PreSonus Sphere is a global community of creative enthusiasts and respected professionals brought together by and for the love of music-making. A PreSonus Sphere membership grants you access to an extensive library of creative software tools, as well as Cloud collaboration tools and storage, chat with Studio One and Notion experts from around the globe, and access to exclusive promotions, training, and events. And we’ll be adding more and more stuff each month, all for a low monthly or annual membership.
PreSonus Sphere membership benefits include licenses for the complete collection of PreSonus’ award-winning software solutions for recording, mixing, scoring, and producing, including Studio One Professional and Notion, plus over 100 libraries of samples, effects, and loops, including the complete Spark Collection sample and loop libraries and Tom Brechtlein Drums. Members also get every plug-in and Studio One Add-on that PreSonus makes, including Ampire, Channel Strip Collection, CTC-1 Pro Console Shaper, Fat Channel XT, Presence XT Editor, and much more.
But PreSonus Sphere is far more than a huge toolbox; it is first and foremost a creative community. Modern musicians work with talented people from all over the world, and PreSonus Sphere makes it easy to share projects with other members using a PreSonus Sphere workspace. A live chat lets members communicate in real time with their global production teams to make sure everyone’s on the same page and striving toward the same goal.
Sphere membership includes 30 GB of cloud storage for backups, stems, collaboration, and more. When you need more space, PreSonus Sphere lets you upgrade to 100 GB of cloud storage space for $3.99/mo. PreSonus Exchange has always been a great way for Studio One users to share presets, loops, and more; PreSonus Sphere users now have access to a new exclusive portal loaded with custom-designed tools and curated content by featured PreSonus artists.
PreSonus Sphere members will be invited to exclusive events and training sessions where they’ll meet like-minded PreSonus Sphere users and expand their collaboration networks. Need a quick production tip or workflow trick? In addition to the growing Exchange community and active user groups, PreSonus has gathered Studio One power users from around the globe to answer questions in members-only chats.
Each month PreSonus Sphere members can expect something new, whether it’s exclusive content or a special surprise gift to thank them for being members—and there are no additional upgrade costs or hidden fees. PreSonus has also teamed up with partners to give PreSonus Sphere members exclusive offers throughout the year.
Visit Sphere.PreSonus.com to get started for $14.95 U.S. per month, or $164.95 per year.
Tape Resampler, a new Studio One 5 feature, replicates an “old school” time-stretch technique that varied pitch and tempo simultaneously and proportionately. Today’s DSP can change pitch and tempo independently, which is cool. But the price you pay is artifacts, because when changing tempo or pitch, you need to either delete or add data.
With resampling, the data stays the same—so there are no artifacts, and the sound is natural. Although extreme speedups give the “Chipmunks” sound and extreme slowdowns evoke Darth Vader on tranquilizers, subtler speed changes were used all the time with tape. It was common to speed up a master tape by a few per cent to give the tempo a slightly faster, “peppier” sound, as well as some added brightness. (If you’ve ever tried to play along with a song that was several cents sharp, it was probably sped up a bit.)
The manual mentions using Tape Resampler to fit loops to tempo (assuming accurate pitch isn’t crucial), but there’s another application that at least to me, is worth the update price by itself. With tape, it was common to slow the tape down or speed it up, play along with the part, and then return the speed to normal. This produced a timbral and formant shift, and was popular for background vocals. For example, if a song was in the key of A, you’d slow down to the key of G, sing along with it in G, then return the tape to normal. The vocal would have a brighter formant change that often worked well. This could also help you hit notes that were just out of your range. (We covered similar techniques in the blog post Varispeed-Type Formant Changes, but because they used DSP, at least some artifacts were unavoidable.)
The Handy Transposition Chart
|Semitones||Pitch Up||Pitch Down|
Figure 1: The overdub is being raised two semitones.
Note that the transpose numbers relate to the 12th root of 2. This irrational number (its numerical value has been taken out to over twenty billion decimal digits, but it still doesn’t repeat!) sets the ratio between semitones of the even-numbered scale. Fortunately, three significant digits covers our needs.
