Morris Mingo

Like many fine musicians, Morris Mingo – also known as Morrs Kode – got his musical start in church, in his case, Morning Star Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Music was a family affair; his mother and aunt were singers, and his uncle, legendary organist Eugene Clendening, gave him his early training. In 1990, at age 14, he met praise and worship leader Rodney Posey and began playing with the Greater Cincinnati Choral Union and attending the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses. Two years later, he hit the road, touring with the gospel play A Mother's Love.

By the time he was 18, Mingo was becoming well known, and he started programming for other artists, including Grammy winner Dr. Charles Fold. He broadened his musical horizons and in 1999 began producing for BOG Records, with whom he is still affiliated, recording with a trio of Mingo on keyboards, Thomas Pridgen on drums, and Timothy Williams on bass. That same year, he met and started doing production for legendary bassist William "Bootsy" Collins, a relationship that has continued through multiple projects.

Mingo always stayed close to his church roots, playing keyboards and producing for such artists as the Grammy Award-nominated BJ Mass Choir and writing and coproducing the song “Stand Up” for Colorado Mass Choir's Grammy-nominated album Speak Life. And even though he started touring young, he still found time to attend the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

In 2004, Mingo got the opportunity to work with his favorite producer, Donald Lawrence, and was offered the position of Music Director for the gospel review Sing Hallelujah. Says Mingo, "It changed my life musically forever.” He was in Atlanta, Georgia, for awhile, working with artists such as Sammie Lloyd and R&B/Hip Hop producer, engineer, and songwriter Devine Evans. He has worked on music for movies, video games (including NBA Jam, MLB 2005, and MLB 2006 for Playstation), and commercials in a wide variety of genres, ranging from country to funk. The sports connection is strong with Mingo; in addition to the games, he did keyboard and drum programming for Nike's LeBron James commercial “Long Reign King James” and cowrote (with Bootsy Collins) and played keyboards on the Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) theme song "“Fear Da Tiger." He has played, written, and coproduced (with Bootsy Collins) such artists as Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg, Bobby Bird, Storm, and Buckethead. In 2006, Mingo was named Cincinnati's "Musician of the Year."

Today, Morris lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and works out of New-fidelity Productions Studios and Moming Productions, composing, performing, engineering, producing, and acting as music director for various acts, with an emphasis on gospel. He also serves as Minister of Music at Higher Ground Ministries (House of Favor) Church of God in Christ, under Elder Earl D. Finney. Mingo recently completed work on Rodney Posey’s My Praise Due, scheduled to be released in November 2010 and is working with several other artists on 2011 releases.

Mingo's DAW of choice? PreSonus Studio One Pro, of course! "Studio One just sounds great," he enthuses. "For some reason It has a cleaner sound, in my opinion, than the other DAWs I have. I can’t tell you why but it just does. I was having a problem with a nameless DAW [Morris hints that the initials of the name are "PT"], and I decided to export the WAV files into Studio One. After I picked my jaw up off the floor at the sonic difference, I knew then that something special was going on inside this software. I also really like the ease of use in Studio One. Just grabbing a virtual instrument and pulling it to a track is great."

Studio One was not Mingo's introduction to PreSonus, however. "First I used the DigiMax LT to record," he says. "Even before I had Studio One, this seemed to work out the cleanest. Sometimes even tracking through the API 3124 wouldn’t be as clean as I wanted it. I’m really picky about sounds and being natural, and sometimes you just want it clean, The DigiMax does that for me. And I love the simple controls on the DigiMax."

Mingo also relies on the Central Station for his monitor system. "You can have all this great gear, and if you’re not hearing exactly what’s happening, it can be disastrous," he states. "The Central Station is accurate, and that’s what you need when you record, edit, and mix. It's great to be able to easily switch between digital and analog sources, and the Central Station is not at all noisy."

The CSR-1 remote control for the Central Station is another favorite. "I love the footswitch for the talkback on the remote, and the Mono feature is priceless. Mixes can sound cool in stereo, but when you hit the Mono button, you’ve encountered a train wreck with multiple casualties," he observes. "I need to be able to check mono quick, and with the Central Station remote control, it’s right there."

Mingo is a confirmed PreSonus customer. "I’m glad that I’ve had a relationship with the great people of PreSonus," he says, "and I truly anticipate the release of even better products that remain true to PreSonus' tradition of good quality and good price."

Sound Samples

  • Morris Mingo - Feel It