PreSonus Blog

Category Archives: Band Member


Jakubu Griffin: using the StudioLive 24R as a USB Audio Interface

[Jakubu Griffin is truly one of Las Vegas and NYC’s most versatile drummers. Son of trombonist Dick Griffin (who played with the legendary Rahsaan Roland Kirk), he has been surrounded by music from an early age. Growing up with many musical instruments and influences around him, he was always drawn to percussion and can remember playing the drums as early as age 3 or 4. He started studying classical piano at age 5, and later added the trumpet. 

Jakubu has performed and led groups all over the world. While living in Las Vegas in the early 2000s, He was featured in David Cassidy and Sheena Easton’s “At The Copa” at the Rio Resort. After that, he was musical contractor and drummer on a show featuring Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, and Melissa Manchester called Signed, Sealed, Delivered: a Celebration of Stevie Wonder’s Music at the Venetian Resort.

Griffin has also been a musical director for Kings Productions, as well as Norwegian and Premier cruise lines. Back in the NYC area where he grew up, he has performed and recorded with award winning jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, Ryko/Warner recording artist Matt White, and Broadway stars Tracie Thoms (Rent, Case) and Shoshana Bean (Wicked). Jakubu is currently playing with the legendary Las Vegas singer Clint Holmes. He was also the house drummer for Cirque Du Soleil’s production of Zarkana which premiered at NYC’s world famous Radio City Music Hall in June of 2011, moving on to Madrid, as well as having a historic run at the Kremlin Theater in Moscow in 2012. Jakubu’s powerful, yet very musical drumming reputation has been highly appreciated by many musicians and music lovers both here and abroad.

When not on the road, he’s kept busy at home recording and teaching. But, with the recent stay-at-home measures implemented due to COVID-19, working in his own studio has become his primary focus.

Jakubu has graciously given us a virtual “walk-through” of his home studio environment, where the StudioLive 24R is the centerpiece and his dedicated audio interface to his DAW of choice, Studio One. Let’s check out his setup and how he’s been using our products in action at home.]

Jakubu: My first audio interface was the PreSonus Studio 192 along with the DigiMax DP88. As a drummer, I need to have at least 8 channels dedicated to drums in my space at all times for my own use. With the Studio 192 and DP88 giving me 16 total channels and great preamps, I was able to stack them in a rack and run my 8 drum channels into the DP88 using the Studio 192 rear channels for my keyboards, bass, extra drum channels etc. and even leaving the 2 front channels open for a vocalist or instrument to plug right in. As my studio evolved, I graduated to the StudioLive 24R rack mixer, as well as the NSB 8.8 AVB Networked Stage Box to expand channel inputs in my other rooms. Since I don’t have the space for a console mixer on my workstation, the StudioLive 24R is the perfect solution for me with UC Control as my console. I use the HP60 for 6 stereo headphone mixes. With a router plus the network control via Wi-Fi of the StudioLive 24R, my clients have the option of using the QMix-UC app to control their own headphone mixes. The PreSonus Monitor Station allows me flexibility to switch between my different sets of of studio monitors and speakers, and also gives me 4 more headphone outputs if needed. I’ve used other DAWs, but I’m completely sold on Studio One Professional because it’s just more user/musician friendly. I understood more about using Studio One in 24 hours than I’ve learned on other DAWs after countless months of usage. I’m a musician first, not an engineer.

Jakubudrum Studios is my home as well as my recording space. I have three isolated rooms on one floor. I have eight CCTV cameras installed, and video monitors in every room for visual communication. My main “studio” room is my acoustically-treated drum and keyboard room, as well as my control booth. My living room is my large room and features my Baldwin L grand piano. My smaller acoustically-treated room is great for acoustic bass as well as other instruments, and it also serves as a vocal booth and isolated amp miking room. I’ve done several live recording sessions in the studio with different configurations ranging from solo piano to live strings… and various band sizes, genres, horn combinations, etc. I do a lot of drum and percussion tracking for projects myself, but I’ve also engineered tons of keyboard track layering sessions, instrument tracking sessions, vocal tracking, and my space is perfect for tracking bass and drums together. I record voice-overs as well, and I’m currently producing an audiobook session.

Now that I have the StudioLive 24R, I have the luxury of using 14 dedicated drum channels just for myself. I usually use two different sets of overhead mics simultaneously, another stereo room mic, and a subkick along with my normal kick, snare, hi hat, and tom mic combinations.

