PreSonuSphere's 481 attendees-nearly triple the attendance of the 2011 event-sold out two hotels and filled numerous area restaurants while soaking up southern cooking, southern hospitality, killer grooves, and one of the year's best collective mind-melds of musicians and technology.
Thursday evening got underway with a rooftop jambalaya cookout, serenaded by classic Baton Rouge brass band the Michael Foster Project. Then it was downstairs to the Main Theatre for a blistering set from Papa Grows Funk, with Tower of Power vocalist Larry Braggs sitting in.
The next morning kicked off with Breakfast with the Chiefs, an open and off-the-cuff conversation about technology and the music industry. With a panel made up of PreSonus CEO Jim Mack, Chief Strategy Officer Jim Odom, Chief Technology Officer Bob Tudor, VP Rick Naqvi, and Executive VP John Bastianelli, it's no surprise that the conversation was clever, wide-ranging, and refreshingly frank.
Friday and Saturday were filled with powerful presentations. Renown acoustician John Storyk, legendary music-technology journalist and clinician Craig Anderton, Grammy-nominated producers Brent Milligan and Fab DuPont, veteran FOH engineers Ace Baker and John Mills, and Audio-Technica Director of Educational Services Steve Savanyu were among those presiding over seminars and fielding questions on recording, mixing, acoustics, and more.
PreSonus staff offered in-depth tips and techniques for the company's StudioLive digital mixers and Studio One music-production software, while its tech-support team staffed workstations where attendees could get their hands on the company's products.
But PreSonuSphere wasn't just about technology. Music - great music - was everywhere. Multitrack recordings of performances from Papa Grows Funk, Chris LeBlanc, and Jordy Searcy were captured live to PreSonus' Studio One software, and attendees were treated to an up-close and personal journey through recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. A handful of Searcy's tracks were even made available via PreSonus' Nimbit music-marketing and -sales service during a session.
Friday night's highlight was Chris LeBlanc's absolutely smoking blues and rock set, including guest appearances by PreSonus' Jim Odom and Rick Naqvi.
PreSonuSphere 2012 is history but the annual conference is just getting started: PreSonuSphere 2013 promises to be even bigger and better!