“I don’t need a musical instrument when life plays the best notes”Chiara Luzzana (2022)
We at PreSonus are extremely thrilled to hear and see Chiara Luzzana put her unique spin of sampling and *PLAYING* our hardware and software products musically in the creation of her performance video above.
Be sure to also watch her accompanying behind-the-scenes video (below) to learn how she hears and creates sound compositions from objects found in her world!
Chiara is a highly innovative and visionary sound designer. She designs the sound of the most important brands in the world.
She has defined a real compositional method, unique in the field of sound branding. As a kid, she studied guitar, clarinet and piano, but something in that method of teaching blocked her creativity. As she developed into an eclectic artist, she wanted to break the rules imposed by musical notation, to create music starting from noise to create visionary soundtracks.
As a former student at Berkelee College of Music, Chiara investigated how the brain reacts to sounds and vice versa, in order to structure every project with a specific mission.
Her sound works are a journey into the soul and psycho-acoustics, not just music.
She studied to become an audio engineer in 2005, and has collected certifications and specializations in every field, from the neurobiology of musical cognition to the construction of microphones, to nourish her obsessive passion regarding every single detail related to sound.
“It is in the noise and in its harmonious imperfection that my creativity finds inspiration”Chiara Luzzana (2022)
Chiara is also a public speaker from the Italian and foreign stages; through talks and sound performances, she tells the importance of sound in communication and in everyday life.
Chiara has made more than 100 talks from 2015 to today, including an invitation as a speaker to the Senate of the Italian Republic, several TED talks, and was even shared the same stage with Elon Musk, at Tech Week 2021.
Her workshops are held in Milan and Shanghai.
Winner of the “Muse Creative Award” 2017 for the “Best Soundtrack”. Winner of the “Muse Creative Award” 2019 for the “Best Sound Project”. Finalist of “Music + Sound Award” in 2016. Winner of “Best Soundtrack” for the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation.
“The way I found out about Studio One and PreSonus: I had lunch with Bob Moses (president of the Audio Engineering Society at one time)… and I asked him some questions about what he would recommend: what company was reliable, had integrity and specifically he said ‘you should look at PreSonus’ so that’s what I came away with”Kevin Paez, Musician/Audio Engineer @bunnytonemusic (2022)
Under the musical direction of Conductor, Thomas Leslie and the production team of Wendell Yuponce, executive producer, David Garcia, recording engineer and mixer and Kevin Paez, assistant recording engineer; the award winning University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) Symphonic Wind Ensemble recently worked with special guest artists: John Patitucci (Chick Corea, Part Metheny, Herbie Hancock, numerous others), Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea, Elton John, Billy Joel, numerous others), Mitchell Forman (Phil Woods, Carla Bley, Wayne Shorter, numerous others) and Bernie Dresel (Count Basie, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, numerous others) and have recently completed initial tracking of a new recording project with a slate of all new wind orchestra works.
PreSonus Studio One DAW and Quantum 2626 audio interface captured the creative musical magic that flowed out over the span of nine days as the musicians tracked live onstage at the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall on the UNLV campus.
This musical collection was commissioned to highlight the groundbreaking curriculum at the UNLV Wind Studies Department, which has an extensive history in expanding the repertoire of wind orchestra compositions and allowing students within the program the unique opportunity to interact with living composers of note while adding to the overall evolution of musical expression within the field of wind orchestra.
“I’ve been using PreSonus gear since I was 16 years old, I couldn’t be happier to be working with a brand that’s been such a big part of my life over the years.”—KRIS XEN (2022)
KRIS XEN takes you on a musical journey that could only be described as modern fusion.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and raised in Durban, he starting off as a drummer at the age of 11 and became addicted to guitars as a young teenager. He started his first bands at the age of 13 and eventually became a member of one of the most famous death metal outfits in South Africa; Vulvodynia. He is constantly evolving as a guitarist, producer and musician, and developed a great love for expanding his musical knowledge and touring.
During the pandemic Kris focused hard on writing, recording guitar and producing Vulvodynia’s most recent offering Praenuntius Infiniti from his home studio. The album was mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson.
He has played in Ron Bumblefoot Thal’s (ex-Guns N Roses, Sons Of Apollo) band, done multiple headlining tours in Europe with Vulvodynia and Xavleg, and has headlined tours in the States, Australia, and Africa with Vulvodynia.
In Technopath, Kris has worked with some legendary musicians such as Brian Beller (Bass for The Aristocrats, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani), Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen) and Nick Johnston.
