It’s a lovely Spring morning in Paris, but I’m not seeing much of it because I’m currently in the rather fabulous SAE Paris building setting up for an afternoon introducing the students to the wonderful world of PreSonus. That’s one of the great contradictions of my job – I get to travel all over the world, but I rarely get the chance to see much of it 🙁 On the upside, I love teaching, and I really love teaching about this great technology we make, so I’m not too unhappy.
Ooops, students are turning up at the door, time to go talk to them…
OK, let me get this straight: a 64-bit plugin that comes with a great playback engine, 1 GB of top-quality sounds, has a killer editing interface, and it’s free as well? Yes, it’s Alchemy Player, the free version of the excellent Alchemy virtual instrument. I seriously couldn’t believe this plugin when I tried it. But since I’ve gotten it I’ve been using it all the damn time, it’s that good. The only catch is that you have to register with Camel Audio in order to get it, but seriously, for this kind of quality that’s not much of an inconvenience… Just don’t even think about it – get this killer plugin now.
Oh, and while you are at it, pick up the free CamelCrusher plugin as well. It’s a combo Distortion/Filter/Compressor that can add some serious nastiness to your mixes. And that’s always good by me.
This week’s Freebie Friday features the amazing Togu Audio Line. I’ve been using these plugs for forever and a day, and they really are blisteringly good. TAL have been making FX and virtual synths for quite some time, with great solid basic sounds, and remarkable stability and features for free plugins – they were even fully 64-bit far in advance of most of their commercial competitors, so if you are running the 64-bit version of Studio One these will all still work flawlessly without requiring a bit-bridge.
The first TAL plugin that attracted my attention was the TAL Bassline – a fairly perfect emulation of the classic Roland SH-101 analog monosynth. I used to have one of these back in the day, and it was damn fine bass synth; I wasn’t disappointed when I downloaded the TAL version, it pretty much nailed it right there.
Also really noteworthy in the analog emulation stakes is the TAL-U-No-62. This is another great analog emulation, this time of the Roland Juno 60 – including the original’s famous Chorus section. It’s a great little synth, and there are tons of cool presets to download. Highly recommended.
But the big daddy TAL has to be the TAL Noisemaker. Unlike the other synths, this isn’t an emulation of older hardware, it’s a completely new synth, and it’s the bomb. It follows the classic analog subtractive synthesis route, no flashy modern stuff, so it’s really easy to understand and program; and it sounds really good. It’s become one of my first go-to synths when I just want a good solid sound quick & easy.
There are a ton more great plugins on the TAL site, including Vocoder, Reverb etc. so check them out. They are all free, but the author is asking for donations via PayPal – so if you like them, do show your appreciation, even if it’s only a couple of bucks!
…and by that, I mean I share the passion for guitar gear with millions of others. My YouTube channel is my output, and that’s where I have received my following. I got tired of all the cam-sound gear tests that flourished over YouTube. My idea was simple, why not take the testing a step further with high quality video and audio.
With that introduction, imagine my first time at NAMM, I was like a kid in a candy store with all the amps and gear everywhere! I had the chance to record as much amps as I wanted. But to be able to catch everything I would need to pack ALL my stuff, camera, microphones, computer, audio interface, headphones, cables. This is where PreSonus comes in.
I was contacted by Ryan at PreSonus about borrowing a small interface that I could carry around as my mobile studio while recording all the guitar amplifiers at the show. Needless to say I got one from their booth, plugged it in, and it worked straight away. Sounded awesome as well! I have never experienced Presonus products other than hearing people praising them, but I am sure this is going to be a long-lasting relationship.
During the show we filmed and recorded around 10-15 guitar amps. I didn’t need to worry about anything, everything was such a breeze. I could concentrate on recording the amps without needing to worry about hardware issues. We just went from booth to booth and got in a great flow.
After the show I went home and got an AudioBox 22VSL for my home studio. I just had to get one, and now I use it for all my amp tests!
Hello to all fellow Artists and Producer/Engineers:
My name is Neil Citron and I’m most known for working with Steve Vai for about 14 years. I’m also an Independent Producer and Engineer for my own company, Citron Musical Services. I’ve worked on every DVD that Steve Vai has done, which all either went Gold or Platinum. Other projects have included No Substitutions by Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather, I Mixed Michael Jackson’s Striped Mixes for Universal, and recorded John Waite’s last CD Rough and Tumble, just to name a few.
I’m a guitar player who became an engineer and then became a producer. I’ve worked in film and TV as well, but my first love is making CDs. I taught the actors in Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do to play for the film and did some of the guitar in the film as well. These are just some of the things I’ve been happy to be a part of and I’m always looking for the next exciting thing around every corner.
I recently got a copy of Studio One 2, and I wanted to see what it could do. I was pleased with it and would like to share my thoughts. I usually record a whole song to audition new software so I can get a good idea of its strengths and weaknesses. In this case I started with my friend, and great drummer, Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., and many others) and went into the Doghouse Studio in
Woodland Hills. We mic’d up the set and had Frankie record to a click. I didn’t really have a song written, so I asked Frankie to wing it; a fill into something and a fill out etc. You can always work with more than less, but Frankie has such great song sense, I never did have to edit anything.
Next, I brought the tracks home and started trying out the MIDI and soft synths and was very pleased with the sounds. I found a Studio Piano I liked and started there. Next I used Omnisphere because I wanted to see how third party things worked. Painless is the word that comes to mind. MIDI in, MIDI out, and all is well. I then send some MIDI to my Giga Studio, (Yes I’m one of those guys who still uses Giga!) and again: painless!
