PreSonus Blog

Category Archives: Artist


Tommy Finke Talks Theater, EDM and Studio One!

Tommy Finke, also known as T.D. Finck von Finckenstein, is a singer-songwriter as well as a composer of electronic computer music, theatre music, and modern dance based in Bochum, Germany. He accomplishes all this alongside a Faderport 8, a Studio 1810 and, of course, Studio One 4.5! Take a few minutes and read all about his career and workflow and what his Studio One favorites are.

 

 

Please give us some basic background info on your career and current projects.

I am what you might call a jack of all trades. When I started making music I was writing songs for myself and for different punk-music bands I was a member of at that time – those were the typical middle-class-kids-pretending-to-be-punks punk bands, but we were honest and had a lot of fun. 

My love for pseudonyms originates from that punk-milieu: I am known as Tommy Finke, T.D. Finck von Finckenstein, sometimes just Finck von Finckenstein, but Thomas David Finke is my given name.

Since someone also had to record and mix the trashy demos, I got into recording and serious music-making during that process. Later I studied Electronic Composition / Modern Music at Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany to improve my skills as a composer, since I thought there should be more than INTRO/VERSE/REFRAIN in my musical repertoire and I really liked the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen or John Cage, to name a few. 

I collaborated with German artists on their video installations and composed music for contemporary dance as well as film music and was touring as a singer/songwriter with my own songs, which I still do.

In 2013, I got a call from Theatre Dortmund and they asked me if I wanted to be part of a theatre project with live-sampling and looping on stage. Of course, I wanted it! I programmed a system in Max/MSP for the performance and was live on stage. This lead to more theatre projects and in 2015, I became musical director of Schauspiel Dortmund, the acting department of Theatre Dortmund. In this position, I use all my skills from composing for a piece, recording the music, songwriting, rehearsing with the actors, mastering for the theatre sound system. Every theatre piece has to have a special and unique approach and this keeps my brain and ears busy. I like that a lot. 

And as if that was not enough, I founded the record label Retter des Rock Records in 2008 to release my first singer/songwriter album but soon released other people’s music as well. 

And this year I established Finck von Finckenstein Music and Sound Art Publishing in cooperation with Schacht Musikverlage in Hamburg, Germany because I wanted to keep all royalties of my work in good hands: mine.

Stream Finke’s music on Spotify here:

 

What PreSonus products have you used and which do you currently use?

I remember having used a PreSonus Firepod in 2009 alongside my MOTU 828 MkII at that time but I really don’t know where I have left it. It‘s just gone and I am sad about that. Right now I am using a Faderport 8, a Studio 1810 and, of course, Studio One 4, the software that made me a complete PreSonus fanboy. Furthermore, I am looking forward to buying either a StudioLive console or one of the rack mixers. And if I hadn’t bought a UAD Apollo 8 just before you released the Quantum 4848 I’d also be a proud owner of that great interface.

For what applications are you using Studio One Professional? 

Studio One is my main DAW. I use it for composing, songwriting, mixing, recording, sound design, mastering, basically everything except for live performances. Might do that, too in the future…

What Studio One feature has proven particularly useful and why?

Pipeline is my favorite feature in Studio One right now! I have always been trapped between the two worlds of analog accidents and the ability to recall a project 100% and work later from the same point where I left it. Pipeline helps you with that. Let me tell you what I recently managed to do with Pipeline XT: I built myself a Neve rack mixer out of a Neve 8816 summing mixer and a 8804 fader expansion. Of course, I was able to send every output to the mixer and record the sum into Studio One. But what I really wanted was a way to get the analog and digital world play nicely together, because sometimes you don’t want your kick drum or another signal with a huge impact to mess up your sum compressor or whatever you apply. So I thought to myself “Since Pipeline XT should be able to calculate all the latency I’d get, I should be able to route just SOME of my tracks into the 8816 and feed the sum back into another instance of Pipeline XT…“ And guess what? It works. I can have a beat in my DAW while I send the guitars and synths out into the analog domain and both are combined in perfect sync in the main bus of Studio One.

Naturally, I had to tweak some stuff here and there until it really worked. For example, the sum-return could not be a bus track in StudioOne but a normal track (because busses work differently with latency and the return-bus had no reference for calculating the input latency when just fed with an input via Pipeline XT…) while the sends had to be bus tracks for routing reasons. But that was just some trial and error work until I felt like I finally got the one thing I was searching for for years now. It took me 2 days but I am sure with Pro Tools it would have taken weeks and a lot of hair loss or even erectile dysfunction.

How does Studio One compare to other DAW’s you have used? What’s better, what’s not as good, what does it give you that other DAW’s don’t?

When I started recording and writing music at the age of 16, I had a Yamaha MD-8 minidisc recorder which was paired with a Steinberg Midi Sequencer on an Atari ST computer. Then I had Steinberg Cubase on my PC when I was 20. With 25, I bought a Mac and was introduced to Logic which was like a different world to me. I kept using Logic until 2015. I had to switch to Pro Tools due to production in a studio that needed projects being delivered as Pro Tools projects. At the theatre, I was always using Ableton Live due to its qualities in scene-based and looped music. I even used Bitwig and Digital Performer. So you could say I know every major DAW. When my Faderport 8 came with Studio One and I opened the DAW for the first time my impression was “Wow, this looks and feels like someone took Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools and took the best of each of them.“ Few weeks of running Pro Tools alongside, then abandoning Pro Tools. I would say Studio One is the fastest way for me to get my ideas out of my head and into the world.

Which Studio One feature or concept doesn’t get enough spotlight (or isn’t talked about enough) in your opinion?

I am a big fan of the tempo track. I like it when musical tempos, even EDM, changes over time. (Please, DJs and DJanes, don’t kill me…) So when I am ready with a basic arrangement of my track I tweak the tempo track until it sounds more natural. Sometimes I go the extra mile and take an old track that had no click at all by Led Zeppelin, The Who or Bob Dylan, feed it into Melodyne, have a tempo analysis and – thanks to ARA – import the tempo into my arrangement to get a certain feeling. It works like a charm. Though I must say I like the tempo recognition of Cubase better than Melodyne’s, so sometimes I search for my Cubase Dongle and start it up just to create a tempo map and head back to StudioOne. Maybe StudioOne needs a tempo recognition outside of Melodyne… anyway, tempo track is a great feature, just like macros and the arranger track, btw.

Any features on your wish list for us to add in future updates?

5.1 or even 7.1 mixing would be great for mixing film tracks. Also, it would be great to have a dedicated track for your movie where you could even cut the film a little.

But what I‘d really like is a live-looping option. Not like in Ableton Live, something more like a live-looper. I‘ve recently bought a software called ALK2 by a Berlin-based software company. They have developed something I have never seen before: an arrangement looper. I say: check it out and buy that company‘s idea and integrate it into Studio One. If live-looping was part of Studio One, I‘d use it for live gigs as well.

Any useful tips/tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with Studio One that would be of interest to our user base?

