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Artists Stage Visual

Darryl Pearson Advocates Steinberg Gear

Guitarist, songwriter and producer Darryl Pearson was initially a member of DeVante Swing’s production crew named Swing Mob. This collective was also associated with renowned artists such as Timbaland, Missy Elliot and Ginuwine, just to name a few.

After Swing Mob folded in 1995, Darryl Pearson moved on to become one of the most sought-after producers in the US, meanwhile producing for Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Chris Cornell and many more.

Darryl Pearson

How did you get started in the music business?
I met DeVante Swing from Jodeci and became part of his production crew called the Swing Mob. I played guitar, bass, keyboards, did sequencing and sang background vocals for various artists like Usher, Mary J. Blige, CeCe Peniston, H-Town and a whole host of others.

How did you first start running Steinberg products?
A friend of mine named Jeffrey Smith turned me on to Steinberg because he was using Cubase. I fell in love with it when I saw it. I was using an MPC 60 and I realized how much more I could do with Cubase. Ed Spence at Washington Music Center has always been incredibly helpful.

What projects have you been working on recently?
I worked on projects with Madonna, Justin Timberlake and Chris Cornell. I also do commercials for Greibo Media in Baltimore including Coca Cola, Morgan State University, Humana, Sotheby’s and Hewlett-Packard.

You do a lot of projects with Timbaland. How did you two first meet?
We were both in DeVante’s production crew. Brian Kidd and myself were using Nuendo, and Timbaland saw how we were using it with our NeKos, and then I set up a laptop with it and he has been using it ever since.

Have you used the AudioWarp on any projects?
Rodney Jerkins and I were working in Ireland on a Michael Jackson project. Rodney had done a special beat at a certain tempo. Then we wanted to slow down the whole song to match the groove. We stretched the audio of the song in Pro Tools to no avail. We were able to stretch the tempo in real time in Nuendo with great results. Everyone was very impressed.

Are you doing anything in surround?
We are doing a whole movie in 10.2 scoring and mixing entirely in Nuendo.

Have you started running Cubase 5?
I am working on various artists for Universal Entertainment’s Brooklyn Entertainment. I love the VariAudio feature. The sound quality is excellent and the features can’t be beaten. I have used Melodyne but it is more complicated as it wasn’t integrated into the program and autotune wasn’t as advanced or flexible.

Have you had a chance to check out the Steinberg hardware?
I am very impressed by it and I am looking to doing my next project with it. I want to set up dedicated Steinberg studios in different locations and want the people to hear how Steinberg sounds better than Pro Tools. I can get so much more done with it.

Do you carry your own system to various studios?
I have a NeKo and a laptop. I was recently in a studio, bypassed the big Mac and went to my three-year old Toshiba laptop where I was able to sequence 18 VST instruments with no problems and then bounce down to an entire vocal session on the laptop. The studio was blown away by the performance as they couldn’t sequence six instruments on their G5 with their full-blown Pro Tools rig. The way that Steinberg works with virtual instruments is superior because they invented it.

Do you see a lot of your friends switching to Steinberg?
Everyone that sees me use it switches over to a Steinberg system and wants me to configure it for them. I have done systems for Justin Timberlake, Hannon Lane who worked with Jennifer Hudson and Rihanna, and, of course, Timbaland. They are all very happy with the Steinberg gear.