[This just in from Nigel of DMT Productions!]
Hi everyone, my name is Nigel Trego, I am the Technical Director at DMT Productions, a UK-based events production company. DMT specialises in producing live events for theatres, arenas and large festivals—from sound, lighting and projection to filming, photography and FX. DMT has been operating for ten years and has a team of 20-plus specialists including sound engineers, lighting engineers, dancers, performers, AV techs, drone, and Steadicam operators, photographers, and pyrotechnicians. DMT Productions have chosen the PreSonus Studiolive Series III Ecosystem as our touring mix package.
DMT currently has:
DMT Production engineers have worked with the likes of Bob Dylan, Blood, Sweat and Tears, James, Texas, The Alarm, Westlife, Grace Jones, and Snow Patrol—to name a few.
We are at present engaged with several projects based in theatres, arenas and large festivals predominantly in the EU. As I write this, members of our team are working on a project filming with US-based Nitro Circus in Wales, helping to promote their World Games event across the UK.
Our current featured artist is Donna Marie, a multi-award-winning artist in her own right and the National Tribute and Music Award official #1 Lady Gaga Tribute and Impersonator for the last seven years. We are currently working for Donna to produce her UK tour of A Star is Born This Way, a tribute to the Oscar-winning film A Star is Born, in act one followed by a second act of full-on Gaga hits. The show features live and pre-recorded video, a live band, dancers, and pyrotechnics, and will be featured in a number of UK theatres—and even some arenas where Lady Gaga herself has performed!
DMT uses the PreSonus StudioLive Ecosystem exclusively. We use the PreSonus Studiolive 32R as a stage box and the StudioLive 16 at front of house. The logical layering and compact size of the StudioLive 16 make it perfect for all venue FOH sizes (some venues have limited FOH space, especially festivals) and it is easily transportable in the crew bus. We chose the PreSonus StudioLive Ecosystem for many reasons; previous experience with the StudioLive AI series and the legacy StudioLive products not only gave us the confidence in reliability and sound quality but also confidence in the ease-of-use. The layout is logical, and the Fat Channel allows for fast and clear access to parameters that are essential to a live performance. Naturally, we evaluated the competition with products such as Allen and Heath SQ-series and of course the Behringer X32 range. When compared via price vs. features/performance/
The feature sets of the Studiolive Series 3 Ecosystem are in abundance and too many to mention in this blog. However, we have some favorites! AVB is a clear winner. Great performance and flexibility allowing us to route any signal to whatever we want without having to buy expensive (licensed) AV networking expansion cards. We were using Focusrite Saffire Pro 40s as audio I/O for our sequenced stems—one of the only I/O devices that can handle 10 individual outputs (we run some of our stems in stereo). Now we can hook up a USB cable from our show control Mac straight to the StudioLive rack or console mixers and have as many USB audio channels for stems as we need; we can then route USB across the AVB network with practically zero latency. Most consoles have complicated menus for digital patching and for configuring matrices. We find the PreSonus very intuitive and easy-to-use at the console level—but even easier via UC Surface on a tablet.
QMix-UC is also a fantastic feature. Our bands play with a click so that their performance is in sync with pre-recorded video and pre-recorded stems; thus monitor mix set-up is critical. Using an in-house desk can take up to an hour to get the perfect IEM mix for all band members, and even then that might need to change during the performance. The ability for the band to adjust their monitor mixes via the PreSonus QMix-UC app is now something that we cannot live without. Event setup time and sound check duration are dramatically reduced allowing us to focus on other areas of the production. Additionally, we save on the cost of a monitor desk and engineer. The project and scene management is second to none. Project, scenes and even the Fat Channel library can be exported/imported to/from a tablet or PC over USB or Wi-Fi.
Our sound engineers love the PreSonus workflow and use the Fat Channel Collection Vol. 1 plug-in suite extensively. We are, however, excited about future PreSonus integration with Waves using the Waves AVB Soundgrid Bridge announced earlier this year.
The ability for us to record 34 channels of 48K multi-track at live events to SD Card (and Mac/PC) is also a fantastic feature. This allows us to take the recording back to the studio and load it straight into Studio One to mix for video production that we then use for further event promotion. We used this feature extensively during a multi-tribute festival this year where our camera operators filmed the entire three-day event. Our sound engineer took the FOH multi-track recordings back to the studio to mix. We were able to create professional video packages that we then provided to the bands that were performing, which they in turn now use as their promotional material for their socials and web.
