Formed in July 2011 by Belgian multi-instrumentalist Sam Oerlemans and his American girlfriend Jennifer Summer, Hitherside is one of the newer bands on the PreSonus artist roster. Oerlemans is an accomplished guitar player, drummer, bassist, and keyboard player with an engineer/producer streak. Summer’s an American expat from Dayton, Ohio, who was schooled in voice via the Estill Voice Training system, as coached by Afra Voesenek. Together they run a project studio dubbed “7th Circle.”
Hitherside is a radio-ready, alt-rock one-two punch that explores the dichotomy of heavy guitars paired with female vocals. The result is intense, emotional, and highly listenable music. Their sound has both spirit and PreSonus at its core.
Hitherside first came to PreSonus’ attention via the band’s YouTube video for their song “Insignificant Other,” which opens with a beautiful shot of the StudioLive16.4.2, followed by a cameo from a workstation sporting Studio One 2. “I was looking to exchange my old analog desk for a digital mixer because I was tired of not being able to recall any settings,” Oerlemans says. “In my search, I immediately came across the StudioLive 16.4.2, which caught my eye because of its unparalleled design. The price also seemed very reasonable, and I had read some reviews, which were unanimously positive. I downloaded the manual and couldn’t believe that the StudioLive was packed with so many features! It was love at first sight, and it didn’t take long to put my analog desk up for sale to acquire the 16.4.2.”
Oerlemans took to the StudioLive 16.4.2’s Fat Channel processing quickly, particularly as it applies to recording drums. “My drum set is permanently miked via the StudioLive,” Oerlemans explains. “I love recalling my drum-practice scene on the mixer, putting on closed headphones, and drumming while monitoring all channels. I can see it all in action: the preamps, the Fat Channel compressors, EQs, and the two effects processors. Next to my drum set in the live room, I have an old laptop that’s connected via an Ethernet cross-cable to the DAW in the control room. The DAW is running Studio One 2 and Virtual StudioLive.”
“I’m running remote desktop software on both computers,” he elaborates. “This way I can use my older laptop as a remote control for Studio One and the StudioLive when I’m recording myself. It works really well, and you can just use any older generation laptop/desktop. It doesn’t need much processing power, since it’s just presentation and keyboard/mouse control for the main computer.”
His applications for the 16.4.2 don’t end with drums, however. “For band practice or live studio recording, I can send three completely different stereo monitor mixes into the tracking room via the aux buses to keep every band member happy. The FireWire connection gives me 16 channels straight into Studio One and back out. The mixer is very stable and never lets me down. Once the drivers are correctly installed, it’s just ‘power on and play’ each time.”
Oerlemans is also a PreSonus Studio One advocate, having chosen Studio One as his workhorse DAW at 7th Circle. “After years of having worked with hard-disk recorders and feeding the recorded channels back into the analog desk for mixdown, Studio One was nothing but exciting for me,” he enthuses. “I did work with other brands of software before but I found them to be cumbersome. Studio One allowed me to record right away because the GUI is so well organized. I love the zoom functions that allow me to edit very quickly and efficiently.
“Just about anything that an engineer can think of seems to be implemented in Studio One,” he continues. “I find myself not using any outboard effects processing anymore, since the effects and instruments that are part of the Studio One package are of the highest standard. I still find new ones every day when working with Studio One. The Melodyne integration is flawless.
“The combination of the StudioLive mixer with Studio One 2 has definitely changed my life as a recording artist,” Oerlemans concludes. “The vast array of features in PreSonus products has enormously widened my possibilities for creating music. The equipment and software runs very smoothly so more time is spent on music creation.”