Since I already told you about my experience with Pipeline XT there’s not much more to say from my side. But I would strongly recommend the great Studio One User Forums at PreSonus’ website and on Facebook. A lot of helpful people with many magic tricks up their sleeves! 

Any final comments about PreSonus and Studio One?

Yes: thank you for “Mix the Music“!

 

Check him out on Facebook!

Join the Studio One family today! 

Molly and Denton Making Jams in the Red Stick!

One of the best things about PreSonus is having our roots run deep into the heart of the Louisiana music scene. Louisiana has long known that the things that make life worth living are good food, good drink, and good tunes and we couldn’t be more onboard. Rich character and soul runs deep throughout the whole state. Baton Rouge is primarily known for one of the country’s largest blues festivals, the annual Baton Rouge Blues Festival. But Red Stick locals will tell you, our town is littered with talented singer-songwriters and musicians from Downtown to Tiger Stadium to Mid-City and all in between.
We recently had the opportunity to connect with some local favorites Molly Taylor and Denton Hatcher in their home studio. Check out their performance of their original song “Don’t Leave Me Hanging” recorded right here in Baton Rouge!

They’re also Studio One users and own a Studio 192! We wanted to know about their workflow so we took the opportunity to interview Denton. Read more from him below.
Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?
Making music for over 25 years, I started playing guitar at age 13 on my grandfather’s old harmony acoustic guitar and the rest has been a party!
How has the music industry changed since your early days? 
When I started playing we only had VH1 and MTV, no Internet, and none of the streaming formats like kids have today. That’s totally different!

Follow Denton on Instagram!

Describe the first time you wrote a song? Produced it?
The first song I really remember writing was about Superman and Wonder Woman and their love for each other. My first recordings were very Daniel Johnston-like, using two jam boxes and overdubbing while playing one jam box and recording with the other. Around the age of 18, I got a 4 track tape recorder and that changed my life.
Who has been an influence in your life? 
My influences growing up varied. I loved Motown and Stax artist and also the old country from the sixties and seventies, which are still my main influences. When I started playing guitar in the ’90s, it was Nirvana that made me want to play guitar. I went from soul and country to grunge soaked jams. Nowadays my fellow songwriting friends are my biggest influence.

Have you ever wanted to give up on music? What keeps you going? 

At one point in my journey, I told myself,  “if I don’t make it in the music business by 27, then I should stop.” But that was a ridiculous thought. Music is more than “making it” whatever that means. I couldn’t stop now, it would kill me.

What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye? 
I bought my first PreSonus interface about 12 years ago. One of the first two input interfaces which came with Cubase at the time then I bought an 8 channel firewire interface about 10 years ago from PreSonus and recorded my first project with it and Studio One. I haven’t used another program since. I recently purchased the 192 and love it! I love the zero latency and how fast and easy the 192 works with Studio One. Such an easy program to learn. The layouts that are preprogrammed for whatever interface and type of session work to be done, make everything and no brainer. So simple. Just pick click and record.
Any other thoughts on Studio One or PreSonus gear? Recent projects? What’s next for you?
I have used studio one and the 192 for several of my last projects, which includes local artist like Jodi James, Clay Parker, Molly Taylor, and many others. I’ll be working on my next album soon. I have been writing a good bit the last year and need to get busy making the magic happen with the wonderful tools Presonus has given me.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to celebrate local Baton Rouge musicians in 2020!

Join the Studio One family today!

Football, Podcasts and Studio One

Over here stateside, ‘Tis the season for family, over-eating, traveling, watching football, and more eating. You may not be a huge fan of the holidays, but I love them! The holidays have something for everyone, much like a recent podcast I came across on Twitter called The F.A.N. Show.

The F.A.N. Show is a one-man, award-winning sports variety show based in Spokane, WA—and it’s in a league of its own. There’s something for every fan. The show is hosted by Richard Tieman, who is a musician, producer, sports fanatic, and Studio One user. After five years of recording 440 podcast episodes on the same AudioBox iTwo he purchased in 2015, Richard shows no signs of slowing down. We wanted to know more about how his podcast came to be so successful.

 

 

Tell us about your background. How long have you been in the audio industry? 

I was a drummer for a punk rock band since I was 17, and loved music, performing live, and traveling to different cities. I also love a variety of things like football, the outdoors, pop culture, and even pro wrestling. I had a knack for entertaining people, and I’ve always been comfortable on a microphone. I met my wife seven years ago and we’ve been married for five, and she is my single greatest supporter and biggest fan. I’ve been in audio for about 15 years. 10 years ago I got really passionate about it when I started hosting karaoke at a local bar while I was still touring with my band. Then when we broke up five years later, a friend suggested that I should start my own podcast, so I figured… why not?

 

How has the audio industry changed since your early days? 

It’s changed quite a bit. When I was in the band, podcasts weren’t very popular yet. Not many people even knew what they were. Recording and editing equipment and software were super expensive, so you had to really have a passion for audio/video in order to justify going all-in on the idea. I remember making a business proposal for starting my own karaoke and entertainment company in 2015, and the money I needed for karaoke equipment and songs, just to get started, was about $3,000. Now, everyone and their mom has a podcast or YouTube channel and the cost to buy a “starter kit” for those is around $300. Quite the difference.

 

What’s your favorite podcast right now?

Talk is Jericho

As a wrestling fan, he’s one of my favorites. He’s also the frontman for the band Fozzy, and he doesn’t just interview wrestlers. He has a wide variety of different guests and that’s what I love about his show. The mix. I guess his podcast is what inspired me to branch out to talk about more than just football. Yes, I love football, but I love other things as well. Music, comics, the outdoors. Why limit myself?

 

Tell us about your podcast. 

At first, it was just me and my thoughts about football and my 49ers. It’s the sport I know well, and the one I felt the most comfortable talking about. I also hated all the irrelevant news you started to see and hear on mainstream sports media. It was less about stats and highlights and more rumors and gossip. I wouldn’t say I started my podcast out of spite, but the idea of being different was certainly appealing. What was a weekly podcast called The ButtFumble Show is now a live-streamed variety show that airs three times a week and covers a little bit of everything: The F.A.N. Show. “Everyone’s a FAN of something, and we have something for every fan.”

 

Where did the idea for your podcast come from? 

The rooftop of a bar in downtown Spokane where my 10-year high school reunion was happening. My buddy Cameron and I were talking about his Seahawks and my 49ers. and going back and forth about their last season and stuff that needed to happen in the offseason. He was really impressed with not only my knowledge of my team and the league, but that I could carry a conversation and could back up my opinions with facts. So he asked if I had ever thought of becoming a sports analyst, and I laughed and said, no thanks. That’s when he suggested starting my own podcast.

 

How does your first podcast compare to your most recent? 

Oh boy. My first episode was terrible. 20 minutes of me sitting in a chair in the spare room of our house, just rambling on about the upcoming season and what to watch for. I’d never used any PreSonus equipment before, or any podcasting equipment for that matter, so my mic was turned down really low and I didn’t know how to edit the recording. Like I said, terrible. Now, almost 440 episodes later, I have my own intro theme, I have segments, sound effects, I know how to edit and get the best sound quality I want. My best episode is always my next episode.