I also use seven channels for my keyboards, and a channel for my bass amp to run direct with a pre amp. I use the NSB 8.8 Stage Box in the other rooms to mic the piano, horns, strings, vocals, etc. I use the 12 outputs from the 24R mixer to sum 2 outputs to each of the 6 stereo inputs of the HP60 headphone amp and made them stereo mixes from UC Control. Again, I have a router connected to the 24R mixer and a network setup so people have the option of using QMix-UC to control their own headphone mixes. I have two sets of studio monitors, but I also have small PA for the keyboards, rehearsals, gigs etc. The monitor station is actually one of my favorite pieces of PreSonus gear to be honest. I love the versatility I have with 2 sets of monitors, but I even use the PA as a 3rd reference sometimes. The Monitor Stations onboard talkback routed through the HP60 is perfect for my setup, plus I’m the type of guy that just needs a big volume knob in my life since I don’t have a console.

So, funny story: I actually learned about PreSonus through another drummer, Dre Boyd, who is also an Artist with them. We both met and quickly became good friends working for the Cirque Du Soleil company. I finally had the space and needed an interface to start getting into recording and he highly recommended the Studio 192 and DP88. I’m an impulse buyer, but he told me to wait so he could “hook me up” with his representative at PreSonus. Well I’m impatient and went ahead with the purchase of the interfaces anyway. I was ecstatic, but then a couple weeks later Dre let me know that the PreSonus Artist Relations Manager was none other than my college buddy, Perry Tee… so I should have waited!!! Not only do I love the products, PreSonus reconnected me with an old friend, who happens to be on guitar in this video below that we produced remotely with 4 other buddies using Studio One Professional:

I love the power and versatility that I have with the StudioLive 24R mixer, especially for low-end instruments. Now I have the ability to mic an acoustic bass and get a warm, powerful tone without any need for a DI or outboard preamp. Its considerably better for my drum miking as well. I get better headphone mixes, and I have plenty of room and power to hear my kick drum perfectly which can be a problem in regular interfaces without external pre amps. The ability to control mixes across Wi-Fi is a true bonus allowing my clients the flexibility to control their own mixes with QMix-UC. The HP60 is a great solution for my headphone needs with 6 channels, and stereo mixes plus the Monitor Station is one of my favorite additions to the studio, and has made my work flow much smoother and faster. The onboard talkback is perfect for my space. Studio One is absolutely the best DAW available, in my opinion. I know has everything I could possibly need for my studio. Everything in my setup works seamlessly. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the sounds, and results I get with my gear.

Every piece of gear is perfectly matched and catered to the needs of my workflow and studio ecosystem… thank you, PreSonus!

For professional inquiries, contact: jakubudrum@gmail.com

[Incidentally, from now until Aug 31, 2020, anybody who buys a qualifying StudioLive Rack Mixer will get a PX-1 microphone for free!]

Craig Anderton’s Big Book Round-Up

If you’ve spent a couple of spare evenings at home poking around the web for tips on music and audio production, it’s really very likely that you’ve run into some posts, articles, or comments from Craig Anderton. In fact, you may have had to update your search criteria to sort by “most recent,” because it’s fairly common for Google to show you some Craig Anderton posts from the dawn of the internet age, which—while cool—may not be particularly full of insight on Studio One version 4.

Fact is Craig is our industry’s most acclaimed writers, and he’s spoken about Studio One in-person at more events than I can count, and is of course responsible for the Friday Tips section of this very blog. In short, Craig’s contributions to the success and proliferation of Studio One can’t really be counted.

But his Studio One books? Those can be counted. There are five.

We wanted to take a minute to thank Craig for all of his hard work, broadly-reaching creative output, and continued support of PreSonus and Studio One. Let’s take a closer look at what he’s got over at shop.presonus.com. Chances are one or more of these will prove valuable to you and your process. Note that these are eBooks, not hardcover books, and will be downloaded as PDFs.


How to Record and Mix Great Guitar Sounds in Studio One

Essential reading for anyone who records guitars in Studio One, this definitive book covers invaluable production and engineering techniques.

  • 274-page, beautifully-illustrated eBook is the fifth book in this acclaimed series of how to get the absolute most out of Studio One
  • Covers all aspects of recording and mixing guitar, from how to choose the right strings for a particular tone, to advanced techniques that bring out the best in amp modeling plug-ins
  • Applicable to all genres, from acoustic folk to heavy metal
  • Links from contents page to topics—find specific subjects quickly
  • Find out how to use DSP, effects, real-time control, and much more

The Big Book of Studio One Tips and Tricks

Consolidates, updates, expands on, and categorizes 130 tips from Craig’s popular “Friday Tip of the Week” blog posts that you probably have been checking out right here. Essential reading. This massive book includes tips on how solve problems, enhance sound quality, improve workflow, achieve greater expressiveness, create signature sounds, and much more.

