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Presonus Studio One Initial Thoughts

Discussion in 'Studio One' started by DonnyThompson, May 1, 2014.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I downloaded a 30 day demo version of Studio One this morning.

    I wasn't really looking for a new DAW, but I like to know what's out there and how it compares to others I've used.

    My initial impression is that this is a pretty decent DAW platform. The layout is very similar to most any other DAW on the market, and while it will take me a few hours to get a handle on editing commands and functions, as well as the overall nomenclature, I can see this being as viable an option to any other DAW I've had experience with.

    First off, I'm one of those few guys who does not believe that "all DAWS sound the same".

    Beyond the obvious differences in things like Preamps and audio I/O's from user to user, the DAW platform itself does indeed treat audio differently from program to program. You would think that PT, Sonar, Cubase, Samplitude...and now Studio One would all use the same architecture in its audio playback, but I'm here to tell ya, it just ain't so. Betond the differences in Pan Laws, each program will handle audio the way it wants to, and that doesn't necessarily equate to being the same from one platform to the next.

    Each platform is going to have it's own individual characteristics and quirks, each audio "engine" will treat audio files slightly differently than others in terms of what it does to the audio and how it processes it. This could be obvious, or subtle, depending on how heavy you load the tracks down with processors.

    For example, until I had the opportunity to A/B Sonar with Samplitude, I wasn't aware of just how much of a sonic difference there really was between the two. Sonar seems to kind of "smear" audio, especially when you start adding processing. The more processing you add, the more it seems to smear, to become less defined. I've loaded the exact same wave files into Sonar and Samplitude alike - raw, unprocessed wave files - and then started adding VST processing that was exactly the same on each track of each platform.
    I can tell you, from experience, that Sonar was muddier, "phasier" and lacked definition - as opposed to Samplitude, which retained the integrity of the tracks and the overall sonics in terms of definition and clarity.

    I'm finding that Studio One, at least thus far, is favorable in this regard. It retains definition and clarity.
    It also handles my available processing and memory far more efficiently than Sonar does, using only around approximately 3/4 of the resources as Sonar does under the exact same conditions. (I really am talking exact here... using the exact same VST's on the exact same wave files that were imported into each platform). I'm doing everything I can to use an apples to apples comparison model.

    Now, someone might ask as to why this is. And honestly, I can't tell you, because I don't know. And, even if someone told me, I still might not understand, because I'm not a programmer, I don't write code, I don't design software. But, I am an engineer who has had the opportunity to work on a lot of gear over the years, using many different platforms, and, I still have a decent pair of ears.

    Studio One is straight forward and easy to use if you have even the most basic knowledge of DAW production. It's set up in the very familiar way of a timeline, with tracks appearing vertically on the left, and their corresponding wave files from left to right horizontally across the screen.

    Studio One comes with a nice selection of plugs, many from Presonus, as well as a trial version of Melodyne (which I've yet to use). I downloaded the 64 bit version, so it recognizes all of the current 64 bit plugs I use,
    (which isn't many because I've just recently switched from XP to W8 in the last two months so most of my VST's are still 32 bit) but it doesn't appear to recognize any 32 bit stuff I have.. There may be a patch or converter add on, I haven't gotten that far yet. Sonar does have Studio One beat in this regard. I can run Sonar 8 x64 and through BitBridge, it recognizes most of my 32 bit plugs as well. Perhaps there is a way that Presonus can do this; I haven't researched it enough yet to know. But with the exception of high dollar boutique plugs from high caliber manufacturers like UA, SSL, etc., most of your mid level plugs pretty much all do the same thing and sound similar, and there are plenty of decent processing choices made by presonus that are included in the demo.

    All in all, this is a straight forward production platform, set up was a breeze and I didn't have to configure latency buffers or adjust any settings - it recognized my audio I/O/MIDI Device immediately, and configured itself to work with it efficiently. So far, I'm up to 24 Mono tracks and 8 Stereo tracks, all with various processors inserted, and it hasn't bogged down or glitched on me once.

    A 30 day trial version - fully functioning - is available from Presonus. You do have to register and verify from a link that they will email you. Here's the link:

    Presonus Studio One Demo Download

    The download takes about 4 minutes, depending on your connection speed, I have cable based internet, so it DL'd pretty fast.



    EAP-Entertainment likes this.
  2. EAP-Entertainment

    EAP-Entertainment Active Member

    Thank you.. This was needed & helpful. I like Studio One & Cubase 7.5 & both are my DAW's of choice...
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    To be clear, I'm not an authority on Studio One. This was simply a initial impressions type of post. If you've been using Studio One for awhile, you probably know more about it than I do. ;)
  4. vaibhav dewangan

    vaibhav dewangan Active Member

    I am using cubase 5, I like it personally, whats your opinion on it?

