Bill Evans is not your typical artist’s rep. While his company, Bill Evans Media, represents well-known artists like Angelfire, Kerry Livgren, and supergroup Flying Colors, Evans’ roots as a musician and engineer bring a completely different dimension to his involvement in his artists’ work. For legendary guitarist Steve Morse, Evans is not just a publicist but a recording engineer, co-producer, collaborator, and more. For Flying Colors, he’s the band’s manager and their album’s executive producer.
Evans’ technology background is equally impressive, from his early work with Tom Oberheim to his present-day research in digital-audio production at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK). As he explains, his relationship with PreSonus gear dates back more than a decade.
“I had one of the very first FireBox interfaces, given to me by Jim Odom around 2000,” says Evans. “I was working for Tom Oberheim at the time, and I had this idea that instead of using PCI cards, we should use FireWire. Nobody thought it would fly. The only companies that liked the idea were Apple Computer and PreSonus. Of course, the rest is history. But I used that interface for 11 years, and during that time I’ve turned a lot of people on to PreSonus.”
Original Kansas songwriter and lead guitarist Kerry Livgren is one of those people. “Kerry has recorded his last couple of records, including the last Kansas album, using his FireStudio,” says Evans, “and he used it on his last tour as well.”
Perhaps one of Evans’ hardest working clients is guitarist Steve Morse. The Dixie Dregs founder maintains a demanding touring schedule with Deep Purple, as well as equally busy schedules with his bands Flying Colors and Angelfire. Evans points to PreSonus gear as part of what makes it possible for Morse.
“I was working with Steve Morse on the Angelfire album, and he was scheduled to go out with Deep Purple,” says Evans. “He had to master the album while he was on the road. Armed with a set of high-end Ultrasone headphones, he needed a high-quality mobile audio interface to work with. So I got him an AudioBox USB, which he liked so much, he did all the guitar parts for the album on it.”
Another recent project of Morse’s, Flying Colors (with Dave LaRue, Mike Portnoy, Neal Morse, and Casey McPherson), also benefitted from PreSonus gear. “Steve was on tour, so many of his parts were recorded in hotel rooms,” says Evans, who served as executive producer on the project. “We borrowed a FireStudio to do some of the tracking, and Steve liked it so much he purchased one for his studio.”
PreSonus gear played a further role in the project. “The band got together to do more tracking at Neal Morse’s studio,” says Evans. “These guys all have very tight schedules, and there was no room for messing with equipment that was anything less than rock-solid. We bought two FireStudio Lightpipes, and everything sync’d up flawlessly. That’s the great thing about PreSonus gear – I don’t have to test anything, I just know I can rely on it.”
In fact, says Evans, “when it came time for me to do post production and string arrangements on the project, all my critical listening was done on the FireStudio, because it’s so transparent. And it’s pretty much DAW-agnostic, too. I’ve used it with Pro Tools, Studio One, Cubase, Logic, and a few other programs.”
“PreSonus is a huge part of all my commercial and research projects,” Evans concludes. “It’s definitely my go-to gear.”