Presonus Studio One - Automation Quick and Easy

Automation is a Staple in any DAW application.  But for some reason, some are less intuitive than others.  Why?!?! These programs are supposed to make it easier, not harder.  In this post, I show how to use Studio One for the purpose. 

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Presonus Sphere - The First 60 Days

​When Presonus introduced the new Sphere Subscription, I was initially a little skeptical about the value it would bring and was, at the same time, hopeful that the updates that it brought would be both useful and valuable to me.  Check out what is new with the Presonus Sphere subscription.

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From Here to There - Kevin Gilbert / Giraffe cover

An awesome Kevin Gilbert / Giraffe classic.  If you don't know who Kevin Gilbert is, you have some work to do.  Find anything you can of his, either with Giraffe, solo, Toy Matinee, or anything else you can find.  This guy was absolutely brilliant.  Made some really great, though provoking music with all sorts of other good musicians involved all the time.

I actually did this song many years ago (maybe 2008, using Cakewalk Sonar 7) when the Estate of Kevin Gilbert (RIP) was looking for fans to submit their cover songs for their official website.  I did that with this one and that site stayed alive for quite some time, but has since gone offline.  So, I saw a VLOG post (YouTube) from Tim Pierce talking about Kevin and the work they did on Toy Matinee and went to share this song with him and discovered that it never made it onto my website.  So here it is.

This was recorded with a Yamaha SW1000XG soundcard for all of the synth and electronic instruments and the Drums along with a Yamaha DS2416 (DSP Factory) card.  There were no other effects, there were no VSTs or VST instruments.  I had a cheap "Audio Buddy" preamp and my still-current Rode NT1 mic and Ovation 6-string and Fender Tele (also using the effects from the SW1000XG) for this.  It took a long time and some help from a friend to figure out the keyboard chords, which are likely somewhat wrong, but it was a fun song to make.  I still enjoy listening to the original that I covered this from, which was on the album "The View From Here".  There is another version of it on "The Shaming of the True" that was recorded later in his career that I don't like as much, though both are pretty cool.  Here's my take on it:

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Fun with Delay in Studio One or any other DAW

I was playing around with the new Studio One 5 updates to the Analog Delay VST plugin and decided that a video was in order, going through some of the features and fun that can be had with ANY delay.

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Data Backups - Save Your Music From Yourself!

 As the owner of an IT MSP in the Atlanta area, I hear horror stories about people losing data too often to want to think about.  We always strongly recommend data backups to our clients so that they don't have to face that loss and the financial costs that come with it.  My opinion and advice for businesses or even hobbies that incorporate large amounts of data is to ALWAYS have a data backup, preferably including an offsite copy.

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Presonus Studio One 5 Upgrade or Presonus Sphere: Which is best for you?

 This post is about the decision to upgrade your DAW from an earlier version of Studio One or another product to the new Studio One 5 or to Subscribe to the New Presonus Sphere

 How should I spend my money?!?!?

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New Studio Room for 2020

 I have worked for the last weeks/months on rebuilding my Studio room to make it more functional and more inspirational. Whether I am recording or working, I want my room to be useful to me for creative inspiration or for just getting things done. This video is a quick review of the new updates I have done to my room to make it work better for my day to day use.

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Pearl Mimic Pro Firmware v1.1.0 and the Extras

Pearl and Steven Slate Drums have done it again!

This time out, we have the new Firmware version 1.1.0 and a bunch of fun extras.  In this video blog I detail some of these new features and showcase one of the new presets.  Whether you are coming from another brand, an earlier model, a lower level module, or from an acoustic kit, the Pearl Mimic Pro, especially with these new features and sounds is something you should seriously consider.

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Your audio is ever so slightly out of sync.
Saturday, 25 July 2020 01:27
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Spaceman

This is another cover song by Believable Picnic.  When I did the last song of theirs (Flowers from their second album called "Welcome to the Future"), I did it in Sonar.  This was prior to Gibson dumping the product.  So I thought it would be appropriate to do another song by the same band as I returned to the Cakewalk product after using Presonus Studio One for the last 2 years or so.

So what do I think?  Well, enough that I'm going to write a post of its own for that, but in General, I am afraid that I have determined that I prefer Studio One!  I thought that after all of the many updates that Cakewalk made after resurrecting the product as Cakewalk by Bandlab that I'd go back to it, find it more comfortable and remember what I loved about the product before, but that isn't how it ended up.  I think the end-result is similar in either case, but Studio One hits me with FAR fewer obstacles to getting the song down and being more fun, which is why I'm here.

That said, on to the "what makes up this song".

I used both of my electric guitars for this, since it is a more raw and gritty song than I usually would do.  The Les Paul is on the left speaker and the Telecaster on the right.  I used the Presonus Ampire sim for both guitars with the MCM 800 amp model and the 4x12 M65 for the cab.

