PreSonus Blog

How to use PreSonus Sphere Workspaces with Jacob Lamb

If you’re a musician working with other artists, or working alone and trying to keep your folders organized and neat, the PreSonus Sphere Workspaces tab is an indispensable tool for file sharing and organization.

Collaboration has never been easier; share whole songs or individual instrument stems, with quick listening right inside the Workspaces page—no downloading needed! In this Sphere episode, Jacob Lamb takes us through some of his thoughts on how Workspaces can be utilized in his studio, for both song creation and teaching students.

 

Join PreSonus Sphere today! Only $14.95 per month for Studio One Professional, Notion, and so much more.


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Mid-Side Meets the CTC-1

I’ve often said it’s more fun to ask “what if I…?” than “how do I?” “What-if” is about trying something new, while “how do I” is about re-creating something that already exists. Well, I couldn’t help but wonder “what if” you combined the CTC-1 with mid-side processing, and sprinkled on a little of that CTC-1 magic? Let’s find out. (For more information on mid-side processing, check out my blog post Mid-Side Processing Made Easy. Also, note that only Studio One Professional allows using Mix Engine FX.)

 

One stumbling block is that the CTC-1 is designed to be inserted in a bus,  and the Mid-Side Transform FX chain won’t allow inserting Mix Engine FX. Fortunately, there’s a simple workaround (see Fig. 1).

 

  1. Copy the stereo track you want to process, so you have two tracks with the same stereo audio. One will provide the Mid audio, and the other, the Sides audio.
  2. Insert an MS-Transform FX Chain into each track (you’ll find this FX Chain in the Browser’s Mixing folder, under FX Chains)
  3. Create a bus for each track.
  4. Assign each track output to its own bus (not the main out). However, the bus outputs should go to the Main out.
  5. Add a CTC-1 Mix Engine FX in each bus.

Figure 1: Setup for adding mid-side processing with the CTC-1 to a mixed stereo file.

 

  1. To dedicate one bus to the mid audio, and the other to the sides, open up the Splitters in the MS-Transform FX Chains.
  2. Mute the sides output for the Mid track (top of Fig. 2, outlined in orange). Then, mute the mid output for the Sides track (bottom of Fig. 2, also outlined in orange).

Figure 2: One bus is Mid only, the other is Sides only.

 

Now you can add the desired amount of CTC-1 goodness to the mids and sides. And of course, you can vary the bus levels to choose the desired proportion of mid and sides audio.

 

Audition Time!

 

The following example is an excerpt from the original file, without the CTC-1.

 

 

 

Next up, CTC-1 with the Custom option on the Mid, and the Tube option on the Sides. Fig. 3 shows their settings—a fair amount of Character, and a little bit of Drive.

Figure 3: CTC-1 settings for the audio example.

 

 

 

If you didn’t hear much difference, trying playing Audio Example 1 again after playing Audio Example 2. Sometimes it’s easier to tell when something’s missing, compared to when something’s been added.

 

The more you know about the CTC-1, the more effectively you can use it. The bottom line is I now know the answer to my “what if” question: get some buses into the picture, and the CTC-1 can be hella good for processing mid and sides!

 

Notion iOS 2.6 Release Notes

Notion iOS 2.6 Maintenance Release

A maintenance update is now available for Notion iOS, the best-selling notation app on iOS. This is a free update for Notion iOS owners that can be obtained by visiting Notion in the App Store on your device, or checking your available updates in the App Store.

All the changes are below. And while you’re here, please join us at our new official Facebook user group for news, tips and community support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PreSonusNotionUsers

 


All Fixes and Enhancements:

Improvements:

  • Automatic rest groupings improved for:
    • MIDI import
    • Realtime MIDI record
    • Fill with Rests tool
  • MusicXML import of verse information from Sibelius improved
  • User Guide and Handwriting Help .PDFs now shown in device browser

Fixes:

  • Spacebar in Text Box now works as expected if lyrics have been previously entered
  • Fix for occasional issue when changing guitar tab numbers
  • Shown ranges for Viola (Section), Cello (Section) and Bass (Section) have been corrected
  • Slash chord playback of enharmonic chords e.g. G#, D#, E#, A# now sounds as expected
  • Issue fixed with cross-staff beamed triplets that have glissandi
  • Fixed crash when cross-staff beaming the first pitch of the first chord of a tuplet
  • Final barline no longer breaks multi-measure rest

General:

  • General stability fixes
  • Minimum requirements: Apple iOS9 or higher (please note, Notion 2.x will be the final version to support iOS9 and iOS10)

The Multiband X-Trem

Finally! People are becoming aware of the Splitter. Although the Splitter can act like a Y-cord or split based on channel, the coolest Splitter feature for me is being able to split based on frequency. This is what makes creating multiband FX Chains in Studio One sooo easy. 

