[Nikola Jeremic is a longtime PreSonus user, fan, and all-around good friend to the company. He’s written outstanding blog pieces for us in the past, and this is no exception! Today he sheds some light on the oft-misunderstood process of music and audio for computer games, in particular, the just-released science fiction epic “Starpoint Gemini Warlords.”]
How is doing music for games different than doing music for film or TV? What features in Studio One make it particularly well-suited for this application?
Doing music for games is technically a completely different process than composing for film or TV, because the music in video games is non-linear and interactive, unlike on films and TV. When you compose a cue for film or TV series, you are limited to the timeline of that particular scene, and you have to sync everything to fit in that particular timeline. In the game, the music needs to follow the decisions of the player and fit itself to the various situations the players will get into. That is why I compose a cue for a game in segments. In other words, I create a piece of music that can be divided into looped 8-16 bars parts that can be interchanged inside the audio middleware and each cue has a short ending stinger that can be triggered at any point to end the music cue. This idea is best applied to big action sequences and boss fights. When it comes to ambient atmospheric music, it’s fairly similar, but sometimes it’s not needed to be looped, and you can just transition from one ambient track to another, because I usually compose them in the same key, or I at least make them start and end on the same note for easier transition. That’s the approach I used for Starpoint Gemini Warlords for example.
You’ve been using Studio One for a long time. What are some of the more recent features that you found yourself using during the scoring of Starpoint Gemini Warlords?
Scratch Pads are hands down THE BEST idea ever! I love having the option of being free to experiment and change the arrangement of a cue in a single project that’s opened. It is very useful when I want to create different versions of one track to test how it sounds in different variations. I also love the fact that no matter how many scratch pads you have opened, everything is mixed in the same mix window, so I can bounce different versions very easily and quickly send them off to the developer for listening. I have to say that Studio One Mixer is absolutely the finest and probably the most respected mixing engine out there today. I have a lot of DAWs that I use for composing when collaborating with other people on projects, but I ALWAYS mix my tracks in Studio One. Project page is also awesome, especially when I need to deliver a big amount of mastered tracks to a client and I need to make sure they all sound the same and have the same levels. It’s just amazing, and the fact that I can quickly take care of meta-tags and add album art cover is really cool. The official soundtrack for Starpoint Gemini Warlords is being prepared in Project page, and it makes my life a whole lot easier. I also love the fact that it has all the needed metering in a single window, so I don’t have to load other plugins and use up my CPU. Bouncing in place and converting tracks in project pool is also a feature I use a lot. Creating FX chains with various plugins has made my mixing and sound designing process lightspeed faster, because I can always recall a preset I have created and use it over and over again no matter what plugins I have in the chain. Mojito is still my favorite go-to synth for bass lines. I generally love the sleek and clean look of Studio One interface and its plugins, because it makes my job a lost faster and easier to do without the need to think about “ooh what does this button do?” or spend a lot of time in sub-menus to find the option I need.
Do you use the Notion integration?
Yes I do. Not always, but I most of the time when I am working on piano and orchestral pieces, I always check my score sheet with Notion. What I’d love to see in the future is having Notion editor as an actual part of Studio One Pro. For example, when you open up a midi editor, you can also switch to Notion editor in the same window and tweak the notes on the staff.
Does your score consist of recordings of live instruments or are you using virtual instruments exclusively? If so, which ones?
The score for Starpoint Gemini Warlords consists of both virtual and live instruments. All of the guitar and bass parts are recorded via my FireStudio Project interface, and I also recorded my external hardware synths through FireStudio. This is mostly synth-oriented soundtrack that pays the homage to some of our favorite games and sci-fi franchises. My main synths here were my hardware synths Yamaha DX7 and KORG Volca Bass and Volca Keys, and all of them were processed through my guitar pedals, but regarding the software synths, I used Arturia V collection (mostly MiniMoog V, CS-80 V, ARP 2600 V, and Modular V) and U-He Zebra 2. I also used Mojito for basses and Mai Tai for some pad and drone sounds that were later processed via different FX plugins.