For the drums, it is of course the Pearl Mimic Pro, using a variation on the kit that started out as a preset "Overdrive" but I have replaced the toms on it using the Pearl Reference Toms in place of the maple ones that were in that preset to begin with.  As usual, this was sent to tracks in the DAW as kick, snare, stereo toms, stereo overheads, and stereo room plus a single channel for each of the ride and hi-hat.

Something different on this one is that I used the Klanghelm SDRR Tube, a VST that I got as part of the Studio One bundle when I bought that.  I used it on the vocal tracks to make them a little "fuzzy" without going as far as distortion (except for the short spoken element, which definitely had some distortion using the same plugin, driven hard).

I also used the Softube Console 1 across most of the tracks with the SSL 4000e emulation on the vocals and some other places and the British Class A across all of the drums and the drum bus.  In the case of the (noisy) guitars, I used the British Class A for all of the modules except the gate, which I like better on the SSL, so those two tracks had a combo.

I used ONE synth in the whole song and that was for the effect sound that is at the end of the second run through the 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1.  This was using the Analog Lab (another thing I got in the Studio One bundle and upgraded to the full set of presets).  This one uses the Prophet emulation in a preset called Fafx and a little automation of the Filter Cutoff parameter.

There were a few things in this tune that were really hard for me: 

1. Getting it to sound organic and a little loose around the edges, as the original recording of it was like that - but it's hard to get that vibe of loose and sloppy without just sounding bad.  Loose and sloppy in a good way...

2. The guitar solos.  I played them and I think they pass, but they are not as good as the originals.  The recording of this has some kind of backwards masking on the first section, but it doesn't seem like it's all backwards.  I didn't accomplish that.  The "wah" part after that is more complex in the real recording, but beyond my playing - and for me, it's easier to try to copy a more clinical guitar part than this.  The noisy looseness of this part of the song is something I've not learned to do on guitar and wish I could.  I don't really even know how to otherwise describe it, but definitely a challenge for me.

I hope you enjoy this song.  I give you "Spaceman" by Believable Picnic from their Self-Titled album.

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Why You Should Get a 4k Monitor

This post is mostly about the visuals and will show examples of how a 4k Monitor can benefit you in using your PC and especially when using your DAW like Cakewalk, Studio One, Reaper, Pro Tools, or any other.

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Whatever DAW you use - It's all about the workflow

This post  might not be as "fun" as many of the other things you find on the internet about recording, DAW production, etc, but I think it is a necessary thing to put in place for yourself.  The last video that I put up, I had some conversation with one of the viewers and he suggested that "Actually, I think you should do a video on this topic, setting up and personalizing your workstation and workflow.".  So I did and here it is.

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Killing Time

This is another cover song that I have been wanting to record for MANY years.  It is another Roger Taylor song from one of his solo albums and has always been one of those "epic" songs in my opinion in all of the songs in my library.  This one is from his Strange Frontier album from 1984.  When this album came out, I must have listened to it so many times - on vinyl - that the grooves wore out and this was one of the songs I listened to more than any.  There are so many cool things in here, like in the song I did before from his first solo album (My Country Parts 1 & 2).

I tried to record this song an MANY occasions and  came up short each time I tried, barely scratching the surface of what this song really is.

So here we are in 2020, amid the Corona Virus lockdown.  I was watching some tutorial videos on the Presonus YouTube channel and came across one on using a combination of the Pattern Editor and the Impact instrument and that was the kickoff for this song to start taking shape that I needed.  Really, that part wasn't really that complicated, but the inspiration got me going and I was able to pick the rest of it up from there.

So, with the lockdown, even though I have still been working at least as many hours as I usually would, the song "Killing time" seemed so appropriate that I just had to finish it.  And what a great play on words: Killing Time, as in "got nothing better to do" or "it's time to kill" - who know which meaning was really intended!  It took a lot of work, especially in keeping with the original arrangement while trying to add something modern and of my own, and especially making sure that I tried to stay at least somewhat true to the "middle section" of analog synth orchestra goodness!

In this one, I used Studio One, MANY synths from both the Sample Tank 2 library as well as the ones that came with the upgraded Analog Lab that came with my copy of Studio One.  That CMI synth hit couldn't be done without this!  Such a classic 80s sound that is on so many songs and was featured pretty prominently on this one.  I also used the Pearl Mimic Pro for the drums, my Epiphone Traditional Pro II Les Paul (including some clean stuff done with the pickup "coil-split" to give it a bit of single coil sound).  Beyond that, this one used a combination of the Console 1's SSL 4000e and the British Class A (for the first time) on drums, the vocals, and some other parts.

