While many DJs begin their foray into remixing and production while in their teens, Chicago's DJ Terry Hunter was born into DJ culture. His father was a soul and disco DJ on Chicago's West Side, and Hunter followed in his father's footsteps in the beginning. But it wasn't long before he found his calling: the hypnotic, 4-on-the-floor cadence of Chicago house.
“I really didn’t know I could make a living by becoming a DJ at first,” Hunter recalls. “I just thought it would be an expensive hobby. At the time, I was a vinyl junkie—which was already an expensive hobby! My love for DJ-ing was so strong that I spent entire summers in my bedroom and at local record stores just hanging around instead of playing with my friends! A few years later I knew in my heart this is what I was born to do.”
Hunter built a following by catching the ears of older DJs and promoters through neighborhood and high school parties. His first big break arrived when he was asked to DJ at the Hummingbird Dance Club while still in his teens. From there, Hunter was in demand and began playing at many historic Chicago night spots, including Sauer’s, The Powerhouse, The Candy Store, La Mirage, and the hottest parties at The Bismarck and McCormick Place hotels.
Already a seasoned DJ by his early 20s, Hunter made his debut as a producer with 1990's “Madness,” which immediately became a popular regional and underground track. “I created a big buzz for that record by playing it at parties. It started out as a basement track but became much more.”
Momentum post-“Madness” continues to this day. Over time, Hunter moved on to create a style of spinning that mixed carefully chosen tracks with his uniquely soulful spin—no doubt an influence from good ol' Dad. The popularity of this style led him to tour the world on the strength of his music, dramatically increasing his visibility and demand. Result: Hunter has created house-music remixes for Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Byron Stingily, Barbara Tucker, India, Mary J. Blige, and R.Kelly.
In 2004, Hunter gave his house a home by launching T's Box Records. Seated at the helm of T's Box, Hunter has come full circle, serving as a sort of father figure to up-and-coming DJs who are keeping the flame of house alive. In 2009, Hunter was named Producer of the Year by 5 magazine.
Hunter has chosen PreSonus™ Studio One® Professional 2 as his weapon of choice. “The one who lead me to Studio One was my engineer, Joey Fernandez,” recalls Hunter. “He was raving about its ability to create complex plug-in chains. Recalling chains at an instance was amazing to him, but for me, it's all about the drag-and-drop! It's so fast and on-point, I can't believe it—and the sound! Man, the sound is so warm and big, it's crazy! I use Studio One for all my production and remixes. I love how I can move between sessions without disrupting my creative flow.”
Perhaps most important for Hunter, Studio One keeps the music-making fun and easy. “Once you really get to know this baby, your workflow will become so fast. You're having fun, and that's a major point for me. I look forward to coming in to the studio and just firing Studio One up to see what else I can learn and add to my music. Those other DAWs are too stiff. PreSonus has really thought about the producer, songwriter, and even beat-makers with this one. Thank you!”
When pushed for a favorite feature, Hunter's quick to reply. “The Melodyne integration in Studio One is just plain genius. This is why I chose Studio One—because none of the other DAWs can compare.”
“I'm looking forward to working closely with the Studio One family to help further this company and product,” Hunter muses. “I'm happy to be on the team and am looking forward to coming up with new and fresh ideas so we can keep adding to this amazing DAW. My goal is to the let the world know through my music that Studio One is the way to go. I've gotten calls from producers and friends saying 'Wow, man where did you mix this record?'” “My answer is always 'It's not where I mixed the record, it's what DAW did I use?'”