I recorded Steve Heron’s song “I Swear Blind” after-hours at Red Dog Music, the instrument shop I work at in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was an early adopter of Studio One. In more than two years of using it to track bands and songwriters, I’ve never experienced a glitch, crash or artifact in the recorded audio. I’ve worked with Steve before on full-band productions (the usual four-piece plus backing vocals and a horn section) but for this B-side track, he wanted something a little more raw and natural. Everything on this session was tracked in one take, with minimal editing.
I’m a huge fan of the in-house effects built in to Studio One. Pro EQ is ludicrously useful for subtractive EQ and I apply it as an insert to every track on the mix; its interface makes finding the mud and taming it a doddle. The Compressor plug-in is also a mighty beast! The knee parameter is really useful for making the compression a little more transparent and subtle. The Room Reverb plug-in also used regularly; I send the vocal, guitar and Fender Bass VI all to a slightly tweaked version of the “medium studio” preset.
One element that has a bit more going on is the ghostly sounding guitar, played with an E-bow. The E-bow guitar was processed via an insert chain consisting of: Autofilter, Compressor, Pro EQ, Beat Delay, Analog Delay, and finally Binaural Pan. Even though it sounds pretty extreme when you solo it, it works well as a subtle element in the whole mix. The whole master buss is then running through the awesome RedLightDist valve-sim plug-in on a very gentle setting to knock-off a little of the clarity and to excite the mids. The only non-PreSonus plug-in on the mix is iZotope Ozone, to provide some subtle multi-band compression and a few dB of loudness.
I find working in Studio One is an absolute joy, but it has slightly ruined me for any other DAW software on the market. I frequently face-palm when I see people fumbling around with the clunky menus in Pro Tools… If they only knew they could make things so much easier for themselves!
Well done, PreSonus! You’ve made producing music as fun and intuitive as playing it.