The majority of the time, our engineers seldom use the console mixer, tablet at FOH is the way forward for them. Other great PreSonus features include the ability to share scenes between the different mixers, no matter the form factor, this is great to have a backup mix ready to go in case of an HW failure. Virtual sound check is a great tool and the ability to use two mixers in tandem is superb. Let me elaborate on that. We have the 32R set as “standalone” at drum riser position with all stage mics and instruments feeding it and the 32R is, in turn, feeding the IEMs, stage wedges and the main PA. Our show control MacBook is hooked up to the 32R via USB and digitally patched running 10 channels of USB audio. All of the 32R channels (including USB) are sent over AVB to the FOH console and the FOH console mixes (Matrix and Aux) sent back to the 32R over AVB. The flexibility of digital patching in conjunction with AVB is incredibly powerful. This allows us to benefit from the USB channels on the 32R at riser position while retaining full mix control at FOH.
One of our productions was to headline a festival this summer on a clifftop in beautiful West Wales, we had an audience of around 5000 at this particular event. We had decided to take our 32R (running on a Relio UPS) and feed the event PA (via their mixer) from the Left and Right channels of the 32R to allow us to soundcheck quickly. The event who supplied PA had a mixing desk they used for the other bands performing that evening of which we only used the two channels (Left/Right). Just before our performance began the heavens opened! Once the rain had stopped we managed to wipe the stage dry, tip the water out of the keyboard player’s keyboard and start the gig! After a spectacular video-based intro, three bars in on the first song, the power went out, no sound, no lights, no video.
The band continued to play, they were on IEMs from the 32R. Fortunately, the stage wedges were also working, they were on a different power feed to the main PA, so we turned them to face the crowd. It turns out that water had worked it’s way into the mains Distro taking out one of the electrical phases. It took the event organisers 13 minutes to fix the issue only to find their networked stage box had blown, so still no sound! We plugged the PreSonus 32R directly into the event’s amps and away we went! The show must go on. The reason for telling this story is because when we plugged the PreSonus directly into the amps, the difference in the sound quality was incredible, so much so that a number of people came over to FOH to comment on how good the sound was and to ask why it wasn’t as good for the other bands that were on during the event (not using our PreSonus). The event organisers were over the moon that the event continued during the power outage and commended DMT for keeping the audience entertained and stopping them from leaving the event.
One of the most attractive things that PreSonus has to offer is that the end-user has a voice. Development of their hardware and software is continuous, user feature requests are taken seriously and the majority of them appear in the next software builds. The support infrastructure is excellent. We have called PreSonus UK on many occasions, the staff are very knowledgeable, friendly, and take a vested interest in helping to resolve even the most complex of problems, efficiently and with haste. On top of that, they are really nice guys that obviously love what they do. Interaction on social media by the PreSonus team is also a major plus point. To be able to reach out to people like Rick Naqvi, Jonny Doyle and Seth Martin on the StudioLive FaceBook Group is a great value-added commodity that is seldom seen with other companies.
For us at DMT Productions, PreSonus is a brand that we trust and we love using the products.
To find out more about DMT Productions, please feel free to visit our websites:-
These recordings of a real-deal 1970s P-bass have been recorded in immaculate detail. Make no mistake—this isn’t a one-sound-per-MIDI note sample pack like that SoundFont from 1998 that you found on some “Free samples” website. There is a LOT for you to work with here—the packs include many different right-hand dynamics, left hand positions, hammer-ons, slides, dead notes and harmonics. There’s also a bevy of scripting at hand here, including valuable presets for you keyboardists out there who want to emulate bass playing via MIDI. Last but not least, each pack includes Musicloops in a variety of styles, including MIDI note data and effects chains per Musicloop.
There are four packs in the e-Bass collection: Vintage Finger, Vintage Pick, Classic Finger, and Classic Pick, and this offer gives you all four.
Here’s a bit about the production of this pack:
“We used a Millenia TD-1 tube channel for the Vintage Bass instruments, and an Avalon DI preamp for the Classic Bass. We also recorded the bass via an Ampeg SVT top with 112 speaker, just as a sound reference. However, we ended up using only the DI signals for our eBass instruments. The DI signal provides great flexibility for additional processing with amp simulators and EQ, so the reference amp recording was a tremendous help when we designed the Instrument+FX presets—we could always compare them to the real thing. Strings were medium 045-105 round-wound for the classic and the same gauge flat-wound strings for the vintage. The pickup set was the original from 1975.”
