PreSonus might just be the best kept audio secret in Baton Rouge.
PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc. was founded in 1995 by Jim Odom and Brian Smith, both Baton Rouge natives and LSU Engineering graduates. PreSonus began in Odom’s garage, originally creating products built for studios, and later becoming a leading manufacturer of audio hardware and integrated software systems for the professional and at-home audio market. Although PreSonus has an $8.8 million headquarters in Baton Rouge, the company has employees worldwide.
In 2019 PreSonus’ Eris monitors became the best-selling studio monitors in the world. For some tech companies, not being based in a large, tech-focused city could create a problem for business, but for PreSonus, being located in Baton Rouge has been a key to its worldwide success.
“I think [being based in Baton Rouge] gives us a unique vantage point because we’re outside of the bubble a little bit. When you’re in one of the biggest music meccas, you’re only talking to a certain, very small percentage of the user base.” Product Marketing Manager Wesley DeVore says. “You’re maybe not understanding what the kid in Iowa City—trying to record beats with no [significant music] culture around—is going through, and it makes us do more outreach and talk to more people of different groups.”
PreSonus products have come a long way over the past 25 years (you can read more about it here), continuously focusing on controlling the user experience, removing barriers for learning and trying to keep prices reasonable.
“We’ve gotten better at making our products more affordable and more seamlessly integrated with one another. That’s really the concept loop: make it better, make it more affordable and make it more integrated with everything else,” Devore says.
“It’s not just about music anymore. It’s about sound; any kind of content you want to create,” Social Media Marketing Manager Chad Schoonmaker says.
To celebrate 25 years, PreSonus is releasing its newest free video series, River City Sessions. The series features regionally-based, independent musicians and performances recorded through PreSonus interfaces, followed by a descriptive how-to.
“We wanted to celebrate the people who made us as big as we are,” DeVore says.
The free series aims to celebrate weekend hustlers and provide free resources to those wanting to learn.
You can find the series on social media or the company YouTube channel here.