The response to Studio One 5 and the launch of PreSonus Sphere has been OVERWHELMING, to say the very least… We are blown away and extremely grateful for our customers’ enthusiasm! We are working non-stop to respond to specific issues any customers may run into. We wanted to take a minute and answer a few questions about the grace period we’re offering to our customers.
PreSonus is providing a super-sized 90 day grace period for Studio One version 5. This means if you registered a copy of Studio One 4 on or after April 1, 2020, you are within the grace period. Here are all the specifics:
Note: If you registered a copy of Studio One 4 Artist that was bundled with a third-party product during the grace period, we are sorry but you are not eligible for an upgrade.
During this grace period, if you have multiple copies of Studio One Professional or Studio One Artist in your account, all copies are stamped as upgraded automatically. However, only you only get one copy of Studio One 5 or PreSonus Sphere per account, not per product. This is only a rule for those registrations that occurred during the grace period.
After clicking the Redeem button above you will see a screen similar to the one pictured below. Depending on how you acquired your product or your product type you may not have both buttons:
Notion 6.7 Maintenance Release
Notion 6.7 is now available, adding compatibility with the new Score Editor of Studio One 5.0 and our new PreSonus Sphere membership. Notion 6.7 is a free update for Notion 6 owners that can be obtained by clicking “Check for Updates” within Notion, or download from your MyPreSonus account. Please note the new minimum requirements for installation on both macOS and Windows.
Support for Studio One 5
You can now transfer your score from Studio One’s new Score Editor to Notion or vice versa. To see more about Studio One 5 and its new Score Editor, click here.
PreSonus Sphere membership benefits include licenses for the complete collection of PreSonus’ award-winning software solutions for recording, mixing, scoring, and producing, including Studio One Professional and Notion, plus over 100 libraries of samples, effects, and loops. To see more about PreSonus Sphere and to join, click here.
In addition to these creative tools, PreSonus Sphere members are also given Cloud collaboration tools and storage, chat with Studio One and Notion experts from around the globe, access to exclusive promotions, training, and events, with much more being added each month—all for a low monthly or annual membership.
New Minimum Requirements
Support for Studio One v5
Studio One 5.0 is here, and it’s packed with major new features. As usual with Studio One upgrades and updates, we’ve added a combination of innovative new features and your most-requested features.
Studio One 5 introduces a powerful, fully-integrated, live performance environment capable of running complete shows from a single computer. The Show Page combines playback of backing tracks with patch management for virtual and real instrument players inside a single window. Studio One Song channel strips, mixdowns, and virtual instrument patches can be directly exported to the Show, simplifying setup. Setlist items can be rearranged and skipped on the fly. With a dedicated full-screen performance view, adaptive real-time controls and a large meter, running a show is simple and reliable, whether you’re playing with backing tracks, controlling virtual instruments, running plug-ins as a virtual effects rack, or all three at the same time.
Composers and arrangers will appreciate Studio One 5’s new dedicated Score View for the Note Editor. Based on PreSonus’ Notion® music composition and notation software, the new Score View is available on its own or as a companion side-by-side view with the Piano and Drum views, allowing users to enter, view, and edit notes in standard music notation. The Score View is available per track, so you can edit note data in Score View on one track while using Piano or Drum View on other tracks. Any number of tracks can be viewed simultaneously, so you can work on just one melody line or on chords over an entire orchestral section at once. Notes can be entered manually, in real-time or step recording modes. A basic set of musical symbols is provided, and the symbols directly control playback, allowing you to add tremolos, crescendos, and more and hear it all in real time.