This technique dates back to when I was doing live gigs with Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy—me on guitar, him on drums. Since there was no bass player, we needed a way to fill out the bottom end. I’ve come up with a bunch of ways to do that over the years, but the technique presented here is the easiest one yet to implement. We’ll extract a bass line from an existing guitar track, without using MIDI or virtual instruments—here’s how.
Start by copying the guitar’s audio to a new track, which will become our faux bass track. Call up the Inspector, and transpose the faux bass track down by -12 semitones (Fig. 1). This technique works best with relatively articulated guitar notes, not rhythm guitar chords.
Now, it may seem like transposing down an octave is enough, and we can all go home now. No! The faux bass track needs three processors to sound right (Fig. 2).
But as they always say, the proof is in the pudding. However, since we’re not providing a recipe about how to make pudding, check out the audio example instead.
The first two measures are the guitar by itself, while the second two measures have the faux bass playing along. Pretty cool, eh? Oh…and if you’re in a Cream tribute band, this will definitely come in handy for “Sunshine of Your Love.” Have a great weekend!
On October 11, our own Software Specialist Gregor Beyerle attended WAVE AKADEMIE Berlin’s Dissertation Presentation of Audio Engineering and 3-D/Game Design to demonstrate the StudioLive 32SC mixer’s DAW mode in conjunction with Studio One. The StudioLive 32SC is the new centerpiece of WAVE AKADEMIE’s “Soundlab,” where a large variety of both hardware and software instruments are accessible to the students.
Students and lecturers alike were amazed by the hybrid workflow of the StudioLive 32SC, which excels at integrating tons of outboard gear (like drum machines and synths) with software instruments, especially when used with Studio One. The ability to assign any channel to send or receive via analog, USB, or network gives WAVE AKADEMIE the flexibility they need in their Soundlab.
The ability to multitrack record jam sessions onto an SD card was also received with great enthusiasm, as it enables the students to record songs directly into the mixer before getting them into Studio One for post production.
Check out photos and video from the event below, and visit Wave-akademie.de for more information on upcoming events!
Available NOW at shop.presonus.com from Craig Anderton… How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One! This is Craig’s third book on Studio One, and it weighs in at a whopping 258 pages!
Mixing is where you create an experience that transports the listener into your musical world. And now, renowned music technology expert Craig Anderton brings his years of production and mixing expertise to an easy-to-understand, comprehensive guide about all aspects of mixing. Chapters include Mixing Philosophies, Technical Basics, Mixing with Computers, How to Use Plug-Ins, Mixing and MIDI, Prepare for the Mix, Adjust Equalization, Dynamics Processing, Sidechaining, Add Other Effects, Create a Soundstage, Mix Automation, Final Timing Tweaks, and Review and Export.
Profusely illustrated, and loaded with constructive, practical, meaningful advice that will improve your mixes dramatically, this 258-page eBook sets the standard for discovering how to make compelling mixes in Studio One.
Chapter 1: Mixing Philosophies
Chapter 2: Technical Basics
Chapter 3: Mixing with Computers
Chapter 4: How to Use Plug-Ins
Chapter 5: Mixing and MIDI
Chapter 6: Prepare for the Mix
Chapter 7: Adjust Equalization
Chapter 8: Dynamics Processing
Chapter 9: Sidechaining
Chapter 10: Add Other Effects
Chapter 11: Create a Soundstage
Chapter 12: Mix Automation
Chapter 13: Final Timing Tweaks
Chapter 14: Review and Export
Appendix A: Mixing with Noise
Appendix B: Calibrating Levels
[This just in from Charlie Bauerfeind, producer for genre-defining power metal pioneers, Helloween! In his search for the perfect DAW Controller for his ultra-compact-but-complex, MacBook Pro-based, live-broadcast setup for Helloween’s Rock in Rio Show on October 4th, he turned to Presonus’s Faderport 16.]
I was blown away by the ease of use in the FaderPort 16’s setup, and the incredible versatility in this most compact DAW controller. It was truly a plug-and-play experience, and made my job in Rio go perfectly smooth… My Pro Tools-based setup is comprised of several session-based pre-programmed automation parts… but the much bigger dynamic automation part needs to be handled flawlessly during the live performance. I’ve owned a FaderPort Classic for a long time, but the FaderPort 16 allowed me to deliver a great broadcast result for one of the biggest Rock festivals on this planet.
