Violinist David Ragsdale is on his second tour of duty with well-known rockers Kansas, having performed with the band from 1991 to 1997 and rejoined in 2005. A former member of the Tulsa Philharmonic orchestra, Ragsdale toured for four years with Louise Mandrell before joining Kansas. He has also recorded with The Smashing Pumpkins (Siamese Dream), Jason Bonham (Motherland), and Queensryche (Hear in the Now Frontier), and he released his solo CD David & Goliath in 1997. He’s a pro’s pro, with excellent ears.
Ragsdale is currently on tour with Kansas, where we caught up with him during soundcheck at the Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. We were eager to find out what he and the Kansas crew think about his PreSonus Studio Channel. “[Ragsdale] likes it because he can plug into it, and it just sounds great right out of the box,” explains Kansas monitor engineer Derrick Papp. “I like it because it’s got great compression, it’s easy to use, it works well with everything else we have onstage, and it makes David happy. And when he’s happy, he’s a better player.”
“[The Studio Channel has a] wonderful compressor, and you can hit it very hard if you have to and still retain a lot of dynamic range,” observes Ragsdale, “and being a violinist, I’m very concerned about that.”
But wait—this is the Studio Channel, not the Live Channel! “You might think this is strictly a studio piece,” retorts Ragsdale, “but we’re running it live. It’s in my rack right in front of me, and we’ve got it going through everything.” That works for us, but what do the sound guys think? “I have no qualms about it holding up,” concludes Papp. And he’s right; the Studio Channel will work just as reliably at the end of the tour as it did at the beginning.