Jurij Ricotti is a Musician, Composer, Music Director, Sound Engineer, Sound Designer and Producer. He’s worked on multiplatinum albums alongside top artists and producers with Tony Renis and Humberto Gatica. He’s worked as a Musician and Sound Engineer in Europe, Asia, Middle East, USA, and Australia, and is a Studio One power user. He was happy to tell us why.
• What PreSonus products have you used and which do you currently use?
I Use Studio One Professional since version 3 because I was tired of crashes and old features in Cubase 7 and 8. My workflow is stressful for the DAW, and for the Mac too, with hundreds of MIDI tracks assigned to orchestral instruments, drums, audio guitars and percussion strictly focused on Cinematic purposes. As a composer and arranger, I love flexibility, speed and performance that does not distract my mind from the creativity process. And Studio One is the best DAW for this, in my humble opinion of course.
• For what applications are you using Studio One? (Example: for recording, composing, sound design, and so on; in a commercial studio, project studio, for live recording, etc.)
At the moment, SO3 is my main DAW at JGRSTUDIO. I’m finishing mastering on Barbara Todisco’s new album before starting Gianfranco Mauto’s next album. And all my collaborators are moved to Studio One and Notion. Recently I’ve finished some guitar tracks for three international movies in 2016. I’ve used Studio One for all Andrea Bocelli “Cinema” Radio edits and cuts, some edit for his TV video show in Italy with Rita Ora and many other great performers. I’ve also used Studio One for arranging the drums on Bocelli’s performance at the MTV Awards with Tory Kelly. The piano parts and mixing was performed by Pierpaolo Guerrini at PPGStudios. Another intensive use was during percussion programming on the Track “Maria” on Cinema Album. Vocal Recording was all done in PPGStudios (www.studiocentauro.it) by Humberto Gatica, Pierpaolo Guerrini for the English and Italian songs and with me in the Spanish version. The London Symphony Orchestra was recorded at Abbey Road. Final Mix was by Humberto Gatica at Lion Share Studios in LA. “Cinema” was a gigantic work with pro arrangers involved, four Sound Engineers, Abbey Road sessions, mixing in LA. Thanks to three of the best producers: Tony Renis, Humberto Gatica and David Foster. Studio One is a perfect platform for project studio and for pro studio, I didn’t use it for live yet, but I will cover this soon.
• What led you to choose Studio One? Was it the company’s reputation, audio quality, ease of use, specific features, price, other factors?
PreSonus have a great reputation in Europe, and the products are solid and used in a lot of home and project studios. As I mentioned before I was tired of other DAWs, I’ve used Cubase mainly for the last 10 years, I use Pro Tools because is a standard in the studio, and when 64-bit came around, the choice was only on Logic, Cubase 8, Bitwig, or Ableton. I’ve tried to work with those platforms, especially on Logic because of its score editor, and other features.
But there was always something missing. As any user knows, changing your DAW after 10 years is not easy for anyone. I downloaed the Studio One demo and started to feel confident immediately thanks to the option to use Cubase Key Commands. But I was completely blown away with the Melodyne Integration and parallel processing with the Splitter. At this point curiosity brought me on to the Studio One Expert website where I’ve studied all the other features. After the first month, I was faster than before doing vocal comps and converting MIDI to audio. With Melodyne studio I can also bring the orchestral click on the arrangement. I love the mixer: it’s innovative, full of controls and perfectly fits with my controllers and iPad.
• Having used Studio One, what do you like most about it?
Well, strange but not strange. Studio One is super solid—I get no crashes with my intensive sessions. Great compatibility with any controllers, Melodyne and now VocAlign integration, parallel processing, and great performance on my Mac Pro. There are also other features I love: no dongle, affordable price, mastering in the Project Page, and last but not least an amazing dithering process from 192khz or 96khz to 44khz—better then all the other DAWs.
• What Studio One features have proven particularly useful and why?
In modern music arrangement and mixing, the parallel processing and external audio hardware integration is a standard. Especially with external outboards like compressors, effects, or preamps. I’m using Studio One with an RME Fireface UFX and a lot of outboard gear. Many composers and sound engineers are now tracking in home studios, or project studios without physical mixers, they prefer to use Summing Mixers with outboards and different kinds of preamps. Even if you are involved in rap, pop, rock or classical. This reduces space, studio costs, and time. The most interesting feature for me is the automation. With Studio One you can automate everything, simply amazing.
• How does Studio One compare to other DAWs you have used? What’s better, what’s not as good, what does it give you that other DAWs don’t?
A comparison is obvious for a professional user, someone like me comes from intensive works on Pro Tools or Cubase or Logic. Studio One is new, and all the new features are impressive. The mixer has better performance and the audio dithering is better. The score editor with Notion 6 is great. Pro Tools does not have score editor at all. The real strength of Studio One is the continued relationship with their Forum users, they pay attentions what users ask and suggest, this never happened before with other DAWs. The compatibility with AU and VST let the users choose do not change the plugs, this is important for small budget studios.
Arranging and mixing is faster, plug-ins copy and paste, customizable colors, Melodyne works better than other DAWs, and native plug-inslike the Pro EQ, and Reverbs are pro-quality. Macros are genius, and users can share them through PreSonus Exchange. The loops management is functional and logical, the resident instruments are good. All DAWs have many shared features like VCAs, Analog emulations, etc.. but Studio One is on another level.
• Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with Studio One?
I’ve created my YouTube channel JGRStudios, where I show how to use Studio One professionally in Italian for our audience. The best tips are related to speed up all the production process. I’ve suggested Studio One to my other collaborators, showed how to translate audio to MIDI, use of Melodyne, programming the orchestra and how to use parallel mixing. Now we all use Studio One. I think the best way to understand the real potential is simply to try it! Download the demo and use it, you will be impressed.
• Please give me some basic background info on your career and current projects, credits, and so on. (You can point me to Web sites and/or email me information.)
My music career was started in 1990 as a guitar player in a death metal band called Desecration. My idea of music was always based on “create, not emulate.” In these years my music was released for Warner, Sony and Universal. A big change was in the middle of 90s with Yngwie Malmsteen’s Italian Tour. Thanks to him I started to work with other guitar heroes and guitar magazines until a I began session work in early 2000. I’ve traveled a lot, and worked with Kevin Costner, Kacey Musgraves, MIMS, Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Desecration, Corona, Fernando Osorio, Tony Macalpine, Ana Belen, Armando Manzanero, Queen, Britney Spears, Bireli Lagrane, Richard Galliano, Marcello Giordani, Andrea Bocelli, IL VOLO, Ennio Morricone, Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East, Michael Thompson, Michael Landau, Nguyen Le, John McLauglin, David Silvian, Steven Mercurio, and many more.
Aas a Sound Designer my job was awarded with Effie 2016, Dubai Lynx 2015, and nominee for Golden Lions at Cannes for Chrysler Commercial “The Performer” with Qsai and Publicist Middle East.
I’ve worked for 5 years with IL VOLO as arranger, Music Director, Guitarist and Sound Engineer thanks toTony Renis and Humberto Gatica on their first three albums and a PBS special. After this experience I was aired to be a Music Direcor for Pope Francesco events with Hope Music in Vatican and Brazil Youth Day, the absolutely most incredible experience of my life.
Actually I’m still working with Tony Renis (A. Bocelli’s Producer) always together with Humberto Gatica. With Pierpaolo Guerrini we started a very good collaboration in his wonderful studio PPG in Tuscany.
• Any final comments about PreSonus and Studio One?
I think Studio One is the DAW of the future. Great potential, great team, smart approaches to user needs.