Studio One’s Native Effects plug-in set has a well-earned reputation for exceptional sound quality, and now they’re even better. With version 5, Native Effects have undergone a major revision, adding new features and improvements for many effects, along with a new modern interface with separate dark and light themes. All dynamics effects now have sidechain inputs, and plug-ins with a filter option now have the filter added to the sidechain input as well, enabling more control over the sidechain signal and eliminating the need to add a separate filter up front. Several plug-ins with a Drive parameter now have a State Space Modeled drive stage for natural analog-sounding saturation. The Pro EQ plug-in adds major new features, including a linear-phase low-cut filter, 12th-octave spectrum display, and input and output meters with adjustable range and peak hold. Several other plug-ins have received significant enhancements for sound quality or better handling. The Studio One plug-in suite never looked or sounded this good.
Producers will be delighted with the expanded mixer scenes in Studio One 5. Users can now capture snapshots of the entire mixer at any time and can recall snapshots in a variety of different ways, with an assortment of recall options. In addition to limiting scene recall to specific parameters, recalling a scene may be limited to selected channels only. A dedicated Listen bus is also among the improvements to the Studio One mixer, letting users monitor Solo signals through a separate output channel or tune their room using advanced calibration plug-ins while leaving their main mix unaffected.
Studio One 5 includes many more new features, such as audio Clip Gain Envelopes, which provide an additional layer of gain control applied directly on an audio clip—perfect for repairing sections of audio that are too loud or too soft without using a dynamics processor. Aux inputs now allow external audio sources to be fed directly into the mixer without requiring an associated track, so external instruments can be used like virtual instruments within Studio One. (Quantum 4848 interface owners take note: This is also great for outboard processor returns!) Version 5 also adds support for key switch articulations, chasing external timecode (MTC), MPE and MIDI Poly Pressure support, recording in 64-bit floating-point WAV format, and cross-platform support for hardware-accelerated graphics.
With version 5, Studio One Artist now has built-in support for VST and AU plug-ins, ReWire, and Studio One Remote control software for iPad and Android tablets. These features were formerly available for Studio One Artist only as separate Add-ons.
Studio One 5 Professional is available now for a U.S. street price of $399.95; updates from Studio One 4 Professional are $149.95. Studio One 5 Artist is available now for a U.S. street price of $99.95; updates from version 4 are $49.95. For additional upgrade and crossgrade options and educational pricing, check with your PreSonus dealer or visit our online shop.
Studio One 5 Professional is also available as part of the new PreSonus Sphere. A global community of creative enthusiasts and respected professionals, PreSonus Sphere membership benefits provide access to PreSonus’ entire library of software, including Studio One Professional; award-winning Notion notation software; every Studio One and Notion Add-on; the complete collection of PreSonus-developed plug-ins; over 100 sample and loop libraries; cloud storage; collaboration tools; and much more. PreSonus Sphere membership rates are available either monthly ($14.95) or annually ($164.95).
For more information about Studio One 5, including system requirements, please visit www.presonus.com/products/Studio-One.
Vocals are super-important, because they form the primary connection to your listeners—so we’re always looking for ways to make those vocals more effective. This week’s tip is something I’ve overlooked for years, and now, I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t think of it sooner. Maybe I’m just a little slow sometimes…or maybe every other Studio One user has figured this out already!
As you may have noticed from previous articles, I’m not a fan of using lots of compression or limiting on vocals because it can detract from a vocal’s natural sound. However, in a dense arrangement with a lot going on, sometimes you need dynamics processing to maintain the voice’s parity with respect to the other instrument levels. Because the vocal is in context with a lot of other sounds, you don’t really notice the compression, let alone the associated artifacts.
I was working on a song with a lot of percussion, and limited the vocal pretty heavily. It sounded fine, but then at one point, the arrangement became sparse and the vocal really stood out…so you could hear the dynamics processing at work. Ugh.
Of course, I could have automated the limiter controls, but it was much easier to split the start and end of the verse that needed fixing, and lower the Event envelope so that the vocal hit the limiter less hard in that section (Fig. 1). I tweaked the Event envelope level just below the point where the limiting sounded obvious—yet the vocal seemed equally strong as it did in the rest of the song, due to the arrangement’s sparseness in that verse.