As Starpoint Gemini Warlords is clearly a Space Opera of sorts, do you take any inspiration from John Williams’ use of leitmotif in Star Wars? Any other musical influences you’d care to talk about?
What I love about Little Green Men studio (the developers of the game) is that it’s a group of fanboys and fangirls and it was a lot of fun at brainstorming meetings regarding the soundtrack for the game. Everybody was into sci-fi music and everyone has their own favorite franchises, so I had to do a lot of research and take a listen of various sci-fi game and film soundtracks. There were no traditional leitmotifs for characters, instead we decided to represent each sector in the game with a different melodic theme based on what usually goes down there, so for example more friendly sectors have some light evocative music, alien sectors are more mysterious and feature elven type of vocals and exotic woodwind instruments, while pirate and outlaw sectors are very dark and aggressive in sounds. The biggest inspiration came from video game soundtracks such as Homeworld, EvE Online (I’d love to score that one in the future), Mass Effect, Deus Ex The Human Revolution, and Battlestar Galactica TV series.
Any advice to share for musicians and producers who want to get into game audio or music but don’t know where to start?
First thing I suggest you do is to join audio societies such as AES (Audio Engineering Society), G.A.N.G. (Game Audio Network Guild), and visit conferences such as GDC (Game Developers Conference) and GamesoundCon. You will meet a lot of people from the industry, and they will all be more than happy to share knowledge and forward you to other people as well. Read books on game audio from publishers like Focal Press for example, I know that helped me a lot. You can always look for some smaller mobile gaming developers out there in your local communities and get in touch with them as well. And the most important thing of all is to learn your craft and learn it good. Don’t get overwhelmed by this or that plugin that’s newest on the market or whatever. Get a set of tools that you like and learn them well inside and out. You will be amazed by how easily you can get great results with bundled plugins that come with your DAW. I still use my Studio One Pro EQ and Compressor most of the time for sampled stuff. Create your own sounds from the stuff that you have. A developer will always learn to appreciate more the fact that you took your sweet time to create something original that’s only for them, than sending them something created with commercial instruments libraries that everyone uses.
Studio One 3.5 is here! This is a free update for owners of Studio One 3.x. Click “Check for updates” in Studio One’s start page to get it!
Full release notes follow. For a less-technical overview, check out the video below or visit our What’s New page here.
IMPORTANT: This version introduces an updated file format for Songs and Projects for faster
Save / Auto-Save. Files created in 3.5 will no longer open in previous versions of Studio One.
Make sure to work from copies of your existing songs created in Studio One 3.3.4 or older if
you like to continue working with a previous version as well.
New features and improvements:
Audio Engine and Performance
Flexible Dropout Protection
• Native Low Latency Monitoring
• Low-latency virtual instrument monitoring
• Multi-processing enhancements for improved CPU balancing
Arrangement and Automation
New shortcut to “Select all Muted Events”
• Copy/Paste Events also copies Layer data
• Import tempo map, time signatures and markers when dragging MIDI file to
• Maximum Track Delay increased to 1,000ms
• New Track command: “Apply Track Names to Channels”
• “Cursor follows Edit Position” now limited to manually selected events or
• Batch renaming events always adds leading zero
• Event Inspector: Multi-editing for Event Start and End
• Arranger Track: Move Arranger Section only [Cmd+Alt]
• “Bounce to new Track” now preserves output routing
• Complete Show/Hide for Automation
• Automation Lanes on Instrument Track
• Improved time-stretching accuracy. “Audio Bend” mode now obsolete.
