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Update on my previous Wi-fi woes: I found an old Linksys WUSB54G USB Wi-fi adapter laying in a drawer and plugged it into the studio Windows 7 box instead of the TP-Link PCI card. Win 7 found and loaded the driver automatically, and DPC Latency checker now reports a maximum latency of 331 microseconds. That’s not quite as good as the 74 microseconds with no Wi-fi, but a whole hell of a lot better than the 6000+ of the TP-Link card. Not only that, the Wi-fi signal is has gone from Poor with the TP-Link card to Good with the Linksys USB adapter..

So my conclusion is: TP-Link products appear to be cheap for a reason.

Packing for Producer Sessions

Am starting to pack up to go to the Future Music Producer Sessions in London. It’s actually still a week away, but I like to start getting stuff ready well in time. People don’t realise how much preparation work goes into making one of these shows work. The things that seem most obvious (like the computers and monitors etc.) are usually the last things to get packed since we’re usually working on those until the last minute, testing new beta software and hardware, preparing new demos songs, that kind of thing. First to get packed is usually stuff like banners, tablecloths, that sort of stuff, which seems very mundane, but without it the show would look pretty boring.

The other things I like to pack are the goodies: T-shirts, mouse pads, cable ties, all are in the box already. I enjoy being able to give away some stuff to our users – you guys pay my wages ultimately, the least I can do is give something back when I can!

Wi-fi horror…

Decided to buy a new Wi-fi card for my (Windows 7) studio computer. I managed to get a good deal on a TP-Link Wireless-N PCI card with an Atheros chipset – just a few bucks. Score! Got home, installed it, works great. Then I loaded up Studio One and set to work on the song I had been working on yesterday, and it sounded like I was frying eggs in the studio. Just completely impossible to work, loads of noise, jerky response from S1, everything was a mess.

Went to the Device Manager in Windows 7 and disabled the new Wi-fi card. Sure enough Studio One was now perfect again. Sigh.

I checked the system with DPC Latency Checker – without the Wi-fi card maximum latency was 72 microseconds. With the Wi-fi card enabled that shot up to over 6000! Anyone using Windows for digital audio really needs this tool… So I think I’m just going to  install Homeplug adaptors round the house instead in future and stick to using Ethernet, it’s so much more reliable.

Audiobox VSL!

Just got my hands on one of the new Audiobox VSL interfaces, the 44 model. First impressions: this thing is amazing. Dead easy to set up, sounds great, latency is excellent, and the killer feature of course is the VSL mixing software. Basically it’s a tiny little StudioLive desk in a 2/3 rack space. Unbelievable. I’m in love. More details later when I get a chance to really put it through its paces.

In a Lonely Place

Did my first vocal recording with Studio One 2.0 this week. Setup was an AKG 414 microphone with a Vicoustic microphone isolator to PreSonus Studio Channel, then to a StudioLive 16.4.2 mixer and to Studio One via FireWire. I know the 414 isn’t normally used as a vocal mic, but I like its clarity and pureness of sound. It’s very unforgiving though, so I like to use it with a tube preamp to warm it up a little and smooth out any harshness. The Studio Channel works great for that – just roll up the tube driver to about halfway and it suddenly get a lot more rock & role.

The piece was a cover version of the Joy Division / New Order song In a Lonely Place that an Australian band asked me to sing on. I’ve got a fairly deep baritone voice that very much suits that kind of music, so I’ve been getting lots of requests like this recently. The band sent me the original multitracks as stems (since they hadn’t switched to Studio One when they recorded it – they have now), and I imported them into S1 2.0 and recorded the vocals. Even though it was still a fairly early beta version, it worked flawlessly throughout the session. Sounded great too, especially when I used one of the Plate presets we’ve been working on for the OpenAir reverb plugin.

Once I had enough takes that I was happy with, it was easy to export the stems using the Export Stems (what else?) feature in S1 – so much easier than the way we used to have to do it back in the old days! Then just dropped them into Dropbox and mailed the band. Hey presto, one collaboration with a band the other side of the world. Am looking forward to hearing what they do with it, but I think I might do a mix myself in S1. Looking forward to trying out the new comping feature which should be perfect for this.

Editing the Sermon – Intro and Enhancing the Sound using Studio One

Preparing for Musikmesse

Musikmesse 2011 will be held in Frankfurt am Main from April 6 to 9, 2011. Most of the PreSonus crew arrives several days prior to the start, and we leave a few days after the end.

The amount of planning and coordination that goes into this type of event is truly staggering. However, we get to abandon our desks for a week and do things like climb truss to hang artwork and PA speakers, assemble a stage and pretend we’re all amazing musicians, and generally enjoy the lack of time to respond to email, phone calls, and so on. Plus, it doesn’t get any better than German beer. It’s always a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to it.

If you plan on attending, be sure to come see us in Hall 5.1, Booth B56 and meet the Studio One team. You might just get a cool T-Shirt, too!

Preparing for NAMM

It’s two days before NAMM and I’m in my hotel room in Anaheim preparing a bunch of stuff to demonstrate. Looking closely at Nimbit – we’ll be announcing a co-operation with them shortly. Seems like a great system, and since I’m currently working on remastering a ton of my old albums using Studio One’s Project page, this could be the perfect way to do the re-releases. So far the remasters sound amazing, the Project page in S1 not only makes it really easy to do, the audio engine sounds to damn good!

Anyhow, back to Nimbit. We’ll be offering a discount signup scheme for S1 owners, so I’m going to take advantage of that and get myself a cheap Pro account there I think…

The other thing I’m working on is the special deal on S1 Artist we’re going to announce. Since this blog is currently in test mode, I can mention this a day early and no-one will know. Heh! Looks like the special deal will go public tomorrow evening, then we will be blogging it everywhere…

Stroud College

Spent today at Stroud College. They have a hell of a setup there, a classroom with 20 FireStudio Mobiles with S1 Pro for the student workstations, plus a studio with two linked StudioLive 26.4.2 mixers; and another 20 seat classroom getting set up at the minute. The day was me basically giving the students some tips on S1, particularly the Project window, and having a listen to the work they were doing with it. I have to admit I was pretty amazed at the quality of the work, it was really excellent. Shot a bunch of video so some of that will probably be up on Vimeo and YouTube soon once we get some editing done.

Heading to Stroud College

Packing gear for a trip to the South West of England to visit Stroud College in Gloucestershire. They have a great music technology department there who are installing Studio One in every classroom, along with a bunch of Firestudio Mobile interfaces and a couple of StudioLive mixers. I’m going to spend a day teaching the students how cool the software is, and check out what they are doing with it, which should be fascinating. It’s always good to see new people getting into Studio One and all the amazing things they can do with it. Teaching is fun, but it does mean having to really think on your feet sometimes – students can come up with some tricky questions!