8th May 2012
The Desert Feet Tour is a program aimed at bringing musical inspiration, education and opportunities to remote Indigenous communities. Launched in 2008 and travelling to areas such as the Kimberly and Pilbara, the tour presents the rural towns with alcohol-free, no-cost, family-focused live performances and educational workshops. The tour originally ran once a year, but this has been increased to allow a wider number of communities to be reached.
Earlier this year the Desert Feet Tour found themselves in need of a new mixing desk. Their Sound Engineer, Ewan Buckley, contacted National Audio Systems with an invitation to be a part of the tour's work. "In particular we sought a mixing desk that allowed us to multi-track record and mix down. This recording system is the backbone of our live shows allowing us to give outback musicians a recording of themselves – a unique opportunity most would never have!"
As luck would have it, NAS' Chris Cumming was visiting PreSonus HQ at the time he received Buckley's email. He promptly replied, and the two discussed the project.
"Following this," says Buckley, "I had the good fortune to meet with Jim, Rick and Mark from PreSonus USA in February when they visited Chris here in Perth. Their demonstration of the StudioLive 24.4.2 was very exciting, impressing with its thoughtful design, intuitive software, and the overall ethos of PreSonus themselves.
Chris negotiated with PreSonus to jointly supply us with a StudioLive 24.4.2 for our use in running live shows, and recording the indigenous musicians we come across in our travels. As a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation, to receive such an important and costly asset is of tremendous value to us: we appreciate it very much.
But I was still yet to understand just how much I would come to love it!"
"It has saved us the space of carrying all the usual rack gear – compressors, EQs, effects units, gates – all of these are contained within the amazing Fat Channel, which is available on all 24 channels! I now have 24 compressors, 24 gates, 24 limiters, 24 EQs and a multi-effects unit, all in the same space as my old analog mixing desk. We used to have to carry an additional 10RU road case of processing gear, plus a box of patch leads; this itself would generally take 30 minutes to set up. Now we have only the one road case containing the precious StudioLive, and it takes me only the time to plug in the input multicore leads to set up. Truly amazing.
Furthermore it is extremely easy to get a great sound. I often don’t have the time to fine-tune or do much of a sound check between arrival and setup, so to be able to just drag-and-drop presets using Universal Control, with further tweaking effects shown graphically right in front of me is invaluable. And then to be able to copy these presets between channels – incredible."
"Compare this to my previous regime; I would need to patch my mixing desk Direct Outs to a recording interface which was plugged into my computer. From here I would need to take the outputs from the interface back into my mixer. Now I just plug in a single firewire cable and BAM: I have all the ins and outs that I need! I open up the Capture software and simply hit record – and every channel is recorded perfectly every time.
The StudioLive is faultless, performing flawlessly in the very dusty conditions we subject our gear to.
Its features are truly impressive. The dynamics, effects processors and EQs are all excellent, the software is intuitive, easy to use, highly functional and worked seamlessly with my MacBook Pro. The few technical queries I did have were answered on the Presonus forums. All-round excellent stuff."
For more information on the Desert Feet Tour please visit their website here.