[This just in from Jean Madani, producer and recordist in Beirut! Jean has been an audio professional for his entire adult life, and PreSonus has been a part of his process for nearly as long. Lately, he has begun using Studio One (and a few other pieces of PreSonus gear) for all of his digital audio needs. But enough from me—let’s hear about it from the man himself!]
MY STUDIO ONE STORY
I have been recording, mixing, performing, and producing for and with different artists and different types of music for more than thirteen years, in genres ranging from traditional Arabic music, to pop, rock, hip hop, and jazz.
I have probably used every major DAW available, but Studio One has been my DAW of choice ever since I came across it in a studio session two years ago. Khalil Chahine, an excellent engineer and friend of mine from Germany recommended it to me. I had been complaining during a tracking session about how slowly the session was going with the DAW we were using at the time. I found it to be so needlessly time-consuming and clunky. So, we promptly switched to Studio One mid-session, and I never looked back. In all honesty, it’s the single best decision I have made in my career as an audio engineer.
The wealth of good things I have to say about Studio One could fill a whole book, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll try to summarize what I like best here. My very first impression was that of pleasant surprise at how fast the software started up. I have tons of plug-ins, so launching any DAW used to be a painfully long wait. Studio One got up and running for me in less than fifteen seconds, and in a matter of two hours I was running Studio One like a pro. It was just simply that intuitive.
The drag and drop features really speed up my workflow, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that they were like a gift from audio heaven. Tasks that took me hours to complete in other DAWs take up mere minutes now. Also, the ease in which audio quantizing is handled in Studio One beats any other DAW out there in my opinion, and the native plug-ins like Pro EQ are simply amazing, and very transparent.
I often record traditional Middle Eastern instruments such as the oud, buzuk, and riq. I’ve found that applying algorithmic EQ can be destructive to the unique character of these instruments’ sound. EQing these instruments while faithfully retaining their desirable frequencies used to be very tricky, but with the “Pro EQ”, this previously critical and sensitive process has become like second nature to me. I almost never use any other EQ in my sessions at all anymore.
I also really like the thorough one-click integration Studio One has with Melodyne; with just one click, audio becomes MIDI. Another favorite feature of mine is the bank scenes. It’s extremely helpful when wrestling with intimidatingly large sessions. At the moment, I’m mixing an Arabic Fusion album, in which smallest session weighs in at about seventy tracks, minimum. Suffice to say, the ability to save and re-load specific channel selections is helping to immensely un-clutter both my workflow and my monitor screen.
To sum up, Studio One has made my workflow faster and my mixes translate much better than ever before. I don’t think I will be using any other DAW again in the foreseeable future, and I feel that it deserves to be the new industry standard.
In addition to Studio One, I also use a PreSonus Studio Channel and the BlueTube DP preamps. The quality of results I get from both products is consistently outstanding. I get a clear, warm sound when I use the BlueTube’s solid state option, and when I want those extra harmonics, the tube option does the job and then some. I ran a comparison test with so-called “high-end” preamps, and got results that stand toe-to-toe with the supposed best out there. Also, I recently tried adding tube saturation to the signal chain while recording an oud in an acoustic session with the Studio Channel, and it yielded very pleasant results.
Finally, I use a FaderPort in conjunction with Studio One, making its already fast workflow even faster and easier. I like the smooth fader and response so much, that I wish PreSonus would make a larger DAW controller with even more faders!
I choose PreSonus for the simple reason of that they really deliver what they claim to offer, with quality that far exceeds the price point.
Here are some shots of Jean teaching a Studio One / StudioLive workshop at LAU!
Jean Madani’s current projects:
[This just in from Sean Ardoin, who recently released his tribute to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” recorded and produced in Studio One! I got in touch with Sean and got a little backstory on his experience with Studio One.]
I used to use another DAW and then I got exposed to Studio One. The reduction in click count made my workflow super fast, and it’s so super intuitive that I get stuff done without even thinking about it. My cousin in California who worked with me on this song is one of my converts to Studio One. He bought it, and this was the first time he used it to record. He said that he would be using it a lot more in the future because it was so easy to use. He sent me his waves, I put them back in my session, mixed it down, mastered it in the Project page, labeled everything, and uploaded to SoundCloud—ALL IN ONE SESSION!
