Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, and now based in Los Angeles, master bassist, keyboardist, and producer Justin James is obsessed with pocket and deep groove. A veteran road warrior, James got his start playing music in church, like so many musicians. Since turning pro, he has toured with the likes of Ricardo Sanchez, Eddie James, Jonathan Web, Melissa Morgan, and many others. He is currently touring with Sanchez and is producing bassist and model Nik West’s first solo album. James is also preparing to release his a solo album of his own.
James first was smitten with PreSonus gear when an engineer he was working with got great results from a FireStudio (26x26) interface, DigiMax 96k and DigiMax FS multichannel preamps, and the classic ACP88 8-channel compressor. “The sound the engineer got just blew me away,” James recalls. “I began to research and ask questions about PreSonus, and I ended up buying my own gear.”
Currently, James uses an AudioBox USB interface with a PreSonus TubePre preamp. “I travel a lot,” he observes, “and I just got this tiny setup so I can record bass via the Internet. But don’t let the size of the rig fool you; I’ve recorded a lot of big-sounding bass on some big records with my rig and my PreSonus Studio One software.”
James has stayed close to his roots, continuing to perform regularly for his church, with an assist from his PreSonus gear. “I use the TubePre as my D.I. at church, going directly to the main board. And it makes a world of difference.” He originally intended to use the TubePre for keyboards, but then he plugged in his bass, and “I’ve been in love ever since,” he laughs. “We got engaged that day, and after her first big recording, the TubePre impressed me so much that we got married. The audio quality is awesome, and you cannot beat the price. People think you need to get these high-dollar preamps to sound like a million bucks. Think again my friend!”
Since discovering the TubePre, James has spread the love to include other PreSonus products. “The built-in limiter on the DigiMax 96k is a life saver,” he enthuses. “Depending on what style of music I’m recording, I can always depend on that to save me from clipping, whether I‘m going for a different vibe with my bass or recording drums. Also the drag-and-drop features on the Studio One DAW software are a timesaver.”
As a confirmed PreSonus user, James notices PreSonus gear wherever he goes. “I’ve recorded in tons of studios, and nine times out of ten, I see PreSonus gear,” he notes. “Using PreSonus gear has changed my studio and live sound in a big way. People are so drawn to my tone, and I get tons of emails asking me what I use. I always have and always will direct them to PreSonus. They are making great-sounding gear for a low price, and they see what the competitors are not doing, and they do it. Just buy something from them. See for yourself. Pretty much anything you purchase, you'll have tons of interesting, positive stories.”