• Mixer Undo
• Remote control of StudioLive Series III Fat Channel and mic pre-amps
• New command: “Remove Track Automation” removes all automation data
• Visual plug-in bypass state in console
Instruments and Plug-ins
Fat Channel XT
• Adjustable level range for Spectrum Meter (all modes)
• Updated micro-views for Spectrum Meter
• 12th octave mode in Spectrum Meter (incl. keyboard scale)
• Loudness Meter now EBU R-128 compliant
• [macOS] MIDI input for AU plug-ins
• Event FX window follows Event selection
• [macOS] Preset list support for AU instruments/plug-ins
• FX Routing: Splitter can now be moved freely
Unlimited number of controller lanes
• Option to “Resize adjacent Events” (multiple overlapping) [Alt]
Score Editing with Notion
• Send audio or note data to existing song
• Tempo map import (drag & drop)
• Other improvements within Notion (ReWire handling, Studio One application
launcher, and more)
• Independent Track Markers
• Flexible Loudness Detection options
• New Loudness Meter
• New Spectrum Meter
• DDP import
• Improved meta-data editing
• Pool in Project Page
• New Bounce Track option
• Dynamic search for Songs in Project (improved compatibility)
• Faster rendering (if a Song is used multiple times)
• New command “Bounce Track” (includes Track inserts, not Master FX)
• Extended “Add to Project” menu
• Improved ID-tag export (adding Composer and ISRC)
• User interface improvements
• New “Split Track” and “Split at Cursor” commands + shortcuts
• New “Construction Kits” node in Loop Browser
• Search fields in Browser and Mixer reset on close
Hardware and Multitouch
• Dual-screen support (Raven MTi)
• Higher MIDI update rate for control surfaces
• Delete unsaved files and folders when closing new song w/o saving
• Warnings shown when errors occur while exporting mix in real-time
• Updated FLAC codec (better performance)
• Improved save and auto-save performance for Songs and Projects
• [macOS] Independent recording and playback devices
• Extended Bounce and Export options
• Support for 176.4 kHz sample rate in audio export
• [Developers] Gain Reduction API for VST2
The following issues have been fixed:
• “Invert Selection” didn’t restrict range when Scratch Pads exist
• Arranger Track section copy doesn’t work backwards on timeline
• Pre-recorded notes overlapping loop start are doubled after loop recording
• Fade handles are hard to reach when event volume is not at max.
• Overlapping audio events with fade-in are out of sync
• Crash when recording MIDI in loop
• Play Start Marker affects bounce between markers
• No “Paste” in context menu for Tempo Track
• [ARA] Events show wrong content when split after analysis with Melodyne 4.1
• Crash with NI Komplete Audio 6 when changing sample rate
• Audio time-stretch with bend markers is not exact
• Chorder: Crash when transposing out of range with automation
• Install from “Cloud” inside Studio One 3.3 hangs
• Plug-in menu search box loses focus
• Command for “Show in Finder/Explorer” not working for Macros
• Can’t drag more than one Instrument from Browser
• [macOS] Newly created folders not visible in Browser
• “Copy external files” not working for multiple opened songs
• [macOS] Studio One language changes after re-install
• Crash while closing all songs
• Musicloop exports without audio when routed to outputs other than Main
• Wrong-placed note events in loop recording
• Sustain pedal with latency writes wrong data
• Global plug-in bypass not functional if any plug-in in Chain is disabled
• Spectrum Meter curve has offset depending on FFT size
• Channel buttons missing on Multi-Instrument channels
• [macOS] AU Instruments saved in OFF status load back empty
• [macOS] Kontakt AU not showing all available outputs
• Global deactivate FX not working with disabled tracks
• Inconsistent behavior when chasing long notes
• [Impact] Wrong channel order when moving sub outs in mixer
• Wrong channel order after transform to audio and back
• Wrong channel order between folders and busses
• Wrong channel order when dragging instrument to track
• Studio One will not export note data to Notion if the file has an apostrophe in the name
• [macOS] Crash on start with OSX 10.11 El Capitan
• [macOS] AU presets always marked as edited
• |macOS] Invisible scroll bars in help window
• Offset when dragging audio file with bend-markers to Instrument Track
• Notes are transposed one octave when dragging to new Instrument Track via
We’ve got five new amazing sample sets from Sample Tekk that we’ve just added to shop.presonus.com. These packs are compatible with Studio One Prime, Artist, and Professional (version 3.3.4 and higher).