 

Check out the audio example to hear a taste of what this can do with a pad and drum part. The first four measures are unprocessed, while the second four measures use the same Multiband X-Trem settings on the pad and the drums.

 

 

 

The block diagram (Fig. 1) is pretty simple—the Splitter creates three bands, Lo, Mid, and Hi, with crossovers at 332 and 854 Hz. (There’s nothing magical about those particular frequencies, choose what works best for the audio you’re putting through it.)

Figure 1: Block diagram for the Multiband X-Trem.

 

The real magic in this FX is the way the crucial parameters are brought out to the control panel that’s available in Studio One Pro (Fig. 2). However, Studio One Artist users can still load the FX Chain, and edit individual parameters. Although it’s more time-consuming, you can end up with the same sonic results.

Figure 2: Multiband X-Trem control panel.

 

How to Use It

 

This FX Chain assumes you’re going to sync it to tempo. Each of the three bands has a control to choose the Beat (tremolo rhythm) and Waveform, along with buttons to choose each band’s mode (Pan or Tremolo) and waveform Phase Flip. So far, that’s pretty simple.

 

The Mix section toward the right, with two knobs and their associated switches, is a little more complex. There aren’t enough control panel knobs to have a Depth control for each band, however in use, I’ve found that I usually adjust the depth for the Mid and Hi bands together, and the Lo band by itself. So, the Lo band has its own Depth control, while the Mid and Hi bands share a Depth control. There are also buttons to bypass the X-Trem for the Mid and/or Hi band. This is almost as good as having individual Depth controls, because you can remove depth for either band as needed.

 

We’ll close out with some additional tips…

 

  • The sawtooth wave defaults to positive-going (i.e., the level ramps up from nothing to full). Flipping the phase makes a more percussive effect.
  • A slow rhythm for the Lo band gives a sort of “rolling” effect. Faster speeds seem to work best for the Mid and Hi bands.
  • Feel free to jump in and do tweaks—like change the Gate or Step waveform levels, vary the levels of the bands within the Splitter module, or change the crossover frequencies.

Happy download! Grab the Multiband X-Trem FX Chain preset here.

Studio One Remote 1.6 has been released!

Studio One Remote 1.6 has been released! This free update adds support for the Listen Bus and the Show Page in Studio One 5.2. You’ll also find that Studio One Remote now offers the same Performance View as Studio One’s Show Page, allowing you to do all kinds of incredible things, like:
  • Re-sequence your song’s Arranger Track sections live
  • Control your patches per Show Player—even with multiple instances of Studio One Remote and multiple Players simultaneously!
  • Navigate the Show Page’s Setlist
  • Control any parameter from the Macro page
Studio One Remote 1.6 also includes a new Commands page with preset Sound Variations—this is a powerful tool to supercharge composing workflows—select your Sound Variations with a single touch! Also, don’t forget that the Commands pages in Studio One Remote are fully customizable with preset or user Commands and Macros.

Studio One Remote 1.6 remains free of charge, and is compatible with Studio One 5 Artist and Professional.

A Slick Trick for Thick Kicks

Imagine if you had a mold for sound, the same way you can have a mold for Jell-O—and whatever you poured into your “sonic mold” took on those particular characteristics. Well, that’s pretty much what convolution processors do. When they load their “mold,” which is called an impulse response, it shapes whatever sound they’re processing. 

 

Studio One has two convolution processors. Ampire uses one to load speaker cabinet impulse responses. For example, when Ampire wants to sound like it’s going through a 2 x 12 speaker cabinet, it loads a 2 x 12 cabinet impulse response. The other convolution processor, Open Air, is optimized for creating acoustic spaces. So if the impulse is of a concert hall, sound processed through Open Air sounds like it’s in a concert hall. If the impulse is a blues club, the the sound takes on the characteristics of being in a blues club.

 

What’s perhaps not as well known is that you can load pretty much any WAV file into Open Air and use that as your sonic mold. So, this month’s tip is for the  EDM and hip-hop crowd, because we’re going to load big-sounding kick drums into Open Air. Then, we’ll use them as molds to turn wimpy kicks into giant, thick kicks that smash through a mix, while leaving a trail of sophisticated destruction in their wake. But don’t take my word for it—check out the audio example, which has no EQ or compression. 