There are so many podcasts these days. How do you stand out? 

In all honesty, I can’t say that I do “stand out.” I know that I’ve learned a lot in five years of doing my podcast, and even though all the changes and trying new things, I’ve always stuck to what I believe and not trying to conform to certain styles just to get clicks or downloads. My fans are my fans, and as long as they tune in and listen, I’ll keep doing it. But I do know what makes my show “different,” is that even after five years, I’m still doing it. Not everyone who has thought “Hey, I can do that,” has actually done it for very long. Some guys I know that started podcasts never made it past 10 episodes. I’m about to do my 440th. I pride myself on constantly wanting to learn and get better. Try new things. And I’m persistent. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a podcast? 

Be ready for criticism and be open to feedback. Feedback is one of the hardest things because it’s not all good feedback, but you need people supporting you that will be honest with you and tell you what they liked and more importantly, what they didn’t like. That, and to be consistently persistent. Like I said, I know people that never made it more than 10 episodes. There will be a lot of excuses you can make for yourself, but if it’s really something you’re passionate about, you’ll make it a priority. I’ll tell anyone and everyone what programs or equipment I use, and people think I’m crazy for giving away my “secrets to success.” That’s not the secret. I don’t even have a secret. I just made my show a priority and have built a brand as a result.

 

How did you first hear of PreSonus?

Google. Haha. I talked with my wife about the podcast idea and since the band had broken up and I was going back to school for my AA degree in Business Management, she said I needed a hobby and thought the podcast would be good for me. So we searched “Podcasting kits” and the 2nd or 3rd result was the “PreSonus AudioBox iTwo.” About $220, it came with the AudioBox, mic, mic cord, headphones, and Studio One for editing. Connect it to the USB port on your computer and you’re ready to roll. I loved how simple the set up was, and that it didn’t take up a lot of space. It travels easily too, so it’s easy to take with me when I do podcasts on location. 

 

What PreSonus products do you use?

I still use that same AudioBox iTwo (five years later) and I absolutely love it. I actually want to get another one so I can have one for my studio and one specifically for traveling. Or have one as a backup at the very least. You can never be too prepared when it comes to technology. I’ve since upgraded my mics, but still use Studio One and that same box for my show.

 

Why was PreSonus a good option for you? Was it easy to learn?

It was convenient, easy to use, and not a lot of extras. The less you have to worry about when it comes to recording, editing, and producing, the better. Not everyone has a producer or even an assistant, so if you’re a “one-man show” like I am, PreSonus is amazing. There was definitely a learning curve. A lot of it was self-explanatory, but I have a lot of audio friends that were happy to help me. YouTube is also an amazing learning tool, haha.

 

Do you ever take your podcast on the road? 

All the time. I’ll take it to local events like Comic-Con and interview special guests and cosplayers, or I’ll go to the comedy club and interview the comedians in the green room before their show. I’ve even interviewed bands at our local concert house before their shows. But my favorite time of the year is my annual tour. I take the AudioBox and my set up and go to different events across the country like BattleBots, or arena football games and I’ll host tailgate parties and use it for a live stream, or I’ll interview players and coaches after the game. I’ve gotten pretty good at setting up in hotel rooms and at arenas.

 

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

I just finished my third tour, which was awesome, and I was also hired to do media for different events where I would go and interview players, coaches, staff, cast and crew and publish them as podcasts to help promote the events. The show has a great following and I’ve gotten more and more opportunities like these as a result. I recently accepted the position of Director of Communications for the Sioux Falls Storm. An indoor football team that had heard of me and my podcast and wanted me to be apart of their winning team for 2020. I will be doing that as well as continuing what I do with my podcast. I’m hoping 2020 is my biggest year yet and that moving to a new city will hopefully create new opportunities. The new owners of the Storm were very adamant about me continuing to do my podcast and continuing to grow my brand, so that is what I will look to do next year!

 

Where can we listen to your podcast? 

The F.A.N. Show is available on most major podcasting platforms including:

Follow The FAN Show on Instagram! 

Follow the FAN Show on Facebook! 

Interested in joining the Studio One Family? Click here for the best price all year! 

 

 

New Arcades and Studio One!

Instagram isn’t just for cute, filtered images of yourself and your dog or gear! It’s a great community uniting musicians and artists brave enough to put their best work out there. One of those Instagram accounts is run by our friend and Studio One user, Adam Sullivan—one of the front men for New Arcades, a UK duo inspired by nostalgic memories of 80s cinema and vintage synth sounds. Think of blue skies, urban nightlife, and hazy sunrises and you have the New Arcades

Studio One is Adam’s go-to DAW since 2.0! He also has a FaderPort and StudioLive 24R.

Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?

I’ve been a musician from a very young age, nowadays I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. I obtained a degree in music technology and sound engineering/composition at Lancaster University (UK). We started creating music and mixing tracks in 2008 and haven’t quit. It has become more and more serious in the last few years. This all in conjunction with being one of the main FOH Engineers at my church in London, Holy Trinity Brompton. Now I mix various artists’ tracks and create my own music for New Arcades. Additionally, my side project is known as “Shred Ministries” which has developed quite a decent following from the church/Christian scene as a comical reproduction of modern worship. Check it out on YouTube for a laugh.

How has the music industry changed since your early days? 

Less and less are the labels willing to part with cash in order to promote, the risk is far greater for the artist it seems unless you are manufactured by the giant label themselves. Back in early days with medium independents, there might be a decent(ish) advance in exchange for the master copyright recordings. But it’s tragically at the point now, where for a promise of exposure, and (hopefully) enough money made is usually in exchange for the masters… I think now you have to do so much work, have many friends help push and support you and really drive home the music you create and believe in passionately. I stand by never giving up my masters indefinitely, and I would encourage all artists to be the same even if the promise of a bright future is tempting. Another area: digital music plugins have just stepped up… I now use a kemper when I play live, it’s just fantastic! It sounds incredible and it now would be for me favored over a guitar amp in a room! which I feel is insane! Nothing better than authentically playing the instrument though–somehow that’s always been the same.

Describe the first time you wrote a song? Produced it?

It was a co-write with my fellow band members. I’ve always produced and mixed the tracks but my first one was a pop/Indie/Rock track. I was dead proud! I look back on it now though, it was the early days, I’ve progressed, as has the DAW and the plugins! 😉

Who has been an influence in your life? 

Chris and Tom Alge. Absolutely phenomenal mix engineers. Clarity and Punch. Love them.

Have you ever wanted to give up on music? What keeps you going? 

A few times I have thought about stopping but I absolutely cannot help my need to create and ultimately, I persevere. I think also having a writing partner and bandmate always helps! Especially when you are both in tune, have similar styles and principles in your songwriting.

What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye? 