This technique works with any sound where you want to dial back the perceived level, not with a fader or track automation, but by lowering the amount of dynamics processing. It works well with acoustic guitar, percussion, drum tracks…you name it.
What’s more, this technique is also a natural for amp sims. You can bring down a guitar’s Event Envelope to reduce the amount of distortion for a chunky rhythm effect, then slam the level back up when you want the sound to cut more.
As mentioned, there are other ways to achieve the same results. But taking the Event envelope route is fast and effective—try it!
[For those of you who don’t know already about the talented New Orleans based jazz pianist David Torkanowsky, you are about to. Lucky for us, New Orleans is just an hour drive to the Southeast of Baton Rouge (where PreSonus is based out of).
We’re honored to have our relationship with David: not only is he a true master improvising musician from the city where Jazz was born, he is also in tune with the latest 21st century audio technology that helps artists actualize and share their sound to audiences world-wide.
Without any further ado, we’ll let him take it from here…]
I’m David Torkanowsky and I’ve been lucky to have grown up in New Orleans under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis, Danny Barker, James Black, Al Hirt and other Smithsonian-level greats… too many to mention.
I’ve also toured and recorded with artists as different as Al Hirt and Al Jarreau, Boney James, and Joe Henderson. I’ve been M.D. for the great vocalist Dianne Reeves.
The touring and performance economic model for all musicians, regardless of genre, has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many artists, myself included, have navigated a sudden and steep learning curve regarding our social media presence. New Orleans has always tended toward the organic and away from the technical aspects of playing music, which I love… but that paradigm has proven to be a headwind as we move toward our new reality.
Posted by PreSonus Audio Electronics on Thursday, May 28, 2020
So, I’ve been producing, directing and playing in livestreams from The Bayou Bar at The Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans for the past month, with artists such as: Ivan Neville, Nigel Hall, The Tin Men, Zachary Richard, Meschiya Lake, Sasha Masakowski, Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Davell Crawford, and jazz great Cyrille Aimée.
Many cats are teaching online, and many more are performing live. These live performances have completely replaced the in-person delivery of our art. Although, in many respects, it will never duplicate the transformative experience of being in the same space. The only way we can minimize this disparity is by presenting this content in the best possible way. Primarily, it has to sound good! Most of the streams that I’ve seen, some with world-class artists, don’t really touch me because they sound less than average. A solo acoustic instrument can sound just okay through an iPhone mic, but it’s never truly impactful. Add any other instruments, and you can just forget about it.
I’ve gotten a massive amount of feedback (the good kind!) from the listening public about how amazing these artists are sounding on these social media live broadcasts, and there’s one reason:
The PreSonus StudioLive 32SC. Their newest Series III S line of consoles are exactly what the doctor ordered to mix streamed performances. I’m using the 32SC, the powerful and compact member of the Series III family. The Fat Channel technology makes tweaking the impact of a particular instrument intuitive and fast. The EQ, Compression and digital FX are all super usable. It’s a game-changer. It’s one serious piece of gear!
[Incidentally, from now until Aug 31, 2020, anybody who buys a qualifying StudioLive Mixer will get a pair of Eris E7 monitors for free!]
That’s a $129 USD value for FREE! Buy one of the following and score a free PX-1:
Designed for musicians and performers who demand outstanding audio quality, the PreSonus PX-1 cardioid condenser microphone is an ideal solution for recording vocals, guitar, podcasts, and much more. A true large-diaphragm condenser microphone, the PX-1 features a 25mm, gold-sputtered capsule designed to provide exceptional clarity throughout its frequency response range. Rugged construction and top-quality performance specifications make the PX-1 large diaphragm microphone an excellent addition for any home recording or streaming studio.
Check out what Worship Musician said about the Studiolive 24R:
“Obviously, I love using this unit as a stage box, but where I think this little rack unit would shine would be either in a portable system or in a venue where you don’t necessarily have a great space (or a well-placed space) for a sound desk.”
