Ohio native Keith Smith has made a career out of musical multitasking. Schooled in music from an early age, Smith grew up eagerly learning every instrument he could get his hands on, both in church and in school. He eventually found a rapport with the trumpet, and his proficiency on the instrument would land him a scholarship to Ohio State University in 2005.
After two years at Ohio State, Smith earned a full-ride musical performance scholarship to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. There he produced recordings for Christian artist Meredith Andrews, winner of 2011’s Worship Song of the Year and Praise and Worship Album of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards. A proven producer, Smith went on to become the Music Director of Saddleback Church in southern California.
During his time at Saddleback, Smith worked with notable collaborators, including David Pack, Adam Watts, Tony Guerrero, Drew Hester, Glee vocal producer Tim Davis, Matt Papa, Tommy Walker, Sara Kelly, and Jadon Lavik. His work on Lavik’s Roots Run Deep earned Smith a GMA Dove Award nomination, and he would earn another through his songwriting collaboration with Meredith Andrews on The Invitation. He was also featured as a military bugler on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters.
In 2009, Smith relocated to Nashville, where he has remained. There he earned his third GMA Dove Award nomination. He continues to work as a formidable quadruple-threat: producer/songwriter/engineer/musician. His collaboration list includes A-list names like Jack White, Elton John, Dolly Parton, The Jonas Brothers, and Chicago.
Smith is a die-hard PreSonus advocate, favoring the FaderPort and Central Station PLUS. “I try to stay as right-brained as possible when splitting my time between producing, mixing and writing in my home studio, and I love it when I’m able to get my hands off the mouse and onto a piece of equipment,” Smith explains. ”I love the FaderPort for this reason. Tools that help me forget about the technology are especially great. The FaderPort makes doing automation moves much more organic and musical for me. Furthermore, I chose it for its quality: It’s obviously built much better than other single-fader units on the market.”
His rationale for choosing PreSonus reaches beyond ergonomics and durability, however. Smith has arrived at some clever applications for the I/O on his Central Station PLUS.
Smith elaborates: “I love all of the Central Station input and output options! I use the digital input to monitor my computer’s audio from iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube; and I use the aux in as a TRS connection for laptops and iPods. I have my main output coming in to TRS 1 and my cue mix coming into TRS 2.”
His connections don’t end there. Smith has discovered an unorthodox application for the Central Station PLUS’ spare line outs. “The extra line outs allow me to send a mix out to my Internet feed,” he continues. “Clients can listen as I mix from anywhere in the world. They can listen through iTunes or even on their smartphone! This saves a lot of time and the Central Station PLUS gives me enough outputs to do it.”
Smith will continue to use PreSonus equipment in his future endeavors. “PreSonus seems to have an undying dedication to creating useable products for musicians,” he says. ”Every product that they put on the shelves is obviously created with the user in mind. It’s great stuff, and the customer service is the best I’ve experienced. I am proud to be a part of the PreSonus family,” he smiles. “I am such a fan!”