PreSonus Blog

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.



  • Bill Roufs

    Maybe this isn’t the right place to ask this question, but since it pertains to the splitter, maybe someone can give me an answer to this.
    A few days ago I watched a seminar on B&H photo stream on Studio One software. It was given by Richard Gaspard. In the Advanced sessions he showed parallel processing on Acoustic guitar that sounded like a pad. I followed the steps presented but some effects settings were not shown so I have not been able to duplicate it in my sessions. Here is the video link if you want to hear the sound created.
    The effect demo starts around 1:40 ish
    Does anyone know what the settings are to obtain this sound?

  • The only workaround I’ve found is to insert a Mixtool to control split levels, although that limits you to +/- 24 dB.

  • I’m not sure if you mean receive for the splitter, but 4.5 added that feature for individual effects. Click the arrow next to the sidechain, check the box for the sidechain source, and SO4.5 automatically creates a sidechain send.

  • Terence Kearns

    Now, as well as a splitter, we need a…
    – receive (shows up as a send on other channels) or
    – side-chain
    tap 🙂

    (I don’t want much do I)

    Actually, if I was gonna be demanding, I’d ask for settable crossover slopes and types in the frequency splitter 😀

    (Like Melda Production does in it’s MultiBand (MB) series of plugins).

  • Terence Kearns

    You can go the Pizza Pie route or the fat channel. Either way, you’re gonna gain some calories.

  • Terence Kearns

    “none of the split parameters are automatable.”

    dissapointing… the whole idea of being able to split at this level is to streamline workflow.

    Should be able to create a wet/dry macro by automating two split levels if I want to.

  • I love to do these, they’re fun! But thanks for reminding me about the mastering angle…I really haven’t covered that much, and there’s more to the Project page than meets the eye 🙂

  • Eric Clouatre

    Craig, another great write up. I first came across you while watching you tube it was the i believe 2012ish Namm. You were going over mastering in S1 v2 i believe. I wanted to thank you for taking time to do these articles they really are great man.

    Greatly appreiated,


  • You’d have to ask Ali G 🤣

  • These Friday Tips aren’t supposed to be rewrites of the manual but tips, and are intended to supplement the documentation rather than replace it. Please go to Help > Mixing > Channel Editor, and scroll down to the section “Splitting Signals” for Splitter documentation. Or just search in the documentation on “Splitter” and then click on “Channel Editor.”

  • Ian

    I wish the author wouldn’t have assumed everyone knows what the Channel Splitter does…

  • Ha! I wondered if anyone would catch that 🙂 Now I know that at least one person is actually paying attention, LOL…either that, or is genetically predisposed to being a proofreader!

  • David Nika

    Maybe the Pizza Pie or Broccoli modules do something!