When he’s not working with metal giants Megadeth, noted bassist David Ellefson stays busy with a range of his own projects, utilizing a PreSonus Studio One Professional digital audio workstation.
“To be honest, I have been somewhat ‘DAW-dumb,’ mainly because I never invested a lot of money into an elaborate home studio,” Ellefson says. “I did it years ago but it seemed like by the time I got done with an 18-month world tour, everything I’d bought was completely obsolete.”
As Ellefson points out, nothing drains the creative juices faster than getting mired down in a complex user interface: “I just like to sit down, write, and get ideas right into the computer with the least amount of effort possible. I find that as soon as I start getting into the engineering mindset, my musical ideas are gone, and then I end up frustrated and walk away with nothing. So for me, the simpler the better.”
Recently, Ellefson used Studio One to record the audio-book version of his autobiography, My Life with Deth: Discovering Meaning in a Life of Rock and Roll. He has also provided narration for the documentary Battlefield of the Mind, which addresses the tragic circumstances of homeless veterans and those with PTSD.
Ellefson has also been busy sketching out musical ideas, using Studio One with his PreSonus AudioBox USB recording system. Besides working on material for the upcoming Megadeth album, he’s been collaborating with UK songwriter/producer Johnny Wore Black and working on new material for Phoenix band F5. He cites Studio One’s intuitive browser and drag-and-drop workflow as making it easy for him to quickly add bass lines to project files sent via the Internet, and the program’s impressive lineup of high-quality plug-ins enables him to easily shape his sound without overthinking it.
“[Studio One] looks great, it’s simple, and it’s easy to navigate, and for me that’s what it’s all about,” he concludes. “I’m not an engineer. I am a songwriter, a musician, and a bass player. I want to plug in and play and get my ideas down easily and painlessly. If you have to stop and go looking for things, your focus is away from your music. Having it all right there on a single screen, with all the tools at your disposal, allows me to stay in a creative place. For me, Studio One is my go-to DAW.”