[This guest blog post comes to us from EarthMoments.]
Street style: ecstatic South Indian ceremonial drumming, and raw and primal beats from the gullies of South India. This is a wildly unconventional bundle now made accessible to producers worldwide.
EarthMoments’ collection – Indian Street Drummers – Indian Percussion – showcases the heart and soul of the streets of India with the original, largely undocumented sounds of Tapattam street drummers.
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!
So what were you doing before PreSonus?
Was owning a business something you dreamed of doing or did you just fall into it as the products came along?
What’s the process for having a great idea to getting it out the door?
What need was the DCP-8 supposed to meet?
At the time, did you have any data supporting the need for this product?
What was the biggest challenge? Major roadblocks?
How did you guys come together to build it?
How did you feel when it was complete?
When you think about the last 25 years, how does it make you feel seeing how far PreSonus has come?
One of our dear friends, Skip Jones, passed away recently. He was 66. Skip was not only one of our biggest supporters, but he was also one of our longest-running forum mods. Skip helped countless people with their PreSonus stuff starting way back in the early days of the PreSonus forum, and most recently via the StudioLive and Studio One groups on Facebook. Skip was the guy that originally came up with the idea for PreSonuSphere and pitched it to Rick… who then pitched it to PreSonus. Skip even named it.
Skip is survived by his daughter, Lindsey Jones, and his siblings: Tammy Jones, Sandy Jones, and Larry Jones. His ashes will be spread in the Gulf, the same place his wife was laid to rest in 2015.
We’ve been able to collect a few nice words about Skip that you’ll find below. And if you’d like to share your own, feel welcome and encouraged to do so in the comments.
Godspeed, Skip. We’re better for having had you around.
“I met Skip Jones about 12 years ago. He was an early supporter of Studio One and PreSonus hardware and instantly started spreading his enthusiasm across the PreSonus community. He was not only one of PreSonus’ biggest supporters, but he was also one of the longest-standing forum moderators, and has helped literally thousands of our customers. Skip was constantly coming up with ideas on how to serve our customers better. It’s a humongous loss for our user community. Our prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
– Rick Naqvi, SVP of Global Sales
“Skip was the first person who reached out to me when I joined the PreSonus forum many years ago. His kindness and knowledge were infectious. He is one of the main reasons I am even here. Over the years we became very good friends through conversations about everything from Apple operating systems to the best way to house train a terrier. I was there to talk when his wife passed and he was there when I was trying to be a single parent. He was a great friend. I remember discussing what turned out to become PreSonusphere with him. Can you believe it all started as a simple hangout at one guy’s farm in Southern California? The world lost a good man, and a good friend.”
– Jon M. Taylor, Technical Sales Lead – Live Sound
To my good friend Skip Jones:
I met Skip Jones on the PreSonus Forums back in 2009 and we were friends instantly. Sharing what we knew of Studio One and supporting hundreds of people on the PreSonus Forums. When I lost my voice in 2011, I was ready to chuck everything and stop doing music, but Skip wouldn’t let me. He was one of the major driving forces who pushed me to create Home Studio Trainer. He supported me like no other. He was also the conscience for the MOD group and hated when we talked about beta stuff… lol. We will have nothing to fill this hole but our memories. Live long and prosper where ever you are, Skip. You deserve peace.
Skip and I first made contact in the Studio One Facebook group. He was always friendly, engaging, helpful and full of fun. He and I persuaded Johnny Geib to start his own Facebook group for His site Home Studio Trainer, and we helped him moderate the group. One group quickly became two, and later three groups. In late 2014, as I, under encouragement from Skip and Johnny, began to make Studio One tutorial videos, I found Skip to be a wonderfully loyal supporter, and a fierce advocate for my content. He would spread the word about my videos, and then about my livestreams as I started them.
When I joined the PreSonus Forum Mod Squad, Skip again helped build a “Community University” in the Forum, where he would post my videos and links to my livestreams, as well as johnny Geib’s content and others as well. I learned a lot from Skip. He was a very fine mentor, teacher and encourager. And he was a great friend.
PreSonus, and its user community, has been very greatly enriched by Skip Jones, and the scale of the loss we now feel in his death is very great indeed. He will be very greatly missed. We all have a Skip shaped hole in our hearts. May the impact of his legacy among us forever grow deeper and wider.
Our prep work is in order: in part 1 we integrated the Komplete keyboard as a DAW navigation control surface, and in part 2, explored how to create general-purpose MIDI control surface templates. In the thrilling conclusion of this trilogy (soon to be a major motion picture!), we’ll now find out how to control non-NKS instruments and effects, running within Studio One, from the Komplete keyboard hardware control surface.
