Oakland, CA, April 2014… More than three decades after taking the music world by storm, Sheila E shows no sign of slowing down. The Grammy-nominated Ms. Escovedo, whose long list of credits ranges from Prince, George Duke, and Ringo Starr to Gloria Estefan, Hans Zimmer, and Beyonce, continues to tour the world, wowing audiences with the killer grooves and powerful, sultry performances she’s known for.
Michael “Ace” Baker has toured with Sheila for much of the past 14 years and continues to work with her when her current FOH engineer, Jaymes Silver, is otherwise engaged. Ace explains how a casual weekend gig turned into Sheila’s current hit recording “Oakland N Da House,” thanks to his PreSonus® StudioLive™ 24.4.2 console and Studio One® Professional software.
“Sheila had a three-day gig up at Yoshi’s in Oakland, and it was a weekend that James couldn’t do, so she called me,” says Ace. “Well, I knew that Sheila always likes to record everything, so I brought along the StudioLive console. The band knew that they would have several hours at the club in the afternoon to work on writing new material, so I just ran Studio One and multitracked everything straight from the desk while they jammed. Sure enough, they started playing this one groove, and Sheila’s head just whipped around and she said, ‘what was that?’ Everyone started to focus on that idea, and a few hours later, they had worked out the tune. They took those files into the studio, and the only thing they added was the vocal and the sax. Those tracks became the single – right off the StudioLive, right into Studio One.”
Ace has long been a proponent of the “always in record” philosophy, and the StudioLive console has been an intrinsic piece of his arsenal on tours with Chickenfoot, Sammy Hagar, Paul Gilbert, Colin Hay, and a host of other artists. As he observes, “think about how many good ideas could have been turned into great songs if only people had the ability to record it all. With the StudioLive and Studio One, I can capture every single note, every soundcheck, every show. Because really, you never know when the magic’s going to happen.”