We post the latest things going on around the office, photos of our products in action, reviews, and we also connect with our users one on one. Most recently we connected with Singer/Songwriter/Producer Josh Cumbee from Los Angeles, CA. Josh is a diehard Studio One fan, and often shares his expertise with his Instagram following, and we are quick to share. We took the opportunity to talk to him more about his craft, Studio One, and what’s on the horizon for him.
Fully professionally, it has only been about 4 years—that was the first time a song came out with my name in the credits where I had to pinch myself. I had been playing piano and guitar since I was a kid, which drew me to USC for their music business degree as I figured there was no way to make the creative side into an actual job. I started moonlighting with composing for TV backing tracks concurrently with my day job—a couple twists of fate, a lot of hard work, and a few key helping hands later and it blossomed into a full-time profession.
What do you like about PreSonus?
PreSonus to me exemplifies accessible, no-compromises quality. With a lot of brands in the audio space, you either have to shell out a lot of hard-earned cash to get a high-end product, or the budget product sounds/feels/functions like a cheap imitation of the real thing. To me, Studio One is a top-shelf program that I’d be willing to pay a lot more forthe fact that it’s priced low enough for me to recommend to my peers, shoot, even my little brother who’s getting into making music… now, that’s cool.
What PreSonus products do you use?
I’m a die-hard Studio One evangelist. I also have a tried and true Central Station in my studio that I’d guess has been rocking for a solid 400 years at least.
Describe the first time you wrote a song? Produced it?
I’m not even sure what the first song I wrote/produced would have been… but it was probably done on the ridiculous combination of Sony Acid 3 and a four-track Tascam tape recorder I stole from my dad’s electronics drawer. It was generally a misshapen cacophony of loops, poorly played guitar and tape hiss until I got into Garageband a while later in high school.
When did you first hear about Studio One?
A great producer from Nashville mentioned it to me. Pro Tools was the first serious DAW I learned, which I promptly abandoned for Logic because at the time working with MIDI was extremely difficult in PT. I had spent several years in Logic, but the updates (particularly in the GUI department) personally didn’t jive with me. Studio One was there in my moment of software weakness, and became one of very few tools I feel like I can’t live without.
What features are you most impressed with in Studio One?
Working with audio is a dream in Studio One. It is so easy to render, stretch, pitch shift, chop, Melodyne, change the BPM of the whole song at the drop of a hat… you name it. VST3 integration is a great CPU saver. The dual buffer is genius. Shout-out to those string samples. And Fat Channel. OK, someone stop me…
With the stems feature being as rock solid as it is, I am a big believer in setting up your template with stems in mind—that way you learn to work within that structure and if/when it comes time to export them for a collaboration, mixer, delivery, etc., you can really take full advantage of Studio One’s built in set up for that. I think everyone should at least know how to use the routing feature in the channel editor—you’ll be surprised when it might come in handy. If you’re a Logic refugee you can bring all the .SDIR’s from Space Designer into Open Air AND the .EXS instruments into Presence, which is great if there’s sounds you just can’t let go of. Also, I built a macro that removes all unused audio files, copies all external ones to the session folder, then saves it—highly recommended. Big fan of VST3’s, they’re way easier on your CPU and cross-platform compatible if you need to move a session across OS’s.
How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn?
It’s a great cross between almost every DAW; mix window feels like PT, main window reminds me of Logic, arranger functions feel like Ableton… sort of all the best parts of each plus some sauce all of its own. Porting and recreating my key commands was a hassle, and the depth of sub-menus can be a little intimidating at first. There’s a lot of genius features but sometimes you have to dig for them! So all that to say, easy at points, hard at others, worth it… 100x over.
Where’d you go for support?
Where else? Straight to the support ticket portal (once I have exhausted the forums of course).
What features do you want to see next in Studio One?