  • 289 pages with 278 four-color illustrations to help streamline the learning process
  • Includes 39 free presets (28 Multipresets, 10 Mai Tai presets, 1 Presence XT preset) that support the tips

 


How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One

A comprehensive, practical, and above all inspiring guide on how to use Studio One’s sophisticated toolset to craft the perfect mix.

  • 258-page eBook with over 180 four-color illustrations
  • Downloadable PDF format, with links from the contents to book topics
  • “Key Takeaways” section for each chapter summarizes chapter highlights
  • “Tech Talk” sidebars do deep dives into selected topics
  • Covers all aspects of mixing with Studio One

Also available en Español!


More than Compressors: The Complete Guide to Dynamics in Studio One

The ultimate guide to becoming an expert on Studio One’s dynamics processors and dynamics-oriented features.

  • 258-page eBook with over 180 four-color illustrations
  • Downloadable PDF format, with links from the contents to book topics
  • “Key Takeaways” section for each chapter summarizes chapter highlights
  • “Tech Talk” sidebars do deep dives into selected topics
  • Covers all aspects of mixing with Studio One

 


How to Record and Mix Great Vocals in Studio One

The ultimate guide to capturing, producing, and mixing superb vocal performances in Studio One.

  • Profusely illustrated, 121-page eBook
  • Covers everything from microphones to the final mix
  • Tips on creating compelling vocal performances
  • Links from contents page to topics
  • Filled with practical, real-world examples

 

#PreSonusFamFriday: Company Wide Quarantine Edition!

It’s inspiring to see what our customers have created during these strange days of quarantine and isolation. As soon as you open your social media accounts, one thing is certain: Creativity has thrived over the last few months. We wanted to take a minute and share some of the after-hours projects and live streams PreSonus employees have been a part of during this time. Enjoy!

 

Product Specialist and Home Studio Guru Joe Gilder recently wrote this song simply titled “April.”

 

Several PreSonus team members collaborated on this performance. Hear all about it from EVP of Product Management, John Bastianelli.

“My PreSonus family is so awesome, please check out the first of the “PreSonus Isolation Jams” – Gregor Beyerle, who lives in Germany and is our Software Product Specialist started this track and sent it to me. I was immediately excited about what he created which inspired me to add some synth effects and saxophones. I then passed it to Rick Naqvi, our SVP of sales who added those awesome guitars. Next, the track was sent to Ben Livingston who works in our inside sales department who added his funky drums. Finally, we punted the track over to Richard Gaspard, who’s in charge of our worship market, he added his “rockin'” bass guitar… and sent the files back. I then doubled this really cool riff Richard played with horns and Rick and I mixed the music and sent the final mix to Gregor who created this awesome video. Oh, this was all done remotely, in our home studios on all PreSonus recording gear. I have to say I’m really proud to work for this company especially with all the talented people! Nothing can keep us from creating music, not even this virus! I hope you all enjoy our jam!”

 

Richard Gaspard is PreSonus’ House of Worship Market Manager. He’s been at PreSonus since November 2017, and been a PreSonus user since 2002.

“My wife and I formed the duo Highs and Lows, a musical experiment of arranging iconic songs as just bass (upright and electric) and vocals (mostly her on lead and the two of us on backgrounds). The point is to create very sparse arrangements, but also songs that feature the six-string bass as a solo instrument, covering any instrumental solos as part of the recorded performance. All mics used are either PreSonus PM-2 or PX-1, and everything is recorded through either a PreSonus Studio 26 or AudioBox 22VSL. All audio is edited and mixed in Studio One 4 Professional and video shot on iPhone 11 and edited in Adobe Premier using a shot template I created in Adobe Photoshop.”

Watch their performance here and subscribe to their YouTube channel:

 

Perry Tee (aka the.real.agent.p) is PreSonus’ Artist Relations Manager and has worked for PreSonus going on eight years.

“Some guys meet their buddies on the weekend to play golf or poker. We make music while practicing Social Distancing… remotely from our separate homes using Studio One.”

Eric Levy (keyboards): Night Ranger, Garaj Mahal
Jakubu Griffin (drums): Cirque Du Soleil Zarkana, Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester, Pearcy Sledge, David Cassidy, Pharez Whitted
Jon Cornell (bass): SNL Band, Jackie Greene, Grand Canyon
Alex Painter (voice): Life On Mars Tribute To David Bowie, Solo Artist

 

Ryan Miller is our Global Service Manager and has been with PreSonus for four years.

“After a long six weeks of not being able to play music together as a band, After 8 decided we wanted to put together a live stream for our fans. We utilized four cameras through a switcher into OBS software for the Facebook live stream. The audio was managed with a PreSonus 32R for our in-ears, and then AVB connected to a StudioLive 16 for the Livestream audio. This was monitored and mixed on a pair of R80s by one of our own QA specialists, Seth Martin. The engagement of our fans was incredible, with over 10,000 views! Being able to bring a top-notch production was essential, and PreSonus products provided exactly what we needed.”

