PreSonus Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2019


10 Not-Hitting-Drums ATOM Tips

It’s easy to assume ATOM is an MPC-type pad controller, and ignore it if that’s not of interest. But ATOM is tightly integrated with Studio One for navigation, editing, and more, and also works with third-party software—which even applies to third-party software (like virtual instruments) running inside Studio One.


1. The Auxiliary Keyswitch Keyboard

The problem: you have a 4-octave keyboard, but you’re using a program like SampleTank or Kontakt that uses lower-octave keys for keyswitching. The solution: Add ATOM as an auxiliary keyboard for triggering keyswitches (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: IK SampleTank’s lower keys trigger loops (as identified with arrows), while the upper keys play one-shots. You can set up ATOM to play the lower, keyswitched notes, and play the one-shots from your main keyboard.

1. Select the Instrument track and set it to All Inputs, so it receives notes from the main keyboard and from ATOM.

Figure 2: Use Pads 15 and 16 to cover the desired keyboard range for keyswitching.

 

2. Tap Pad 15 to transpose down an octave (Fig. 2). Each tap transposes down another octave. To keep track of how far down you’ve transposed, Pad 15 is orange at the default octave, tan = -1 octave, purple = -2 octaves, and red = -3 octaves.

3. Tap Pad 16 to transpose up an octave. Each tap transposes up another octave.

Considerate Bonus Feature: ATOM remembers the octave settings for different instrument tracks, even if they’re not instruments bundled with Studio One.


2. “Feel Factor” Changes

Leading or lagging rhythms by only a few milliseconds can make a major difference in the “feel,” the mix, and therefore, the music’s emotional impact (for more about the “feel factor,” please check out this article on my educational site, craiganderton.org). But how can you do that with Studio One, whose highest resolution goes to 64th notes? It’s easy with ATOM—and frankly, this feature alone justifies ATOM to me. The following works with both note and audio data.

1. In Studio One, turn off snap.

2. Select the notes (or audio Events) whose timing you want to shift.

Figure 3: You can lead or lag events in 1 millisecond increments with ATOM.

 

3. On ATOM, press and hold Nudge (Fig. 3).

4. Tap the Left button to move the selected notes or Events ahead (lead) by 1 ms, and the Right button to move the selected notes late (lag) by 1 ms (Fig. 4).

Figure 4: The timeline shows seconds. The note outlined in orange has been nudged 5 ms later.

This is huge. Try moving percussion a few milliseconds ahead of the beat to give a more “urgent” feel, or a snare a few milliseconds after the beat for a “bigger” sound.


3. Don’t Panic!

Stuck notes? No problem—see Fig. 5. (Note: the upper left Setup button needs to be off.)

Figure 5: It’s easy to nuke stuck notes with ATOM.

1. Press and hold the Quick Setup button, and select the track with the stuck notes.

2. Tap Pad 4 to send an All Notes Off command.


4. Tap Your Tempo

This is one of my favorite features for songwriting, because it’s a lot easier to tap a tempo (Fig. 6) than tweak it when you have a song idea.

Figure 6: It’s easy to capture a song’s “feel” when songwriting by using tap tempo.

1. Tap the Song Setup button in the upper left.

2. Tap Pad 2 at the desired song tempo; this sets the tempo in the control bar.

3. To fine-tune the tempo, turn Knob 2.


5. The Hands-On Instrument Browser

You can call up instruments and presets quickly with ATOM (Fig. 7).

Figure 7: ATOM plays well with the Browser.

1. Press Setup, and it glows orange.

2. Toggle the Browser show/hide by tapping Pad 13 (Browser).

3. When the Browser is open, use the Up  and Down buttons to go up and down through the list of instruments and presets. Use the Right button to open a preset list, and the Left button to close the list.

4. When you have the preset or instrument you want, press Select. This creates an Instrument track with the currently selected preset, or the instrument itself if no preset is selected.


6. Wicked Fast Exclusive Solo

There are many times—especially when proofing tracks before mixing–that I want to be able to select tracks quickly, and go into exclusive solo mode (i.e., only that track will be soloed—even other tracks that are soloed will be muted). It’s super fast if the Arrange View or Console has the focus (Fig. 8).

Figure 8: Step through tracks quickly, and “exclusive solo” them, with ATOM.