Kris has also been featured in Guitar World Magazine and was the cover page for “New Voices In Guitar,” outlining “10 fresh guitarists to keep an ear out for in the coming year” for 2020.
Kris has just released a signature guitar with Ormsby Guitars, available worldwide and is presently on tour throughout the United States with Vulvodynia.
Follow KRIS XEN on Instagram for tour information and musical updates!
We all know Impact XT is cool—but it’s at its coolest when you use the individual audio outputs, because then you can add exquisite effects to individual drums.
How Multiple Outputs Work, Part 1: Impact Setup
Let’s zoom out. Impact has 16 potential outputs, which can be mono or stereo. The reason for saying “potential” is that you can use as many as you want, in whatever configuration you want—all stereo, all mono, or a mix of mono and stereo outputs.
You assign a drum to one of the 16 outputs by clicking on the little number in a pad’s lower right, and choosing from one of the 16 outputs, either stereo or mono. More than one drum can feed a single output. For example, fig. 1 shows an Impact layout for a recent song. All the drums go to their own outputs, except that Perc1 and Perc2 feed the same output because they’re going to be processed, and have their levels adjusted, simultaneously.
Part 2: Console Setup
Now we’ll have the drums show up in the console. Open the Instruments panel, click on the downward arrow, and choose Expand to see Impact XT’s outputs. You’ll see all the Impact outputs (you may have to scroll to see more than the 16 stereo outputs). They’ll have an St (stereo) or M (mono) prefix, followed by the output number. Check the box that corresponds to each output that you’re using. It doesn’t hurt to check outputs you’re not using, but they’ll take up space in the console, and serve no purpose.
Next, simplify your life by renaming the console channels to reflect the drum names (fig. 2). The names will then show up in the Instruments panel. This lets you think of the console channels as sounds instead of just outputs.
Part 3: The Payoff
So why bother doing all this instead of just using a stereo output? Because we can do all kinds of fun processing. In this example:
This processing transforms a dancehall-type beat into something more chill. The audio example’s first half plays what the loop would be like without processing, while the second half includes the processing—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what multiple outputs can do.
Last week’s tip covered using the Mixverb to create the 80s gated reverb effects with drums. This week, we’ll present a more universal solution. But also, we’ll do some cool tricks with gated delay (there’s nothing like a dotted eighth-note delay, right?).
Compared to last week’s tip, the main difference this week is that it’s not limited to using individual drum sounds (although that remains the most flexible approach). Because the gate following the reverb has a sidechain, it works with drum loops or a mixed drum bus. Fig. 1 shows the mixer setup for a drum loop.
The drum (or loop, or bus) track has two sends. One goes to an FX Channel with Open Air reverb followed by Gate. The Pro EQ2 before the reverb is optional—it’s there to keep low frequencies, where the kick lives, out of the reverb. The other send controls the Gate’s sidechain.
For Open Air, I prefer reverb sounds that don’t have a lot of early reflections, with a long, consistent tail. Try different reverbs, because the results vary greatly depending on the reverb itself. My go-to is using a 4.00 or 8.00 second “Balanced” impulse from my Surreal Reverb Impulse Reponses sample pack, tweaked with the Open Air EQ. In the audio example, using this particular impulse imparts a sort of melodic component as well as space. However, most long, smooth reverbs will work.
First off, a “gotcha”: When you assign a sidechain to the Gate, it assumes you want Duck mode. You don’t! Make sure you turn off Ducking, or you’ll wonder why the gating doesn’t work as expected.
The Gate’s Hold parameter plays an important role. You can set the Threshold to pick up as much of the drum dynamics as you want, and then use Hold to set a specific amount of time that the Gate is open. Release tailors the sound further by setting the way the Gate cuts off, from no time to a bit of a decay. For example, 250 ms adds a bit more of a reverberant character if you want a less drastic gating effect.
Audio examples? Sure! Let’s start with gated reverb on drums. The first half is dry drums. The second half has gated reverb, and uses the parameters shown in fig. 1.
The final audio example gates a dotted eight-note delay from the Analog Delay. In some ways, I think this is a better application than traditional reverb…but maybe that’s just because I haven’t heard it a zillion times before. This example has only the processed sound, since you already heard the dry sound in the previous audio example.
Perry Sorensen, Head of Mastering for NAXOS of America, gives us his favorite features of the updates in Studio One 5.5 on the Project Page. NAXOS is the largest distributor for classical jazz and world music.
Perry uses Studio One to master and in this video he gives a walk-thru of how he uses track automation plus more!