The first thing that caught my eye was back in 2011: Studio One 2.0. It had this simple “Drag and drop” feature. I just loved how easy it was to slap something on the channel… The layout of the mix window and the integration of Melodyne. That, along with the power and depth of the EQ, Room Reverb, and Compressor that came with the package as standard had me hooked! 

What PreSonus products do you use?

Studio One 4.5, FaderPort, various bundled software. StudioLive 24R rack mixer. I also use it in conjunction with the StudioLive 24 mix desk that I TOTALLY love!) It works great for all my function work, and is such a flexible setup.

When did you first hear about Studio One?

I was actually referred to it by a friend. They said they’d seen a review in Sound on Sound, which is very well respected. I went home, downloaded the free trial and haven’t looked back!

What features are you most impressed with your gear? 

The interface of the Q-Mix and UC Surface app is great. The sound of the preamps in the Series III equipment. Capture 3.0 is fantastic also. Onboard SD card stem recording on the desk itself. I’ve yet to put the StudioLive 24 in with my DAW, but I’ve seen it can be a great surface, along with the remote control iPad app for vocal booth recording.

Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with Studio One?

Love the use of MixTool, for mid-side processing. Have a look at it! Sidechain compression by simply using the compressor and clicking “Side Chain” and sending from the track to the active compressor—incredibly easy.
How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn?

Super easy actually! I had a decent understanding of several other DAWs. But Studio One was quite intuitive. I watched a few tutorials and just trial and error massively reap benefits. Studio One 4 is so powerful and versatile. Go exploring!

Where do you go for support?

YouTube, forums, etc. I have friends who are also well-established producers/mix engineers who I can pick the brains of on the regs. But I’m quite independent and I hate being defeated by things—so I usually resolve things myself! 

Where do you go for inspiration? 

I listen to other artists in the scene or genre I’m in, I watch movies that inspire creativity and put you in a hungry mindset… A bit like watching the movie “Creed” would make you want to train your socks off and chin someone in the ring. 😉 I do similar for my music. There are so many inspiring artists and creators out there, listening to fantastic scores and tracks just make me want to compete to be the best and make something as exciting and epic.

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

I just finished my album for my band New Arcades. I’ve been working on it since 2012! It’s being mastered as we speak, so hopefully won’t be long before it drops. Recently also did a track for well know acoustic/folk artist Roo Panes. He is a fantastic performer and the song we worked on together was called “Thinking Of Japan.” Everything has been recorded and mixed on Studio One. Next, will continue to do loads of live events and functions using all the gear, hopefully, make my own second album and work with more and more artists.

Check out the New Arcades’ music here:

 

Follow them on Instagram! 

Join the Studio One family at the best price all year—NOW! 

Nigel Trego of DMT Productions: Commited to The StudioLive Series III Ecosystem

Nigel of DMT Productions

[This just in from Nigel of DMT Productions!]

Hi everyone, my name is Nigel Trego, I am the Technical Director at DMT Productions, a UK-based events production company. DMT specialises in producing live events for theatres, arenas and large festivals—from sound, lighting and projection to filming, photography and FX. DMT has been operating for ten years and has a team of 20-plus specialists including sound engineers, lighting engineers, dancers, performers, AV techs, drone, and Steadicam operators, photographers, and pyrotechnicians. DMT Productions have chosen the PreSonus Studiolive Series III Ecosystem as our touring mix package.

DMT currently has:

DMT Production engineers have worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Blood, Sweat and Tears, James, Texas, The Alarm, Westlife, Grace Jones, and Snow Patrol—to name a few.

We are at present engaged with several projects based in theatres, arenas and large festivals predominantly in the EU. As I write this, members of our team are working on a project filming with US-based Nitro Circus in Wales, helping to promote their World Games event across the UK.

Our current featured artist is Donna Marie, a multi-award-winning artist in her own right and the National Tribute and Music Award official #1 Lady Gaga Tribute and Impersonator for the last seven years. We are currently working for Donna to produce her UK tour of A Star is Born This Way, a tribute to the Oscar-winning film A Star is Born, in act one followed by a second act of full-on Gaga hits. The show features live and pre-recorded video, a live band, dancers, and pyrotechnics, and will be featured in a number of UK theatres—and even some arenas where Lady Gaga herself has performed!

DMT uses the PreSonus StudioLive Ecosystem exclusively. We use the PreSonus Studiolive 32R as a stage box and the StudioLive 16 at front of house. The logical layering and compact size of the StudioLive 16 make it perfect for all venue FOH sizes (some venues have limited FOH space, especially festivals) and it is easily transportable in the crew bus. We chose the PreSonus StudioLive Ecosystem for many reasons; previous experience with the StudioLive AI series and the legacy StudioLive products not only gave us the confidence in reliability and sound quality but also confidence in the ease-of-use. The layout is logical, and the Fat Channel allows for fast and clear access to parameters that are essential to a live performance. Naturally, we evaluated the competition with products such as Allen and Heath SQ-series and of course the Behringer X32 range. When compared via price vs. features/performance/reliability, PreSonus was a no-brainer. The PreSonus products are competitively priced and offer similar features to the competition… however, our experiences with PreSonus legacy products swung it for us.

The feature sets of the Studiolive Series 3 Ecosystem are in abundance and too many to mention in this blog. However, we have some favorites! AVB is a clear winner. Great performance and flexibility allowing us to route any signal to whatever we want without having to buy expensive (licensed) AV networking expansion cards. We were using Focusrite Saffire Pro 40s as audio I/O for our sequenced stems—one of the only I/O devices that can handle 10 individual outputs (we run some of our stems in stereo). Now we can hook up a USB cable from our show control Mac straight to the StudioLive rack or console mixers and have as many USB audio channels for stems as we need; we can then route USB across the AVB network with practically zero latency. Most consoles have complicated menus for digital patching and for configuring matrices. We find the PreSonus very intuitive and easy-to-use at the console level—but even easier via UC Surface on a tablet.

QMix-UC is also a fantastic feature. Our bands play with a click so that their performance is in sync with pre-recorded video and pre-recorded stems; thus monitor mix set-up is critical. Using an in-house desk can take up to an hour to get the perfect IEM mix for all band members, and even then that might need to change during the performance. The ability for the band to adjust their monitor mixes via the PreSonus QMix-UC app is now something that we cannot live without. Event setup time and sound check duration are dramatically reduced allowing us to focus on other areas of the production. Additionally, we save on the cost of a monitor desk and engineer. The project and scene management is second to none. Project, scenes and even the Fat Channel library can be exported/imported to/from a tablet or PC over USB or Wi-Fi.

Our sound engineers love the PreSonus workflow and use the Fat Channel Collection Vol. 1 plug-in suite extensively. We are, however, excited about future PreSonus integration with Waves using the Waves AVB Soundgrid Bridge announced earlier this year.