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I remember all the posts here and there over the years about how all DAW are equal. After owning 5 different leading DAW's, this is the biggest lie to the pro audio industry.
    DAW's are only equal before they are installed. They all go to hell as plug-ins , auxes and track count is increased. The more third party you add, the worst the smear( transient quantization smear) imho.

    I'm with Donny once again.

    But I'll add my experience fwiw which is, I haven't found one DAW that remains pure to the end of a session. But, Samplitude and Ableton Live are the closest I experienced, Pro Tools and Sonar the worst. I can't even bare Sonar. Too bad too as its a Midi giant compared. Each one has its attributes. Pro Tools as being the one that supports the most third party plug-ins. That aught to be the writing on the wall.
    DonnyAir likes this.
  6. vaibhav dewangan

    vaibhav dewangan Active Member

    what do you say about cubase? how much star you would give out of 10? rate abelton live and other you like the most.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I used Cubase years ago so I can't comment today, but I liked it.. I chose Pro Tools over it, which was a financial mistake but the learning curve is where I gained on that DAW. Had I not used PT, I would still be riding the community bus and always thinking I was missing something.

    I think they are all good until you start adding third party software.

    My theory, choose a DAW that stands on its own and works with one OS rather that something attempting to be the world leader of the marketplace. The more anything is universal, the less I trust the integrity. Integrity being, HD sound = Mastering quality. So, even though I'm not an ME, when it comes to audio, I choose a DAW that would be choice for Mastering audio. If I was doing all midi, or loop based, I might choose Sonar or Ableton.

    Audio is where it all gets goofy though. Midi, who cares about transient smear compared. Use the DAW that runs the best and fits your workflow but remember, if it supports the planet ( the community bus), its far from perfect.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    That's really been the biggest stumbling block for me, and why I haven't let go of Sonar completely - because as a midi production platform, it's fantastic. Lately, I've been doing the midi part of projects in Sonar, converting them to wav files, and then importing them into either Samplitude or MixBus for further recording and mixing.

    I'm still getting to know Studio One, so far I like it, although I'm gonna be hosed when the trial period expires - LOL - I don't have the cash right now to activate it. And, my copy of Samplitude is also nearing the end of it's trial period as well, (that one I'm gonna miss for sure) so it's looking like I'm gonna be stuck in Sonar and MixBus for awhile yet.
  9. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Which version are you using Donny? [ Professional, Producer, Artist ]

    I think Professional is the only one in 64-bit, but I'm not sure. The "Project" aspect of the Pro version is a really nice addition. Have you tried that yet?
  10. b1j

    b1j Active Member

    As a beginner, I fell into Studio One a couple of years ago when I bought my first and only audio interface: Presonus's AudioBox USB. I did a little shopping around, but I didn't know much, and I relied on the advice of my local music good guys: Gelb Music in Redwood City, CA. These folks are the real deal and they've earned my trust through the years for credibility.

    Since then Presonus has updated the box to the AudioBox 22 VSL, which looks like it has superior amps, 96 kHz sampling instead of only 44.1 and 48, 64 bit, full-effects real-time monitoring with no latency, and improved dynamics processors. So I'd like to have that box, but oh well.
    The entry-level version of Studio One (Artist) comes free with either box.

    I've found Studio One to be easy to learn, even as a first DAW. I've become dangerous with a little knowledge by taking a MOOC on basic production, and I have not found Studio One lacking in features compared with everything the MOOC said DAWs can and should do. If anything, I wish Studio One's noise gate had a more descriptive visual interface, but that's quibbling. Also, I had to make my own stereo delay (using a copy track and applying different delays to each) because Studio One Artist doesn't have stereo delay plug-in. (I gather that Studio One Professional might have this, though).

    If you want to try Studio One, this is a pretty good window in time, because it seems – reading between the lines – that Presonus might be phasing out the AudioBox USB. That means it's cheaper than when I bought it, and there are many deals to be had to make it even cheaper. I think you can get it for around $125 fully legit and full-featured (including Studio One). That's cheaper than many DAWs alone.

    The professional mixing engineer will want a no-compromise DAW, and Studio One Artist probably isn't it. Artist also does not allow mastering. But the Professional version does, and it has a handful of juicy extras that could just tip the balance. And since you get that Artist version free with a high-quality interface, it's always possible to upgrade the DAW version. Twice in the past year, Presonus has offered the upgrade at half price. It would have been $150 for me to bounce from entry level to top level – today it's $300 just to upgrade. If I had jumped during the sale, I'd have the Professional DAW and an interface for a grand total of $300. As it is, I have lots still to learn with Artist before I can appreciate the value of upgrading.

    My two cents.

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