PreSonus Blog

Friday Tip: The Project Page Meets Bluetooth

The Project Page Meets Bluetooth
After mastering a project, I like to check out its suitability in a variety of contexts by listening to it over and over again—in the foreground, in the background while people are talking, while the dishwasher runs, whatever. This can be very instructive when trying for masters that are transportable not just for different playback systems, but for different listening conditions.

And that’s when it hit me: Bluetooth! I have IK Multimedia’s iLoud portable Bluetooth speaker, and carry it around the house to listen to music that’s streaming from a mobile device. Why not carry it around while listening to a mastered Project? Or even loop a Song, so I can get lyric ideas while the instrument tracks play in the background? Or listen over other Bluetooth devices, to get an idea of the type of sonic violence the music will have to endure at the hand of consumers?

Okay, so I was a little slow to tumble to this…but reality checks can indeed be useful, and I hope you find this tip useful as well. We’ll do the Mac first, and then Windows.

Mac
1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Bluetooth.
2. Turn on Bluetooth at the Mac if it isn’t already.
3. Turn on your Bluetooth playback device, and enable pairing for it (usually by pressing a pairing button on the device).
4. When the Connection Request appears, click Connect.

5. The Bluetooth window will show the device as connected.
6. In Studio One, choose Preferences.

7. For Playback Device, choose your Bluetooth playback device.

Windows
1. Choose Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
2. Turn on Bluetooth in Windows if it isn’t already.
3. Click on Add Bluetooth or other device, then choose Bluetooth when Add a Device appears.
4. Turn on your Bluetooth playback device, and enable pairing for it (usually by pressing a pairing button on the device).

5. Click on the device name to connect it. Once it’s connected, click on Done.
6. In the Windows search box, type Sound and then select Sound Control Panel.

7. Your Bluetooth device should appear in the list of potential playback devices. Click on it, and then click Set Default to make the Bluetooth device your default playback device.
8. Now that Windows is set up, open Studio One, and choose Options. Select Windows Audio for your Audio Device, and you’re good to go.

  • B. Landry

    I tried to make a set of “Poor Man’s Studio Monitors” using Bluetooth headsets, but the latency was too much to bear. I will try this from the holistic approach with your seed of insight. A good set of wireless PM’s start around $400.00. I do hate headsets with a cord, as my moving around from guitar to bass to keys always jerks my head. I coil cord is the cheapest fix, but…

  • B. Landry

    Great Advice,
    This is Quincy Jones type trade secrets. He always had a set (and mono) of the most crappy speakers set up to check out a song. If it still sounded good, there was half a chance to have another big hit. Also don’t forget the car, at rest, on the highway, at the beach, etc. I used to make a custom 8-Track tape and play them over and over until I got sick of it. Yes I had a 8-track recorder, it was a thing.

  • Saltp

    Excellent. I’ll watch for the release of those book for sure.

  • Craig Anderton

    Glad it’s useful for you! If you don’t mind a quick plug, I never did update Home Recording for Musicians but this summer, Hal Leonard will be publishing a series of books called the “Musician’s Guide to Home Recording.” I’ve already completed the books on audio interfaces, EQ, recording vocals, and mixing. 11 books are slated to come out in the first year, with more to come.

  • Saltp

    Craig, this is just a great idea! I’m already using it in my workflow, testing mixes while I’m in Studio One on a couple of different sized BlueTooth speakers. 30 years after I picked your book on home audio recording (PortaStudio!) I’m still getting wonderfully useful tips from you. Really appreciate it.

  • Craig Anderton

    Bluetooth does indeed introduce latency, I’d “ear ball” it at around 35-40 ms. But in the context of doing reality checks on your music, it’s not a factor.

  • Mike Utzman

    Craig,
    I tried something like this a couple months ago while creating a song. One message that popped up when I set Studio One to the bluetooth device was a latency warning. Did you get this message too? How do you feel about latency in this regard? I mean I could see where this would be unacceptable during tracking however I do all my work “In The Box” with the exception of rare vocals. I experienced about a half sec delay on playback.

  • Craig Anderton

    It works with both Mac and Windows, read the section toward the end of the tip on doing this with Windows. I actually did this with Windows first, and later figured out how to do it with the Mac.

  • Removing Distractions

    Is this playback option only available on the Mac version?