1. Tap Setup, and it glows orange.

2. Use the Up button or Left button to step up through tracks, and the Down or Right button to step down through tracks. (That’s kinda cool that either one Up/Down or Left/Right works, because it’s natural to use Up/Down in the Arrange view, and Left/Right on the Console).

3. Tap Pad 3 to mute the selected track.

4. Tap Pad 4 to solo the selected track, or Alt+Pad 4 for exclusive solo.


7. Control FX Chain Macro Knobs

Figure 9: Want hands-on control over the various FX Chains I’ve presented in these Friday Tips? ATOM can do it.

This is an easy one. Call up an FX Chain. Move the ATOM knob you want to assign to a Macro control. Right click on the Macro control. Assign it to the ATOM knob (Fig. 9).


8. Faking Studio One as a Third-Party Application

ATOM is happiest when playing with Studio One, because of the tight integration. But I still use Cakewalk’s Rapture Pro in a lot of tracks; I sampled a ton of Gibson basses, and made what I think are some really cool instruments with them. Unfortunately, in theory you can’t use ATOM’s aftertouch or knobs as a generic control surface when running in Studio One…but hey, we laugh at theory around here! You can, by faking Studio One into not recognizing ATOM as ATOM.

1. Go to Studio One > Options > External Devices, and remove ATOM.

Figure 10: How to fool ATOM into thinking Studio One is a third-party application.

2. Click Add, and choose New Keyboard (I named it Faux ATOM; see Fig. 10). You don’t need to Send To anything. ATOM’s status light at the top will glow green to indicate ATOM isn’t under Studio One’s control.

3. If your instrument has MIDI learn, assign the four controls or aftertouch however you want, and record as you would any automation from a control surface (Fig. 11).

Figure 11: The screen shot shows the results of recording ATOM’s Macro Knob 3 as a control source for a third-party synthesizer.

 

Don’t worry, you haven’t lost ATOM. Go Studio One > Options > External Devices, and remove Faux ATOM. Click on Reconnect; Studio One finds ATOM, and lists it as an external device. Another option is to close and re-open Studio One (ATOM gets added automatically).


9. Cool Event Editor Stuff

The documentation seems to imply that you can do cool event editor things only with the Instrument track, but that’s not quite true—you can do plenty with audio tracks as well.

1. Press the Editor button (in the left side, under Event). It doesn’t matter if Song Setup is on, because if it is, hitting Editor turns it off. The Edit view appears.

2. To hide the Edit view, hold Shift and tap Editor.

While in the Editor (or with audio tracks, the Arrange view):

The Left/Right buttons step through either MIDI notes or audio events.
Pad 9 Duplicate and Pad 10 Delete work as expected with notes or audio events.
If you opened Edit view from an Instrument track, then Pad 11 Velocity- and Pad 12 Velocity+ change the selected note’s velocity; Up/Down move the selected note up or down in semitones.
If you opened the Edit view from an audio track, then the Up/Down buttons step up or down through the tracks to select the track of your choice.

10. The More Ways to Undo, the Better

Figure 12: No one will ever know you made that horrible mistake if you undo.

Hold Shift and tap Undo (Fig. 12) to undo your last mistake…because there are never enough ways to undo!

Celebrating 10 Years of Studio One with 10 Days of Giveaways

 

 

 

If you haven’t heard, we’re celebrating 10 years of Studio One this month! Starting September 16, we’re hosting a giveaway on our social media channels.

Prizes include daily copies of Studio One 4 Professional, and a single GRAND prize including a FaderPort 16 and a pair of R-Series studio monitors will be awarded to one lucky individual on September 27! 

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

  1. You must follow PreSonus on Instagram and Facebook
  2. Post a 10-second video of yourself answering the question, “What do you love about making music?”
  3. Post the video to your account and include the hashtag #StudioOneGiveaway in the caption

START SUBMITTING ENTRIES TODAY!

All the winners will be chosen at random from the hashtag. One winner DAILY! One entry per day max, please. Private accounts will not qualify, so set your profiles to public if you want to win!

This is a global giveaway and will run September 16 through September 27. Winners will be contacted directly by PreSonus.

Join the Studio One Fam today!

Ten FX Chain Splitter Tips

Hey—September is Studio One’s 10th birthday!! It’s past the “terrible twos,” getting really good grades in school, becoming smarter with each update, and has become highly proficient at riding a bicycle. It’s a good kid.

