You might not know his name, but if you are into video games, Paul Lipson has touched your world. For one thing, Lipson has been composing and producing music for games, film, and TV since the late 1990s, and his teams at Hit Point Music and, more recently, at Pyramind Studios, have produced music for such heavy hitters as Sega, LucasArts, 2K Games, SCEA, Electronic Arts, THQ, Microsoft, and Harmonix.
But even if you aren’t a “gamer,” you may have heard Paul’s work. In addition to scoring for film and TV, he has toured all over the world and has performed and recorded on guitar with such famed jazz headliners as Clark Terry, George Russell, Eric Marienthal, Mick Goodrick, and John Abercrombie.
Lipson also has touched your world indirectly by influencing other musicians. Among other posts, he has served as Chief Academic Officer at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville, California, and he is currently Chief Operating Officer and Composer at Pyramind Studios in San Francisco, leading audio-production facility and training center that also includes a full-service record label.
On top of that, Paul is the president of the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG), which is the primary trade organization for game-audio professionals. He is constantly on tour, promoting game audio, lecturing, and hosting panels and master classes—all in an effort to help game-audio pros and students raise the bar in their field.
PreSonus is with him every step of the way. “PreSonus has helped me achieve my creative and technical goals for some of the world’s biggest clients,” he begins. “I’m currently using a FireStudio Tube and a FirePod in my outboard rack, as well as an original FireStation. PreSonus has always made great interfaces, and the pre’s have always sounded terrific. The tone and specs rival other solutions costing hundreds (if not thousands) more. Everything just works, and it supports my workflow without any headaches.”
Lipson uses the FireStudio as one of his primary audio interfaces at Pyramind Studios. “It’s perfect for composing, recording, arranging, and all things MIDI,” he enthuses. “As a guitarist, I often create large scores with hundreds of orchestral instruments, and the FireStudio allows me to track audio from my guitar and MIDI simultaneously, with incredibly low latency.”
A long-time Mac user, Lipson appreciates the way PreSonus interfaces work with Apple’s Core Audio technology and Mac OS X. “The interfaces are always so reliable, and have worked seamlessly with OSX since the first rollout. I’ve used competing interfaces and have always run into driver incompatibilities and bad software problems; not so with PreSonus. The interfaces are class-compliant with OS X, so there are no drivers to install, just plug in and go!”
Lipson has an unusual workflow, and the FireStudio’s versatility enables him to work the way he wants to. “For example, being able to track from my VHT amps into my rig and then mirror all the audio with simultaneous MIDI recording, all with the same interface, is priceless,” he explains. “The FireStudio line offers multiple routing solutions for audio from different instruments and analog sources,” he continues, “and that has made the difference in my success with major gigs. When I was scoring Iron Man 2™ for SEGA, I could have multiple guitars and basses rigged in, with full MIDI implementation and control at right at my fingertips. Its not an easy thing to mix live orchestral stems, rearrange over 100 virtual instruments, and then track multiple guitars and basses all at once, but that is exactly what my FireStudio allows me to do. My FireStudio has come through for me no matter what the size and scope of the gig.”