A big THANK YOU to the guys at PreSonus!
Just as we can use plug-ins to process audio, Studio One’s Note FX are plug-ins for MIDI data. They tend to be overshadowed by our shiny audio plug-ins, but have a lot of uses…like generating cool percussion parts.
This may sound like a stretch (“c’mon, can it really generate a musical percussion part?”), but the audio example will convince you. The first four measures are a percussion part created by the Arpeggiator NoteFX, the second four measures combine the percussion part with a house drum loop, and the final four measures are the house drum loop by itself—so you can hear how boring the loop sounds without the added percussion part.
This part was created with three conga and two bongo samples, each assigned to its own MIDI note. The initial “part” was just those five notes, each with a duration of four measures. It doesn’t really matter how long the notes are, you just want them to be continuous for the duration of the drum part. I then added the Note FX Arpeggiator plug-in to arpeggiate the notes (Fig. 1).
By themselves, the standard up/down and down/up patterns tend to sound overly repetitive. The Random option (outlined in red above) helps, but then you have a random percussion part, which doesn’t relate to the music. So let’s introduce the secret sauce: automation (Fig. 2).
The key here is automating the Play Mode and Rate. The Play Mode automation starts with up/down for a measure, then down/up, then random for a bit more than a measure, and then down/up again. This adds variety to the part, and when it repeats, the random section creates additional variations so that all the parts don’t sound the same.
But what really adds the human element is varying the Rate. It starts off as 1/16th, but then just before the third measure starts, does one beat that starts with 1/32nd notes and ramps down over the beat to 16th-note triplets. The last three beats of the four measures uses a 32nd-note Rate so that the “robot percussion” adds some tasty, faster fills to lead into the next measure. I used down/up during these faster parts, but random can sound good too.
The final touch is Swing, which is set to around 70% in the audio example. Note how even though the drum loop is metronomically correct, adding swing to the percussion part lets it “dance” on top of the drums.
Now, here’s a very important consideration: You may look at the above and think “this sounds too easy,” or maybe “but what are the exact settings I should use?” The answers are yes, it really is that easy; and the exact settings really don’t matter all that much—feel free to experiment. Studio One’s little robot percussionist is full of surprises, and the way to uncover those is to play around with the settings, and automate them to create variations.
Finally, I’d like to mention that I have a new eBook out! At 258 pages, “How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One” is considerably longer than my two previous Studio One books. I’ve been working on it for the past year, and it’s finally available in the eBook section of the PreSonus shop. Check it out—I sincerely hope it helps you make better mixes.
Let’s take a minute and acknowledge some of our favorite TV dads:
Now let’s introduce you to one of the coolest dads out there, Neil de Jong. He is the audio engineer and dad to two of the three-member tribal thrash-metal band Alien Weaponry. Like a good dad, he taught them the value of hard work. The band worked multiple jobs after school and on weekends, played tons of shows and funded all their own gear, full of instruments and recording equipment! Neil also served as the group’s manager until its recent signing to German music agency Das Maschine. He always went out of his way to teach his sons about Māori history and culture which is a massive influence on their music.
Alien Weaponry is a heavy metal band from Waipu, New Zealand, formed in 2010 by brothers Henry and Lewis de Jong. The band consists of Lewis de Jong (guitar and vocals), Henry de Jong (drums), and Ethan Trembath (bass guitar). Revolver Magazine called them “one of the best young metal bands in the world right now!”Alien Weaponry not only draws on the traditional Māori haka war-dance for their music, but often sing in the Māori language of Te Reo—and by doing so, are keeping the language alive. Pretty metal, right!?
They are currently killing it on tour, and we had the opportunity to hear all about it—and their rig, which includes a StudioLive RM32AI and a StudioLive CS18 AI. Neil took the time to answer a Q&A, below.
Hey Neil, give me some basic background info on your career and current projects.
I am 53 years old and have spent much of my life doing sound in one way or another. I spent my early years (like many) playing guitar in bands. When I was in my early 20s I landed a job working in a recording studio and trained there as a mastering engineer. I worked for many years on music and film projects as a post-production sound engineer and when Alien Weaponry started to make a name for themselves internationally I took on the role of live sound operator. I won Record Producer of the Year in last year’s New Zealand Music Awards for my work on Alien Weaponry’s album, Tū, which also won Best Rock Album and made dozens of Top Albums of 2018 lists worldwide.
