With a career that includes designing sounds for Ableton, Dave Smith, Korg, Roland, and Xfer, plus serving as Technology Editor for Beatportal.com, Francis Preve has carved a niche as one of the tech industry's most in-demand sound designers. His work as a college professor in Austin, Texas, provides additional insight into how musicians of all skill levels interface with synthesizers, while his career as a technology journalist gives him a deeper appreciation of great product design and development.
Over the years, Preve's musical output has included remixes for Dragonette, Orbital, Gabriel & Dresden, Sander Kleinenberg, and Dave Seaman. His original productions include collaborations like "Yin/Yang" with Wolfgang Gartner, "Glow Ballz" with Matt Lange, and "Get Down" with John Acquaviva & Olivier Giacomotto. He is also the founder of Symplesound, a soundware company focused on creating intuitive instruments and presets.
In 2017, Preve introduced his Scapes artform—entirely synthesized recreations of field recordings—which got the attention of the immersive sound design industry.
He has presented and/or moderated panels on sound, synthesis, and production at conferences including SXSW, MacWorld, O’Reilly, and Project BBQ. Below is his discussion about the nature of sound from Ableton’s Loop conference in 2017.
Synthesizers and software that currently integrate Francis Preve's designs include Ableton Live 10, Xfer Serum, Roland Cloud, Korg Gadget, Korg Prologue, and Dave Smith Instruments Prophet X and REV2. In addition to these clients, he has also designed for AAS, Avid, Native Instruments, Propellerhead, and iZotope. In 2016, Preve launched Symplesound to create flexible and user-friendly instrument libraries for Ableton Live, including the iconic PurpleDrums - a tribute to Prince's production techniques.
Francis Preve's 20-year writing career includes hundreds of reviews and tutorials for magazines including Keyboard, Computer Music (UK), Future Music, EQ, and Music & Computers – as well as serving as Technology Editor for Beatport's music blog, Beatportal.com. Preve has also authored three books on production for Hal Leonard, including The Remixer's Bible in 2006.
He is currently an Editor-at-Large for Electronic Musician.
His work for Keyboard Magazine includes an 11-year monthly column on iOS-based synthesis and audio tools and a 17-year column on sound design and dance music.
Having produced and/or remixed electronic music for over 20 years, Francis Preve's discography spans numerous genres. The most familiar work for many dance music fans would be "Yin" and "Yang"—co-wrote and co-produced with Wolfgang Gartner and considered one of “the best tech house songs ever” by Billboard Magazine. Other collaborators include John Acquaviva & Olivier Giacomotto, Matt Lange, Cloudchord, Jan van Lier, and Gabriel & Dresden. Currently, he composes for television, film, and the YouTube Creator Studio.