The ability for us to record 34 channels of 48K multi-track at live events to SD Card (and Mac/PC) is also a fantastic feature. This allows us to take the recording back to the studio and load it straight into Studio One to mix for video production that we then use for further event promotion. We used this feature extensively during a multi-tribute festival this year where our camera operators filmed the entire three-day event. Our sound engineer took the FOH multi-track recordings back to the studio to mix. We were able to create professional video packages that we then provided to the bands that were performing, which they in turn now use as their promotional material for their socials and web.

The majority of the time, our engineers seldom use the console mixer, tablet at FOH is the way forward for them. Other great PreSonus features include the ability to share scenes between the different mixers, no matter the form factor, this is great to have a backup mix ready to go in case of an HW failure. Virtual sound check is a great tool and the ability to use two mixers in tandem is superb. Let me elaborate on that. We have the 32R set as “standalone” at drum riser position with all stage mics and instruments feeding it and the 32R is, in turn, feeding the IEMs, stage wedges and the main PA. Our show control MacBook is hooked up to the 32R via USB and digitally patched running 10 channels of USB audio. All of the 32R channels (including USB) are sent over AVB to the FOH console and the FOH console mixes (Matrix and Aux) sent back to the 32R over AVB. The flexibility of digital patching in conjunction with AVB is incredibly powerful. This allows us to benefit from the USB channels on the 32R at riser position while retaining full mix control at FOH.

One of our productions was to headline a festival this summer on a clifftop in beautiful West Wales, we had an audience of around 5000 at this particular event. We had decided to take our 32R (running on a Relio UPS) and feed the event PA (via their mixer) from the Left and Right channels of the 32R to allow us to soundcheck quickly. The event who supplied PA had a mixing desk they used for the other bands performing that evening of which we only used the two channels (Left/Right). Just before our performance began the heavens opened! Once the rain had stopped we managed to wipe the stage dry, tip the water out of the keyboard player’s keyboard and start the gig! After a spectacular video-based intro, three bars in on the first song, the power went out, no sound, no lights, no video.

The band continued to play, they were on IEMs from the 32R. Fortunately, the stage wedges were also working, they were on a different power feed to the main PA, so we turned them to face the crowd. It turns out that water had worked it’s way into the mains Distro taking out one of the electrical phases. It took the event organisers 13 minutes to fix the issue only to find their networked stage box had blown, so still no sound! We plugged the PreSonus 32R directly into the event’s amps and away we went! The show must go on. The reason for telling this story is because when we plugged the PreSonus directly into the amps, the difference in the sound quality was incredible, so much so that a number of people came over to FOH to comment on how good the sound was and to ask why it wasn’t as good for the other bands that were on during the event (not using our PreSonus). The event organisers were over the moon that the event continued during the power outage and commended DMT for keeping the audience entertained and stopping them from leaving the event.

One of the most attractive things that PreSonus has to offer is that the end-user has a voice. Development of their hardware and software is continuous, user feature requests are taken seriously and the majority of them appear in the next software builds. The support infrastructure is excellent. We have called PreSonus UK on many occasions, the staff are very knowledgeable, friendly, and take a vested interest in helping to resolve even the most complex of problems, efficiently and with haste. On top of that, they are really nice guys that obviously love what they do. Interaction on social media by the PreSonus team is also a major plus point. To be able to reach out to people like Rick Naqvi, Jonny Doyle and Seth Martin on the StudioLive FaceBook Group is a great value-added commodity that is seldom seen with other companies.

For us at DMT Productions, PreSonus is a brand that we trust and we love using the products.

To find out more about DMT Productions, please feel free to visit our websites:-

A Riff on Heritage: Alien Weaponry Keeps Ancient Family Traditions Alive!

Let’s take a minute and acknowledge some of our favorite TV dads:

Now let’s introduce you to one of the coolest dads out there, Neil de Jong. He is the audio engineer and dad to two of the three-member tribal thrash-metal band Alien Weaponry. Like a good dad, he taught them the value of hard work. The band worked multiple jobs after school and on weekends, played tons of shows and funded all their own gear, full of instruments and recording equipment! Neil also served as the group’s manager until its recent signing to German music agency Das Maschine. He always went out of his way to teach his sons about Māori history and culture which is a massive influence on their music.

Alien Weaponry is a heavy metal band from Waipu, New Zealand, formed in 2010 by brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong. The band consists of Lewis de Jong (guitar and vocals), Henry de Jong (drums), and Ethan Trembath (bass guitar). Revolver Magazine called them “one of the best young metal bands in the world right now!”Alien Weaponry not only draws on the traditional Māori haka war-dance for their music, but often sing in the Māori language of Te Reo—and by doing so, are keeping the language alive. Pretty metal, right!?

They are currently killing it on tour, and we had the opportunity to hear all about it—and their rig, which includes a StudioLive RM32AI and a StudioLive CS18 AI. Neil took the time to answer a Q&A, below.

 

Hey Neil,  give me some basic background info on your career and current projects.

I am 53 years old and have spent much of my life doing sound in one way or another. I spent my early years (like many) playing guitar in bands. When I was in my early 20s I landed a job working in a recording studio and trained there as a mastering engineer. I worked for many years on music and film projects as a post-production sound engineer and when Alien Weaponry started to make a name for themselves internationally I took on the role of live sound operator. I won Record Producer of the Year in last year’s New Zealand Music Awards for my work on Alien Weaponry’s album, , which also won Best Rock Album and made dozens of Top Albums of 2018 lists worldwide.

What PreSonus product(s) have you used in the past and which do you currently use?

I work for Alien Weaponry, who are a young thrash metal band from New Zealand that I have had a long association with—I’m their dad! I started off with an StudioLive RM16AI and an iPad. This was initially to help the band out with a rehearsal space set up, but we found it made a great compact FOH rig too. I then acquired a 23-inch HP touchscreen to use which greatly enhanced the system. About two years ago, I acquired a CS18AI and an additional RM16 which I used for touring in Australasia with Alien Weaponry. I now own three RM32AI rigs, each with a CS18AI and AVB. I use these as my main touring rigs in the three main locations we tour in the world (North America, Europe, and Australasia) I still have the RM16s and recently bought a 24R for the rehearsal studio as the band wanted to record stuff straight to SD card. I have done some fly dates just with the 24R and a touch screen laptop.

For what applications are you using the product(s)?

I have been mixing on my RM32AI/CS18AI rigs at some of the world’s largest heavy metal festivals in Europe, America, and Australasia. (Download UK, HellFest France, Wacken Germany, Metaldays Slovenia, Chicago Open Air amongst others) The band also toured with Anthrax and Slayer last season in Europe and we played everything from 1,200 cap clubs to 20,000 cap arenas. I am almost always running the smallest mixing console at FOH, and it does raise eyebrows. Most guys are on the larger Midas, Digico or Avid consoles. After we play, many want to know what I am mixing on and are surprised by the sound.

What led you to choose these particular PreSonus product(s)? Was it the company’s reputation, audio quality, specific features, price, other factors?

At the time I was looking for a mixed setup I had investigated the lower-end offerings by Midas and the Behringer X32. I decided to go with the PreSonus RM partly based on the architecture and a recommendation from the guys in New Zealand who run The Rock Shop (from whom I purchased my first RM16AI) Price was definitely a consideration and as it was for a rehearsal space a small footprint was a huge factor too.