For those who weren’t aware of its birth a decade ago, half the music industry thought the idea of PreSonus coming out with a baby DAW was ridiculous. The other half felt differently; instead, they simply thought it was stupid. There was plenty of hearty laughter around the NAMM show, as people placed their bets on how many months Studio One would last before it went away. After all, how could an upstart that didn’t even do surround compete with well-established DAWs?

Never mind.

Anyway, here we are ten years later, so I thought—why not make each Friday Tip of the Week for this month ten tips? We’ll start with one of my favorite Studio One features, the Splitter.

  1. It’s great that you can specify the number of splits. The Channel Split mode makes sense with two splits—one is left, one is right. With 4 splits, the two on the left are the left channel, the two on the right, the right channel. But what about 3 and 5 splits? With 3, the middle is the right channel, and the other two are the left channel. With 5 splits, the left-most, right-most, and center splits are the left channel; the remaining two are the right channel (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Meatloaf says “two out of three ain’t bad.” Studio One says “two into five can be cool.”

  1. The Mute Output buttons for each split make it easy to audition individual splits (Fig. 2, outlined in red). If a split is muted, then an almost invisible little switch opens up in the split. I think this switch should be brighter, so thanks to the miracle of public-domain Paint programs, I’ve made it a lighter shade of gray in the screen shot…hopefully the developers over in Hamburg, Germany will see this and think “hey, that’s a great idea!” (or more likely, “das ist eine großartige idee!”).

Figure 2: The Mute Output buttons circled in red are a stupendous (and I don’t use that word lightly) feature for when you want to isolate what a particular split is doing to your audio.

 

3. The bad news: none of the split parameters are automatable. I’ve been told Studio One needs to be old enough to get its driver license before this will be possible.

4. The good news: the effects you bring into the splitter are automatable. So if you want to automate a split’s level, then bring in a Mixtool, and rock out.

5. Because you can rename the effects you bring into an FX Chain, this makes life sooooo much easier when you have a really complex setup involving multiple splits, and need to be able to identify at a glance those effects you want to edit.

6. The level controls in the splits themselves don’t respond to mouse wheel scroll, but the ones in the left panel do – you don’t even have to click on one, just hover over it and scroll your mouse (Fig. 3). This is also true with the frequency sliders in the Frequency Split mode. Bonus tip! Ctrl+click on a slider to return it to 0 dB.

 

Figure 3: The level controls outlined in yellow respond to the mouse scroll wheel.

7. The Frequency Split mode is ultra-cool, because now you can have up to a five-band crossover. This is the kind of gadget Q would have made for James Bond, if Q had been a Studio One programmer. It makes multiband processing so incredibly easy—those who aren’t taking advantage of this aren’t taking full advantage of Studio One.

8. When used as a Frequency Split crossover, there will always be a minimum of a 100 Hz frequency difference among bands so you can’t do something dumb (like have two frequency band split points be at the same frequency.)

9. The FX Chain window is resizeable—you can extend the right and bottom borders. This is helpful when you’ve gone crazy with a split-based FX Chain (see next).

10. Splitters can go to splitters, which can go to splitters, which can go to splitters, [cut and paste]…so not only can an FX chain have series, parallel, and parallel/series effects, it can have parallel/series+parallel+series/parallel effects. The mind boggles (Fig. 4).

 

Figure 4: This FX Chain doesn’t actually do anything…or maybe it does…who knows? But it shows how the Splitter can help you can go really nuts with insane combinations of effects, if you’re so inclined.

 

 

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Buy a FaderPort 16, Get a FREE ATOM!

Starting now through the end of October 2019, whenever you buy a FaderPort 16, score a FREE ATOM with a mail-in rebate. To get your free ATOM, you must have purchased a Faderport 16 between September 1, 2019 and October 31, 2019. That’s $150 USD for FREE! The entry form attached below must be received at PreSonus by December 1, 2019.

Everyone is talking about the ATOM! Check what some of our favorites are saying…

The ATOM is a powerhouse of a pad-oriented control!” —Sound on Sound

Highly recommended the ATOM for the singer-songwriter that needs to make quality demos!” —American Songwriter Magazine

PreSonus ATOM is not only a lightweight and portable drum pad controller but the perfect complement for beat production with Studio One 4.” —Tobias Homburger, Bonedo.de, December 2018

WOW… You can experience the ATOM for yourself when you buy a FaderPort 16!

This is a global offer and available NOW!

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE REBATE FORM IF YOU’RE IN EUROPE! 

CLICK HERE FOR THE REBATE FORM IF ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!