Most successful musical artists begin honing their chops early in life but Baton Rouge’s Roland Guerin started particularly early: He was reared on the bass. His mother, also a bassist, nurtured her fortunate child with the gift of groove.
Focusing on jazz in college, Guerin joined Alvin Batiste’s Jazztronauts and later toured worldwide in noted guitarist Mark Whitfield’s band. In 1998, Guerin grabbed hold of the spotlight, debuting as a bandleader with 1998’s The Winds of the New Land, followed by five more albums over the last 13 years. From 1994 to 2010, he maintained the low end for the Marcus Roberts Trio, performing at the Winter Olympic Games in 2010. Guerin also toured gospel sounds around the world with the Piety Street band in 2009.
Through all of these gigs, he has proudly carried a torch for Louisiana, often performing with the likes of Herlin Riley, Dr. Michael White, Germaine Bazzle, Shannon Powell, Leah Chase, and Ellis Marsalis.
Guerin has been a PreSonus advocate since the earliest years of the company. For his latest album, A Different World, Guerin has looked to PreSonus Studio One Professional for his recording and mastering needs. He’s quick to champion the DAW’s ease of use.
“I write music just about every day,” says Guerin. “If I get an idea, it’s super easy for me to open Studio One—it loads up super fast—and bang out an idea on bass or keyboard or just grab a virtual instrument and drop it in the Arrange window. Often I’ll have an idea on my Tascam recorder, so I’ll take out the SD card, pop it in my Mac, and drop the idea right in the open Studio One session. Then I can write on top of it.”
Guerin elaborates on Studio One’s role in A Different World. “My new CD was mixed exclusively in Studio One, and it sounds amazing! I brought in a great engineer from the New Orleans area, Wesley Fontenot. He wasn’t familiar with Studio One at all. So he came over to my place, and I gave him a walkthrough of Studio One and let him have at it. For the first hour he spent mixing the title track, I was a little nervous, until he said ‘Okay, this is starting to feel good, check this out and have a listen... tell me what you think.’”
Guerin continues, “After Wesley said this, I knew that everything was going to be fine. He’s a great engineer, and the ease of use in Studio One freed him from worrying about technical issues and let him focus on mixing the music. He had never used the software before, and the finished results were ideal. That mix wound up on the final CD.”
Regarding his switch to Studio One, Guerin confesses some apprehension: “I admit that when it first came out I was a little timid with it. I’d been using Cubase since 1997. I was very familiar with Cubase, and I was actually the guy that you heard saying ‘Cubase is the way to go!’ What naturally happened is that every so often I would fire up Studio One and start writing a new song in it,” Guerin continues. “I’d just do things as normal: playing bass, dragging in virtual instruments, adding parts, and doing a light mix to take to the car during a ride or walk to check it out.”
Guerin didn’t find the same ease of workflow in Cubase, however. “Eventually I would go and try to do the same things in Cubase, and I just wouldn’t have the same flow. I’d spend more time trying to load the instruments instead of getting to the ideas. I experienced the same problems in mixing, and adding busses, and grouping tracks, etc.”
“I don’t use products that I don’t believe in,” Guerin concludes. “Studio One is a reflection of PreSonus! Here you have a DAW that is made for professional and creative people to use in the easiest way possible. This is not only a serious task for a company to take on, it’s extremely thoughtful! PreSonus actually cares about musicians, engineers and creative folks. Why? Because they are musicians, engineers, and creative folks too.”