Rick is as much of a staple to PreSonus as drag and drop is to Studio One. He loves his team, music, and his job! After spending a quarter-century serving the PreSonus family, he is the expert when it comes to selling PreSonus with passion and enthusiasm. If you’ve met him, you love him (and you’re probably still hypnotized by the Rick Effect.) And if you haven’t met him, here’s your chance to get to know him better.
How long have you worked for PreSonus?
This coming October will be my 25th year at PreSonus. I was employee #5 or #6 I believe.
What was your job title when you started? What is your job title now?
Well, I was the first guy in sales so I guess my title would have been “Rick Naqvi, Sales Guy.” Today my role is Senior Vice President of Global Sales.
What were you doing before working at PreSonus?
In my early 20s, I was playing in two bands (Zaemon and Chris LeBlanc Band), running a recording studio and working in a music store called BeBop Music Shop. I was finishing a Marketing degree at LSU at that time as well.
I knew Jim Odom from the local music scene. He was one of our hometown guitar heroes and although he was a few years older than me, we went to the same high school and even took guitar lessons from the same guy. I did a recording session with him in the early ’90s and he used to come into the music store I worked at. I remember him bringing in the prototype of the very first PreSonus product, the DCP-8, about a year before PreSonus started. When Jim approached me about being a part of a startup company, it was a no-brainer for me.
Let’s talk about the Rick Naqvi Effect. People LOVE you and recognize you as the face of PreSonus. How did this come to be? How has it helped you?
Haha!! LOL. Well, I guess since this year will be my 25th year of working at PreSonus, I’m definitely one of the blessed people that found something to do with their lives that has spanned pretty much my entire adulthood. I’ve always been passionate about music and technology and I love people. So PreSonus has been the perfect place for me. I’m in awe of the fact that people use our products to share and experience music together with each other. That’s the part of this job that never gets old. I love being part of a team whose mission is to help people make music.
The Firepod was the first recording interface with eight microphone preamps in 1U. So you could basically mic an entire drumkit at once. Or record a small rhythm section. It was also one of the first interfaces that allowed for multiple units to be used at the same time. So if you needed 16 simultaneous inputs, you could chain two of them together, and so on.
Any fun stories about the FirePod?
Here’s a true story. The original design for the FirePod had eight inputs but only two mic preamps. Jim Odom was beta testing one of the early prototypes and took it home to record his son’s band. When he realized it was going to be a hassle to hook up additional outboard preamps, he came to work the next day and changed the design of the Firepod to include the other six preamps. We literally had to reshoot images for a tradeshow launch that was happening a few months later. However, putting eight preamps on the Firepod solved a huge need, not only for Jim but for tons of customers. It was one of our most successful products without a doubt.
What has been one of the biggest challenges of working at PreSonus? Major roadblocks?
Working for a technology company has its ups and downs. There have been good years and not so good ones too. Sometimes you create a product that really resonates with people and other times there are challenges that keep a product from its full potential. There’s nothing more important to us than delighting our customers. And when we can’t do that, it is a major bummer for us. Thankfully, our mistakes give us the experience to get better and that’s what we strive to do every day.
In 1995, how did you define success?
One of my first job tasks was to contact dealers and try to tell them about our product. I had a copy of Music Trades that had a list of the Top 100 US Dealers. So I literally picked up the phone and started cold calling people! It was so hard to tell people about a brand new product from a brand new company that they had never heard of. It was amazing just to get someone on the phone who would give me the time of day. Amazingly a bunch of people that got called by a 25-year-old Rick Naqvi are still in the business and are some of our most trusted dealers and life-long friends.
Tell us a cool NAMM story. Or any other PreSonus story.
One time at a NAMM Show I had to give a DigiMax demo to Steven Seagal. Turns out he’s a musician and had a studio at the time. It might have been one of the strangest demos of my life. He was super serious and never cracked a smile. When I told him you could only do 96k using AES outputs, not ADAT, I thought he might judo chop me or something.
When you think about the last 25 years, how does it make you feel seeing how far PreSonus has come?
It really doesn’t seem like I’ve worked for one company. It seems like I’ve worked for about 5 different companies. I’ve been through three building moves and I’ve seen tons of people come and go. I’ve seen kids of our employees grow up and start families of their own. It’s truly humbling to have been a part of this great journey.
Built to create in the studio or on the go. The PreSonus Studio 192 Mobile USB 3.0 audio interface delivers exceptional sonic fidelity, flexible connectivity, and professional monitoring and mixing controls in a compact desktop design. Whether you’re a producer, an audio engineer, an independent band, a sound designer, or all of the above, your Studio 192 Mobile was built for you to create.
Learn more about it the Studio 192 Mobile by clicking here, or by watching the video below, or both.
At the 2014 NAMM show, PreSonus CSO and Founder Jim Odom recalls some fond memories of time spent in Hall E back in PreSonus’ formative years. Don’t ever forget your humble beginnings. 🙂
IDJNOW was kind enough to swing by our brand spankin’ new trade show booth at NAMM this year, where they monopolized Matt Conrad and filmed him for no fewer than three videos on our new Music Creation Suite, the StudioLive 16.4.2AI, and the also-new AudioBox Stereo.