The White Grand
Sample Tekk recorded The White Grand with the finest equipment available, using a specially-designed digital recording technique to give you unequaled performance and sound. Prepare to explore a tactile and expressive feast, not heard in many sampled pianos today.
Get the crazy ethereal choir sounds of “I’m Not In Love” by 10CC with INIL Choir! These choirs are unique—the combination of voices and the way they were produced have given them a sound that’s truly one of a kind. Now, SampleTekk, in cooperation with Eric Stewart of 10CC are very proud to release of The INIL Choir, thus taking one of the most famous analog samples into the digital era.
Great-sounding Rhodes for Studio One, recorded through a Fender Twin as the Rhodes was intended to be heard. Sample Tekk didn’t go for 80s sheen and gloss with lots of tines and overtones. The Tubed Rhodes is more representative the 70’s: a gritty, hard-core rythm’n’blues kind of sound.
The Rain Piano
Somber sounds of a piano that has been left out in the rain and elements. Musical, but with extra overtones and character. The Rain Piano has become a kind of a synonym for character pianos. It has been used and is still used on countless productions where you want something that adds a different flavor rather than using a normal piano.
Old School piano recorded with vintage mics, tape, and preamps. In glorious MONO!
Meticulously recorded, delicately produced, and packed full of flavor in Nashville, Tennessee, these audio loops were specifically recorded with both character and attitude set to inspire and move you without the limitation of genres. Inside you’ll find a variety of grooves with that punch and feel you’ve been looking for.
Music City Drums Vol. 1 “Biscuits and Gravy” is available in 2 forms:
1. Biscuits and Gravy
2. Biscuits and Extra Gravy
PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra is more than just another sample library. It combines a complete symphonic orchestra instrument library with ready-to-use Studio One Musicloops for lightning-fast arranging and production in an attractively-priced bundle. The instruments not only comprise a full symphony orchestra, but also a contemporary strings library that has a different ambient character to choose from. More than 1,200 Musicloops allow for creating full arrangements on the fly while retaining complete control over tempo, key, chords and sound character. Tight integration with Studio One makes production work fun again. PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra is compatible with Studio One Prime, Artist and Professional (version 3.3.4 or higher), making it an ideal combination for aspiring composers and arrangers, as well as anyone learning or teaching music theory.
With more than 1,200 royalty-free loops from 29 unique Construction Kits, PreSonus Symphonic Orchestra is a powerful composition and arranging tool even for someone who doesn’t have classical training or doesn’t play a keyboard instrument. Produced by professional orchestral composers, these Construction Kits cover a wide range of styles and instrument arrangements: Classical, Soundtrack, Jazz, Pop, Hip-Hop, House, Disco, and more.
Three Sound Sets contain PresenceXT instruments, Studio One Musicloops and audio demos.
Classic Orchestra Instruments: Cello, Cello Section, Double Bass Section, Harp, Viola, Viola Section, Violin, Violin Section, French Horn, French Horn Section, Orchestral Tuba, Piccolo Trumpet, Tenor Trombone, Trombone Section, Trumpet, Trumpet Section, Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Bass Flute, Bassoon, Clarinet, Clarinet Section, Contrabassoon, English Horn, Flute, Flute Section, Oboe, Piccolo, Classic Choir (multiple articulations and fx), Marimba, Vibraphone, Xylophone, Bamboo-Chimes, Cowbell, Crotales, Glockenspiel, Shellchimes, Triangle, Tubular Bells, Windchimes, Cymbals (Set), Japanese Bowls, Orchestral Gongs, Thai Gongs, Castanets, Claves, Tambourine, Temple Blocks, Gran Cassa, Snare, Timpani, Orchestral Effects (multiple instruments)
Contemporary Strings Instruments: Violin Section, Viola Section, Cello Section, Bass Section, Big String Section ((all: KS and single articulation Presets)
Articulations (availability and mapping varies across instruments)
Strings: Sustained Notes f & p, Con Sordino, Short detaché 2x, Pizzicato 2x, Col Legno 2x, Tremolo f, Tremolo pp, Crescendo, Cresc. Tremolo, Trill, Glissando, Grace Notes, Short chords, Arpeggios.