 

 

 

There are five two-measure examples. The first example is from a kick track. The second, third, and fourth examples process the kick using this technique. The fifth example repeats the first example, as a reminder of how the sound started. 

 

The secret is processing the kick track through the Open Air reverb, using a kick drum sample as the impulse (Fig. 1). Just like how a cabinet impulse response imparts the sound of a cabinet onto a guitar amp, these kick drum impulses shape the kick track to have an entirely different character.

Figure 1: The Open Air reverb has a kick impulse loaded, and imparts that sound to the kick track.

 

Studio One’s Sound Sets have lots of kick drum samples. Here are the ones I used for the second, third, and fourth two-measure examples. The Open Air Mix control hovered around 30% for these.

 

Acoustic Drum Kits and Loops > Samples > TM Pop Rock Kit > DW 20.24 Pop Rock Kick  > DW 20.24 Pop Rock Kick 1.wav

 

Acoustic Drum Kits and Loops > Samples > TM Thuddy 70’s Kit > Gretsch 14×22 Vintage Thuddy Kick > Gretsch 14×22 Vintage Thuddy Kick 1.wav

 

909 Day Studio One Kits > Samples > F9 909 Detroit Kick.wav

 

So What’s the Catch?

 

Kick drum impulses can overload the Open Air pretty easily. The first two examples used the softest-velocity kick, but the F9 909 Detroit Kick was way too loud (well, unless you like horrific distortion). Most convolution reverbs are happiest with impulses that peak at around -12 dB.

 

So, the solution is simple. Drag the kick drum impulse into a Studio One track, use the gain envelope to cut the gain to about -12 dB peak, hit ctrl+B to make the change permanent, and then you can drag this impulse from the Studio One track right into the Open Air reverb.

 

Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to kick, but it does seem kicks are where this technique shines the brightest. I also fooled around with using a floor tom as an impulse, and open hi-hat impulses on closed hi-hat tracks. The results aren’t always predictable…but that’s what makes it fun, right?

Fun Facts about FX Chains

Whenever I write a blog post with a downloadable FX Chain, it seems there are always questions about how to load it, save it, or use it. Well, there’s no time like the present to consolidate a bunch of answers.

Artist vs. Pro  

An FX Chain combines several effects, which for convenience, you can save and load as a single “virtual multi-effects.” For example, if you come up with a cool kick drum sound based on limiting, EQ, and saturation, you can save the combination of effects as an FX Chain. The next time you want that sound, instead of loading the three effects and tweaking them, just load the FX Chain.

Studio One Professional enhances FX Chains with the ability to bring out macro controls to a control panel (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Control panel for the Vintage Tape Flanging FX Chain.

Macro controls are extremely powerful—they can control multiple parameters at once, as well as scale control ranges. If you have Artist and see that one of my FX Chains has a control panel, you can still tweak the parameters, but you’ll have to do so at the chain’s individual effects. Often, a lot of effort goes into programming the macro controls, so using these FX Chains in Artist can be a challenge. However, I do try to save FX Chains so that the default settings are useful, and may not require too much tweaking.

 

Where FX Chains Live

FX Chains are stored in two locations, but the Browser combines these. So, it appears there’s only one place where FX Chains are stored. The factory default FX Chains are located in:

  • [Windows] C:\Program Files\PreSonus\Studio One 5\Presets\PreSonus\FX Chains
  • [macOS] Applications\Studio One 5 (right-click, and choose Show Package Contents)\Contents\Presets\PreSonus\FX Chains

The User Presets section in this location is for preferences like color schemes and such, not FX Chains. Don’t store your custom FX Chains in the factory default location, because it’s overwritten when you install a new version of Studio One. Instead, store your FX Chains in the location specified in the program’s options for User Data. To find this location from within Studio One:

  • [Windows] Studio One > Options > Locations tab > User Data tab
  • [macOS] Studio One > Preferences > Locations tab > User Data tab

The default for the user data is:

  • [Windows] C:\Users\[user name]\Documents\Studio One\Presets\PreSonus
  • [macOS] Macintosh HD\Documents\Studio One\Presets\PreSonus

In either case, the PreSonus folder has a folder for user FX Chains. When you save an FX Chain (click on the down arrow to the right of “Inserts”), you’ll have the opportunity to save it to a particular folder. Any folders you created for your chains in User Data will be shown, and so will the factory default folders. However, if you save into what appears to be a factory default folder, like Drums, your preset will not go into that factory folder. Instead, it will be placed in a Drums folder in your user FX Chain folder (if a Drums folder doesn’t exist in there, Studio One will create it). But remember, only one Drums folder will appear in the Browser, because it’s smart enough to group together the default and user FX Chains from their respective folders.