Music Creation Suite:
Long-haul six-string stalwarts at Guitar World paid us a visit at NAMM, and received demos for both the Metal Pack Add-on for Studio One, as well as the Progression tab editor. Fortunately for us (and thereby, you) they brought video cameras.
Thanks much for the kind attention, gents, and particularly to Scott Van Heldt, without whom the Metal Pack could not have been properly represented. To hear more of his heavy, click here.
Ampire XT Metal Pack for Studio One:
Progression Tab Editor:
Kind press folks the world over swung by our booth at NAMM 2014, cameras in tow on tiring shoulders. Here’s some clips from AudioSavings exploring the StudioLive AI mixers, SL Room Control, and the Sceptre and Eris monitors. More videos from other sources to come!
StudioLive AI Mixers:
SL Room Control app:
Sceptre and Eris monitor speakers:
The FREE update to Studio One 2.6.2 introduces, among other things, support for Add-ons, which will include program extensions, soundsets, plug-ins, and who knows what else. But to kick things off, we’re proud to introduce the following trifecta:
If you’re looking to get your 808 on without shelling out $3,500 on ebay—and don’t forget that a MIDI-sync mod will run you for another couple hundred—this is the right pack for you at less than 1/100th of the price. But drum machines don’t begin and end X0X kick drums, so the exclusive Goldbaby Essentials Soundset for Impact features a whopping 500 samples from beatboxes of yore, arranged into 32 Impact drum kit presets and 124 new musicloops.
This collection is very different than that no-name drum machine sample collection you regrettably BitTorrented a while back. You know the one I’m talking about: rife with clipping, inconsistent filenames, and varied sample rates. You got what you didn’t pay for. Goldbaby Essentials has been meticulously, professionally sampled by a real pro, and processed with warm, saturated, real-analog-tape-saturated goodness. Add to that the money, space, and time you’re saving when compared to buying all those drum machines and sampling them yourself—and you can’t deny that Goldbaby Essentials is even better than the real thing(s).
You can hear a demo of the Goldbaby Essentials sounds via SoundCloud:
Ampire XT Metal Pack:
If your sonic endeavors concern matters more grim and forstbitten, then the Ampire XT Metal Pack is your expressway to the heavy-guitar underworld. The pack features six new bröötal amp models for Ampire, as well as six new cabinet emulations.
Furthermore, we’ve recognized that metal drums (and metal drummers) have rightfully begun to infringe on the guitar’s monopolization of the metal spotlight. As such, we’ve included a brand-new metal drum kit for Impact, rife with clicky kick drums, anvil snares, and, well, metallic cymbals. We decided against including drum samples inspired by St. Anger. Up the Irons!
You can hear a demo of the Metal Pack sounds via SoundCloud:
Studio One Artist MP3 Encoder:
This long-requested feature for Studio One Artist is now available as a convenient and inexpensive Add-on! Add .MP3 import and export functionality to Studio One Artist for a low price. Once you’ve installed this, clear up a little disk space by uninstalling Audacity—you won’t be needing it to get your .MP3s converted to .WAVs for use in Studio One Artist anymore.
If you’re reading this, it’s already relevant to your interests. Why? Because if you’re the sort of person who spends free time poking around on the blog of an audio equipment manufacturer, then you’re someone who loves gear.
And if you love gear, then you should get to go to NAMM, the biggest annual party full of gear and gear-lovin’ on the planet. But sadly, most of you don’t get to. And seriously, what kind of bum deal is that? It’s like showing a happy kid who loves candy the brand-new discount candy emporium that just opened, and then saying “Sorry, remember what the doctor said about your early-onset diabetes? No candy.”
So, as much as we would love to have purchased all of you die-hard members of #TeamPreSonus badges to the show, the fact of the matter is you wouldn’t all fit in the convention center. We’ve done the next best thing. At the time of this writing, Justin and Rick are packing wooden crates full of cameras, switching devices, routers, (wired and wireless) microphones, and positive attitudes, and we are lugging an entire broadcast station to NAMM. Once there, we will broadcast LIVE from the show floor on Jan 23-25.
Tune in at www.presonus.com/videos/presonuslive. The broadcast will be repeated each day for those of you on the dark side of our planet during the live segments, and will include our booth presentations, interviews, The Cave and Ryan Show, and probably a bunch of surprises.
Sure, you could check in periodically at manufacturer Facebook pages to get boring, blurry pictures of new gear, but why settle for that when you can see the glorious sway of Cave’s wavy locks in 720p?
In our continued efforts to play well with others, we will be bringing you coverage of ANY and ALL cool new NAMM stuff that strikes our fancy, and hopefully yours. We know that you are interested in stuff from brands other than PreSonus, (so are we) and nobody likes the guy at the party who only talks about himself, right?
So, mark your calendars for Jan 23-25, while I start charging camera batteries and clearing off memory cards. I won’t see you in Anaheim, but you will certainly see us from Anaheim.