 

 

Ben Mullins, in US Sales has worked for PreSonus for 14 years! On the weekends you might find Ben as DJ MOON at events.

“I’ve been playing vinyl DJ sets live on social media through the AudioBox iTwo interface.  The iTwo makes it easy, as I just come straight out of my DJ mixer’s main output into inputs 1 and 2 on the iTwo. I can even use the iTwo directly into my iPhone and bypass it using a computer.  The sound quality is great. I often get compliments on just how clean my stream sounds online.”

Co-Founder Jim Odom Talks 25 Years of PreSonus

Whether you’re new to the PreSonus family or you’ve been around since the 90s, you owe a huge thank you to THE Jim Odom, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at PreSonus. Jim is a member of the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, AES, NARAS, NAMM, and other industry associations. Jim holds a B.S. Degree in Computer Engineering from LSU right here in Baton Rouge, LA and has a graduate studies degree at the Investment Banking Institute – NY, and the Venture Capital Institute. He also studied Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music. He has received dozens of product awards, INC 5,000 Growth Award, and is the recipient of gold and platinum sales awards for various music and film projects. Pretty impressive, right??

To say the least, Jim has rallied together a group of employees who have accomplished a lot of the last 25 years.  We thought it would be cool to highlight his story from the beginning and some of the products that helped shape who we are today!

Jim Odom with the DCP-8

 

So what were you doing before PreSonus? 

  • I started recording music in my late teens and built a studio in the hayloft of a barn. I started off with just an 80-8 TASCAM eight-track recorder, which turned out to be a great place to begin, because it forced me to think about the sounds, the parts, the blend, the timbre, the tone, etc. of each instrument. I received an invitation to join a local band and sign with RCA Records when I was 21. After five years of recording and touring, I went back to full-time audio engineering and session work. I decided to get more involved in the technical design of products, so I spent four years earning my Computer Engineering Degree, primarily to understand how to design the products I had in my head. I began designing the DCP-8 digital automation processor to solve some issues I was having in smaller recording studios, which required the formation of PreSonus to manufacture and sell that product.

Was owning a business something you dreamed of doing or did you just fall into it as the products came along? 

  • I’m an entrepreneur at heart, but I think that all musicians are entrepreneurs at heart. We make products, we promote, we sell, and we do it again. Our goal is to please large groups of people. Making products is very similar, but with the addition of technology-based creations. A company is just a vehicle to organize this effort, so having a structure that allows investors, creators, marketers, and consumers to all connect is really cool. 

What’s the process for having a great idea to getting it out the door? 

  • We follow a well-defined process called Stage-Gate development, where we identify or imagine the product idea, then document what that will be and what position in the market the product is required to hold. This is different for each type of product, but the work is basically the same. Product ideas can come from two sources—market-driven or technology-driven. That said, the best products come from a meeting of both. You first have to understand the technology you plan to use, then use your best instincts to create the embodiment of that technology; like what knobs should it have, how many inputs/outputs, buttons, etc. After that, you need to design the product to that specification, build it, test it, then work with a factory to manufacture and deliver it. Simple!

 

What need was the DCP-8 supposed to meet? 

  • The DCP-8, Digitally Controlled Processor, was an eight-channel, digitally controlled analog processor that offered eight compressors, eight noise gates, eight VCA based automation stages, and 128 recallable scenes. It was designed to insert in an analog mixing console’s insert point and controlled via MIDI by a DAW, or external MIDI controller. It was used by Broadway theaters to automate scene changes during a play, for example. It was also used to automate mixes in the recording studio.

At the time, did you have any data supporting the need for this product? 

  • I needed it and my friends needed it and that was enough for me. 

What was the biggest challenge? Major roadblocks? 

  • Having spent years in major recording studios, I was hypercritical of the sound of the compressor and noise gate. I spent a year choosing those circuits and perfecting the performance of the system. The next challenge was manufacturing—with over 1000 components, the circuit boards took a long time to build. We eventually built a factory in an old furniture store, converted the circuit boards to surface mount technology, and leased some robots to place all of the components. Our secondary challenge was to write the software that controlled the system, which at the time was bare metal, assembly language programming. We also built software drivers for MAC and PC based digital audio workstations—basically MIDI control maps and system state information. 

In 1995, how did you define success? 

  • At first, we were satisfied that our product was accepted in the professional audio community, having won several awards and placement in high-profile environments. That quickly changed to sales, however as the need to build a sustainable company overwhelmed our small staff. 

How did you guys come together to build it? 

