Singer/songwriter Rome Ramirez, currently on the road with the members of ska-punk legends Sublime, is utilizing a portable Pro Tools LE rig to record new material as he travels.
“I’ve got a little writing setup in the back of our bus,” he says. “It’s a laptop with an MBox, a pair of M-Audio CX8 monitors and an Oxygen MIDI keyboard. It’s a great little setup, and I’m working on tracks all the time.”
A self-professed “technology nerd,” Rome is no stranger to digital audio workstation software. “I’ve tried pretty much every DAW program there is, but when I started using Pro Tools, I just never went back,” he says. “No other program comes close to Pro Tools for workflow and creativity. I can just open it up, and it’s a blank slate, waiting for me to lay my ideas down. It’s so immediate – it lets me focus on my music and be creative, without getting bogged down by the technology.”
But Rome is equally at home with that technology. “I also love being my own engineer,” he says. “Technology totally inspires me. I love getting into it and tweaking all my sounds. I love all the old school sounds. I’m a huge fan of the Smack! plug-in, and I use the Echo Farm delay all the time.”
Off the road, Pro Tools is just as much a part of his creative process. “I write with different artists, and I work in lots of different studios,” he explains. “Pro Tools is so universal. Whether it’s a little portable laptop rig or a major studio, the software’s the same. I can take my tracks from anywhere, to anywhere, and I don’t have to spend my time learning how to use the program.”
As anyone who’s spent time on tour will tell you, there’s plenty of down-time between shows. For Rome, Pro Tools helps make good use of that time. “I guess it sounds kind of boring, but I’m always working,” he says. “When I get off the stage, I hang out for a while but then I go back to the bus or the hotel and I work. I’m working on new tracks all the time, and Pro Tools gives me the freedom to be creative, wherever I am.”