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Presonus Studio One

Discussion in 'Studio One' started by BobRogers, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Is anyone using Presonus Studio One as their main DAW? I'm having some issues with PT10, so I'm sniffing around for other alternatives. I'm learning to use some of the deeper tools in Melodyne to shape notes, and Studio One is very tightly integrated. I'll wait until my UAD plugins go 64 bit before trying the demo, but I'd like to hear some experiences out there.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I dabbled with Studio One and did not find it as intuitive as I was expecting. Of course I was also not using version 2 of Studio One. I found it to be too hip hop oriented for my taste. But that's also probably because of my aversion to rap & hip-hop? I can't stand that stuff. I refuse to follow that trend. Being more old-school, Studio One simply does not appeal to me. But that's just me and not the 99% of others that want to be lemmings. Or even sheep. Of course even elephants will grab the tail of the elephant in front of them. So maybe I'm nothing more than a lonesome feral cat?

    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I've been using StudioOne since last year when I got a StudioLive 24 for projects I'm mixing ITB. The Capture software that comes with the SL24 and StudioOne are the go-to system now when I record a live event. I can still do a redundant system with the Alesis HD24 and the Direct Outs - but the other system has been so dependable I took a walk on the wild side for the last two remote recordings and did them without the back-up. ( I can feel a certain ex-marine clenching from 2000 miles away at the thought of going without triple-redundancy )

    I'm not one of these people that has to have the latest, most up-to-date version of anything computer related. To my way of thinking, if the software does what I bought it to do, it's not obsolete. So I wait until I can't wait any more, then buy the best I can afford at the time, and don't look back. I'm happier investing my energy into learning shortcut keys and anything else the makes the workflow as efficient as possible. I've got old macs here as far back as the mid-90s that still work perfectly - but just had to be retired after software and hardware backward compatibility gets to be a problem. So consequently, the only version of ProTools I can compare StudioOne to is whatever mac OS-9 version came with my quite old (but still fully functional - such as it is) Digi-01. Plus, whatever similar version of PT came with my old original Focusrite based M-Box. I could track through the Digi-01 to a Glyph drive, and then take my Titanium PowerBook, Glyph, and M-Box to mix elsewhere. I would have used that system right up until last year when I got the PreSonus. Whatever old version of PT that was (I'm thinking 5.x) wouldn't run on the desktop machines after switching to OS-X and my Waves Platinum bundle and other RTAS plug-ins also had to be left behind. So I am many many generations behind and don't know what improvements they've made through PT10 - so take the following with that giant grain of salt.

    Like Remy, I did not find StudioOne overly intuitive at first glance. For me, there was entirely too much junk on the screen when you first fire up a new session. I had to clear some of the clutter and create some new defaults before I could get down to business. Whether that was just differences in the GUI, or the inversely proportional relationship between the age of the dog and the trick - I can't honestly say. Many of the shortcuts that had became second-nature using PT, just weren't there. That took some getting used to in StudioOne. I did, however, find several extremely useful tools and functions in StudioOne that were new to me. Unfortunately, as stated, I cannot say if they were common to the more current versions of ProTools. For instance, in PT 5.whatever, I would find myself automating track volumes a LOT. It was easier than cutting the track and adjusting the track volume in the AudioSuite plug using a guestimated numerical dB value +/-, if say, I wanted the rhythm guitar to take a backseat during the verse, or lead guitar to come up front for a solo. If it wasn't perfect, undo and try again - which led to automating the Track Volumes instead. Automation in PT certainly isn't difficult, but it is time consuming. In StudioOne, it's much easier to cut the track and use the cursor to adjust (and re-adjust) the volume of any given section until it's where I want it. In over a year, I don't remember needing to take time automating anything other than the fade at the end of a song. Which again in S1 is as easy as grabbing the right anchor with the cursor and sliding it to the left to visually draw the desired fade, without leaving the edit screen. These 'handles' are in every clip in every track, adjusting the volumes/fade in/fade out is quick and easy.

    Unlike Remy, I saw nothing gangsta about the software itself. I will say, the upgrade from the Artist version to the Pro version was very worthwhile. It opened up some new plug-ins and a separate (but fully integrated) "Project" section for the Red-Book CD authoring program. It reminded me of my buddy's old version of CD Architect. The S1 Project software has been very ... [correction] VERY useful for a process I'm reluctant to call Mastering here - so I'll use the word (small m and in italics) mastering. I found the Project mastering section of the software to be very well thought out, and very nicely executed. Whether you wanted to master ITB, or run your stereo mixes through some iron OTB for real Mastering, this 'Project' section of the software would be very handy for anything as simple as setting consistent levels song to song, track spacing and trimming, to a full-on plug-in assault of faux mastering mountain. The plugs can either go on the individual songs within the project, or globally over the whole project (or both) if that's what you need to pull it all together.

