PreSonus Blog

Friday Tips: Studio One’s Zero-Latency/Zero-Artifact Transient Shaper

Studio One doesn’t have a transient shaper plug-in…in theory. In practice, there’s a zero-latency, artifact-free transient shaper that’s ideal for emphasizing the attack in drum parts (and other percussive sounds as well, from bass to funky rhythm guitar). Here’s how to do it.

  1. Copy the clip to which you want to add transient shaping.
  2. Right-click in the copy, and choose Detect Transients.
  3. Right-click in the copy again, and choose Split at Bend Markers. The copy now has slices at each transient.
  4. With all the slices still selected, click on any slice’s fadeout handle, and drag it all the way to the left so that each slice has a sharp decay. Tip: De-select one slice before doing this, because once you drag all the fadeouts to minimum, it’s very difficult to change them. By de-selecting a slice, you can select all the slices, and use the de-selected slice’s fadeout handle to change all the slice fadeouts at once, regardless of the other slices’ settings.
  5. Click the node in the middle of the fadeout curve, and drag the node down to make all the slices even more percussive.

The top waveform is the original drum part, while the lower waveform adds a sharp decay to each drum transient.

 

The copy now has the transients isolated from the rest of the loop. Vary the mix of the copied track and the original track to set the balance of the emphasized attack with the loop’s “body.” (Studio One programmer Arnd Kaiser suggests this process might be a good candidate for a macro—that’s an excellent point.)

This technique is particularly effective with acoustic drum loops, because the drums tend to ring longer—so creating a copy as described makes for a super-percussive sound compared to the original loop.

Try this, and you’ll be shocked at how this can make drum parts become more vibrant and “alive.” However, there is one unfortunate side effect: now I wish I could go back and remix all my songs that have drum tracks!

  • Anderton

    Transient shaper plug-ins are indeed useful…but try this technique, then use a transient shaper plug-in, and let me know which one sounds better, has less latency, and offers more flexible shaping 😉 Although this option does require more work to set up, it really does add a lot to drum parts. Try it and see what you think.

  • Northern Decay

    Would not we have to ask the question, why does Studio One have no plug-in for transient shapers !? 😉