 

Moving Your User Data

With either Windows or Mac, I prefer not to keep too much stuff on the main system drive. For example, with Windows I avoid saving to the C drive’s Documents folder. I’ve dedicated drive D: to music, so everything relating to music—songs, projects, and custom presets—is in one place, for easy backup. So, I cut the Studio One folder from the default user location given above, pasted it at the root of my music drive, and re-directed the User Data tab in Studio One’s Options [Windows] or Preferences [macOS] to this new location (Fig. 2).

 

Figure 2: All my user data is now in the Studio One folder at the root of my music drive.

For Windows, my custom FX Chains now live at:

  • D:\Studio One\Presets\PreSonus\FX Chains\CA Chains

 

Is that a User or Factory FX Chain?

If you’re not sure whether an FX Chain is a factory one or a user one, right-click on the FX Chain and choose Show in Explorer [Windows], or Show in Finder [macOS]. You’ll then see whether the FX Chain lives in your User Data folder, or the factory defaults folder.

 

How to Evaluate an FX Chain

You might not want to add one of my FX Chains to your permanent collection, unless you think it’s something you’ll use. To evaluate an FX Chain after downloading it, drag the chain from the download folder to a Channel, Bus, or FX Channel insert. Check it out and if you want to keep it, store it in your User Data folder, as described above.

 

Here’s Where to Get My Friday Tip FX Chains

You won’t have to go through years of blog posts anymore! Thanks to the unceasing efforts of Ryan Roullard and the web team to make life easier, they’ll soon be posting my FX Chains on PreSonus Exchange, and you’ll be able to drag and drop them into your Songs right from Studio One’s Browser.

 

50% off all PreSonus add-ons and content libraries! March 17-22 2021

ONLY at shop.presonus.com. March 17-22, 202! Get any PreSonus-branded Add-on or content library for Studio One and Notion for HALF PRICE!

This includes some of the biggest, best Add-ons we have, including Deep Flight One and the Notion Expansion Pack ALL bundle!

Click below to shop and save!

 

 

 

Get Studio One Prime and the Studio Magic Suite when you buy a PreSonus Studio Monitor! $1000 USD Worth of Software!

Now through the end of May 2021, get Studio One Prime and the Studio Magic Suite when you buy a PreSonus Studio Monitor!

Thinking of upgrading your speakers? Maybe you’re looking to up your audio production game? Maybe both?!  Well, there’s never been a better time to get some new speakers from PreSonus, because if you buy one before May 31, 2021, we’re going to throw in Studio One Prime and the Studio Magic Suite—that’s over $1,000 USD worth of software. Free. 

No matter your sonic demands, PreSonus has studio monitors for you, ranging from the small-footprint, Bluetooth-enabled Eris E3.5 BTs, all the way up to our top-of-the-line coaxial Sceptre S8s. You can browse our monitor offerings here.

Studio One Prime is the entry-level tier of our award-winning, flagship DAW: Studio One. Studio One Prime includes everything you need to get started in music production, and it’s ideal for creating podcasts, too!

The Studio Magic Suite is a bundle of music creation software, plug-ins, lessons, and loops that would cost over $1000 USD if purchased separately. We don’t have room to talk about them all in great detail here, but here’s a list of everything included in Studio Magic’s 2021 lineup:

  • Ableton – Live Lite
  • Arturia – Analog Lab Intro
  • Brainwork – bx_opto
  • Brainworx – bx_rockrack
  • Cherry Audio – Voltage Modular Nucleus
  • Cherry Audio – Surrealistic MG-1 Plus
  • Ghosthack – Essential Sounds
  • iZotope – Neutron Elements
  • Klanghelm – SDRR2tube
  • KV331 Audio – Synthmaster Player
  • Lexicon – MPX-i Reverb
  • Mäag Audio – EQ2
  • Melodics (Piano lessons!)
  • Native Instruments – Replika
  • Output – Movement
  • SoundSnap – 3 Months Free Coupon
  • SPL – Attacker Plus
  • UJAM – Virtual Bassist ROWDY
  • UVI – Model D Concert Grand Piano

For more details on all of the above, you can visit the Studio Magic page to see the full descriptions of every item in the suite.