Mitch Bohannon, Worship Musician, December 2017
That’s a $448 USD value for FREE! Buy one of the following and score a free pair of Eris E7 XTs:
With their smooth, accurate frequency response; powerful amplification with tons of headroom; and acoustic tuning functions that ensure you always get the best sound… it’s no wonder that the original Eris-series studio monitors have been a runaway hit since their introduction. The Eris E7 XT builds on the Eris XT-series adding big, controlled bass in a compact form that will fit into a studio of nearly any size. Deep lows and a wide, more controlled sweet spot (thanks to its EBM waveguide design) mean that our best-selling studio monitors just got even better.
Check out what Worship Musician said about the Studiolive 64S:
“Currently, there is no other option for these kinds of features at this price. That’s a homerun for PreSonus, and for churches looking to step up their game in the digital console world.”
—Matt Kees, Worship Musician, May 2019
This offer is available WORLDWIDE, so click the links below to get the rebate form and find the closest PreSonus dealer near you!
[Jakubu Griffin is truly one of Las Vegas and NYC’s most versatile drummers. Son of trombonist Dick Griffin (who played with the legendary Rahsaan Roland Kirk), he has been surrounded by music from an early age. Growing up with many musical instruments and influences around him, he was always drawn to percussion and can remember playing the drums as early as age 3 or 4. He started studying classical piano at age 5, and later added the trumpet.
Jakubu has performed and led groups all over the world. While living in Las Vegas in the early 2000s, He was featured in David Cassidy and Sheena Easton’s “At The Copa” at the Rio Resort. After that, he was musical contractor and drummer on a show featuring Chaka Khan, Peabo Bryson, and Melissa Manchester called Signed, Sealed, Delivered: a Celebration of Stevie Wonder’s Music at the Venetian Resort.
Griffin has also been a musical director for Kings Productions, as well as Norwegian and Premier cruise lines. Back in the NYC area where he grew up, he has performed and recorded with award winning jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, Ryko/Warner recording artist Matt White, and Broadway stars Tracie Thoms (Rent, Case) and Shoshana Bean (Wicked). Jakubu is currently playing with the legendary Las Vegas singer Clint Holmes. He was also the house drummer for Cirque Du Soleil’s production of Zarkana which premiered at NYC’s world famous Radio City Music Hall in June of 2011, moving on to Madrid, as well as having a historic run at the Kremlin Theater in Moscow in 2012. Jakubu’s powerful, yet very musical drumming reputation has been highly appreciated by many musicians and music lovers both here and abroad.
When not on the road, he’s kept busy at home recording and teaching. But, with the recent stay-at-home measures implemented due to COVID-19, working in his own studio has become his primary focus.
Jakubu has graciously given us a virtual “walk-through” of his home studio environment, where the StudioLive 24R is the centerpiece and his dedicated audio interface to his DAW of choice, Studio One. Let’s check out his setup and how he’s been using our products in action at home.]
Jakubu: My first audio interface was the PreSonus Studio 192 along with the DigiMax DP88. As a drummer, I need to have at least 8 channels dedicated to drums in my space at all times for my own use. With the Studio 192 and DP88 giving me 16 total channels and great preamps, I was able to stack them in a rack and run my 8 drum channels into the DP88 using the Studio 192 rear channels for my keyboards, bass, extra drum channels etc. and even leaving the 2 front channels open for a vocalist or instrument to plug right in. As my studio evolved, I graduated to the StudioLive 24R rack mixer, as well as the NSB 8.8 AVB Networked Stage Box to expand channel inputs in my other rooms. Since I don’t have the space for a console mixer on my workstation, the StudioLive 24R is the perfect solution for me with UC Control as my console. I use the HP60 for 6 stereo headphone mixes. With a router plus the network control via Wi-Fi of the StudioLive 24R, my clients have the option of using the QMix-UC app to control their own headphone mixes. The PreSonus Monitor Station allows me flexibility to switch between my different sets of of studio monitors and speakers, and also gives me 4 more headphone outputs if needed. I’ve used other DAWs, but I’m completely sold on Studio One Professional because it’s just more user/musician friendly. I understood more about using Studio One in 24 hours than I’ve learned on other DAWs after countless months of usage. I’m a musician first, not an engineer.