    And on the topic of plug-ins, I would hope subsequent version of PT since 5.x had useable plug-ins - the stock plugs that came with my two very old PT purchases were utterly useless. The Waves and Bombfactory plug-ins were the godsend that made PT 5.x tolerable/enjoyable. Whereas, the stock plug-ins that come with StudioOne are all quite good. And although I miss some of my old favorites once in a while, I haven't missed any of them badly enough, or often enough, to consider transferring anything over to PT just for said effect or tool.

    Once I had a couple StudioOne sessions under my belt, it was pretty smooth sailing. At this point, I would probably benefit from going back through the StudioOne manual - but who has the time. I'm sure I could pick up some finer points I would have very likely missed trying to cover the basics to get rolling. The online tutorial videos PreSonus and others have done are also pretty well done - I might skim through some of those too. If I can relearn some of the shortcut keys or add a special keypad I'd be pretty happy.

    For StudioOne shortcomings, I can't think of many. I don't think the zoom-in functions that would get you to single-sample 1/48000 of a second are nearly as clean (visually) in StudioOne as they were in PT 5.x. While trying to locate a single random snap in a StudioOne project I felt like the visual resolution could have been a lot better and made finding that single spikey square wave a lot easier. Visually I found the ProTools graphic interface to be cleaner. (sterile maybe?) I don't know, but I liked it. PreSonus could also save first-time users a lot of frustration if the default out of the box was 1:1 in assigning interface channels to StudioOne ins and outs and recording tracks. (only mildly irritating at first, until you figure out how to make your own default configuration). The first session I used it on, it was faster/easier to configure Track #1 - then duplicate it to Track #2 and delete the content. The one MAJOR thing on my StudioOne wish-list would be, develop the integration software to allow the StudioLive boards to be used as a control surface.

    Now that I'm in between projects, I am going to upgrade to StudioOne Version 2. I was reluctant to do that while I had a couple projects in the works. I wouldn't expect any problems, but wouldn't want to take a chance with someone else's work on a deadline. I upgraded from Artist to Pro, mid-project to unlock the Project mastering section and it was seamless.

    I'm not a PT-hater, and fully expect some day in the future when I am up and running here, I will own and use ProTools again to some extent if it is still any level of industry-standard. But in the meantime, I've got very few things I miss using StudioOne. I've never used Sequoia, Nuendo, Logic, etc. and I'm sure they all have certain strengths and weaknesses - while all essentially doing the same thing. I think a lot of it comes down to, are you comfortable with the GUI. I'd love to be able to compare and contrast them all to see what they do best, or if there is one I like best. That's a luxury I can't afford - in terms of money, or more importantly time. To give them all a fair review, I think you'd have to live with them and work with them for a few months rather than write a knee-jerk review after two days use. All I can tell you for now is, StudioOne coupled with the SL24 and a reliable laptop has made for a killer remote recording rig over the last year.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Thanks for a great review. As I understand it, Version 2 comes with a complete version of Celemony's Melodyne. For my preferences, that alone would be worth the price of the upgrade. It's a lot more than the best pitch correction tool. It's great for working with timing. The latest version incorporates tools to shape the transients and envelopes of individual notes. (I admit I have not really explored those features yet. Maybe next week.)

    Right now my three main "touchy" pieces of software are PT, Melodyne, and UAD. I like and know the workflow of PT, but it's just another DAW. UAD and Melodyne are more central to the way I make music. Until UAD upgrades to 64 bit (promised this year, hopefully soon) I'm not going to demo the other DAWs (since PT is still 32 bit as well.) But when that day comes, I'll give StudioOne a try.
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Fab Dupont uses Studio One in his latest tutorial. Not the ***iest looking interface in the world, but it seemed to have some nice tools. Is that multiband compressor a standard plugin? He didn't use Melodyne. (I don't think Fab uses Studio One all that much, so that may just be the default settings. In this video from Celemony it looks a little more interesting.)
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly, the multi-band compressor came with the upgrade from "Artist" to the "Pro" version.

    I've yet to go up to V2 and dabble with the Melodyne (I really could have used it on the last project for the bass guitar with the out of tune D string).
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Some info that may not be relevant to anyone but me. Studio One is not listed as a tested/supported DAW by Universal Audio. There is a thread on the UAD Forums on the use of Studio One with UAD. Mixed reactions. Some people using it successfully. Some getting lots of crashes.

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