Brian Botkiller has worn a lot of hats in his 17-year music career. He’s a drummer first and foremost, but he is also a DJ, teacher, and producer who is always finding new ways to use technology to grow music and the music community. All of these endeavors have benefitted from Botkiller’s consistent commitment to sonic diversity. A hybrid acoustic/electronic drummer, Botkiller indulges influences from jazz, breakbeat, funk, and punk rock to create drum tracks that can lead a song better than most vocal tracks.
The Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident is also an active music instructor with OBEDIA.com, instructing students in drumming, digital-audio production, and success in the music business. His vlog series, Being a Successful Musician, provides insights every week and has been published in books by Martin Atkins and on the CDbaby.com blog. He also posts content showcasing his drumming and music-making on his YouTube channel.
Botkiller looks back fondly on his first experience with PreSonus. “I started with a PreSonus FireBox years ago, when I was working with KeyToSound.com, and we bundled our synth with the PreSonus ProPak,” he recalls. “I've used the ADL 600, the FP10, the AudioBox USB, and the AudioBox 44VSL pretty heavily.
“Currently, I have a StudioLive 24.4.2 console and a FireBox that I rigged into my main production PC, so that I can use it from the front panel of my machine for quick tracking. When I do full-on tracking sessions, I use the StudioLive. I've been tracking in Studio One Professional for about two years now, and I use the StudioLive Remote iPad app pretty often. When I play live or DJ, my rig is centered around my FireBox, because it gives me exactly what I need to get my live set sounding great and to do monitor mixes for myself.”
Along with this impressive lineup of PreSonus hardware, Botkiller has also chosen PreSonus software for producing and recording.
“I use Studio One for everything: Producing electronic music, recording drums and full bands in my studio, and sound design,” Botkiller says. “I love using it for mastering. The project features of Studio One are unbeatable. I also love that I can get Studio One to look exactly how I want on my monitors. I mix on a three-monitor system, so being able to put my arrange window in the center, my mixer on the left, and my plug-ins on the right is just awesome. OBEDIA has offered training in Studio One since its debut, and I see more and more of my students going to it now.”
He doesn’t stop there. “I love the simple but powerful ability to sidechain or make FX channels, and I love the built-in instruments. I mean, the ability to trigger drums using audio from a track through a gate, with MIDI triggering? You can't beat it! Easily recalling presets makes mixing a breeze, too, and transforming MIDI to audio is simple.”
Flexible mastering is another reason for Botkiller’s decision. “The ability to go back and forth between Project and Song mode is huge,” he says. “I really, really dislike having to go back into a DAW to make a change on a song when I hear that one little thing that needs changing after I've switched into mastering mode. I love, repeat, love, that with Studio One I can simply click back and forth to make changes.
“I haven't had another DAW answer the need for all-in-one production so readily. The online sharing features like Exchange and Nimbit and the plug-ins, ease of use, low cost, and the fact that it's easy on your system’s processor make it a total win.”
Botkiller closes with some insight for folks just starting out in music production. “I want to be known for everything I do: drumming, production, and everything in between. I think it's important to be flexible as an artist now. If you lock yourself into one thing, you'll stay there. It's good to be able to do a bit of everything, have fun, and remember that you can be successful no matter who you are.”