Brass: Sustained Notes f & p, Staccato 2x, Half & Whole Tone Trill, Crescendo, Runs.
Woodwinds: Sustained Notes f & p, Staccato 2x, Grace Notes.
Percussion: Single Strokes, Tremolo, long/medium/short Cresc., Glissando.
Harp: Glissandi – long, medium, short / major, minor.
[We recently came across a great story—three different producers, all of whom use different DAWs, needed to collaborate on a single project. They decided that Studio One offered them the best of all three worlds, and chose it for their collaborative effort. Details below courtesy of Roger Hooper, Robert Holmes, and George Napier.]
George Napier kicks things off by describing the task at hand, as well as the backgrounds of the collaborators.
“Robert, Roger, and I took a group of 11 executives from a 75-person tech startup into Studio A of Omega Studios for two days of team building. We needed to prepare backing tracks and beds for them to play against. Roger is a film composer, former Logic guy and current Mac-based Cubase user. Robert is a musician and games music composer and a 20 year die hard Digital Performer user who switched to Windows on DP and was not liking the experience,” says George. “I’m a composer/sound designer and a bit of a serial monogamist when it comes to DAWs. I’ve used Studio One since version 1, left it for Logic/Cubase at 2.6, and came back to try it out with the release of 3 (all on Mac). FYI: We all work together on projects for each other’s companies. This particular project was done under Robert’s company ResonantClarity.
Roger Hooper is a longtime Cubase and Logic user who was new to Studio One for this collaboration. His impressions and description of the collaborative workflow follow.
Robert Holmes is a long-time Digital Performer user who made the switch to Studio One after a 20-year commitment to DP. He’s a self-proclaimed “old pop/rock studio guy from LA who ended up doing game scores in the golden age of adventure games.”
“I had one interesting experience where I was mixing, and I was getting lots of crosstalk,” recalls Holmes. “And it was actually very cool from a sonic point of view, but it was making mixing a challenge. That’s when I discovered the Console Shaper had accidentally been activated on the master track somehow and was in Crosstalk mode. So YES, the crosstalk really works if you want that Gold Star Studio Wall of Sound.”Despite a lengthy relationship with Digital Performer, Holmes has taken the plunge and made the switch to Studio One as a result of his experiences in this project.
“I never looked back.”
There’s no rebate forms or any of that mess—just register your CS18AI at my.presonus.com and Studio One Professional will be available in your my.presonus.com account for download!
Equipped with 100 mm, touch-sensitive, widely popular motorized faders and AVB networking, the StudioLive CS18AI control surface provides a compact, intuitive mixing solution for PreSonus StudioLive RM16AI and RM32AI rack-mount digital mixers and Studio One 3. The CS18AI connects to your network with a CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cable, eliminating the need for cumbersome analog or digital snakes and stage boxes, and offers a host of other useful features. It adds up to a powerful mix control system with a fast, intuitive workflow and the latest networking technology.
“Our StudioLive Active Integration mixing systems are the only solutions that allow you to customize your mixing experience to fit your individual needs. With a StudioLive RM as the mix core, you can choose to work with physical motorized faders, portable wireless iPad, a large Windows 8 touch screen, or a combination of them all.”
—Ray Tantzen, PreSonus Senior Product Manager
Take a detailed look at the CS18AI with Rick Naqvi here!
MVP Loops from Los Angeles are incredibly prolific, and somehow have managed to maintain both quantity and quality in their admirable output. We’re thrilled to have the latest batch of them available for sales on shop.presonus.com. These packs are compatible with any edition of Studio One 3 (Prime, Artist, or Professional), are 100% royalty-free, and include 44.1/24 bit .WAV files and MIDI loops. Most importantly, individual tracks can be mixed and matched to create truly original musical ideas and arrangements.
Here’s what you can expect from these new packs, straight from MVP themselves.
