David Rosenthal has enjoyed a remarkably successful career as a keyboardist, synth programmer, orchestrator, and touring musician and that doesn’t begin to cover it all.
Rosenthal is also Billy Joel’s musical director, a role that recently has him performing worldwide at events like 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief and the upcoming New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2013.
Besides working with Billy Joel for the past 20 years, he’s also worked with Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper and many others, provided synth programming and musical direction for the Tony-winning Broadway Musical “Movin’ Out” and runs Sonic Adventures Studio in New Jersey.
The sonic adventure continues with Rosenthal’s recent discovery of Harman’s Lexicon PCM Total Bundle reverb/effects plug-in.
“I’ve been a Lexicon user since the early ’90s,” said Rosenthal. “In fact I was one of the people who contributed customized Music FX presets for the PCM 80 when they used to sell preset sound cards. I’ve used products like the Lexicon PCM 80, 81, 90, 91 and 480L and they’ve always been a big part of my sound.”
Rosenthal has always embraced the latest musical technologies, but it wasn’t until recently that he felt that computers and software had reached the point where he could forego his outboard effects.
He used to use banks of keyboards and racks of outboard effects processors because it was the only way he could get the sounds he needed live. It’s only been in the past year or so that computer technology has gotten to the point where Rosenthal needed it to be.
“The tech has turned the corner, thanks to resources like laptops with 16 GB of memory, better synth plug-ins, solid-state drives, 64-bit operating systems and plug-ins like the Lexicon PCM Total Bundle. Now everything can keep up, I have enough processing power and polyphonic capability and everything responds like a musical instrument.”
He hasn’t given up his cocoon of keyboards entirely, he still uses multiple keyboards live because he doesn’t want to map a lot of sounds on a limited number of keyboards. “When I’m on stage I want to think about playing, not about program changes and which buttons I have to push during a song.”
“The Lexicon PCM Total Bundle doesn’t sound like it’s close to the ‘Lexicon sound’ – it is the Lexicon sound,” Rosenthal emphasized. “It has the smooth reverb tails and that beautiful natural decay, and its algorithms don’t ‘smear’ the initial attack of my keyboards.”
In live performances Rosenthal primarily uses a tweaked sound based on the Concert Hall algorithm that he calls “Bright Keyboard Hall,” finding that it gives depth and spatiality to his keyboard sounds without getting too boomy in an arena or large hall.
In the studio, Rosenthal is still exploring the sonic possibilities of the PCM Total Bundle. “Other reverb plug-ins have fallen short for me and I have always used Lexicon hardware units for my important studio projects – until now. I also like the fact that the PCM Total Bundle gives me 100-percent total recall of my settings, which is an incredible timesaver in the studio and assures I’ll never lose any of my customized sounds.”
“The PCM Total Bundle is exactly what I expected a Lexicon plug-in to sound like,” Rosenthal concluded. “Nothing else sounds like a Lexicon reverb, and the PCM Total Bundle gives me the same sound quality and musicality I’ve come to rely on from Lexicon that I can’t get anywhere else.”
The Lexicon PCM Total Bundle is designed to work with popular DAWs like Pro Tools and Logic, as well as with any other VST, Audio Unit or RTAS-compatible platform. Compatible with Windows Vista, XP and 7 and Macintosh computers, it offers 14 unique Lexicon reverbs and effects, and hundreds of finely crafted studio presets.
Its intuitive user interface provides control of key parameters with a graphical real-time full-color display and flexible sonic customization capabilities.