  • I had some experience with manufacturing from my previous job, but not on the scale of the professional audio industry. We (Brian Smith and myself) built a small factory with local employees that built PreSonus products until 2002. We were lucky to have some great partners in the early days that taught us how to use the machinery; that being said, it was a pretty steep learning curve!

How did you feel when it was complete? 

  • I was nervous! What if it failed in the middle of a Broadway show? It’s always the feeling you get when you see your product being used in a major broadcast, performance, or recording session. I’m still nervous today! With all things considered, it’s an amazing feeling when you get a compliment from anyone using your product!

When you think about the last 25 years, how does it make you feel seeing how far PreSonus has come?

  • One of my weaknesses is being obsessed with what we do—it doesn’t allow me to stop and take in the successes we’ve had over the years; I wish I could! Technology is in perpetual motion, and there is always something new to consider, so I’m looking forward to the next 25 years!

Celebrating 25 years of PreSonus

Let’s take a minute to look at all the firsts PreSonus has had in our first 25 years, from 1995-2020. It’s been quite a ride, and we’ve been glad to have you along for it. In fact, we couldn’t have done it without your support and input. Thanks for taking the trip with us. The next 25? They’re going to be even better.

For a more detailed look at what all we’ve been up to for the past 25 years, and where we hope to go in the future, check out our recently-revised PreSonus History section.

 

You may have missed some firsts in the video. Here’s the full list:

1995 – Patented MIDI control over analog devices
1996 – the first multi-channel compressor with onboard bus link
1997 – the first stereo analog compressor with presets and manual control
1998 – Invented proprietary IDSS control
2000 – the first 8-channel mic preamp with ADAT output
2002 – The first Analog/Digital recording system over FireWire
2003 – the first rackmount monitoring controller with talkback
2004 – The first FireWire audio interface with eight onboard mic preamps
2005 – the first completely software-controlled audio interface
2006 – the first audio interface with integrated monitor control
2007 – the first single-Fader DAW control surface
2008 – the first digital mixer with continuously bidirectional FireWire interface.
2008 – the first dedicated recording application for a digital mixer
2009 – the first DAW with both recording and mastering
2010 – THE First DAW with direct-to-Soundcloud export
2011 – the first DAW with Melodyne integration
2011 – The first digital mixer control app on the Apple App Store
2012 – the first iPhone monitor mix control app in the App Store
2013 – the first cross-platform integration between software and hardware
2014 – the first powered loudspeaker with Dante™ connectivity
2015 – THE First DAW with cross-platform multitouch support
2016 – the First bi-directional control between a DAW and digital mixer
2018 – the First DAW with real-time pitch control over MIDI and audio
2018 – The first fully-integrated AVB ecosystem
2019 – invented Patent-pending constant directivity loudspeaker design

AND SO MANY MORE

– Patented MIDI control over analog devices
– the first multi-channel compressor with onboard bus link
– Invented proprietary IDSS control to provide manual adjustment over the drain current of an input FET amplifier
– the first 8-channel mic preamp with limiting and A/D conversion to ADAT
– the first Analog/Digital recording system over FireWire
– Invented adjacent filter limiting
– Invented adaptive noise cancellation
– the first rackmount center console monitoring controller with talkback
– the first FireWire audio interface with eight onboard mic preamps
– the first digital sidechain in an analog compressor
– the first solid-state/vacuum tube dual-path mic preamp
– the first audio interface to be networkable over FireWire
– the first completely software-controlled audio interface
– the first audio interface with integrated monitoring remote control
– the first single-fader DAW control surface
– the first FireWire interface for Roland VS hard disk recorders
– the first digital mixer with continuously bidirectional, per-channel FireWire interface
– the first dedicated recording application for a digital mixer
– the first DAW with recording and mastering on the same platform
– the first digital mixer with cascading over FireWire
– the First DAW with direct-to-Soundcloud export
– The first digital mixer control app to be available on Apple App Store
– the first iPad controlled audio interface
– the first iPhone monitor mix control app in the App Store
– the First digital mixer with integrated SMAART system measurement
– Invented proprietary UCNET protocol for cross-platform communication and control between software and hardware
– the first powered loudspeaker with onboard processing and iPad control
– the first powered loudspeaker with Dante™ connectivity
– the First DAW with cross-platform high-DPI and multitouch support
– the First and still only DAW with Scratch Pad alternate mix and arranger tool
– the First and still only DAW with Mix Engine FX for engine-level console emulation plug-ins
– the First bidirectional control and mix settings import/export between a DAW and digital mixer
– the First DAW with pitch control over MIDI and audio simultaneously (and in real-time)
– the first fully integrated AVB ecosystem
– Invented a patent-pending constant directivity loudspeaker design
– the first the single fader DAW control surface with integrated audio interface

Introducing Ari Ahrendt’s Pure Synthetic Drums

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner

Hi,

My name is Ari and I’m the creator of Pure Synthetic Drums. In my day job, I’m a Quality Assurance Specialist at PreSonus Software in Hamburg/Germany. My job is to ensure the quality and stability of our software products. In my free time – and when I’m not hiking in the woods, cooking over an open fire or swing my sword – I immerse myself in audio technology, music production, and synthesis. This all adds up wonderfully.

