With self-taught guitar skills honed during his years with As Fate Would Have it and All in All, Ryan Bruce is the mastermind behind the Riffs, Beards, and Gear YouTube channel and cofounder, with Jason Burns, of the Gear Addicts channel. For the latter, Bruce has collaborated with audio companies the world over to make music-focused educational gear demos and commercials. The two channels have built up a combined total of over 11,000 subscriptions in just two years thanks to their emphasis on desirable gear and quality production values—served up with a side order of good humor. The Spanaway, Washington, guitarist is also a photographer and freelance audio and video engineer/producer.
Bruce recalls his first experience with PreSonus® gear. “The first piece of PreSonus hardware I got was a used FirePod, bought many years ago. I met a kid in the pouring rain, and he had the FirePod tucked under his arm, along with the power supply. He assured me it would work just fine, despite being out in the rain. My old interface had died, and I was really in need. I got it home, wiped it off, fired it up, and it sounded better than the much more expensive interface I had been using. It was crazy!”
Bruce readily confesses to having a choosy nature, taking his purchasing decisions very seriously. “When choosing any piece of gear, I will spend weeks poring over forums, online reviews, and YouTube videos to try and get an idea of how the gear will work in the real world. I look for reliability and features first and a good price point second. PreSonus has a level of reputation and industry experience that makes me feel comfortable that what I buy will work when I need it to. It has remained true for all my PreSonus stuff.”
It’s a fair amount of stuff. Beard Land Studios is populated with a robust haul of PreSonus gear that looks like it came straight out of the PreSonus NAMM booth. His collection includes the Central Station, DigiMax™ D8, AudioBox™ 22VSL, FirePod, FaderPort, and the Studio Channel.
“I use all my PreSonus stuff for video work, commercials, freelance production work, and voiceovers,” Bruce says. “I really like the feature-packed mindset of PreSonus designs. For example, I was looking for a tube-driven, rack-mount mic preamp, preferably one with some kind of EQ built in. The Studio Channel was exactly what I was looking for and also came with the added bonus of a compressor! Too cool! The onboard EQ has been life-saving when using certain mics that have a nasty low midrange. My FaderPort offers incredibly fine control over my DAW, making my workflow fast and efficient. The AudioBox is perfect for location gigs, as it offers studio-quality mic preamps in a portable, no-nonsense box. And my FirePod? It’s been remarkably consistent. It’s sturdy and always sounds so good despite nearly ten years of age!
“It’s a huge honor to be a part of the PreSonus family,” Bruce closes. “And to have a forum with which I can tell people about these amazing audio toys!”