MIDI capture to complement the existing armed audio track capture feature. Mid-side mode for pan knobs. A native Auto Tune competitor for when I’m too lazy to tune backing vocals in Melodyne. Native WASAPI driver for Windows similar to FL Studio’s (which rocks). More control over multicore/threading. Dare I say… integration with UAD Hardware monitoring just to have the option.
Any other thoughts on Studio One?
Of course, if I were starting to make music now, knowing what I know, I’d definitely start with Studio One. But personally, having to start over in a new program proved an even greater gift for my creative process. It made me rethink all of my go-tos, presets, channel strips, templates, etc., even a preference to MIDI over audio or vice versa. Of course, you get set back a week or two in productivity as you’re relearning everything, but that process of education at this stage in my career definitely took the music to the next level for me. I’d recommend it no matter how entrenched you might be in your program of choice, even if just for that.
Recent projects? What’s next for you?
Just co-wrote and produced on Adam Lambert’s latest single, Feel Something (about which I’m very excited), and also a single for a band called Flawes entitled Don’t Count Me Out that I feel really jams. I’ve got a couple other things cooking as a writer/producer that I’m stoked on but my baby is definitely my artist project, for which I’ve written and produced an album on the heels of a feature with Armin Van Buuren that did pretty well. We have an upcoming feature slated (so excited) and going to start rolling out tracks as a solo artist this year once the partnership side is finalized.
where the Grammy Award winner engineers and produces projects in a wide variety of musical genres. But every year, when the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival rolls around, Shaw and his team decamp for Manchester, home of the festival. There, behind the main stage, they soundproof their double-wide mobile recording trailer with 500 hay bales.
In this once-a-year Hay Bale Studio at Brigadoon—er, Bonnaroo—Shaw and his team record dozens of bands that will appear at the festival. The performances are fed to more than 40 radio markets around the USA.
For the 2017 Bonnaroo, Hay Bale Studio offered more capabilities than ever before, as Shaw mixed on the new PreSonus StudioLive 32 Series III digital console/recorder, while his team captured the tracks and main mix in PreSonus’ popular Studio One 3 Professional DAW.
“The StudioLive 32 allowed us to bring in all 24 inputs from the recording floor, so we could record a full band. We’re recording in multitrack to Studio One using the console’s AVB audio interface, which can send and return up to 55 streams over one CAT5 Ethernet cable,” says Shaw.
Shaw mixes live while the band is performing, a job made much easier by the StudioLive 32 Fat Channel signal-processing section’s customizable user interface. “I’ve got compressors and EQ on every channel,” Shaw specifies, “and the customizable Fat Channel lets me create my own layout so I can quickly access the processing I want when mixing. I can bring in four onboard effects processors for reverb and delay, and I also patch in my outboard spring reverb. I use Tap Tempo on the mixer to ensure the timing of the delay effects works with what the band is playing.”
PreSonus’ FlexMix feature also has proven useful. “I choose a FlexMix, and the entire mixer configuration changes and shows me what’s going on with that FlexMix,” instructs Shaw. Using the StudioLive 32’s aux sends, Shaw and team send four custom headphone cue mixes. “We send the cue mixes to the PreSonus HP4, which is a great, simple 4-channel headphone box that is really loud,” he avers. “We have two people with iPads running UC Surface software to control the monitor mixes.”
Main engineer Michael Hardesty also is equipped with UC Surface but he’s running it on a laptop. “Anything Lij can do on the mixer, I can do just as well in the software. My main goal is to set preamps and compressors and do the gain staging so I can get the multitrack feeds recorded properly in Studio One. I am also taking a print of the mix but generally I’m working with individual tracks. I also help with headphone mixes,” Hardesty observes.
With UC Surface, it’s possible to control the mixer from multiple devices at the same time. “That means you can give people different responsibilities,” Hardesty explains. “You also can lock out functions on particular devices; the iPad guys on the recording floor can only control the aux sends for the headphone mixes, while my laptop has complete control of the StudioLive 32.”
