineer specializing in recording and mixing.
How were you introduced to PreSonus?
I bought Studio One Artist during a NAMM sale few years ago, for about $20. It was an impulse buy I’m glad I made. Actually, I remember my first recording setup back in 2000—I had a PreSonus TubePRE for vocals.
What PreSonus software/
Every mix I’ve done since 2013 has been done in Studio One Professional, and every song or album I’ve mastered since upgrading to Professional was also done in Studio One. When I work out of Groove Box studios here in Nashville I use the DigiMax FS for tracking drum or hardware inserts for my analog gear I bring with me. I also have a FaderPort that I use when mixing.
What’s so great about PreSonus, anyhow?
PreSonus is great because unlike a lot of other companies, you can tell they are really passionate about their products, and they listen to the consumer. They also have excellent customer interaction. If you tweet them, they will tweet back. Everyone I’ve met from the PreSonus staff at NAMM or Gearfest have all been friendly and helpful. And all the products are well thought-out and designed. PreSonus is one of the few companies I look forward to seeing new products from every year.
What’s the last big project that you worked on using PreSonus gear?
The last big project I did was a mix for Diane Betts, a very talented singer/songwriter here in Nashville. Her song was mixed and mastered using Studio One Profefssional.
What are you working on now—or next?
Right now I’m finishing up mixing and mastering The Equalizers debut album, “After Hours.” Next up, I’ll be mixing an album for a rap group from Nashville, and I’m doing some production for a rap artist from Nebraska. I also just got hired to do some mixing and mastering for an artist in France. It’s the first time I doing work for someone overseas, so I’m excited about it!
Where can folks find out more information about you and your work online?
Just when we thought Joe Gilder of Home Studio Corner couldn’t GET any cooler; the guy goes and drops a SEVENTEEN-VIDEO BOMB on the Internet. But don’t duck and cover; instead you should click and learn.
This incredible playlist covers all manner of Studio One topics, including but not limited to:
Also covered are some great 101-level tips for first-time users.
If you’re interested in Studio One, get the FREE 30-day demo of Studio One Professional by clicking here.
The Frontliner recently scored an interview with PreSonus Quality Assurance Tester and all-around Studio One Answer Man Dominic Bazile. In their thorough Q&A session, Dominic’s brains are picked about not only how he got involved with PreSonus, but also about some of the inner workings that make Studio One tick. If you want an inside look at Studio One from a man who knows better than most, look no further!
Get a look behind the scenes of the new Ampire XT Metal Pack for Studio One, featuring EDM/Metal crossover band Tooms!
The Ampire XT Metal Pack offers six new amp models and six new cabinet models for Ampire XT, and an incredible new SoundSet of metal drum sounds for Impact!
You can learn more about the Ampire XT Metal Pack by clicking here.
The kind sports at Hero’s Last Mission put together this exceptional video describing their workflow with the StudioLive 16.4.2. They are using the board to its fullest in both the studio and onstage, taking advantage of features like QMix personal monitoring and scene recall for saving board settings appropriate to multiple venues. Furthermore, they record live shows to Capture and then mix later in Studio One!
Hero’s Last Mission is taking advantage of the full PreSonus solution. Are you?