Having used the gear, what do you like most about the specific PreSonus product(s) you use so far?

I really like the architecture of the AI-Series stuff. I like that the CS18AI is only a control wing as well as the flexibility I have with iPads and touchscreen laptops. Our monitor mix guy mixes directly to the system with his iPad from the side of the stage during shows. He and the band are on in-ear monitors. I also really like the sound of the PreSonus preamps too and think they sound better than many more expensive options I have encountered at big shows. Certainly better than the Avid/Digidesign console in my opinion.

In each of the PreSonus product(s) you use, what features have proven particularly useful for your specific workflow and why?

I think the “stage box” layout of the RM32AI is perfect for big festival shows with all XLR inputs and outputs on the front of the box. We have our ears wired in on the DB24 connectors on the back, and they conveniently live in the same SKB rack. We have been up and running in as little as 10 minutes with mics all line-checked and ready to go. I also like were the Tap Tempo and FX Mute button are on the CS18IA—right under my thumb.

Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with PreSonus gear?

I like that I can run music for testing the rig from FOH and that our stage mix guy runs the house music from the RMs position on stage. He is able to do a “silent” soundcheck/line check using his in-ears and iPad. This is how we do all festival setups and did many of the shows with Anthrax and Slayer when there was just no time for a full soundcheck. The system has never let us down.

Any final comments about PreSonus, our products in general, and the PreSonus product(s) you use in particular?

I also like that my PreSonus rig is so portable and flexible. The first time we toured Europe, we did it in a splitter van, so space was a big issue and the smaller footprint of the FOH gear was very welcome. I also like the dark grey/ black color scheme of the StudioLive RM AI/CS18AI units.  I’m glad to see the newer Series III units are using less blue… but then I work for a metal band, so black is king. It’s one of the reasons we use Audix mics, hahaha!

Follow Alien Weaponry on Instagram! 

Subscribe to their YouTube Channel! 

Singer, Beat-Maker, Producer EMMAVIE Talks Studio One!

Emmavie can be summed up in one word… COOL!

She’s also talented, brave, stylish, expressive, funny, creative, gifted, innovative, hip, original…  OK, we’ll stop now. She’s a singer, songwriter, producer, and DJ from London. Specializing in what she describes as “limitless, soulful, future R&B,” her music is an amalgamation of 90s RnB influences and her love for digital audio experimentation. Emmavie has credits with a number of artists both in the UK and internationally, including collaborations with IAMNOBODI, Budgie, ROMderful, Jarreau Vandal, Dornik, Alfa Mist, Barney Artist and Jay Prince.

We connected with her on Instagram after we noticed her love for Studio One, and she quickly became an office favorite. Read more about Emmavie, her music and career and love for Studio One here.

Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?

I’ve been making beats since I was 11 years old, but I started playing around with sounds a little younger. I remember, I started teaching myself how to play basic melodies and chords on a Casio keyboard my dad bought me from Argos in primary school. I used this to play with the built-in drum sounds too, and when I moved to secondary school, I needed a way of recording this. I started teaching myself how to make beats after school. There were no YouTube tutorials back then, so it was a calamitous process. I think that would explain why my sound is so experimental now.

How has the music industry changed since your early days?

When I first decided I was confident enough to share my music, MySpace was the number one social media platform for independent artists to be seen… and even then, the only way to professionally release and sell your music was to be distributed through a record label. These days, you can top the charts with a song you’ve made in your bedroom/home studio! The days of needing a label to gain traction are dwindling. In fact, the perception of releasing independently without industry backing but gaining a lot of traction and virality is possibly an even more attractive narrative, nowadays. When I started making music, being signed and moving to a million-dollar studio was at the top of my list of goals. Now, I can make music anywhere. I make beats on the plane and outside in the park. My new focus is the groundwork: studying, practicing, becoming the best at what you do and building your own core following. Without these, a label will rarely sniff in your direction.

Describe the first time you wrote a song? Produced it?

 I wrote my first song at eight years old with my younger brother using a karaoke machine. I can’t remember how that went but we used to practice and perform it for our parents, haha! I was a quiet kid, and I discovered writing lyrics was a good guise to get my thoughts out. My dad played so much old-skool R&B and Neo soul where everyone sang about being in love, and I guess a part of me wanted to feel like that too so I started writing about love but at 11, what did I know about it? The earliest song I can remember producing was called “Are you okay?” and it was a song asking my imaginary love interest to tell me what’s up when things aren’t smooth between us. Clearly, I was listening to music beyond my years. It was an intense eight-bar R&B loop with The Neptunes-style drums and ridiculously loud synths. I recorded the vocals on a £10 Logitech microphone from Argos!

Who has been an influence in your life? 

The most influence I’ve had in my life has been from my friendships and adverse life experiences. I’ve had the same best friends for 18 years and it shocks me how much we’ve grown with each other. We both spend so much time working out all the issues of the world and working through all of thoughts together, we’re each other’s therapists. After all this intense self-analysis and critical thought, you end up in a place of understanding. And when you know something you can confidently talk, write and convert it into art; and that’s what’s kept me writing hundreds of songs over the years.

Musically, it’s been artists like Missy Elliott, Pharrell, Timbaland, Jon B, and Musiq Soulchild. I became obsessed with electronic music listening to Dorian Concept, Hudson Mohawk and Monte Booker on Soundcloud and because I couldn’t play an instrument, I learned how to manipulate samples like they do in order to get the desired effect.

Have you ever wanted to give up on music? What keeps you going? 

I’ve wanted to give up on music many times! At times, it’s difficult to stay motivated when you’re working away, making and sharing music and your bills are piling up. It’s difficult not to compare yourself to others because you need examples of success in order to set goals for yourself, but the comparison is the thief of joy. In my career, I’ve had a lot of people make me huge promises and then let me down but later on, I learned that the direction and trajectory of my life and career is no one else’s responsibility but mine. Confidence and self-belief is what keeps me going. When you have confidence, it allows you to act and send out messages of intent to others which causes them to believe and invest in you. The confidence comes from practicing and knowing that now I can make a song without difficulty.

What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye? 

It just works for my brain. I need to be able to work fast when inspiration hits. I have used every DAW, and so many things about the layout of other programs just didn’t lend itself well to my brain. All of the functions are so easily accessible and placed where it just makes sense. It feels like I can do everything I need to ever do by just right clicking.

When did you first hear about Studio One?

Approximately three years ago, I was introduced to Studio one by a studio engineer who was mixing and mastering a single of mine. I watched him using it and he was adamant I should try it and then a few months after that, whilst I was running a music production demonstration, two producers approached me at the end and told me that they thought I would love it. This piqued my interest.

Any tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with Studio One?

One of my tricks is I automate the tempo to do a slight increase or decrease when my beat is about to do a flip. It’s so subtle and might only change by as little as 3bpm but it makes such a difference to the feel. I might make the climb/descent happen in a space of three seconds, so it’s quick… but it’s felt.