A ton of work went into this, but I actually got it done pretty quickly considering how long it took to get to the point of actually recording it (seriously, I checked the dates and my first attempts at this were in Cakewalk Sonar version 6 in 2007!).

I hope you enjoy it and will leave a comment or at least a reaction below.  And Buy the Album!  Again, from Roger Taylor, Strange Frontier.

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Console 1 - SSL 4000e vs. British Class A

In my last post, I said I'd have an example up of the audio differences between the Console 1 SSL4000e emulation and the Bristish Class A emulation.  This post is to showcase the differences.

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Console 1 British Class A - Intro

I got the Softube Console 1 last summer and just got the SSL 4000e with it.  I thought it was awesome right out of the gate.  But since then, I've wanted to get another emulation, specifically the British Class A, which we all know to be a combination of Neve units loaded together into a single Channel Strip in the Console 1.  While this isn't an endorsed emulation, everything I've read and heard about it is that it is a good representation of what the Neve units sound like.  Their character and behavior are modeled nicely.

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Multi-track Drum Recording - for hire

​If you have been following my Blog or any my other online presence for any time, you know that I play the drums and specifically that I have E-Drums (or Electronic Drums).  I have been playing for many years and have done a ton of recording for other people over those years.

Now I am offering my drumming services to others over the internet.

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Angels or Devils - Dishwalla Cover

Dishwalla has been one of goto favorite bands since their first album, Pet Your Friends.  In my opinion, this is one of the premier rock bands of the 90s and 2000s.  I really liked them a lot with J.R. Richards as the lead singer but haven't really picked up on their stuff since he left.

This song is from the album Opaline from 2002.  I don't know that I ever heard it outside of listening to the CD itself, but it really has a great feel, message, and melody, as all Dishwalla songs seem to have.  Buy the "album" at Amazon here

I'm not sure I got all of the chords just right, especially in the bridge, but played what I heard and modified a few chord listings I found online for the song.

One FIRST for me on this one is the use of the Softube Console 1.  In fact, I didn't use much else on this.  

For the Guitar, I mic'd my Ovation 1861 Standard Baladeer for one channel and ran the piezo pickup and a convolution reverb for the other channel.

For the Electric, I used my Epiphone Les Paul Traditional Pro-II in the middle position and used effects from the Pod Farm VST plugin.

On the vocal, I used a Rode NT1 (my only real mic option, also used on the Ovation above).

The drums are the Pearl Mimic Pro played on the first preset kit called "Masters", based around samples of a Pearl Masters kit.  I am using primarily Roland pads with a few others mixed in, most notably the ATV 14" hi-hat and a self-made conversion of a DW snare to an e-snare.

For the mix, the only extra effects I used on this whole recording were the phaser on the vocal in the two verse "b" sections using the POD Farm VST and a plate reverb on the snare and the lead vocal provided by an IK Mulitmedia VST.

Everything else on here was the Console 1.  I set out originally to do this but as I got through the mix, I didn't really find a reason to add anything else.  This made me really happy, as that is the precise reason I bought the Console 1 to start with - goal achieved.

I hope you enjoy this cover recording and hope you will provide a comment or at least a "reaction" to the song below.



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5 Reasons to Get a Console 1

I recently purchased my Softube Console 1 on eBay.  I couldn't really justify any other way to get this item, but now as I considered how to spend my money, I weighed out all the reasons I'd buy it, regardless of the money part of the equation.  Here's what I came up with in terms of some basic recommendations for those out there considering this purchase in no particular order.  I've also included a short video after with a verbal "monologue" to accompany this.

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Softube Console 1 - A Brief Introduction

My Console 1  has arrived

​As mentioned in my previous post, I bought a Softube Console 1 on eBay.  It arrived on Friday.  I got it setup on Friday night and played around with it a bit and then made this video last night as a quick introduction to the hardware and software.

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Softube Console 1 Arrives (tomorrow)

​I cannot wait until tomorrow, August 23, 2019 - a Friday at that!  I will receive my Console 1 MkII.  I will be using this new device to hopefully make my mixing process faster, more fun, more consistent, and more inspiring.

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Joomla! - Creating a Start Point for consistent site builds

One of the time-saving processes that I have learned is very important in the creation of Joomla! sites that are consistent is using a customized install to begin each site that we build.  I have created a video walk-through for this process below.  Want to save time in creating your custom Joomla! sites for clients?  This way will save a ton.  I can get to my preferred configuration that already includes my commonly template settings, framework install, and component configurations that I know work in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Please watch the video on the next page.  If you found this useful to your process, please let me know.  A Donation to my cause on the right sidebar is very appreciated.  I know how many hours this process has saved me and going through it each time will probably save you time, effort, and money as well.

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