Now, on to some guitar, my main instrument. I started with a clean sound, just mapping out the song as I go and trying to get things in perspective. Again easy as pie, and sounding good so far. Very happy at this point which brings me to this: the thing about DAWs is that there are a lot of them out there, and almost any of them you can record a track or two and really like the results. The difference between the men and the boys is when you start stacking things up and your sound stays clear and you hear all the nuances of each instrument.
This is where the software for me lives or dies. I’m sure a lot of you have tried stacking a Hammond and a guitar and some strings and a few horns and then held your ears from all the fighting that was going on.Then you have to start making choices of who stays and who goes. I hate that!!!! Well, I was very happy to not have that happen here. Hammond, guitar, strings, french horn and trombone all playing well together. Remember, these are synths, not 10 people sitting in a room playing, so making these work together is a hard thing to do.
I asked a country/bluegrass bass player (Joan Fraley) to come over and play bass on my song because I wanted to add a different feel in the bottom end to go with Frankie. Also she has a crazy bass collection and knew she’d bring something fun. I tried her Uke-bass first, but went with the Fender Jazz-P bass as it worked with Frankie’s drum sound the best. Next, I played some leads, bluesy in nature to fill in the blanks and finally added a few Ahh’s in the background for texture and I was done. I wanted to put enough stuff in so my mixing would tell me more about the software.
I mix from the bottom up. Drums, bass, guitar, keys, lead instruments or vocals, backgrounds and then solos. I was taught that way and it still works for me, even though I know many do it differently with great results.
After this, I started adding reverbs and delays. I use some hardware as well as plug-ins, so I started by comparing a box ‘verb and a plugin ‘verb. On the snare I put a Lexicon PCM 70 and then went to the PreSonus plug-in to compare and see what’s what. I found a nice plate to compare, and I was pleasantly surprised. Reverbs are getting better, but in the early days of plug-ins they were terrible, so I still go there first.
Then, on to compression. I used the PreSonus compressor with very good results and it was so easy to add. Drag the plug-in you want onto the track and go. That’s just brilliant. My workflow was very fast and easy. I work at a rapid pace as a rule, but I could slow down here because the software kept up. I finished the mix and went into the project section and burned a CD from there.
Usually I have to open another software to continue, so this was a very nice option. I played the CD on my home system and heard NO DIFFERENCE! Usually there’s something you want to change because it sounds a little different, i.e. vocal level, snare a little low, etc. Nothing! I was happy, needless to say. I then mastered it and I was done. All in record time, I might add, and in our business time is money.
All in all I can say that Studio One 2 works well without crashing and has no hang ups. I even tried keeping the buffer low while mixing and had no troubles—and I used a lot of plugins and hardware at the same time! I only had one issue which was answered quickly from support, and that was the Pipeline Plugin for hardware effects to stop latency. It worked well, and I never looked back.
Happy recording to all and I hope your experience with PreSonus Studio One is as good as mine!
All the best,
Citron Musical Services
Yes, I know it’s been a long time since my last update, but in my defence we were broadcasting live from NAMM in California so you got to see lots of me instead of just reading my thoughts during that. And since then I’ve been sort of busy moving to Ireland to help found the new PreSonus Europe Limited, so I didn’t even have Internet for a while there 🙁
But now I’m back online, in a new office, and life is grand, as they say here in Ireland. So on to this week’s Freebie Friday!
I know I mentioned Plugin Alliance before, but I am going to mention them again, because they have some great free plugins: Elysia Filter, SPL Free Ranger, Bx Cleansweep and Bx Solo. These are highly simplified versions of some of the most outstanding plugins available at any price, but even though they are simple, they sound great. so everyone should have them. And they have 64-bit versions now too, which as far as I concerned is a 100% necessity these days. I strongly recommend that you grab them from the PA website now. Would love to hear what other people think about them…
Check out this killer song and music video done by Hitherside. Studio One and the StudioLive mixer are featured, almost like bandmates.
Wait, what? Sure, you can put an amp in software through modeling, but you can’t put software an amp. Right?
Wrong. True enough, Studio One Orange Edition can only be found in the Orange OPC from—duh—Legendary UK amp sages Orange. But what’s software like Studio One doing in a hardware amp combo? Orange have released a bang-up, bad-ass little combo amp. Unlike the typical “combo” consisting of an amplifier section and speakers housed in a single enclosure, the OPC houses an amplifier section, drivers, and, oh, a WHOLE KICK-ASS 3.1 GHZ 64-BIT PC RECORDING WORKSTATION WITH USB THREE POINT OHH AND AYECH DEE EHMM EYE. All in a lightweight, 2×6.5″ combo that will blow minds, melt faces and yes, it has a PCI-e slot so you can add-on a fancy video card, and then it will run “Crysis 2.”
We’re flattered and honored that PreSonus Studio One was chosen to occupy a little bit of space on the included 500GB Seagate hard drive. Studio One Orange Edition is an upgrade from our more commonly-known Artist Edition, adding Amplitube support for all your tube-modeling needs (and beyond.) Of course, all those Amplitube-modeled amp tones can be routed to the main speakers on the OPC… you aren’t limited to using them in Studio One Orange Edition, they are suitable for performance as well!
Check out this review from the kind folks over at Expert Reviews for more info.