BUT FIRST: FOCUS VS. GLOBAL MAPPING
Because we’ll be mapping hardware controls to software parameters, it’s important to understand the difference between Studio One’s Focus and Global control mapping functions. When you program a controller in Global mode, it affects aspects common to all songs, like faders, pan, etc. In Focus mode, you program a controller for a specific instrument or effect. Focus mode has two wonderful attributes: You can program different settings on the same instrument or effect in the same project, and Studio One remembers this assignment for other songs. For example, I made a Komplete keyboard Mojito template so whenever I call up Mojito in any song or any instance in a single song, it has a hardware control surface.
To choose Focus mode (Fig. 1), click the gear button toward an instrument or effect’s upper right. From the drop-down menu to the right of the gear symbol, choose MIDI-OX (the MIDI utility we installed back in Part 1 of the series because it lets the Komplete keyboard talk to non-NKS plug-ins). You’ll also need to choose Focus mode for an instrument or effect when you want to use a previously created template.
After entering Focus mapping mode, parameter and Control fields appear between the header and plug-in. This is where we do our hardware-control-to-parameter Control Link assignments. To complete a Control Link assignment, click on the arrow that points from a control to a parameter. This causes the arrow to flash yellow in Focus mode, or blue in Global mode.
Okay, let’s return to creating our control surface. To start with a clean slate, close MIDI-OX and Studio One if open, and turn off the Komplete Kontrol keyboard.
After creating these templates, you won’t want to lose them—which you will if your hard drive crashes. Or maybe you’re going to do a re-install, or want your templates on a different computer. For more information, a helpful document on the NI web site tells where to find the Komplete Kontrol MK2 settings.dat file so you can copy it, or back it up.
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS/STUDIO ONE SYNERGY
If you have multiple templates and want to switch among them to control various instruments and effects while you work in a song, here’s the procedure.
You can switch between controlling an instrument loaded in Komplete Kontrol, and a Studio One instrument that uses the currently selected template. This is pretty much automatic; when you select a track with Komplete Kontrol, the PLUG-IN button toward the keyboard’s upper right lights. When you select a non-NKS track, the MIDI button lights. However, you do need to change templates if you switch to an instrument or effect that doesn’t use the currently selected template.
Note that when you want to use the Komplete keyboard as a hardware controller, or to test your programming, the stand-alone app’s MIDI button must be turned off. Then you can press the keyboard’s MIDI button to communicate with the instrument or effect.
GETTING CREATIVE WITH YOUR TEMPLATES
If you’re tweaking one parameter at a time, arguably just grabbing the mouse, clicking on a parameter, and dragging is easier. But where hardware control really comes into its own is being able to adjust multiple parameters at the same time, like varying filter gain and frequency, envelope parameters, or compressor controls that interact, like threshold and ratio.
Also note that knobs can control drop-down menus. For example, in the Pro EQ, you can choose the LC and HC slopes, or the LF and HF filter types, with knobs. Another trick is redundancy. With my Pro EQ template, the filter parameters are spread over different pages. However, the 7 active/bypass switches for the filter stages are available on every page. That way, no matter which filter stage I’m adjusting, it’s possible to bypass or enable any other stage for diagnostic or comparative purposes.
Yes, it takes a bit of effort to program templates for everything you might want to control. While this may seem arduous at first, you need to create a template only once (although of course you can edit it if needed). After a while it becomes second-nature to switch over to the Komplete Kontrol stand-alone application, choose the desired template, minimize Komplete Kontrol, and carry on tweaking parameters. And, a particularly outstanding feature is that you don’t need to switch templates when controlling the same plug-in. A good use case is adjusting EQ during the mixing process. Call up your Pro EQ template, and it can apply to whichever EQ you select.
So now we can use the Komplete keyboard’s control surface not only to tweak NKS-format plug-ins, but virtually any plug-ins from any manufacturer—it even works with prehistoric wrapped DX and DXi plug-ins. Pretty cool!
We’re excited to bring back the PreSonus Fam Friday blog series. This round we will introduce you to our team across the pond in Europe! First up is our Product Specialist Lee Boylan!
How long have you worked for PreSonus?
What’s your official job title?
What’s your favorite thing about your job? Why did you choose to work here?
Meeting creative people from around the world who love music/audio production. / Because it is a company that listens to the users needs and makes really cool tools, that I get to show.
What was the first 8-track, cassette, CD or digital download you purchased?
Appetite for destruction G&R.
Who’s your go-to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
What’s your go-to Karaoke song?