Jakubudrum Studios is my home as well as my recording space. I have three isolated rooms on one floor. I have eight CCTV cameras installed, and video monitors in every room for visual communication. My main “studio” room is my acoustically-treated drum and keyboard room, as well as my control booth. My living room is my large room and features my Baldwin L grand piano. My smaller acoustically-treated room is great for acoustic bass as well as other instruments, and it also serves as a vocal booth and isolated amp miking room. I’ve done several live recording sessions in the studio with different configurations ranging from solo piano to live strings… and various band sizes, genres, horn combinations, etc. I do a lot of drum and percussion tracking for projects myself, but I’ve also engineered tons of keyboard track layering sessions, instrument tracking sessions, vocal tracking, and my space is perfect for tracking bass and drums together. I record voice-overs as well, and I’m currently producing an audiobook session.
Now that I have the StudioLive 24R, I have the luxury of using 14 dedicated drum channels just for myself. I usually use two different sets of overhead mics simultaneously, another stereo room mic, and a subkick along with my normal kick, snare, hi hat, and tom mic combinations.
I also use seven channels for my keyboards, and a channel for my bass amp to run direct with a pre amp. I use the NSB 8.8 Stage Box in the other rooms to mic the piano, horns, strings, vocals, etc. I use the 12 outputs from the 24R mixer to sum 2 outputs to each of the 6 stereo inputs of the HP60 headphone amp and made them stereo mixes from UC Control. Again, I have a router connected to the 24R mixer and a network setup so people have the option of using QMix-UC to control their own headphone mixes. I have two sets of studio monitors, but I also have small PA for the keyboards, rehearsals, gigs etc. The monitor station is actually one of my favorite pieces of PreSonus gear to be honest. I love the versatility I have with 2 sets of monitors, but I even use the PA as a 3rd reference sometimes. The Monitor Stations onboard talkback routed through the HP60 is perfect for my setup, plus I’m the type of guy that just needs a big volume knob in my life since I don’t have a console.
So, funny story: I actually learned about PreSonus through another drummer, Dre Boyd, who is also an Artist with them. We both met and quickly became good friends working for the Cirque Du Soleil company. I finally had the space and needed an interface to start getting into recording and he highly recommended the Studio 192 and DP88. I’m an impulse buyer, but he told me to wait so he could “hook me up” with his representative at PreSonus. Well I’m impatient and went ahead with the purchase of the interfaces anyway. I was ecstatic, but then a couple weeks later Dre let me know that the PreSonus Artist Relations Manager was none other than my college buddy, Perry Tee… so I should have waited!!! Not only do I love the products, PreSonus reconnected me with an old friend, who happens to be on guitar in this video below that we produced remotely with 4 other buddies using Studio One Professional:
I love the power and versatility that I have with the StudioLive 24R mixer, especially for low-end instruments. Now I have the ability to mic an acoustic bass and get a warm, powerful tone without any need for a DI or outboard preamp. Its considerably better for my drum miking as well. I get better headphone mixes, and I have plenty of room and power to hear my kick drum perfectly which can be a problem in regular interfaces without external pre amps. The ability to control mixes across Wi-Fi is a true bonus allowing my clients the flexibility to control their own mixes with QMix-UC. The HP60 is a great solution for my headphone needs with 6 channels, and stereo mixes plus the Monitor Station is one of my favorite additions to the studio, and has made my work flow much smoother and faster. The onboard talkback is perfect for my space. Studio One is absolutely the best DAW available, in my opinion. I know has everything I could possibly need for my studio. Everything in my setup works seamlessly. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the sounds, and results I get with my gear.
Every piece of gear is perfectly matched and catered to the needs of my workflow and studio ecosystem… thank you, PreSonus!
[Incidentally, from now until Aug 31, 2020, anybody who buys a qualifying StudioLive Rack Mixer will get a PX-1 microphone for free!]