My hometown of Baton Rouge was a music maker’s mecca at the end of September when local gear and software manufacturer, PreSonus, held their second annual PreSonuSphere conference. It was such a treat to be invited to experience it, eat some Cajun food, hear some great music and visit with old friends. And then there was the LSU football game on Saturday night…
The event was held at Baton Rouge’s Shaw Center, nestled in historic downtown and overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. Things kicked off on Thursday night with a rooftop jambalaya dinner while one of BR’s fave brass bands, the Michael Foster Project, played. Afterwards we were treated to a performance of Papa Grows Funk in the main theater, with Tower of Power’s Larry Braggs sitting in.
One of the coolest things about this conference was that the almost 500 attendees not only enjoyed great performances by the likes of Papa Grows Funk, blues great Chris LeBlanc and songwriter Jordy Searcy, but the shows were mixed by Ace Baker and recorded live with PreSonus’ Studio One. So each day we were able to sit in on sessions that took us through the recording, editing, mixing and mastering of the shows. It was completely inspiring, and some of Searcy’s songs are even available through Nimbit, the music marketing company that was recently acquired by PreSonus.
There were some other great sessions with PreSonus’ Jim Odom, Jim Mack, Bob Tudor, Rick Naqvi and John Bastianelli about technology and its role in the music industry. One of my favorite people in the world, Craig Anderton—who was also Performing Songwriter’s very first technology editor and played a huge role in the success of the magazine—gave a seminar on Mastering with Studio One, with a look at Studio One Professional’s song/mastering integration. Other workshops included Tracking a Rhythm Section, Wireless 101, Studio Acoustics, Mixing Monitors, Mic-ing and Recording Drums, and ongoing hands-on sessions of how to use Studio One and StudioLive.
Thanks so much to PreSonus for a terrific few days of inspiration, and I’m looking forward to the 2013 event. Oh, and be sure to save me some of that jambalaya…
—By Lydia Hutchinson
Photos by Daniel Keller