Everyone has a side gig, what’s yours? OR when you’re not at PreSonus, what are you up to?
Live sound-mixing, Recording / Producing projects. Playing Drums. I’m also renovating a really old cottage in Dublin which demands a lot of my spare time at the moment. “Forever home” type of thing.
What instruments do you play?
Mainly drums, some guitar bass, Keys, etc. I can make a somewhat musical noise on a Trumpet too. I usually play by ear. I have learned to read music in the past I rarely used it.
Tell us about a successful event you worked with PreSonus products. InfoComm, NAMM, Install somewhere….
The latest cool event I did was Studio One 4.6 release party at Redbull Studios in London. Steve Winwood was there!!! I really enjoyed Synthfest UK in 2019 too. Looking forward to more cool events for 2020.
Got any tips for working with Studio One?
Try to drag n drop everything! Spend time setting up your shortcut keys.
What are you currently working on at PreSonus? What’s next for you?
Starting to work more closely with companies in the Middle East and Africa. Long flights…
What’s the strangest talent you have?
Is cereal soup? Why or why not?
What’s invisible but you wish people could see?
What’s the best Wi-Fi name you’ve seen?
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
In 40 years, what will people be nostalgic for?
What’s the weirdest thing a guest has done at your house?
What movie would be greatly improved if it was made into a musical?
If someone asked to be your apprentice and learn all that you know, what would you teach them?
What would some fairy tales be like if they took place in the present and included modern technology and culture?
What is something that is really popular now, but in 5 years everyone will look back on and be embarrassed by?
What ridiculous and untrue, yet slightly plausible, theories can you come up with for the cause of common ailments like headaches or cavities?
Anything else you want to share?
In preparation for the Winter NAMM show, PreSonus hosted our sales reps and international distributors for a series of very exciting kick-off meetings. In the US, our sales reps play a big part in interfacing with our dealers and customers to help them reach their creative goals.
In recognition of outstanding performance during the year awards were presented to the following reps for their achievement:
In Part 1 (“A New Hope”) of the NI Kontroller trilogy, we covered how to integrate the DAW functions from Native Instruments’ Komplete Kontrol keyboards with Studio One. Let’s take this another step further.
In theory, Komplete Kontrol’s MIDI control surface application is only for stand-alone use, and requires using both an external power supply and the keyboard’s 5-pin DIN MIDI connectors for I/O. With a live rig, this makes sense; for use with a DAW, you have the NKS spec communicating over USB. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to use the Komplete keyboard’s control surface with non-NKS instruments, and even effects, in Studio One over USB? Well, you can.
For Windows, install MIDI-OX. This utility is key to letting us re-direct the MIDI messages at the Komplete keyboard’s external output to Studio One.
For Macs running Catalina, I currently don’t know of any way to use the MIDI Patchbay utility. This is similar to MIDI-OX, but hasn’t been updated since 2008, and system requirements stop at Mac OS X 10.14. You can try using it with pre-Catalina systems; if Apple’s Gatekeeper blocks the installation, you’ll need to allow it under Security & Privacy. Once you get it installed, it should work similarly to MIDI-OX if you choose Komplete Kontrol S-Series Port 1 for the MIDI input option (and consider that equivalent to Komplete Kontrol -1 in the following description), and choose Komplete Kontrol S-Series Port 2 for the MIDI output option (it should work similarly to Komplete Kontrol EXT-1, below). Mac users, please feel free to comment below about what does and does not work with the Mac.
Back to Windows…
A WORD OF CAUTION
At the moment, the Komplete Kontrol application’s template management is somewhat primitive. Any changes you make are saved when you close the MIDI controller application; there’s no “Save” or “Save as” command, nor can you manage individual templates—they’re all saved in a single .dat file.
However, if saving-by-closing doesn’t work for you, and you can’t seem to save new templates, there may be an esoteric Windows problem. This is particularly likely for those who upgraded to Windows 10 from an earlier version, because the folder holding the templates may be write-protected due to inheriting permissions. Here’s the fix.
Okay, now that’s out of the way. Hey!! Don’t blame me! It’s a Windows thing.
CREATING A STUDIO ONE-FRIENDLY TEMPLATE
You access the MIDI control surface when you push the Komplete keyboard’s MIDI button, which also defaults to opening if the Komplete keyboard doesn’t see an NKS instrument. The following procedure describes how to create the kind of template we want for Studio One’s plug-ins.