As a percussion oriented Sound Set for Impact XT, Pure Synthetic Drums perfectly augments the already existing products “Analog Model Machine” and “EDM Synth Classics” for our Mai Tai synth. For many years, I’ve been interested in sound design and sonic exploration in order to better understand their structure and quality. Splitting up a sound into its components, then reconstruct it is absolutely fascinating! This was one of the core concepts of Pure Synthetic Drums (PSD).

With this Sound Set, musicians and sound designers are able to create all-new sounds from combining individual components. The underlying model is always the same: all sounds have their roots in synthetic waveforms. That’s the “Pure” part of the name. The idea came up when creating sounds on the Eurorack modular. For example, to create a type of 808 kick, you need a snappy envelope and a self-oscillating filter. Once you created such sound, it remains intact for as long as you don’t tweak any knobs, so you have to destroy one sound in order to create another. Which led to the idea of sampling these sounds in Studio One and make them available as part of the library.

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner

Here I went one step further: instead of just sampling complete sounds, I also included their individual components in the library. This way you could combine the “click” portion of one kick drum with the “boom” portion of another. Or you could enhance the attack sound of a snare with filtered noise from an analog synthesizer – then extend the sound with an epic long release, more than any analog drum machine could ever deliver. The possible combinations are endless. As a user, you’re able to work with drum sounds and their raw components as if you had all of these analog synths and modular systems in your studio. Every single recorded sound is a direct output of a synthesizer—raw and unprocessed. No EQ, no compression—just “Pure.”

Over the course of two and a half years of conception, development and sound design, I’ve constantly drawn inspiration from drum machines, my own synthesizers, and even domestic and natural sounds. You wouldn’t believe how close the crackle of a campfire sounds compared to the filtered attack of an 808 kick. It’s all about finding the right filter parameter settings. So I went back and forth between the campfire and my modular synth lair—don’t worry, the fire was never unattended. Fireman Sam had an eye on it at all times… 😉

The result is a fully-modular product, made from modular synthetic components for creative use by musicians and sound designers. However, if you’re not into tweaking knobs, there are a total of 30 complete, ready to use Impact XT kits to play with, covering the full spectrum of available sounds. I’m an electronic drummer myself, so I made sure to follow the GM-standard key mapping. I’m able to play every kit from my e-drum kit instantly. My neighbors weren’t always pleased… If you’re tired of drumming, you can choose from a variety of included Musicloops representing each of the available drum kits. These include further freestyle grooves and pattern ideas.

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner

Stylistically, the library is covering a variety of musical styles: electro house, minimal, hip-hop, R&B, trap, EDM, psy trance, synth pop, chillout, electronica. For the first time, the integrated step sequencer of Studio One is used here. That’s a lot of source material to choose from to build your own analog drum part.

Combine it with an ATOM and your next track is born.

 

Pure Synthetic Drums is available now from shop.presonus.com. 

 

Ari Ahrendt’s Pure Synthetic Drums

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner

 

Hi,

mein Name ist Ari Ahrendt und ich bin der Macher der Pure Synthetic Drums. Bei PreSonus tagsüber als Quality Specialist, kümmere ich mich um die Qualität der Softwareprodukte. Und wenn ich in meiner Freizeit nicht im Wald und in der Natur unterwegs bin, draußen über Feuer koche oder ein Anderthalbhänder schwinge, beschäftige ich mich sehr viel und intensiv mit Tontechnik allgemein, Musikproduktion und synthetischer Klangerzeugung. Alles ergänzt sich wunderbar und hält die Balance.

Als percussion-orientiertes Soundset unterstützt und erweitert die PSD-Collection für Impact XT perfekt die beiden vorherigen Instrumenten-Soundsets “Analog Model Machine” und “EDM Synth Classics” für den Mai Tai Synthesizer. Mich interessiert schon viele Jahre Sounddesign und die Erforschung von Klängen, um ihre Struktur und Beschaffenheit zu ergründen. Es ist faszinierend, einen Klang in seine Bestandteile zu zerlegen, um ihn dann wieder neu zusammensetzen zu können. Das war auch einer der Grundideen der PSD-Collection.

