Los Angeles, California, July 2015... When GRAMMY®-winning mix engineer Dave Pensado started using PreSonus® Sceptre S6 and S8 studio monitors, some of his friends were surprised. After all, the Baton Rouge-based company was not yet known as a speaker manufacturer, and Pensado mixes records for such luminaries as Mariah Carey, Macy Gray, The Black Eyed Peas, Beyoncé, Kenny G, and Earth, Wind & Fire. “Every once in awhile someone is surprised I am using PreSonus gear,” he notes, “but when they hear the results they are believers.”
The Sceptre connection has led to a much more wide-ranging partnership between PreSonus and the famed engineer. PreSonus has supplied prizes for Pensado-hosted events, and Pensado has become increasingly involved with PreSonus pro audio products, notably the StudioLive™ 24.4.2AI Active Integration™ digital mixer.
In addition to his busy mixing schedule, Pensado and executive producer Herb Trawick co-host Pensado’s Place, an acclaimed Web series featuring panel discussions on a variety of pro audio topics. The show features audio experts affiliated with artists ranging from Coldplay to T Bone Burnett, Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, and Drake. Broadcast from the 40-seat Pensado’s Place Theater at SAE Institute’s new campus in Los Angeles, the show draws between 500,000 and 700,000 viewers per month in more than 150 countries.
With Pensado’s appreciation for PreSonus gear, it makes sense that he and executive producer/co-host Herb Trawick chose the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI to mix Pensado’s Place. But they had choices, so why the StudioLive AI? “The last video facility we worked at had a StudioLive AI mixer,” replies Pensado assistant Cole Nystrom, who mixes Pensado’s Place. “We fell in love because of its flexibility, layout, and ease of saving and recalling scenes. The signal flow and layout are really well done. And I love the XMAX™ preamps; I use them for the dialog and for the musicians we host on the show. They sound incredible for guitars, bass, and drums. I use the onboard effects and the Fat Channel EQ and dynamics all the time. We're also multitrack recording the show with Capture software.”
“I've used a ton of PreSonus gear,” adds Pensado. “The quality and value have always been impressive. We are very happy with the StudioLive 24.4.2AI; it has performed flawlessly. We like its routing flexibility, and since we mix the show live, its ergonomics are especially important. Of course, this is a show about audio, so our sound has to be top quality, and that was a critical factor in choosing the StudioLive AI. Besides, it looks cool!”
While Nystrom delights in mixing Pensado’s Place with the StudioLive 24.4.2AI, the star of the show still can’t get enough of his Sceptre studio monitors. “I own both Sceptre S6s and S8s. I’ve been using them for about a year, and it is truly hard to choose between them,” Pensado enthuses. “The S6s are phenomenal and, combined with a subwoofer, will give you great information. Still, the S8s are my main go-to mix speakers. I use five different speakers but I'm on the S8s about 80 percent of the time, and I use them without a subwoofer.”
Pensado is quick to explain why he likes Sceptres so much. “The depth and clarity are unparalleled,” he notes. “With their coaxial design, they are amazing for placing tracks in the stereo field. I use my speakers to tell me what the mix needs, and the S8s yell at me about exactly what my mix needs. If I need more midrange, they tell me. If my panning is not musical, they let me know. S8s are not shy about directing me through a mix. I just love 'em. They work!”
Nystrom is also a big fan of the Sceptres. “I fell in love right away,” he states. “I use S6s in my studio as well as working with Dave, so I spend many hours listening to them. The imaging paints a beautiful picture of where everything is, left to right but also front to back. The depth of field is very special. They’re fun to work on, too. They’re not hyped, and they don’t fatigue your ears or feel fake.”
Pensado and Nystrom combine their Sceptre S6s with a PreSonus Temblor T10 subwoofer. “I used the rolloff and blended the sub with the S6s,” says Nystrom, “and it’s beautiful how even it feels. I don’t feel any transition going from the speaker to the subwoofer; the crossover point is transparent.”
Recently, Nystrom has been digging into PreSonus’ Studio One 3 DAW, as well. “I love how easy and streamlined it is. You can immerse yourself in the creativity of the song and not get bogged down with the technical stuff. The workflow is incredible.”
To watch Pensado’s Place, visit www.pensadosplace.tv.
For more information about PreSonus, visit www.presonus.com.
About PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc.
Founded in 1995, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording and live-sound software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus's software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, digital mixers, control surfaces, loudspeakers, and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.
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