Interested? Check out these links to find a dealer in your area!

  • To find a dealer in the USA, click here!
  • To find a dealer outside of the USA, click here!

The Presence 12-String Electric Guitar

 

It’s difficult to sample a 12-string. The core Presence content includes a 12-string acoustic guitar, but there are no 12-string electrics—so let’s construct one. 

 

One of my favorite guitars ever is the Rickenbacker 360 12-string. Back in my touring days, it travelled tens of thousands of miles with me (Fig. 1). 

 

Figure 1: The mighty Rickenbacker 360 12-string guitar. Nothing else sounds like it.

 

I thought it would be a challenge to try and emulate that iconic sound with Presence. Listen to the audio example, and hear the results.

 

 

How It Works

 

The sound starts with one Presence instance, which uses a 6-string electric guitar preset. Then, we create a second, multi-instrument track with two Presence instances that use the same electric guitar preset. Transposing one of the instances up creates the octave above sound; however, a real 12-string guitar doesn’t have octaves on the 1st and 2nd strings. So, we use the final Presence for a unison sound, and edit the ranges in the multi instrument so they don’t overlap.

 

Step-by-Step Guitar Construction

 

  1. Create an Instrument track with Presence, and load the Guitar > Telecaster > Telecaster Open preset. This guitar sound is closest to a Rickenbacker, but we’ll do some EQ tricks later to get it closer.
  2. Create a new Instrument track with Presence, and load the same preset. Drag a second instance of Presence into the same track. When asked whether you want to “load the instrument or combine the instrument Presence,” choose Combine. This opens the Multi Instrument window. Load the same preset into the new Presence instance as well.
  3. In the multi instrument, drag the upper end of one Presence key range down to A#2 (we’ll call this the “Octave Presence”). Drag the lower end of the other Presence key range up to B2 (we’ll call this the “Unison Presence”). Fig. 2 shows the multi instrument window.

Figure 2: The multi instrument window has two instances of Presence—one for the octave above strings, and the other for the unison strings.

 

  1. Open the Octave Presence preset. Set Transpose to +12, and Pitch Fine Tune to +5 cents. Then open the Unison Presence preset, and change Pitch Fine Tune to -2 cents.
  2. Insert an Analog Delay in the multi Instrument channel , with the settings shown in Fig. 3. The reason for the 20 ms delay is because the higher string in a pair of strings gets hit just a little bit late. (We can’t use the Delay in Presence itself, because the mix needs to be 100% delay—no dry sound.) Without this delay, the emulated 12-string doesn’t sound right.

Figure 3: The Analog Delay emulates the delay caused by hitting the octave strings just a little bit later.

 

Note the High Cut setting—this reduces some of the brightness caused by transposition. The Width settings give a big stereo image, but for a more “normal” sound, turn ping-pong mode to Off.

 

Your mixer should look like Fig. 4, with two channels (basic guitar, and multi preset).

Figure 4: Mixer channels for the 12-string guitar.

 

Additional Tweaks

 

The Pitch Fine Tune settings in the multi instrument instances emulate the reality that a 12-string is seemingly never in tune, which accounts for that beautiful shimmering effect. Feel free to adjust your virtual 12-string so that it’s more or less in tune.

 

Another important tweak is to set the multi instrument channel’s fader about -6 dB below the main guitar sound. The octave strings on a 12-string are thinner than the strings with standard pitch, so they generate less output. This isn’t true of the 1st and 2nd strings, but that’s fine. With the octave strings a little lower, there’s a better balance.

 

Bring on the EQ

 

And finally…the coup de grâce to get us closer to the iconic Ric sound. On the main Presence instance, use the EQ in the Bass range. Boost 3 dB 3200 Hz, and pull the lowest slider down all the way. On both multi instrument instances, pull down the highest and lowest sliders (Fig. 4). Then, insert a Pro EQ in each mixer channel.

Figure 5: These EQ settings help get “the” sound. Clockwise from top: EQ on main Presence, EQ on the two multi instrument Presence instances, and Pro EQ placed on both mixer channels.

 

The narrow cut in the Pro EQ at 3.27 kHz helps reduce what sounds like some bridge “ping” in the original Telecaster samples. But all the EQ settings shown are suggestions. Between the broad EQ in Presence and the surgical nature of the Pro EQ, you can shape the sound however you want.