Randy Hanley is the founder and host of the Manly Hanley podcast. He’s been using Studio One and a StudioLive mixer to produce the show, and sent us a TON of info on his production method and why he’s chosen PreSonus. If you’re looking to get into Podcasting, this is a great read.
Give us some background on yourself. Who are you, what do you do, and how long have you been podcasting?
I started out as a drummer, professionally teaching at music stores for 12 years. Drums lead me to learn about computers and technology through my interest in recording. I received a certificate at the Recording Institute of Detroit, back when we were still using mini ADAT Recorders, just when a software that rhymes with “Mo’ Jewels” was becoming “the thing.” There was just something about Mo’ Jewels that I was never able to become comfortable with.
I heard of PreSonus, when a music store colleague of mine mentioned that he was going to buy the ACP 88 Compressor. I didn’t even know what it was at the time, but he explained it to me, how it offered all of this compression/multiple channels, at an extremely great value. That’s basically the very first time I heard of PreSonus.
I started a Podcast back in 2011 called “Getting Android,” but I never followed through with it. After I bought my PreSonus FireStudio Project rig for recording music, I realized that I have way more than enough power/setup to do a simple podcast, so why not give it a try? Well, I eventually got around to it, in 2019 and I’m glad I did. I’m more of a reborn podcaster, so technically, I’ve been doing it (consistently) since January.
What PreSonus products do you use?
I use Studio One 4.5 Artist and the StudioLive 16, Series III. I originally started with the FireStudio Project.
What features, in particular, make StudioLive and Studio One suitable for podcasters?
The Templates, ease-of-use, and the perfect integration between Studio One and basically ANY hardware interfaces.
For Podcasting, I’ve created my own template, which you can see below.
What I think really makes PreSonus Studio One accessible to Podcasters? It’s future-proof. For instance, many podcasters move into doing more with their podcast, and that often includes Video/Vlogging. With the Professional edition of Studio One, you have all you need to not have to jump between programs! It’s tiring to jump back and forth from Camtasia (because its audio features are terrible), just to grab the audio file from a DAW. Studio One has it all there in one place. I won’t have to worry about sync issues, or format confusion, because the recent format additions in Studio One 4.5 are amazing and all I’ll ever need.
I also have noticed that Studio One is easy on the CPU/RAM resources–which I think is very important to us Podcasters–My machine isn’t a video-rendering beast–I just use it to record audio and Studio One is extremely fast, even on my somewhat modest machine.
I never feel like I’m lost with the way I can label things. It’s easy enough for my co-host to sit a tablet on the StudioLive and remotely control the faders of the mixer if we need to fix levels. Additionally, the labels on the mixer can reflect what I’ve named them in Studio One. I feel like there is always a way for me to get the job done with PreSonus.
Before I purchased the StudioLive 16, I thought to myself that this might be total overkill to use for a podcast. But then I thought back to how many products I’ve wasted my money on over the years, such as cheaper USB microphones. All of the money I spent on those products easily cost more than just buying this mixer, which includes Studio One anyway. It was a no-brainer. (Incidentally, I recently heard that PreSonus dropped the price on some of the Series III mixers as much as $200.)
Additionally, I was frequenting some Facebook podcasting groups, seeing which kind of problems users commonly had. Users were always running into issues setting up Audacity. Users also ask questions about “Where do I get my Podcast edited, produced, normalized, compressed…” the list went on an on. I realized I could do ALL of the above in Studio One. It’s a HUGE money-saver when it comes to producing my own podcast. I’m not paying anyone to do anything other than advertising and host my Podcast. The way I’m looking at it, I’m saving a ton of money each and every month producing it on my own. With my plug-ins and templates inside of Studio One, I don’t really have to do much editing, ever!
I heard so many good things about Studio One, especially that it was included with many of the hardware products that PreSonus sells and integrates well. Studio One can open projects from other DAWs such as Cubase, Pro Tools and others.
I also never have to worry about running out of inputs. I don’t know of a podcast that has 16 people talking at once 😊.
Also, with Studio One and my PreSonus hardware interface working with USB is the big sell for me doing this podcast. USB just works. I haven’t had to install any legacy drivers, etc.
What features are you most impressed with?
Ease-of-use and stability! Never crashes on me… EVER!
I am really impressed with how the StudioLive mixer has recall of the effects and fader positions–it doesn’t have to rely on my computer and Studio One’s project settings if I feel like just using the mixer as a LIVE MIXER. But then, if I want to jump into DAW mode, I can make the mixer follow the computer’s settings. There is so much flexibility, it’s crazy. I cannot think of anything I need. I’m also impressed that PreSonus uses AVB, an open standard that allows any vendor to support it. It’s not closed-minded and just feels like freedom. I’m an open-source guy whenever possible–it’s transparent and honest.
Oh, here’s a bonus feature: the community. The PreSonus forums are the best support you could ask for. When I started out with Studio One and my StudioLive mixer, I had a couple basic question. Embarrassingly, the answers were in the manual that came with the mixer, but the community was friendly and helped point me in the right direction. It’s like a small town of nice people wanting to help because they share similar passions, supporting this company that cares about its customers.
Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with PreSonus hardware and software?
I recorded some amazing bluegrass artists on some of the old FireStudio hardware and it still sounds phenomenal today.
As for tips, I’m a HUGE believer in templates. That’s the best way to be productive and save so much time. PreSonus templates are the best.
For Podcasting, I literally have to do zero cleanup. I have my effects set on the mixer (I typically use the Male Voice 1 or 2) and it applies just the right amount of compression and gating. I can do these effects on each individual Mic channel for each podcast co-host. I receive lots of compliments on how nice and clear the audio is. I share my experience often in some Podcast Support groups on Facebook, including this one.
What features do you want to see next in Studio One or StudioLive?
I’d like to maybe just a see a few more default templates, that are Podcast-specific, heck, I’ll share mine with any other Podcasters, just shoot me a message.
What’s next for you?
I hope to learn my mixer / DAW more. I want to do a live podcast eventually. I’d like to use the SD Card feature on the StudioLive mixer, because I know that Studio One makes it easier than ever to take those recordings, directly off the SD card, then opening the project, ready-to-edit on my computer!