Looking to step up your game? Interested in cashing some of those pitch-perfect checks that Melodyne writes? Are you ready to heed the call of 3rd-party VST compatibility? Perhaps you’re ready to start mastering your own work using Studio One Professional’s Project page.
Well, there’s never been a better time than right ol’ now, because we’re offering 25% off of upgrades to Studio One Producer and Studio One Professional. For a complete look at which upgrade might be right for you, click here to view a feature-for-feature breakdown.
Let’s set aside prosaic marketing puffery for a moment and take a good, hard look at some nice, clean numbers.
If you were among the wise who picked up Studio One Artist for $5 during the Cinco de Mayo sale we had a while back (I think it was in early May), and you get the upgrade to Professional for the discounted price of $225, you’ve spent $230 for what would have cost you nearly $400 if had you bought Studio One Professional as a standalone purchase at a time when we were feeling less charitable. That’s a total savings of $170, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
This deal is available for digital downloads at the shiny new online PreSonus shop. But, if you’re feeling analog, we won’t get in the way. If a boxed copy is more your speed, then our ever-lovin’ dealers are participating in our little discount-a-thon as well.
[This just in from Donyea via YouTube. He’s put together a great video on mixing drums in Studio One that I really thought was worth a look and listen. Have at it! He says he’s got more videos like these brewing, so why not take a second to head over to his channel and subscribe. ]
It’s been a while since you’ve heard about what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing lots of records, and a good bit of film scoring. All with Studio One of course—Amazing! I’ve posted a video walkthrough of me mixing some live urban funk drums with of Studio One as well—I thought your community might enjoy it.
[This just in from good friend and four-star general in the war against the machines, Brian Botkiller! He shares his latest track, “Morphogenic Residents,” and details some of the methods to its particular brand of oddball. When not repairing his Buddy Holly glasses with gaff tape or tracking down elusive rhymes for “morphogenic residents” and “triskelian,” Brian Botkiller is one of the main guys at OBEDIA, who have been slingin’ their brand of world-class recording technology training to the masses for nigh on ten years now. Strongly recommended.]
I usually record and mix/master in Studio One, but I don’t do a lot of virtual instrument work, so I wanted to do a track entirely in Studio One and explore it a bit more. MC Tahina is an old friend and part of one of my favorite bands of all time, The Gluey Brothers. He wanted to do a track together, so I had him come over to Botkiller studios. He showed up, and while walking him in I said, “I’ve got the drums set up, and you can plug your guitar into Studio One if you want.” He said, “I’ve only got lyrics,” which I thought was awesome. So, we needed a beat. I opened up NI Battery and Impact, and laid down a quick beat, then did some overdubbing with my DDRUM Dominion kit. I wanted to fool with the timing on the audio and MIDI, so I quantized it in some crazy ways and got a cool groove out of it without having to do more work, because Studio One does everything in the blink of an eye.
Next, Tahina did his vocals. I plugged straight into my PreSonus FireBox, my favorite audio interface of all time, and gave him a click and headphone mix, and he just went for it. We had vocals in minutes. I then opened up some previously saved channel strip presets (another favorite S1 feature,) and had a vocal mix in no time. We then laid down the bass, using Native Instruments Kontakt. Tahina did those, on the fly, on a MIDI keyboard straight into Studio One. I did some edits here and there, quantized fast, and boom, bass done. Here’s some video:
I wanted something else in the track, so I took out my turntable, dropped a plate on it, ran it into my FireBox’s SPDIF input, and did some scratches. I’m no Mix Master Mike, but I really liked how they added to the track. We then sat down and just mixed organically, with me laying down some light backing vocals and other little bits. He was really impressed with how fast Studio One allowed me to work. I got everything done fast, and then jumped into mastering in the Project pane, and my song was done.
This was great because the weeklybeats project (http://www.weeklybeats.com) requires me to write, produce, and record a song per week. It has to be turned in by Sunday at 6pm MST, and I really like the project. It’s not a competition or anything, but just a personal challenge—by the end of the year, I should have written 52 new songs! I wanted to do it to get myself into the practice of writing faster, and releasing fast, instead of agonizing over a track forever. It’s really opened my mind and made me work fast and be creative. This is why Studio One is always in my workflow; I can’t do fast production like this in any other DAW, hands down. It’s the fastest daw in the west, east, or anywhere else.
As always, thanks for what you do and for being awesome.
Hear the track below.
From Musikmesse 2014! The incomparable KATFYR describes the production of his #1 hit on the BeatPort dubstep charts, “Lose Control.”
Here, we take a look at his workflow and some of the methods to his madness. Pay attention, here’s a master at work!
[This just in from Kirk Farmer of the Dirty Rumors, who are living the PreSonus life to the fullest!]
Thanks for the invitation to be included in your blog. We are called Dirty Rumors. We’re a quasi rock band / jam band from Roanoke, VA comprised of Kirk Farmer, (Me) on lead vocal and guitar, Tim (Caesar) O’Sullivan on lead guitar, Scott Sutton on bass, Ben Hite on keys, and Thomas Wilson on drums. We’re more of a jam band than anything. Our live performances are heavy on the long instrumental jams with variety of influxes including rock, funk, blues and county. We actually have a large collection of live tracks that can be streamed from our website. Most of which were also recorded using the same equipment and software we used to record the EP. The EP is called Unity Gain and was released online through TuneCore.com in January.
I was originally introduced to PreSonus when I worked as a recording engineer in Raleigh, NC. I saw a demo of the StudioLive 16.4.2 at a show put on by one of your distributors in Greensboro. I was particularly impressed with it’s ease of use and by the transparency of the preamps.
I few years later, I relocated to Roanoke,VA and brought on a business partner named Nate Potter in order to expand my mastering studio, K-14 Studios service offerings to include mobile, multi-track recording. Nate was also a big fan of the Presonus gear and owned a 16.4.2, and also introduced me to Studio One.
Tim and I formed Dirty Rumors in September of 2012. When we made the decision to record our EP, it was only logical that Nate and I produce and engineer the project using the PreSonus gear that we had been using to record our clients with.
As mentioned before, we primarily use the 16.4.2 for tracking. One of the great things about this setup is its mobility. All we need is the board, the laptop, the snake and some mics and we’re in business—literally! We use Capture to track everything, including overdubs. Once we get the tracks back to the studio, we use a FirePod as a speaker/headphone interface, and mix the sessions on Studio One. We also use Studio One’s project page for mastering.
The things we like most about the PreSonus hardware are the quick setup time and the preamp quality. With other digital mixers, we can potentially spend a significant amount of time just getting the board settings where we want them. Using any outboard gear just adds to the process. With the 16.4.2, we can be powered up and signal and level checked in less than 10 minutes.
As far as the preamps are concerned, the transparency and gain insures a good recording the first time, every time. This is paramount when recording a live show where we might not get a second take. They also allow for a great deal of flexibility during the mixdown process. We can make a lot more creative decisions about the overall sound of the project when we don’t have to contend with preamp coloration introduced by your hardware.
On the software side, Studio One is undoubtedly the most flexible and user-friendly DAW I’ve ever used. It’s intuitive, powerful, and very easy on my CPU. In the past, I’ve primarily used Pro Tools and Audition, both for their different strengths: Pro Tools for tracking and Audition for mastering. Studio One combines the best of both worlds in one very dynamic suite.
Nate and I are currently working on a video project for a band from Lynchburg, VA. Again, we used the PreSonus gear for the tracking, and continue to use Studio One for the post- production processing. Our last major project was the Unity Gain EP, which we created ourselves from start to finish. Dirty Rumors is rumored to be recording a concert video in May at the new amphitheater in downtown Roanoke. We plan to use the 16.4.2, tied in to the FOH board through a splitter snake to record the audio from the show. We’re also talking about recording a full length album this summer, and PreSonus is along for the ride every step of the way!
We’re happy to report that PreSonus Artist KATFYR’s track “Lose Control” is currently sitting at the #2 spot on Beatport’s Dubstep chart, notably above some guy called “Skrillex.” We’re equally happy to also report that the track was made in none other than Studio One!
If you’ve ever wanted to see what makes a track like this tick, you need look no farther than to KATFYR’s demonstration of Studio One at NAMM 2014, where you can see how “Lose Control” was built from the ground up.
Sincere congrats to a good friend doing good work. If you’re so inclined, why not help him out a bit, and get a copy of the track and bump him up to #1?