An obvious piece of advice but somebody needs to hear this because so many of us experience the devastation of losing all of our music at least once in our careers. DOUBLE BACK UP ALL OF YOUR PROJECT FILES! Make sure not just your .MP3s and .WAVs exist in three places but your entire project file. On your computer, on an external hard drive and online e.g DropBox, Google Drive.

How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn? 

In my experience, Studio One is the easiest DAW to learn. It’s been the easiest to teach on, too.

Where do you go for support?

YouTube tutorials, mostly. And luckily, I have access to producers who’s work I admire that also use Studio One so I go to them for tips.

Where do you go for inspiration? 

I go outside. Eventually, the intense pull to create will draw me back inside. I listen to and study old music – Cuban Jazz and 90s R&B are my go-tos right now.

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

I just recently released my debut album, Honeymoon. 13 songs all written, produced and recorded by me in my home studio. It’s had national and international radio play, including being played on the countries top radio station, BBC Radio 1. Next, I will be working with Native Instruments and Nike to present “School of Bop,” a workshop for young artists to learn more about music production and writing and during these demonstrations, I always use Studio One.

 

FOLLOW, LISTEN!

Join the Studio One family at a very special promo price today! 

 

PULL N WAY and the 24 hour Studio One Challenge!

Take a second and consider all the things you accomplish in 24 hours…

We’ll wait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now. Think about re-writing, producing, mixing, and mastering a song in that amount of time and putting it out for the public. Sound reasonable? Oh, and be sure to book a photographer to shoot the cover art for the single.

Did we just give you an anxiety attack? Sorry.

That’s the exact challenge that was presented to PULL N WAY, a female pop duo from Central Switzerland. Fortunately, Studio One was there to help tackle the assignment.

LATTESSO is a “cold coffee to go” brand in Switzerland. They connected with PULL N WAY for the launch of their latest vegan products. LATTESSO based the 24-hour challenge on the idea to have PULL N WAY re-write one of their existing songs—which would include tracking new vocals and creating new cover art, including photography. Watch the whole challenge here:

 

We had the opportunity to chat with PULL N WAY and their producer, Andy Prinz about the challenge.

During the challenge, did you want to give up? What kept you going? 

Well to be honest, the hours between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. were the hardest. We just came back to the studio after our photoshoot in Zurich. We almost fell asleep but our passion kept us motivated to continue the challenge! We managed it to finish the song and we sang tons of other songs to stay awake.

What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye? 

All the gear is fantastic and affordable. We use Studio One to track all our vocal recordings, edit/comp the vocal tracks, and create basic ideas in pre-production. For monitoring, we have two Sceptre S8s and a Tremblor, and for the recording a Studio 192 USB interface with two priceless headphone outputs and latency-free monitoring. Studio One is a fantastic piece of software, for both composing and producing—and it’s super fast with all the drag & drop functionality. Plus, we love the graphical interface!

When did you first hear about Studio One?

Andy, one of our producers, is a long-time Studio One user… I think from version 1.6 on! So all our first recordings from four years ago had been done in Studio One, and with further PreSonus gear already, so it’s basically the DAW we’re introduced to from the very beginning.

What features are you most impressed with your gear? 

The drag & drop functionality, vocal comping, Melodyne & VocALign integration via ARA, new gain functions and the GUI. We totally fell in love with the ATOM controller, which we’re starting to use as a live tool to trigger samples or vocal/drum loops from our existing songs.

How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn during the 24-hour challenge?

It was super easy to record and edit all vocals in this short time, and we made it all on our own. For the final product, we had help from Andy.

Where did you go for support?

We had a basic introduction by our producer, and just learned by doing in Studio One Artist—and we used some YouTube tutorials as well.

Where did you go for inspiration? 

We worked with a really cool film crew, they are as old as we are so we had a great time together which made it easy to think about the new lyrics which represent those happy and positive vibes. So we didn‘t really need to go to a certain place to get inspired.

Any other thoughts on Studio One or PreSonus gear?

The gear is affordable and offers a huge variety of functions for semi pro’s and professionals alike! We also like that we don’t have to carry a dongle for Studio One! PreSonus is part of our musical journey for a long time and we’ll continue using it for all current and future recordings. At the moment we’re writing and producing new songs for various collaborations and new Pull N Way songs.. so stay tuned. Equipment: We just found out on Instagram that PreSonus has released some microphones! We’ll definitely try these out!

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

We have released our debut album “Colours” this year but–after several live gigs during Summer–we’ve already started working on new material for our upcoming releases, ranging from Pop to Electronic. We’ll also try to make at least 1-2 cloud trap songs… therefore we’re actually looking for a suitable French rapper. Besides that, we have loads of featuring requests, mainly from the EDM scene/DJs and we’re currently evaluating what’s best for us and what’s the best fit!

 

Follow PULL N WAY on Instagram here! 

Heartcast Media in Washington, DC and the StudioLive 16

Heartcast Media is a dedicated full-service studio in Washington, D.C. that works with clients to create high quality, authentic podcast content that inspires, educates and connects. Molly Ruland and her team specialize in working with entrepreneurs, visionaries, and businesses of all sizes who have an impactful point-of-view.

Woman-owned Heartcast Media is the vision of Molly Ruland who is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations bring their authentic, original content to life through podcasts. A sister-company to One Love Massive, Heartcast Media clients range from go-go bands to conservative political commentators.

They’re also PreSonus users—and have recorded 85 bands and 150 podcasts in the past 11 months alone!

We think Molly’s business idea is genius, and of course we’re glad that they’ve chosen the StudioLive 16 for their time-sensitive workflow. From the Heartcast website:

We have fully embraced technology and have figured out how to eliminate post production with real time video editing and audio mastering. We deliver all files within 48 hours of recording, typically within 3-4.

We’re proud to be a part of their process, so we wanted to hear more about how this whole operation works. Read all about Molly and Heartcast Media….

Tell us about your background. How long have you been in the audio industry? 

I have owned and operated a multimedia company for the last 20 years. I was primarily focused on artist bookings and events. Creating an aesthetic has always been my passion. 

How has the audio industry changed since your early days?

Everything is so streamlined now, and the gatekeepers have been removed. I love the idea of accessibility and practicality. Information is readily available which has opened doors for people who weren’t always welcome at the table, and I think that’s great. 

How did Heartcast Media come about? 

After recording 85 bands and 150 podcasts in 11 months, I realized that my passion and vision align perfectly through podcast production. I love amplifying voices, I always have. I saw a need in the market for high-quality turnkey podcast production, so I created the business to solve that problem. We do things differently—we embrace technology, and by doing so we are able to eliminate the need for a lot of post-production. This saves people time and money and our clients love that. 

What’s your favorite podcast right now? Are you allowed to have a favorite? 

Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory. No question, hands down. Game changer for me. 

Tell us about your podcast. Where did the idea for your podcast come from? How does your first podcast compare to your most recent? 

