Drummer and educator Andy Binder takes pride in his versatility. He performs in a wide variety of styles, ranging from jazz to rock, fusion, metal, reggae, ska, Latin, funk, country, and drum & bass. And like many musicians, he wears several hats: drummer, drum teacher, composer, producer, audio engineer, Web designer, and visual artist. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, studied in Vienna, Austria, and now lives on the other side of the globe in Sydney, Australia.
However, when it comes to recording, Binder likes his audio pure, clean, and PreSonus. His score for a current Allphones (Australia’s largest independent telecommunications retailer) television commercial in Australia was created with his PreSonus FireStudio Tube, FireStudio Mobile, FaderPort, and Studio One Pro. He used no loops or programmed sound—it’s all real instruments and PreSonus preamps. And all of the instruments for his newest CD/DVD, Inside Out, were entirely recorded with his PreSonus interfaces and Studio One Pro.
Binder started young and obtained a quality musical education. He started playing at age six and—already showing his penchant for versatility—studied drums, guitar, bass, and piano, as well as music theory, harmony, and history. Among his drum teachers was well-known German percussionist Michael Gärtner (founder of innovative music label perc.pro). Binder went on to study jazz and popular music at the Vienna Conservatory, Austria. He started performing on stage at age nine and eventually began touring, recording, and producing in Europe and Down Under. In the late 1990s, he began teaching drums in Europe and Australia.
His introduction to PreSonus gear came more recently, when he discovered the FireStudio Tube audio/MIDI interface. Explains Binder, “The FireStudio Tube got my attention because I was looking for a FireWire audio interface that features more than just 8 or 12 analog inputs so I could record my drum kit by using one interface, rather than two daisy-chained interfaces, while also providing excellent, high-end sound quality for all my recordings. The FireStudio Tube, featuring 16 analog inputs with 8 preamps and 2 tube-preamplifier channels, is very simple to set up, only takes one rackspace, and is very affordable. What I like most about the FireStudio Tube is the amount of input channels and the two featured tube channels, and I especially like the preamps. They sound absolute brilliant and improved the quality of my recordings a lot.”
Binder still tours regularly, using an acoustic drum kit and a trigger pad for use with loops and click tracks. For this purpose, he sought a small, powerful interface with excellent sound quality and an affordable price tag. Already sold on the PreSonus FireStudio series, he chose the FireStudio Mobile. “The FireStudio Mobile allows me to feed my Trigger Pad with sounds,” says Binder, “and in combination with Studio One Pro, I’m able to run loops and click tracks and record. On top of that I also use the FireStudio Mobile as a personal monitor system. Of course I like its size but also the sound quality is amazing—and of course I like the price!”
Yes, Binder uses Studio One Pro for live work, and it’s his go-to recording program. Binder was skeptical when he first tried Studio One Artist. After all, he’d worked in many studios around the world and used most of the leading audio-production programs. But he kept an open mind about Studio One—and was glad he did!
“When I launched Studio One for the first time,” Binder relates, “I was very impressed with how everything seemed to be at the right spot. With one click you get access to every feature that Studio One has to offer. After recording a few tracks and experiencing an absolutely amazing workflow, I was sure that Studio One was the way to go, so I decided to upgrade to Studio One Pro. What I like most about Studio One Pro is the workflow and the sound engine—and the software never crashed.
“There is one particular feature in Studio One Pro that made my life so much easier,” he continues. “When I finish mixing a song, and I go ahead with the mastering, I no longer have to export the mix, open another mastering software, and import the stereo track. All I have to do now is click the Project button—and nothing else. Let’s say during the mastering process I decide to make some changes in the mix. With other audio-production programs, you would have to export the updated mix file from the production program and import it into your mastering software manually. In Studio One Pro, any changes made your mix will be updated in the mastering project with one click of a button.”
So Binder was all set with his audio interfaces and DAW. But there was one more element: a hardware controller. “We all know that mixing a song by adjusting effects, volume, and pan levels, or even automating tracks with your mouse, can be very frustrating. You almost never get it a hundred percent right the way you want it to be, and when you do, then surely you’ve spent countless hours. The PreSonus FaderPort allows me to adjust volume settings with its motorized fader; set panning and effects; write automation; zip through every single channel, mute, and solo; and of course, record and play back a track—all without touching the computer mouse. This great device is the ultimate control station.”
As a result of his experiences, Binder now relies on PreSonus hardware and software both on stage and in the studio. “As soon as you take a PreSonus product out of the box and connect it, it works perfectly,” he concludes. “Every single one of the products I use from PreSonus sounds amazing and is well manufactured, reliable, robust, easy to use, and affordable.”