Mit diesem Soundset gebe ich den Musikern und Sounddesignern die Möglichkeit, aus Einzelkomponenten Drumsounds völlig neu zu kreieren und zu kombinieren. Die Grundphilosophie bleibt dabei immer die Gleiche: Alle Sounds haben ihren klanglichen Ursprung in reinen Synthesizerwellenformen. Daher das “Pure” im Produktnamen. Die Idee entstand bei eigenem Sounddesign am Modularsystem. Um zb. eine artverwandte Kick der legendären 808-Bassdrum zu erschaffen, benötigt man knackige Hüllkurven und hauptsächlich ein Filter mit hoher Eigenresonanz. Ist dieser Klang erst einmal gepatched und alle Knöpfe eingestellt, ist der Sound komplett und bleibt auch solange bestehen, bis man die Knöpfe wieder verstellt. Um jedoch einen neuen Klang zu erstellen, muss man zwangsläufig den bestehenden Sound wieder zerstören. Also war die grundlegende Idee, diese fertigen Sounds in Studio One aufzunehmen und eine eigene Library anzufertigen, um die Klänge immer wieder sofort abrufbar zu haben.

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner

Ich bin dabei aber noch einen Schritt weiter gegangen und habe nicht nur komplett fertige Sounds aufgenommen, sondern deren einzelne Bestandteile separat in die Library zusätzlich mit aufgenommen. So kann man beispielsweise eine Attackphase “Click” von einem Bassdrumsound mit einem Ausklang “Boom” einer anderen kombinieren. Ebenso kann man das Anschlaggeräusch einer Snare mit einem gefilterten Rauschen eines anderen Analogsynthesizers versehen. Und das mit einem viel längeren und epischen Ausklang, als es normalerweise analoge Drummachines hergeben. Die Kombinationsmöglichkeiten sind gigantisch. Der User wird damit in die Lage versetzt, Drumsounds oder deren Einzelkomponenten so zu benutzen, als würde er all die Synthesizer und Modularsysteme selbst besitzen. Alle aufgenommen Klänge des Soundsets sind reine Synthesizeroutputs ohne weitere klangliche Nachbearbeitung außerhalb der Synthesizer. Ohne EQing, ohne Kompression… eben “pure”.

In zweieinhalben Jahren Entwicklungszeit, Konzeptausarbeitung und reinem Sounddesign, habe ich mich immer wieder von Drummachines, meinen Synthesizern und sogar Geräuschen aus der Natur inspirieren lassen. Man glaubt gar nicht, wie ähnlich das Holzknacken eines Lagerfeuers an die gefilterte Attackphase einer 808 Bassdrum erinnert. Essenziell dabei ist die richtige Parameterstellung der Filter. Also bin ich immer schnell zwischen Feuerplatz und Modularkeller gewechselt und habe die feinen klanglichen Nuancen umgesetzt. Aber keine Angst, das Feuer war nie unbeaufsichtigt! Feuerwehrman Sam hatte stehts ein wachsames Auge darauf. 😉

Herausgekommen ist ein modulares Produkt, hergestellt aus modularen Synthesizerkomponenten zur kreativen Benutzung für Musiker und Sounddesigner. Und wer gar nicht viel selbst schrauben möchte, bekommt über 30 vollständig fertig zusammengestellte Impact-Drumkits zum sofortigen Einsatz, welche die klangliche Vielfalt der Soundlibrary wiederspiegeln. Als E-Drummer habe ich darauf geachtet, dem GM-Drum-Standard zu folgen. Somit kann ich jedes Set sofort mit meinen E-Drums spielen. Die Nachbarn wollten sich bestimmt schon einige Male beschweren. Aber aufgrund der massiven Analog-Kicks im Soundset, habe ich sie einfach nicht klingeln hören. Wenn einem abends dann die Arme lahm werden vom trommeln, kann man auch gut auf die mitgelieferte Musicloop-Library zurückgreifen. Dort habe ich jedes Drumkit-Kit einzeln präsentiert und darüber hinaus noch freestyle etliche Groove-Ideen festgehalten.

Photo: Matthias Baumgartner

Die musikalische Abdeckung des Soundsets ist vielfältig und deckt etliche Styles ab, wie: Electro House, Minimal, Hiphop, R&B, Trap, EDM, PsyTrance, Synth Pop, Chillout, Electronica. Dabei wird auch erstmalig in einem Soundset der Studio One eigene Stepsequencer benutzt. Alles in Allem kann man sich so ganz entspannt einen Analog-Drum-Track zusammenklicken, ein Pad-Sound darunter legen, und die Basis für den nächsten Track ist damit schon geschaffen.

Pure Synthetic Drums is available now from shop.presonus.com. 

 

It’s #PreSonusFAMFriday with Phil Knock!

Knock, knock!

Who’s there?

The one you’ve been waiting for…

The FaderPort 16!?!?!?!?!

Yes.