Looking for the new dark trap soulful style that’s sweeping the charts in the style of Tory Lanez? Then you have to check out the Straight Lanez product from MVP Loops! Straight Lanez consists of both construction kits in Audioloops format and Impact kits.
All sounds in the Straight Lanez product have been processed with the highest quality outboard summing gear to give you that punch that can only be found inside of MVP products! From hard hitting drum kits to soaring synth and pad lines, to thunderous low end, to in the pocket current melodies Straight Lanez has what you need.
Trapped Up EDM
MVP Loops presents “Trapped Up EDM”, a collection of 10 straight fire construction kits that blend two of the hottest genres blowing up the airwaves today: EDM and trap. All the elements you need to create some exciting new sounds are all here. 808s, pulsing melodies, vocal effects and much more.
Introducing BANG BANG MVP, a truly unique product for production, beat making and performance. BANG BANG MVP are Urban Kits and Melodic Hits that are nothing less than incredible. 16 incredible kits, played, produced, and developed by Grammy nominated and winning musicians, this product contains 249 total one shots, riffs, samples, loops, and hits that auto-load in Impact that inspire from the jump.
BANG BANG MVP contains smacking drums, and big melodic chops and hits from live bands giving you a unique style used by Jay Z, Kayne West, Just Blaze, Dr. Dre, and many more top-flight producers and artists. It really creates something unique and is perfect for the foundation of your urban or dance productions.
The hits work together so that you can create countless different melodies on the fly, and the sound quality is nothing less than incredible. We’ve processed every sound through the BEST outboard gear, and used the BEST converters on the market to give you that MVP Loops sound you have come to expect!
This product hits hard and cuts through your mix.. .thus the name BANG BANG!
Introducing Modern Melodix. 592 incredible loops, riffs, and instrument samples that auto-load in Impact. No drums here, purely modern melodic sounds ready for any type of music you are trying to produce.
Representing the current sounds that are sweeping the charts Modern Melodix has an incredible combination of acoustic and electric guitars, live and synth bass, synth leads, synth pads, and keys. You can literally create thousands of different and unique melodic combinations quickly so that you can crank out the hits fast!
We used nothing but the best grammy award winning musicians, best gear, and best producers here in our studio to produce this product so you can be sure that sonically it’s superior. It’s the MVP Loops guarantee!
*Note: Drums in the demo are from the Impact kits in Straight Lanez.
Dancehall Reggae is back with a vengeance thanks to artists like Rihanna, Drake, Tory Lanez, Justin Bieber and more. MVP Loops presents “Control Ya”, a collection of 15 bangin’ dancehall reggae construction kits that bring that tropical island feel straight to your favorite samplers.
Hook City Trap & Soul Edition:
Following up on our hit Hook City Trap N B product, comes our newest Hook City hit, Hook City Trap N Soul Edition! This product is incredible featuring the vocals of LA super recording artist Rudina Haddad, and featuring incredible sounds that all have been summed and tweaked to give you the sound you have come to expect from MVP!
Hook City Trap N Soul Edition comes suited for your needs no matter how you like to produce. Hook City Trap N Soul Edition is a combination of soulful vocals over trap beats, a new style that is killing the charts currently.
From expertly sung vocals, live instruments to filter pads and hard hitting drums this product is a winner. Mix and match the sounds to create endless combinations!
Just in time for V-day! If you own an existing DAW but would like to switch over to the most intuitive recording software on the planet, the Studio One Crossgrade was created just for you. You can get Studio One for less if you own one of the qualifying DAWs below, and even for less less on Feb. 14 and 15 of 2017! That’s only two days…
Qualifying DAWs include:
Presence XT Editor unlocks the Edit Page of Presence XT, the built-in sample player instrument of Studio One. This add-on turns a great-sounding instrument into a powerful sound design tool for musicians, producers, and sound-designers. With direct support for all major sampler formats, it’s the perfect host for any custom sampler sound library.
Finished sounds can be saved as Presence XT presets or exported in a compact sampler file containing all samples, mappings, scripts, and settings for convenient file sharing and exchange.