Bonnie Raitt

Texas-based engineer Paul Anthony “Pappy” Middleton has recorded and mixed live concerts for such megastars as the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Sting, Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby, ZZ Top, Neil Young, and many, many others. We’ll run out of space way before Middleton runs out of credits. He has mixed command performances for the Queen of England and the President of the United States, as well handling front-of-house chores at countless major festivals. Middleton also is a fine bass player and vocalist, especially known for his work in Blackhorse.

One of Middleton’s regular clients is Bonnie Raitt, for whom he has mixed front-of-house since 1986. Recently, when Raitt and her band rolled into New Orleans for the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (better known as “Jazz Fest”), Middleton was kind enough to take time out to talk shop with us.

As it turns out, Middleton is a fan of PreSonus gear, and his live-recording rig includes the DigiMax FS and FireStudio Lightpipe. “I feel I’ve got the best combination of what I need to record,” he states. “I’m taking a split off preamps of the Gamble [a customized Gamble EX analog console], with all of my inserts, and going straight to the PreSonus [interfaces] and recording in Nuendo.”

One reason Middleton chose PreSonus interfaces is their audio quality. “One of the first shows that we did with the PreSonus gear, [keyboard player] John Cleary…asked me for a quick mix after a show. I gave it to him the next day, and he said it was one of the best-sounding live recordings that he’s ever heard.”

Known fondly on tour as the “analog dog,” Middleton is sold on PreSonus digital technology. “I love it,” he enthuses. “It sounds good, it works easy, it interfaces easy, and I don’t know what else you could ask for.” Thanks, Pappy! We love your work too!