Note that you can choose whether the knobs cover an absolute range, as specified by the Range From and To controls, a Relative Range, or a Relative Offset. Since I don’t like my head to explode any more than necessary, I left this option on Absolute to start, knowing that I could change it later. You can also program keyboard parameters, pedals, the touchstrip, and the keyboard key colors—16 color choices in all. So, different templates can color the keys differently for visual confirmation that you’ve chosen the desired template (of course, I chose the color “mint” for the Mojito template).
So to recap, we’ve set up a general-purpose template, with a separate controller for each knob and switch, that we can use to create a custom control surface for non-NKS instruments and effects… as we’ll find out in part 3 of the NKS trilogy, Rise of the Controller.
The Studio Rats are a band hailing from the UK, led by none other than our good friend Mr. Paul Drew; a longtime Studio One user.
Starting off as a session guitar player with a small recording setup at home, Paul quickly got the bug for recording in a more serious way and moved on to having a commercial studio for artists to come in and record. While he was in the process of developing this, he got asked to write some songs for some pop acts. One of the bands were then taken on by a record company, and Paul was asked to be their in-house producer. There he met his business partners and formed DWB Music, Limited. DWB has sold songs all over the world and currently are at about 40 million sales and 100 million streams.
About a year ago, Paul got a bit tired of just working on programmed pop music and wanted to take a break to just work with live musicians. He now gets to do this with his current project The Studio Rats.
The core members are:
Having worked with many great singers and co-writers over the years, Paul invited a few of them to perform and co-write the songs. He also wanted to find a way to provide free content for music production, mixing and guitar playing online, so The Studio Rats YouTube Channel was created.
About the PreSonus audio tools that he employs:
Paul has been using Studio One DAW since version 2 for composing, recording and mixing, along with the Faderport controller and a Quantum audio interface that he uses for any sessions away from his home studio in Surrey, UK. Prior to adopting Studio One, he had a Pro Tools HDX System.
Studio One features that Paul enjoys:
A closing thought from the leader of The Studio Rats:
“PreSonus has been amazing with user feature requests. You don’t get this from the other DAW companies. I wholeheartedly recommend that people give Studio One a trial, you won’t look back.”
Studio One 4.53 introduced integration with Native Instruments’ Komplete series of keyboards, which is a big deal. Although these keyboards are theoretically dedicated to NKS-compatible plug-ins and mixer/transport hands-on control, with Windows systems (Mac fans, there’s more on this later) you can use the keyboard as a general-purpose, hands-on MIDI controller for non-NKS plug-ins, including all bundled PreSonus effects and instruments (as well as plug-ins from other manufacturers). Also, unlike standard NKS, you’ll be able to control effects, regardless of whether or not they’re inserted in an instrument track.
There’s a lot to cover, and since this is more like a tutorial than a tip, it’s split into three parts: DAW control with Studio One, creating custom templates for plug-ins, and how to apply the templates in your workflow.
INTEGRATING THE KEYBOARD
Choose Studio One > Options > External Devices, and click Add. Scroll to the entry for Native Instruments, unfold it, and select either your A/M or S series keyboard for Receive From and Send To. I’m using an S49 (Fig. 1).
INTEGRATING THE CONTROL SURFACE
Now let’s set up the Komplete keyboard as a new control surface. Again, choose Studio One > Options > External Devices, click Add, and scroll down to the entry for Native Instruments. Unfold it, and select Komplete Kontrol DAW – 1 for both Receive From and Send To (Fig. 2).
CHOOSING THE MODE OF OPERATION
To edit NKS plug-ins, press the PLUG-IN mode button in the keyboard’s cluster of six buttons, toward the upper right. Controls that don’t relate to a synth or effect, such as the Transport, Metronome, Tape Tempo, and the like remain active. When it’s time to mix and you want full integration with Studio One’s mixer, press the MIXER button.
The following describes how the control surface for the current S-series Mk2 keyboards integrates currently with Studio One; click here for information from PreSonus on suitability with other NI keyboards, and updates.
Transport. The Play, Rec, and Stop buttons do what you’d expect, but there’s more to the story than that—there are several nuanced options. The following assumes you’re starting from a stopped transport.
This takes care of the mixer and transport functions. Next week, we’ll cover how to create custom MIDI control setups using the Komplete Kontrol application, and that will prepare us for Part 3, which describes how to create “faux NKS” control surface capabilities for PreSonus instruments and effects. Yes, it really is possible…
ioStation24c: The collaborative partner for the solo artist.
When you’re a solo artist, you have to be more than just creative to realize your vision—you must also be a producer and an audio engineer. The ioStation 24c audio interface and production controller provides the tools needed for all of these diverse roles in a compact, ergonomic desktop design that will fit into any home studio.