What PreSonus product(s) have you used in the past and which do you currently use?
I work for Alien Weaponry, who are a young thrash metal band from New Zealand that I have had a long association with—I’m their dad! I started off with an StudioLive RM16AI and an iPad. This was initially to help the band out with a rehearsal space set up, but we found it made a great compact FOH rig too. I then acquired a 23-inch HP touchscreen to use which greatly enhanced the system. About two years ago, I acquired a CS18AI and an additional RM16 which I used for touring in Australasia with Alien Weaponry. I now own three RM32AI rigs, each with a CS18AI and AVB. I use these as my main touring rigs in the three main locations we tour in the world (North America, Europe, and Australasia) I still have the RM16s and recently bought a 24R for the rehearsal studio as the band wanted to record stuff straight to SD card. I have done some fly dates just with the 24R and a touch screen laptop.
For what applications are you using the product(s)?
I have been mixing on my RM32AI/CS18AI rigs at some of the world’s largest heavy metal festivals in Europe, America, and Australasia. (Download UK, HellFest France, Wacken Germany, Metaldays Slovenia, Chicago Open Air amongst others) The band also toured with Anthrax and Slayer last season in Europe and we played everything from 1,200 cap clubs to 20,000 cap arenas. I am almost always running the smallest mixing console at FOH, and it does raise eyebrows. Most guys are on the larger Midas, Digico or Avid consoles. After we play, many want to know what I am mixing on and are surprised by the sound.
What led you to choose these particular PreSonus product(s)? Was it the company’s reputation, audio quality, specific features, price, other factors?
At the time I was looking for a mixed setup I had investigated the lower-end offerings by Midas and the Behringer X32. I decided to go with the PreSonus RM partly based on the architecture and a recommendation from the guys in New Zealand who run The Rock Shop (from whom I purchased my first RM16AI) Price was definitely a consideration and as it was for a rehearsal space a small footprint was a huge factor too.
Having used the gear, what do you like most about the specific PreSonus product(s) you use so far?
I really like the architecture of the AI-Series stuff. I like that the CS18AI is only a control wing as well as the flexibility I have with iPads and touchscreen laptops. Our monitor mix guy mixes directly to the system with his iPad from the side of the stage during shows. He and the band are on in-ear monitors. I also really like the sound of the PreSonus preamps too and think they sound better than many more expensive options I have encountered at big shows. Certainly better than the Avid/Digidesign console in my opinion.
In each of the PreSonus product(s) you use, what features have proven particularly useful for your specific workflow and why?
I think the “stage box” layout of the RM32AI is perfect for big festival shows with all XLR inputs and outputs on the front of the box. We have our ears wired in on the DB24 connectors on the back, and they conveniently live in the same SKB rack. We have been up and running in as little as 10 minutes with mics all line-checked and ready to go. I also like were the Tap Tempo and FX Mute button are on the CS18IA—right under my thumb.
Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with PreSonus gear?
I like that I can run music for testing the rig from FOH and that our stage mix guy runs the house music from the RMs position on stage. He is able to do a “silent” soundcheck/line check using his in-ears and iPad. This is how we do all festival setups and did many of the shows with Anthrax and Slayer when there was just no time for a full soundcheck. The system has never let us down.
Any final comments about PreSonus, our products in general, and the PreSonus product(s) you use in particular?
I also like that my PreSonus rig is so portable and flexible. The first time we toured Europe, we did it in a splitter van, so space was a big issue and the smaller footprint of the FOH gear was very welcome. I also like the dark grey/ black color scheme of the StudioLive RM AI/CS18AI units. I’m glad to see the newer Series III units are using less blue… but then I work for a metal band, so black is king. It’s one of the reasons we use Audix mics, hahaha!
Apple is poised to release its next operating system, macOS X 10.15, “Catalina,” sometime in October of 2019. PreSonus has been working with Apple to qualify pre-release versions of this new OS with all of our products.
We have found changes in Catalina that affect compatibility with PreSonus hardware and software. Remain on current versions of macOS until further notice. We ask that you please wait for us to announce compatibility before updating your OS.
In the meantime, please be advised:
We will provide an update when we have qualified 10.15 for use with our products and what updates are needed to ensure proper compatibility.
Please also see the following article: