PreSonus Blog

Category Archives: Studio One


Neil Citron’s “Peanut Butter Fudge” Produced Entirely in Studio One

 

[editor’s note: the below comes to us from Neil Citron, Studio One Advocate, Grammy recipient, and all-around cool guy]

Hi Ryan!

I wanted to let you know that I finished my CD “Peanut Butter Fudge,” and it will be released digitally May 29th through Favored Nations. It’s a remake of the first Vanilla Fudge record, with a bluesy vibe.
This is my first CD done totally with PreSonus Studio One 2 from top-to-bottom. All drums by Frankie Banali and the rest is me. I sang some of the songs and a few are instrumental. I wanted you to know how pleased I am with the results. From recording to mixing to mastering, it all worked perfectly and the sound is beyond beyond!
The only Presonus gear I have is the software, but that’s why I’m so happy with the CD. I used the Dual Pan plugin everywhere! That makes it incredibly easy for me to place things just where I need them. Using Pipeline for connecting to external gear is perfect. Parallel compression is also made simple  in Studio One, and that’s something I do a lot. My guitars are compressed with  Studio One’s compressor at 3:1 with a slow release to hold it in position. The biggest assets are Studio One’s ease of use and sound quality. It makes working fun again like the old days, but easier! I can work at break neck speed and still have fun!
All the best,
Neil

Orchestral Scoring in Studio One 2, Part 4. Reverb!


PART 4: Reverb!
Now, the most difficult and most-discussed theme on orchestral composition forums is applying reverbs. This is the most important part of the orchestral mixing process as far as I’m concerned. I’ve watched and listened to loads of tutorials and lectures on reverbs for orchestra—which one is better? Why?. There is a lot of controversy on impulse response reverbs vs. algorythmic reverbs. Whatever you pick, the most important thing is that it sounds good to you. My main reverb is Altiverb and sometimes I use Lexicon PCM Native. Here’s how I apply them to my orchestra sections:

Every section has its own reverb that processes it. I like to use Altiverb’s IRs of stages like Todd-AO or FOX Scoring Stage. I like the fact that it has three different mic positions that were used to capture the impulse responses, so I can use them on individual close-miked sections of the orchestra. There are three IR patches of wide mic setups that I use. The closest one is for strings, the middle one is for brass and woodwinds, and the farthest one is for percussion and choir. I apply very little reverb on close mic sections just to give them air, and I apply more of it to stage mic sections to give them room.

Close Reverb



Here’s an example of proper reverb settings using Lexicon PCM Native:
I use two instances of Lexicon. The first one is for close mic setup with a very small pre-delay and short reverb time. I use only 50% of the mix.



 

Lexicon Close

The second instance emulates stage and far-miked setups, which requires a sizeable pre-delay and long reverb time. Its mix is set to 100%.

 

Lexicon Far


If I have a solo vocalist in my session, I usually use any vocal plate preset for it.
This covers the reverb for the orchestra. Next up we’ll look at using the Studio One Video Player for scoring.


[Update! For your convenience, here’s the rest of the blogs in this series:

  1. Part One: Intro and DAW setup
  2. Part Two: Panning and placement of instruments
  3. Part Three: EQ
  4. Part Four: Reverb
  5. Part Five: Video

Luke Mourinet on Studio One 2 in Mushroom Magazine

Despite his depiction here, Luke is bad at keeping Studio One 2 a secret.

My hunch is the online-page-turning-reader thing that Mushroom Magazine is using won’t embed in our blog, so here’s a link to all the flattery that PreSonus artist and producer wunderkind Luke Mourinet has to say.

Grammy-nommed Luke presented at MusikMesse a number of times for us this year, and his presentations were among the most well-received.

Insidiousness

This is Marios Iliopoulos from Scandinavian death metal stalwarts Nightrage, demoing his favorite song from the new Nightrage record, Insidious. Post-shred, he breaks things up into bite-sized chunks so we can learn the song on our own.

Note that is tracks are all in Studiö öne Twö, of course.

Path: p

Orchestral Scoring in Studio One 2, Part 3. EQ!

[editor’s note: all good stories start at the beginning: Here is Part 1, here is part 2.]

 

PART 3:

Now that I’ve mentioned EQ, it seems appropriate to explain the processing of orchestra sections. I’m not that experienced in mixing, and am still learning the ropes, but I’ll try to describe my workflow as best as I can. My motto is “If it sounds good already, don’t touch it.” I told you that I like Symphobia because it has that “film sound” that us composers are going for… and to be honest, I do not EQ Symphobia patches at all. But, I’m tampering a bit with LA Scoring Strings. I like the way they are recorded dry and up close, so it gives me room to EQ them nicely.

What I have noticed is that LA Scoring Strings violin patches are rather harsh in the upper register, and sometimes it really hurts my ears. So, I like to roll off the harsh frequencies (and some low frequencies) with Studio One Pro EQ.

If you are familiar with using other parametric and graphic EQs, you’ll feel at home with Pro EQ. I like to boost a couple of dBs in low-mids and high-mids to give a sense of air to the violins. In the picture below you can see how my EQ graphic chart looks like for the violin. Of course, if you have your own way of doing this, feel free to experiment.

Violin EQ

Some people like to solo tracks and listen to them individually before processing them. That’s cool, but if you’re going to achieve a proper mix of the instruments you will have to monitor them in the entire section. Feel free to monitor your string section instruments together and try to hear where you should apply your EQ. Every string section instrument has its own frequency range and you should pay great attention to all of them. Roll off the frequencies that you don’t hear normally in the instrument group, and pay attention to those that are relevant to the instrument. Like you saw on the EQ chart for the violins: violins don’t have low frequencies, so cut them, otherwise you’ll have chaos in your mix. Double basses don’t have high frequencies, so cut those, too… and so on.

I use the same approach to my brass section as well. I monitor the entire section and roll off the frequencies that I don’t need and concentrate on those that are relevant. Tuba is in lows, of course, trombones occupy low mids and high mids, most horns are also in low and high mids, and trumpets are in the high mids and highs.

Here’s an example of my Horns section being processed with Studio One Pro EQ.

Horns EQ

It’s the same as with the strings. I don’t process the Symphobia patch, but I pay attention to close setup of individual brass in Orchestral Brass Classic. Sometimes I even notch some of the peaking frequencies, because brass can get very loud.

I rarely use woodwinds in my pieces, so all I can say about them is that I rarely EQ them, and when I do, I notch the peaks and roll off the lows on flutes, clarinets and english horns. I don’t use bassoon that much, but I would treat it similar to double bass. If you have ideas about them, feel free to share.

As far as the percussion goes, I like to layer them as well. Some would say that it’s a bit unnecessary, but for achieving a fuller sound, you have to blend mic positions on them as well. Most of the time I use True Strike library for percussions. What I like about it is that it has three different mic positions: Close, Stage and Far. When using all three of those patches for a single instrument, you can achieve pretty nice results. A while ago I got a great tip from my friend composer Jason Graves, whose game composition credits include Dead Space, Command & Conquer: Tiberium Twilight, and Blazing Angels. He says:

“Pick a single track to have the low energy, and put a high-pass filter on the rest at, say, 300-500HZ. Try using EQ on the different instruments and see what you can scoop out of each one, preferably different freq for each inst, in the 500-5k range. Also pan them to give them space, but the really low stuff needs to be centered.”
So, if it works for him, it sure does work for me, and it will work for you as well!  🙂

Now, as far as that layering goes with True Strike, feel free to experiment with different level blends of those three mic position patches.

Percussion EQ

When it comes to choirs and vocals, I am treating them as any pop or rock producer would treat them. I like to use the presets for vocals in Studio One and tweak them a bit.

Vocal EQ

That pretty much covers the basics of orchestral EQ processing in Studio One. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 4, which is a more detailed topic than you may at first think: orchestral reverb!

[Update! For your convenience, here’s the rest of the blogs in this series:

  1. Part One: Intro and DAW setup
  2. Part Two: Panning and placement of instruments
  3. Part Three: EQ
  4. Part Four: Reverb
  5. Part Five: Video

Join PreSonus Live from InfoComm

Las Vegas, NV, May 2012… Join PreSonus for a very special live webcast, direct from the InfoComm Show in Las Vegas.

Tune in for Connecting Your Customers with StudioLive™, a 30-minute presentation that will cover the broad range of advanced control and connectivity between PreSonus StudioLive consoles and laptop computers, iPads®, iPhones®, and iPod touches®.

From iPad-based wireless mixer control with StudioLive-Remote and iPhone/iPod touch monitor control via QMix™, to multitrack recording and production with CaptureTM and Studio OneTM Artist, PreSonus is the only compact digital mixer that offers such a wide range of software integration – for free!

The presentation will also take a look into the ever-expanding integration between PreSonus products and Rational Acoustics’ acclaimed Smaart™ audio-analysis technologies. Optimizing system EQ has never been this fast and easy.

Four 30-minute presentations will be broadcast live from the PreSonus Demo Room (N105) at InfoComm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 13, 14, and 15 at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, and 3:00 PM. (All times are Pacific Daylight Time) A live Q&A from attendees will follow each session.

A special bonus for those attending the show in person: PreSonus will give away a free seven-port USB hub and free 2GB USB drive to attendees at the end of each presentation.

So join us online at http://livestream.com/presonuslive to catch all the action as it happens, or to view it later.

To schedule an email reminder, visit us at http://presonus.com/community/presonuslive/

Orchestral Scoring in Studio One 2: Part 2

PART II:

So, the next thing I am going to explain is how I pan the instruments properly to simulate orchestral placement for each instrument section. This is the chart I reference when panning my instruments.

Panning is where all of those stereo tracks from Kontakt (see part 1) will come in handy, because these are all sections of multiple instruments within the orchestra. Some people would use mono track for a single section and pan them left or right according to the orchestra sitting chart. That is okay, but what you have to realize that what we’re doing with virtual orchestra is that we’re SIMULATING a live orchestra setup. Those instruments are panned left or right, but their sound travels and expands in multiple directions. That’s why a stereo track is more useful.

Usually orchestras are recorded by using multiple microphone positions. For example: The entire orchestra is recorded with a Decca Tree mic setup that’s positioned behind the conductor and is picking up the full orchestra’s sound. In addition, every section of the orchestra has its own stereo mic pair that is positioned very closely to the performers.

What most audio engineers are doing in a setup like this is simply layering the full orchestra sound with close mic positions, and they mix the individual sections more easily through those close mic setups. Here’s what I do:

I use the full string section from Symphobia (e.g. Sustain strings) and layer it with LA Scoring Strings sustain patches. What I like about this approach is that Symphobia has the “room sound” and LA Scoring Strings are very dry, because of their close mic setup. Now, according to the chart above, I ould pan the Symphobia strings from -100 to +100, and individual sections of LA Scoring Strings I pan appropriately to the chart (e.g. first violins from -100 to -20, Cellos from +12.5 to +73, etc).
I repeat this process for every instrument section in the orchestra. If I was using Symphobia Brass, I would pan it from -37.5 to +37.5 according to the chart, and layer that patch with individual patches of Orchestral Brass horns, trombones, trumpets and tuba panned appropriately to their position within the orchestra. I’ve noticed that Studio One doesn’t have the option for dual panning for the stereo track, so I use Binaural Pan as an insert to take care of that problem. (Note to the developers: Make sure you include this in the next patch please!) [editor’s note: We hear you!]
Although this can be taken care of when bouncing tracks by bouncing a single stereo track as dual mono, this approach introduces a problem. If you’re applying EQ on that stereo pair, you will have to insert an EQ on both mono tracks or route the mono tracks into a stereo submix, and then apply the EQ on the submix.

As a matter of fact, that seems like a good stopping point. Next time, we’ll take a look at EQing our orchestra to minimize competition between instruments for your ear’s attention. We’ll follow that up with a few words on reverb, and how to accurately re-create our orchestra’s cavernous environ.

[Update! For your convenience, here’s the rest of the blogs in this series:

  1. Part One: Intro and DAW setup
  2. Part Two: Panning and placement of instruments
  3. Part Three: EQ
  4. Part Four: Reverb
  5. Part Five: Video

Recording Sustain using SampleTank and Studio One 2 Pro

Click above to see the video!

This pro tip comes to us from @wdkunkel, who has found a way to get PreSonus Studio One Pro 2, SampleTank, and a sustain pedal to play nicely together. Check it out!

Studio One Champions

Studio One is available in a number of versions: Artist, Producer, and Professional. In this video, longtime PreSonus advocate Byron Gaither breaks down not only why Studio One is right for you—but also WHICH Studio One is right for you. From bedroom producers to established rock stars, you’ve likely heard rumblings of people quitting their old DAW for PreSonus Studio One.

So, you should take a good look at this—we’ve got a version of Studio One in your size.

Studio One Minute Episode 4—Track Management

WAKE UP. This is important. I know that “Track Management” doesn’t have the same zing as “Transient Beat Detection,” “Groove Templates” or “Lap Dance,” but pay attention.

You kids today have too many options. One of the potential pitfalls of a DAW with unlimited tracks and drag’n’drop instrument placement is that an overzealous producer might just use too many tracks. It doesn’t take long until you have to scroll down to find your MIDI, and your audio tracks are up top, your rack tom is next to the hydrocrystalophone track, and damned if you know where the vocal is.

Proper track management avoids all this. You have a lot of options: Folder tracks, color-coding… oh, just watch the video. And go clean your room.