I have just launched The Lower Third Podcast because I know so many amazing people whom I garner so much inspiration from, and I wanted to interview and talk to them about mindset and passion. It’s a work in progress. I am looking forward to producing more episodes. However, my passion is producing other people’s podcast and helping them be successful. 

There are so many podcasts these days. How do you stand out? 

Having a plan for your podcast is imperative. Every podcaster should examine how and if their podcast is providing value. If there isn’t a clear answer, you don’t have a podcast yet. 

What challenges do you face recording a podcast?  

I am positive that most people don’t understand how much work goes into creating and producing a podcast. It’s a lot of work. It’s not cheap either, and anyone who tells you can start a podcast for $100 is delusional. If you are going to start a podcast you have to have a lot of resilience and a strong sense of self, because it will be a heavy rock to push uphill until you get momentum. It will not happen overnight. 

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a podcast? 

Have a plan, understand the workload, and always be open to being wrong. 

How did you first hear of PreSonus?

I learned about PreSonus through Adam Levin at Chuck Levin’s Music Center in Wheaton, Maryland. It’s legendary. 

What PreSonus products do you use?

I have the StudioLive 16 in my studio, and we love it. It’s a little more than we need for podcasts, but we also produce live music events so it’s great to have a board that can do both. It’s a solid piece of equipment with really great features that fit our needs. It’s a beautiful board, what’s not to love?

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

My goal is to produce the best podcasts coming out of the East Coast by elevating and amplifying voices in my community that will make the world a better place, one conversation at a time. Every city should have a Heartcast Media. 

Stay connected with Heartcast Media on Instagram! 

Learn more about the StudioLive family here! 

Rich Mahan Discusses Podcasting and the Quantum

We recently had the opportunity to hear from Rich Mahan who is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, podcaster, and a PreSonus user! If you’re not familiar with Rhino, we’re excited to introduce you to it. It is important and very well-respected reissue label, the label home of Warner Music’s legendary catalog. Currently living in Nashville, Rich where he records his podcast titled the Rhino Podcast. This biweekly podcast dives into classic artist and albums, interviews with musicians and lots of behind the scenes stories about some of the most legendary music. Their latest episode discusses Prince and it’s very entertaining!  Read all about his thoughts on the growing a creating a podcast, the industry, gear and the Quantum 2!

 

Tell us about your background. How long have you been in the audio industry? 

I started recording in the mid 90’s on a Vestax 4 track cassette recorder, moved up to a Tascam 388 reel to reel, and then to computer-based recording around 2003, starting originally using Vegas.  I’ve been working in Pro Tools now for about 15 years.

How has the Audio industry changed since your early days?

The gear keeps getting better and better.  The quality you can capture in a home studio or out in the field is unreal, and digital editing has changed everything.  You can repair audio problems now that you simply couldn’t before, problems that would necessitate re-recording a part.

What’s your favorite podcast right now?

I love Cocaine & Rhinestones, by Tyler Mahan Coe (No relation).  It’s about 20th-century country music, it’s really well researched and produced, and I’ve learned a ton listening to it.

Tell us about your podcast. Where did the idea for your podcast come from? How does your first podcast compare to your most recent? 

The idea for the Rhino Podcast came from both Rhino and me and my co-host Dennis Scheyer.  We pitched the idea to them and they said, “We’ve been wanting to do a podcast…” so it came together pretty easily.  The format since the 1st episode has changed here and there, but basically, it’s still the same.  Every once in awhile Rhino will want to add or take something out, so it is a living, breathing thing that progresses as it goes.

There are so many podcasts these days. How do you stand out? 

There are a number of reasons why the Rhino Podcast stands out. First and foremost, we are fortunate to be working with the greatest musicians and artists of our time.  Rhino Entertainment is the catalog arm of Warner Music Group, so we cover any classic recordings from Atlantic, Warner Brothers, Reprise, Elektra, Sire… there’s a wealth of musical riches to explore, and it’s been thrilling to interview the artists who have created the soundtracks of our lives. On the production side of things, we hold ourselves to a high standard of audio quality; we fight hard to avoid using telephone audio for production purposes.  If we can’t interview an artist in person, then we get them into a studio or send a recordist to them to capture high-quality audio for production, and just use the phone to talk with each other, everyone wearing a microphone headset or phone earbuds so there’s no monitor bleed into the mics. I spend a lot of time removing background noise and cleaning things up, removing lip smacks, getting fades perfect, and generally being a perfectionist. I don’t let anything go. If I hear an issue, I fix it.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a podcast? 

Really learn how to record and edit well to make a professional sounding product.  Record and edit as often as you can, and practice, practice, practice. Record your friends’ bands or your own music, interview your parents or grandparents and clean up the audio by removing ums, uhs, stutters and stammers, click and pops.  Learn how the room you’re recording in affects the sound of your recording. Experiment with different microphones, and buy the best gear for the job that you can afford. Garbage in, garbage out. There’s a saying that you need to get 10,000 hours of experience to really start cooking, and there’s something to that.

How did you first hear of PreSonus?

I first heard of PreSonus when I was building my first ProTools rig.  I wanted better preamps than my Digi002 offered, and I scored a PreSonus Eureka channel strip on the recommendation of a friend.  It was great to get a good clean preamp, compression, and EQ all in a one-rack space unit. I liked the sound of it so much that I then bought two PreSonus MP20’s for tracking drums.  That improved my recordings at that time dramatically.

What PreSonus products do you use?

Currently, I’m using a Quantum 2.

Why did you decide to go with Quantum? 

There are a few reasons I went with the Quantum. Firstly because it has 4 mic inputs, along with a ton of other I/O options, which I need when interviewing multiple subjects simultaneously.  Another huge feature is that the Quantum has 2 Thunderbolt ports which allow me to plug in my bus-powered thunderbolt drive into the Quantum, and then the Quantum into my Macbook Pro. Thirdly, I love the smaller footprint, its’ not as wide as a piece of rack gear, so it fits easily into my messenger bag making it really easy to carry onto an airplane.  And last but certainly not least, it is dead quiet, and there’s plenty of gain in the preamps to drive a Shure SM7B, which is my VO microphone of choice. The Quantum sounds awesome.

What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye? 

The folks at PreSonus really are the best to work with.  If you have an issue or need to figure something out, you can get help and get back up and running quickly.  But another great thing is their gear is intuitive and easy to use. It’s easy to get great tones with their gear.

Recent projects? What’s next for you?

I just released a new album entitled, “Hot Chicken Wisdom.”  I was able to put the Quantum to use while tracking parts, especially when I was traveling and wanted to have friends lay down parts away from my studio.  I think if you listen to the record you’ll hear that we got some great tones, besides it’s the perfect summer soundtrack!  

Next up for me is some touring to support Hot Chicken Wisdom, and I have a second Podcast in pre-production that I can’t announce quite yet, but I’m really excited about it.   Anyone who wants to keep up with me can check me out at richmahan.com.

 

Follow Rich on Facebook Here!