Just got back from another session at Alchemea. This is very well known sound engineering college in London, who invite me to go guest lecture there every few months. I used to be a professional lecturer in Music Technology at Stroud College in Gloucestershire, UK, and I really love teaching, but since going to work for PreSonus I don’t get much chance to teach any more. So I love doing these small guest lecture days, since it gets me back in a classroom working with students, which is a great feeling.
In this case I went in with a StudioLive 24.4.2 and a 1602 and gave the Live Sound Engineering students an introductory class on what makes them so great for live work. The students are always really amazed at how much easier they are to learn than the standard digital desks they normally have to work on, and these guys were no exception. And passing around the iPad so they can take full control of the desk always blows their minds completely. The killer though is when somebody asks how much they cost – watching their jaws drop when they find out is always priceless.
I love that part because I remember what it was like when I was in my late teens / early twenties and trying to get into the music business. I would have killed to get my hands on a mixing desk and recording system at this kind of price, but back then you were talking high five figures just to get anything that might work, and well into six figures to get something decent. When the first VST computer systems were released it was a revolution in putting power into the hands of normal people, and with these desks we have taken that further than anyone ever dreamed.
Silly as it might sound, it makes me pretty proud to be part of that. And to be able to empower young people at colleges like Alchemea makes me release that we are doing something very worthwhile here.
P.S. If you are a teacher or student and would like me to come guest lecture at your college, shoot me a mail and let’s see what we can do.
Been playing around with an early sample of the new Audiobox 1818 VSL over the past days and I love this thing. It’s beautifully made, incredibly powerful, software kicks ass, and it sounds awesome. Only problem is, the headphone don’t work! I figured it was because it’s a prototype and maybe mine just had an engineering fault so I was getting ready to send it back when I ran into one of the engineers on the Net earlier. I mentioned my problem and he said: “Oh, the headphone out is connected to Outputs 7 & 8 on the mixer, just assign the DAW signal to there in the software.” Doh! Two seconds later I have a perfectly working system.
Yeah, I know I should Read The F-ing Manual, but when you’re bleeding edge like I am sometimes you don’t even have a manual 🙂
Owing to some stuff going on in the Real World (you know, that place where we don’t get time to play music because we have to pay the rent etc.) I’ve not been blogging for the past few days. I’ll be back with regular updates soon though if all goes well 😉
Spot the StudioLive desks just behind the massive Moog system at the Future Music Producer Sessions. All the seminars on the 6th floor were also being run by a StudioLive 16.4.2, which performed flawlessly over the entire weekend.
The Future Music Producer Sessions went great. We had a room alongside Moog and Arturia, both of which are excellent companies, and the three of us had a damn good time together and packed the place with users all weekend. Studio One was a big hit, and a steady stream of people were running up to Absolute Music‘s stand on the 4th floor to take advantage of their 10% off deal if you bought it at the show. Major thanks to the guys at Future Music for putting this on, you kick ass.
It’s Monday now, and boy am I tired. The show was spread over 6 floors and I ran up and down the stairs a fair few amount of times over the weekend, and lugged boxes of gear in and out etc.; and then I drove something like 6 hours home on Sunday night. So today my body is really feeling it. Unfortunately I have way too much to do to be able to rest… Maybe later…
It makes me realise just how far we’ve come when I can get two 16 channel professional mixing desks in the back of my standard family car, plus a ton of posters, banners, cables, T-shirts, audio interfaces, computers, preamps etc. (and even a small hand cart!) and yet still travel in comfort and ease. Even a few years ago I would have been out hiring a truck for this.
This is why PreSonus stuff works the way it does: because we have to load it and carry it places too.
There’s a legend that James Watt designed the steam engine because he was too lazy to get up and take the kettle off the boil. Never underestimate the power of laziness to motivate genius.
While packing up a bunch of stuff in cases today, it struck me that my single most used piece of PreSonus branded equipment is… the cable tie! We make these for promotional purposes really, but they’re one of those things that although small, cheap, and unassuming, has made a huge difference to my life. Finally I can actually find the cables I need, and not have to disentangle them from 17 other cables first. Yeah I know I should have figured this out 20 years ago, but better late than never, eh?
Velcro. It’s a wonderful thing.
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.
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!
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.