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Pete Evick and Bret Michaels

Whether performing his own music, editing tracks for bands like Paramore and Shinedown, or backing his friend Bret Michaels, guitarist and engineer Pete Evick tells it like he sees and feels it. Sure, he wants success, and he has had a good taste of it, but Evick stays true to his music and speaks his mind plainly.

Bret Michaels, of course, is best known as the singer for the rock band Poison, but he has enjoyed a wide-ranging career, including movies and television, most recently the reality dating series Rock of Love. He released a country-rock album in 2005, and his album Rock My World hit the Billboard Top 40 the week it was released. That led to the hit video “Go That Far,” which became the theme song for Rock of Love. Now Michaels is entering the pop arena with a new single, “Nothing to Lose,” that features Miley Cyrus joining Michaels on vocals and, of course, Evick on guitar. A new Bret Michaels album will soon follow. The version of “Nothing to Lose” with Cyrus will be released in early March 2010.

“We have covered the gambit from heavy rock to pop on this record,” says Evick, “and it’s everything you would expect from Bret. Bret doesn't fake it; if he wants to write a country song, he does it, and if he wants a metal song, that’s what he does. We have a great record because of it.”

Evick has relied on PreSonus since the company’s early years. “I was playing a club in Panama City, Florida, and the PreSonus ACP88 compressor was in the rack,” he begins. “The soundman raved about it, so I checked into it. I was excited that it was an American company, and have been sold on PreSonus ever since. The products always do what I need them to. PreSonus just works for me. And the PreSonus people are always ready to answer questions and deliver what we need. But I can’t say much about the repair shop because the stuff doesn’t break!”

Evick relies on PreSonus to record live and in the studio. “We use all of our PreSonus gear for both mobile and permanent-install recordings,” he explains. “We love the ADL 600 on Bret’s vocals, but you might be surprised to know that the FaderPort is the most valuable product of all. We do a lot of work on the bus, where space is key, and in my world, nothing is better or more reliable than the FaderPort. I have had my FaderPort since it came out, and it has been to Iraq and back with me, yet it still works flawlessly.”

Evick also treasures his two Eureka channel strips. “I use the Eurekas on everything from guitars to drums,” he comments. “The EQs are smooth, and the Saturate feature is perfect. And last year, when we needed two extra channels in our live rig, we used the Eurekas with the [optional] ADL192 digital I/O, which I hadn’t tried before. When we hooked it up, my rig immediately saw the digital inputs, and everything worked perfectly right out of the box.”

Like many professionals, Evick swears by his Central Station monitor controller. “With the Central Station’s three pairs of speaker outputs, I can leave the subwoofer on one output and flip between two sets of reference monitors with the sub on or off. I find that amazing. And the Central Station is the only solution to monitoring with a Pro Tools rig.”

Concludes Evick, “From the look to the price to the way the stuff actually works, PreSonus gear is perfect. It has helped me make the best music of my life.” And with the new Bret Michaels record about to be released, more of that “best music” will soon be available.