Learn more about Studio One
Learn more about NAXOS of America
Listen to Perry’s musical expressions with Jessie Kol
Lillian: Isabel and I met in high school back in 2016 and became friends through our shared love of music. I can remember one day getting a ukulele and showing Isabel. We would always mess around, but one day we were like, “let’s write a song.” I can remember Isabel’s dad was picking her up and we had not finished the song. He arrived at my house and we were so excited to share it. We played it for him and he loved it. From there we knew that we could write. We began going to open mics at a local coffee shop and played our songs there. After we wrote a few songs, our friends started hearing them. We grew a following and support from our friends and family. We competed in our school’s talent show with an original and got so many positive reviews.
Being in high school, it was hard to get a gig. Our town is small and there are not many opportunities for kids like us. After we had gone to the open mic multiple times, the coffee shop owner reached out to us and wanted to book us to play our music there for two hours. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for us. When the show came, we packed the place out. Our friends and family came to support us and we had the best time ever. It was such an awesome moment to play our songs and have people sing them with us.
This was something Isabel came up with and it stuck. The phrase “Happy to be here” is something that we are whenever we go to play shows. We are so grateful for the opportunities we are given, so the name is fitting. The only difference between the phrase and our name is that the word to is spelled “two” because there are two of us!
To date, we have written about six or seven songs in total, and we plan to write many more in the future! We both have a passionate obsession with music and songwriting, so it’s always easy for us to collaborate.
The spring of 2020 was like no other. Isabel and I had been at different schools by this time, but wanted to release a song. I remember Isabel posted something on Instagram and I heard a groove with it. I sent her a demo and we got to writing. We would send voice memos back and forth because of the lockdown. In the end we created a song and music video all from home. The song, “Stay,” and its music video can be found on our individual Instagram accounts (Isabel) and (Lillian).
I have been living in Nashville for about two years now and love it. I am a student at Belmont University and have been truly blessed by PreSonus and what they have done. While it might seem small, their help has made me a better musician and opened many doors. Creating this project with PreSonus stuff helped be gain more knowledge with recording software. I was able to use what I learned in my own experiences and from audio engineering classes to start a job as a touring musician. The Quantum 2626 has traveled with me around the States! I have been able to drum at multiple music festivals with headliners like Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan, using PreSonus’ gear for all of my needs during my set. Without their help, I could have easily been passed up for the gig. I am so grateful for their support!
Isabel: Working with PreSonus was such an amazing opportunity for us. Due to the pandemic and the fact that we attend different colleges, we’ve struggled with continuing our songwriting and performing as a band. PreSonus decided to assist by providing us with audio tools (Revelator USB Mic, HD9 Headphones, Quantum 2626, DM-7 Drum Mics and Studio One recording software, via PreSonus Sphere memberships) to begin creating our music via online collaboration. We wrote “Never Met,” which was something we never finished in 2019 — and it will be available for the general public on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and more soon!
Studio One 5.5 has arrived, adding a ton of new mastering power to the Project Page — including Automation — as well as plenty of other features, including a strum notes feature, .MID file support for the Chord Track, Fast Ampire switching, and more!
Here’s our Studio One 5.5 video playlist below. But if you want the full story and all the nitty-gritty details…
I started off my mixing career mixing Tinie Tempah’s triple-platinum album Discovery. Prior to this I wrote and produced music and was signed to labels such as Virgin and Defected Records. Since mixing Tinie’s album I have been busy mixing records for many artist including BTS, Sigrid, Dua Lipa, Kodaline, The Disciples, Sigma and most recently Shane Cod and his platinum single, “Get Out Of My Head.”
I have been mixing in Studio One for six years now and it keeps getting better and better. PreSonus really listens to user feedback and implements suggested improvements frequently; I haven’t experienced this with any other DAW.
Studio One allows for a very fast workflow and because of it’s intuitive build and design I can easily focus on the mixing.
During lockdown in 2020, we decided that London was lacking in high-end state of the art podcast production facilities, so we built VOXPOD Studios. My podcast room can host up to eight people and also offers livestreaming and video recording of the shows on five video cameras placed around the room.
The PreSonus PD-70 dynamic mic has proven to be a game changer in VOXPOD studios. Its sound quality and tone set the bar above all the others on the market.
VOXPOD Studios has already started hosting shows for some big podcasts here in the UK, including the James Smith Podcast and Rugby’s leading podcast, “The Good The Bad and the Rugby.”
Lastly, another new positive feature of 2020 was the launch of PreSonus Sphere. It’s truly a brilliant way of connecting the rapidly growing number or Studio One users, world-wide. I love being able to try out suggested Presets and Studio One shared components from other engineers, writers and producers.