The live stereo mix goes straight to mastering engineer Joe Hutchinson. “Joe makes the radio mix sound fantastic,” enthuses Shaw. “He also uses Studio One to capture the performance in stereo. So we’re capturing bands through the StudioLive 32, mixing and mastering, and putting it out to more than 40 radio markets—all within an hour of each performance, with two or three songs for each band every hour.”
Thanks to the feature-packed, versatile StudioLive 32 and the power and speed of Studio One, Hay Bale Studio had entirely new capabilities at the 2017 Bonnaroo. “The customizable mixing surface, plenty of processing, wireless remote control, recording features, and ease of use let us do things we could never do at a dozen previous Bonnaroos,” confirms Shaw, “and it all sounded great. “We loved using the StudioLive 32, and we’re very happy with Studio One. Bonnaroo is a highlight of our year, and PreSonus helped make it extra special this year. We hope you’ll visit our site and check out some of the recordings!”
Watch Lij demo and show off their StudioLive 32 here:
For more information about Hay Bale Studio, please visit www.thetoyboxstudio.com/haybalestudio
For more information about PreSonus, the StudioLive 32 console/recorder, Studio One 3 DAW, and the HD4 headphone amplifier, please visit www.presonus.com.
For those of you in the USA wondering what Musikmesse is, think NAMM—but in Germany.
“Musikmesse in Frankfurt is the international trade fair for instruments, sheet music, production, and marketing.” It all starts this Thursday, April 7 and runs to Sunday, April 10.
At our booth, participants are invited to check out the gear, connect with us on social media, and enter to win one of five copies of Studio One Pro we’ll be giving away every day of Messe! To enter, participants must:
Heya! Check out the deeply personal and incredible new video from Nothing More for “Jenny.” But more importantly, check out the cause. First, here’s the video:
Next, here’s the cause: Nothing More is looking to raise awareness of mental health challenges through partnerships with PledgeMusic, BringChange2Mind, The Jed Foundation, To Write Love On Her Arms, YoungMinds, and the International Bipolar Foundation.
You can support these charity partners and pick up some cool exclusive merch at the #IKnowJenny page on PledgeMusic. Click the image below to
As you may or may not know, we recently had a big hook-writing contest called #GetYourHooksIn, which put up the offer of an incredible recording package in exchange for a good hook. Diego entered said contest and placed third.
That said, Diego—more than any of the 300+ entrants—deserves an honorable mention. He chose to not only write and record his hook to enter the contest, but also to document every step of his process, and make the whole thing available on YouTube, for free, for the betterment of producers the world over. He covers several important topics that stand apart from the run-of-the-mill YouTube world of mixing, EQing, compression, etc. Instead, Diego focuses on topics like lyric writing picking the right singer for the song, and the importance of the first listen.
Check out the playlist below, as there’s clearly been a lot of time put into this and there are some wonderful tips in here. English speakers can turn on subtitles by clicking the CC button near the bottom right of the video player.
Here’s is Diego’s final entry:
If you’d like to hear the winning entries of #GetYourHooksIn, click the following links:
On April 30, 2015, we formally christened our new headquarters in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with one heck of shindig.
This video, screened at said shindig, contains a selection of interviews with some of the luminaries who had a hand in the creation of our new home, including Mayor Kip Holden, architect Scott Ritter, and more—along with some of the regular cast of PreSonus characters. There were a few architectural challenges inherent in peppering a few office spaces around a world-class recording studio core, but the team really pulled it off.
Thanks to everyone who made this possible. This is a great home.
[This just in from Shane Simpson of Express AV / Steele Creek Studios! These guys are using just about every product we make. I, for one, am impressed!]
In my opinion, PreSonus is the most forward-thinking company in the industry! They care not only about functionality, but also about workflow, ease of use, and cost! If you run a live production company or a recording studio, PreSonus offers many cost-effective solutions to our every-day needs. When it comes to signal flow, pre-amps, user-friendly layout, EQs, versatility, and price, the StudioLive mixers are some of the best desks on the planet.
