Drummers aren’t like other people, and they don’t want to be. You have to love them for who they are. Luis Hernandez is a case in point. Most professional musicians start fairly young, or at least during their teen years. But the Puerto Rico-born Hernandez didn’t start seriously studying music until he was 21. Hernandez quickly learned his art and craft, however, studying drums and percussion with such heavyweights as Freddy Santiago (Chaka Khan, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Chick Corea) and the late, great jazz drummer and educator Jim Chapin. Before long, he was touring with Ricky Martin, appearing on the Today Show, and much more.
Musical endeavors alone weren’t enough for Hernandez, however, so he joined the military and played in the U.S. Army 4th Division Band. After completing his military obligation, he returned to performing as a session musician and live performer and developed his skills as a clinician. In his most recent clinics, he is going well beyond discussing technique to talk about physics, ethics, and professionalism. You don’t get that from most clinicians, but Hernandez is not most clinicians. He tries to do well and do right and brings that approach to everything he does. It’s easy to love a drummer like that!
Among Hernandez’s many friends is six-time Grammy-winning audio engineer and producer Orlando Rodriguez, who is a fan of PreSonus products. “Orlando got me hooked on PreSonus preamps; he's in love with the preamps, and now so I'm I,” says Hernandez. “He also introduced me to the FireStudio  interface. I bought one, and the FireStudio’s flexibility has surpassed my expectations.”
Hernandez’s new favorites are his FireStudio Tube and Studio Channel. “The FireStudio Tube interface has great preamps and just the right number of inputs and outputs for recording drums,” he begins. “I use it to record 10 channels of drums, and I process the bass drum with the Studio Channel. I have tried very expensive preamps and compressors to warm up the sound but now I prefer the Studio Channel because it gets me a great sound and is so affordable and complete.”
Recently, Hernandez has been testing a StudioLive 16.4.2 mixer. “If you are looking for something flexible, the StudioLive mixer is the bomb,” Hernandez enthuses. “You get great preamps, separate gates and compressors on every input, and a well-designed talkback section, and you can easily hook up two mixers and have a 32-channel system. How cool is that? I could go on and on. This thing is sick!”
Now a confirmed PreSonus addict, Luis Hernandez is also testing a Monitor Station. “I like the Monitor Station because you have everything in one piece: two stereo pairs of balanced TRS inputs, stereo RCA inputs, three-way speaker switching, headphone amps, metering, built-in talkback mic, and an input for an external talkback mic,” he explains. “And it’s so compact, considering how much it can do!”
Concludes Hernandez, “I just started with one PreSonus piece, the FireStudio. But now I'm part of the PreSonus Gospel.” Indeed, he seemingly is writing a new chapter.
Luis Hernandez is currently producing a series of Spanish-language informational videos for PreSonus. Look for them soon!