It’s #PreSonusFAMFriday with Phil Knock!

 

 

 

How long have you worked for PreSonus?
I’ve worked for PreSonus for nearly a year.

What’s your official job title?
Software Engineer.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? Why did you choose to work here?
My first introduction to audio engineering was using a FireStudio interface. We had a recording studio at my high school and I swear I practically lived there. So I’ve been a PreSonus fan since I was a tot basically!
I went to Belmont University in Nashville, TN and graduated with a double major in Audio Engineering and Computer Science in the Spring of 2016. I chose to work at PreSonus because it offers a perfect balance of these two pursuits. My favorite thing about this job is to be able to work on intellectually stimulating computer science problems, while at the same time being able to talk shop with the incredibly talented musicians and audio engineers around the office. Our company motto is “Music is our life. PreSonus is our day job,” but I believe these two are truly intertwined working here.
PreSonus gave me a chance when I was a recent grad and I didn’t know what my life was going to be like. For that I am immensely grateful.
 Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
“Debugging Code 7 Part 2: The Re-Debugging, Revisited”

What was the first 8 track, cassette, CD or digital download you purchased?
Do you guys remember Hit Clips? My first music purchase was an “All Star” by Smash Mouth Hit Clip.

via GIPHY

Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Father John Misty, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Led Zeppelin.

What’s your go to Karaoke song?
“Don’t Let Me Down,” The Beatles.

via GIPHY

Everyone has a side gig, what’s yours?
I find the field of Digital Signal Processing utterly fascinating. To that end, I’ve had a ton of fun tinkering with audio plugins using the JUCE framework, Kontakt, and MaxForLive.

What instruments do you play?
I played cello in the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony when I was younger, and since then I’ve dabbled in guitar, bass, and drums.
What do you love about the FaderPort 16?
Who wants to mix large sessions with a mouse?

Why did you choose this as your favorite?
Mixing is one thing, but writing fader automation with a mouse is a fate worse than death. Being able to navigate and interact with large sessions in Studio One or any other major DAW makes this product incredibly useful.

Got any tips for working with the FaderPort 16?
This might sound crazy, but it can sometimes be helpful to balance levels without looking at the computer screen. Even turn your screen off if you have to; at least temporarily. I find that it helps you focus more closely on what you’re actually hearing rather than what you’re expecting to hear looking at waveforms and user interfaces.

What are you currently working on? What’s next for you? 
I work on the Studio Live Series III console/rack mixers extensively, and I’m really excited about upcoming updates for these products!
What’s the strangest talent you have?
I have webbed toes, does that count?
Anything else you want to share? 
Working at PreSonus is really incredible. The products you get to work on and the people you get to work with offer inspiration on a daily basis.

What’s your social media handles and is it ok to tag you?
For any aspiring engineers out there, you can feel free to add me on LinkedIn!

It’s #PreSonusFAMFriday with Eric Welch!

We’re going to keep this fast–Quantum fast. It’s #PreSonusFAMFriday with our Product and Studio Manager Eric Welch.
ERICCCCC
How long have you worked for PreSonus?
3.5 years, I worked for Notion music for 10 years before we joined up with PreSonus.

What’s your official job title?
Product Manager and Studio Manager.

What’s your favorite thing about your job? Why did you choose to work here?
Getting to be around musicians, music and music technology every day. I choose to work here for the reputation of the company, and the work culture of being around great musicians and engineers.

What was the first cassette, CD or digital download you purchased?
It was a cassette. Def Leppard. Pyromania. 1983.

Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
The Clash!

Everyone has a side gig, what’s yours?
I am the FOH engineer for Phat Hat.

What instruments do you play? 
Bass and trombone.
What’s your go to Karaoke song?
“Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys!

What do you love about the Quantum?
Speed, aggregation, and sound quality.

Why did you choose this as your favorite?
I choose the Quantum because of the low-latency over Thunderbolt, Ease of integration with Studio One, and audio performance. I’m also the Product Manager for it which is pretty great.

Got any tips for working with the Quantum?
Don’t forget to take advantage of the DC Coupled outputs!

What other PreSonus products do you have?
I have a lot. Sceptre S6s, ADL 700, 16.4.2, Eris E66s, FaderPort, Central Station, Studio One Professional.

What are you currently working on? What’s next for you?
Some exciting new interface products that I can’t discuss at this time. 🙂

 

Mark Williams Honored by Baton Rouge Business Report

Mark Williams, our Director of International Sales and Business Development and International Sales Director of Mystery, was recently an honoree in the “Forty Under 40” spotlight from the Baton Rouge Business Report.

Thanks to Business Report for their continued support of PreSonus. They’re good folks over there. When you’re done with the video below, check out the full article over at Business Report’s website.