The StudioLive package stands out for me for many reasons:
We received a pair of PreSonus Sceptre studio monitors a few weeks ago—Wow! I never thought a co-axial monitor would even work, let-alone be some of the best sounding I have ever heard! They sound like monitors several times their cost, clean and powerful! That is not to discount the Eris series monitors, as they are awesome as well. Our local PreSonus rep demoed a set of Eris for us, and although we wound up with the Sceptres, the Eris blew us away for sounding so good at that price.
We have also been using the PreSonus Monitor Station; man is this thing cool! It makes switching between adjustable audio sources and monitor sets a breeze—we have our subs on one of the outputs, so we can bring them in or out with the touch of a button. The built-in talk-back mic is awesome, and the adjustable Dim feature is really cool as well.
Using the Presonus HP60 headphone amp has been very helpful to us as well. We were using a diffferent brand before we got the HP60, and we were not very happy with it. The HP60 is very clean with lots of headroom.
We also use the AudioBox 22vsl, which has been a great portable interface. We look forward to acquiring an ADL-series preamp (or two), some new A.I. series mixers, a set of Eris near-field monitors, a Temblor T10 Subwoofer, PreSonus StudioLive speaker cabs for our live production, and all the other goodies PreSonus has to offer. PreSonus is a great company that cares about its customers. Our PreSonus rep came to our shop and spent two days with us educating us on PreSonus products and getting to know our needs and our business so he could better serve us and help us grow. He offered invaluable information and insight and showed us how PreSonus products can help us succeed as a business.
Thanks, PreSonus. We appreciate a company that cares enough to spend time with a small company like us—keep on doing what you are doing: Providing us with useful, innovative products, and the help and know-how to implement them.
Senior Audio Engineer
Steele Creek Studios / Express AV
Christopher “AudioCzar” Smith is no joke. The man’s been cranking out track after track for a long time, now, and in the last year he’s settled on Studio One Professional for all of his sonic endeavors. Fortunately for us (and you) I was able to get him to answer some questions about his production habits, and why he’s chosen PreSonus.
When he’s not producing music, he’s also producing excellent videos full of Studio One tips; at the time of this writing he’s up to 20 and counting. Click here to see all of the Czar’s vids.
Who are you, where are you, and what do you do?
I’m Christopher “Czar” Smith, originally from Memphis, but I live in Nashville, TN. I am an audio engineer specializing in recording and mixing.
How were you introduced to PreSonus?
I bought Studio One Artist during a NAMM sale few years ago, for about $20. It was an impulse buy I’m glad I made. Actually, I remember my first recording setup back in 2000—I had a PreSonus TubePRE for vocals.
What PreSonus software/
Every mix I’ve done since 2013 has been done in Studio One Professional, and every song or album I’ve mastered since upgrading to Professional was also done in Studio One. When I work out of Groove Box studios here in Nashville I use the DigiMax FS for tracking drum or hardware inserts for my analog gear I bring with me. I also have a FaderPort that I use when mixing.
What’s so great about PreSonus, anyhow?
PreSonus is great because unlike a lot of other companies, you can tell they are really passionate about their products, and they listen to the consumer. They also have excellent customer interaction. If you tweet them, they will tweet back. Everyone I’ve met from the PreSonus staff at NAMM or Gearfest have all been friendly and helpful. And all the products are well thought-out and designed. PreSonus is one of the few companies I look forward to seeing new products from every year.
What’s the last big project that you worked on using PreSonus gear?
The last big project I did was a mix for Diane Betts, a very talented singer/songwriter here in Nashville. Her song was mixed and mastered using Studio One Profefssional.
What are you working on now—or next?
Right now I’m finishing up mixing and mastering The Equalizers debut album, “After Hours.” Next up, I’ll be mixing an album for a rap group from Nashville, and I’m doing some production for a rap artist from Nebraska. I also just got hired to do some mixing and mastering for an artist in France. It’s the first time I doing work for someone overseas, so I’m excited about it!
Where can folks find out more information about you and your work online?