PreSonus Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2020


What’s New in Studio One 5.1

Studio One 5.1 has arrived! This update is free to PreSonus Sphere members, or anyone else who owns Studio One 5—Artist or Professional editions. Fire up Studio One and click “Check for Updates” to get it!

This update addresses many user requests, particularly in the realms of composition and notation, but if you’re less old-school and more no-school, don’t fret! We’ve got plenty of updates for you including Retrospective Record, External Instrument support for the Show Page, and a ton of workflow streamlining. All are detailed below.

 

1. Score Printing

Version 5.1 adds score printing to Studio One Professional. Scores and individual parts can now be printed directly from Studio One! Printing is supported for any number of tracks, from single instruments to full orchestral arrangements. Several other composition enhancements along with Score Printing are featured in this video:

2. Retrospective Recording

Never miss another great song idea again! Retrospective Recording captures everything you play on your keyboard or controller—even without hitting record! It works invisibly in the background on a track-by-track basis.

 

3. Powerful Track/Channel search and filter options

Managing large projects with a huge track and channel count is now faster and easier than ever with the addition of powerful search and filter options.

 

4. Bypass option for Clip Gain Envelopes

Clip Gain Envelops can now be bypassed from the Event context menu and the Event Inspector, making it quick and easy to compare the result of your Gain Envelopes without losing any of your adjustments.

 

5. Combined Time/Key Signature Track

The Score View will reflect any Key Signature changes added to Studio One’s new Signature Track. These will also transfer to Notion when sending a score between applications.

 

6. Secondary Timeline Ruler option

View minutes:seconds with bars and beats at the same time! A must for film composers.

 

7. Global Tracks in Editors

Global Tracks can now be displayed inside Editors and used as guides when editing audio or Note Events in Piano View and Drum View.

 

8. External Instruments support on Show Page

External MIDI instruments are now supported using Virtual Instrument Players. Patches can include program change and bank change messages so you can control an entire MIDI rig from your Show!

 

9. Ampire/Pedalboard Update

Drag and drop stompbox settings between Ampire and Pedalboard, so go ahead and steal that Big Fuzz tone from your guitarist… we won’t tell!

 

10. TONS of Extended Integration with ATOM controller

Note Events in the Pattern Editor are now colorized to match the pad colors in Impact, ATOM and ATOM SQ, so you always know which sound is being triggered and which pad is controlling it. And there’s a new library of inspirational drum patterns and variations patterns in Musicloops format for easy, drag-and-drop saving and export.

 

Too much to list!

Studio One 5.1 is a significant update and is free to owners of Studio One 5 Artist and Professional. Click here for the full change log, and click “Check for Updates” in Studio One’s start page to get all these new features now!

 

 

Notion 6.8 Now Available

Notion 6.8 Maintenance Release

Notion 6.8.0 Build 18060 is now available, adding compatibility with the updated Score Editor of Studio One 5.1, Portuguese as a new supported language, and more. Notion 6.8 is a free update for Notion 6 owners or PreSonus Sphere members that can be obtained by clicking “Check for Updates” within Notion, or download from your PreSonus Sphere or myPreSonus account.


NEW

Compatible with Studio One 5.1

Studio One 5.1 adds new functions to its score editor, including print, page layout, transposition and key signature changes. These items are now supported when you send score data between Studio One and Notion 6.8. To see more about Studio One 5 and its new Score Editor, click here.

Studio One 5.1 Now Available!

New score elements that can be exchanged with Studio One:

  • Key signature changes
  • Instrument transposition
  • Staff name and abbreviation
  • Page size and orientation
  • Page margins
  • Notation font size
  • Staff and system spacing
  • Bar number options
  • Overall text size
  • Multi-measure rest options

For a full guide to Studio One and Notion transfer, see updated User Guide (Chapter 15.7)


ALL FIXES

Import/Export Improvements

  • If the track order is changed in Studio One, then the order is retained when importing into Notion
  • Scores with instrument names that contain special characters now import as expected to Studio One
  • Fix for sending audio from Notion to Studio One when there is a slash mark in the instrument name
  • Avoid importing metronome marks, time- and key signatures twice on import from Studio One
  • Half notes will now split into tied notes on Studio One or MIDI import, if they are syncopated and across the middle of a bar
  • Fix for drawing a tie if only element is present in a MusicXML file
  • Imported MIDI tempo now cleaner to read when there are many consecutive tempo changes

Video Window

  • [Win] Fix video window showing only its caption when opening for the first time after installation
  • [Win] Fix video window keeping the previous video’s aspect ratio after changing the video
  • [Win] Fix video window moving around when resizing

Languages/Documentation

  • New language – Portuguese
  • New Portuguese Quick Reference Guide and Shortcuts pdf’s added to Notion, to your user account, and to the website here
  • [Win] Installer language fixes
  • Some translation improvements in Korean

General

  • [Win] Fix for ‘Save As’ crash if an External MIDI port is set in ‘Preferences>MIDI IO’
  • [macOS] Fix for starting Notion when an existing PreSonus Sphere membership expires
  • [macOS] Add fix for plug-ins that use legacy copy protection
  • Fix crash on entering glissando/portamento into part with only one staff
  • Crash fixed if beaming tool is accidentally used on a tablature staff
  • Version number scheme for Notion changed – Now 6.x.x Build xxxxx

How to Make Spotify Happy

 

With physical audio media in its twilight, streaming has become the primary way to distribute music. A wonderful side effect has been the end of the loudness wars, because streaming services like Spotify turn levels up or down as needed to attain a specific, consistent perceived level—squashing a master won’t make it sound any louder.

However, the “garbage in, garbage out” law remains in effect, so you need to submit music that meets a streaming service’s specs. For example, Spotify prefers files with an LUFS of -14.0 (according to the EBU R128 standard), and a True Peak reading of -1.0 or lower. This avoids adding distortion when transcoding to lossy formats. If the LUFS reading is above -14.0, then Spotify wants a True Peak value under -2.0.

Fortunately, when you Detect Loudness for a track on the mastering page, you’ll see a readout of the LUFS and LRA (a measure of overall dynamic range), as well as the True Peak, RMS (average signal level), and DC offset for the left and right channels. Fig. 1 shows an example of the specs generated by detecting loudness.

Figure 1: Although the LUFS reading meets Spotify’s specs, True Peak doesn’t, and the RMS value of the left and right channels isn’t balanced.

 

 Note that this hits Spotify’s desired LUFS, but the left channel’s True Peak value is higher than what’s ideal. This readout also shows that the average RMS levels for each channel are somewhat different—the left channel is 1.2 dB louder than the right one, which also accounts for the higher True Peak value. This may be the way the artist wants the mix to sound, but it could also indicate a potential problem with the mix, where the overall sound isn’t properly centered.

A simple fix is to insert a Dual Pan into the Inserts section. Use the Input Balance control to “weight” the stereo image more to one side for a better balance. After doing so and readjusting the LUFS, we can now give Spotify exactly what it wants (Fig. 2). Also note that the left and right channels are perfectly balanced.

Figure 2: The True Peak and RMS values are now identical, so the two channels are more balanced than they were without the Dual Pan.

 A Crucial Consideration!

You don’t want to mix or master based on numbers, but on what you hear. If you set up Dual Pan to balance the channels, make sure that you enable/bypass the plug-in and compare the two options. You might find that balancing the left and right channels not only accommodates Spotify’s requirements, but improves the mix’s overall balance. If it doesn’t, then leave the balance alone, and lower the track’s overall output level so that True Peak is under -1.0 for both channels (or under -2.0 for LUFS values above ‑14.0). This will likely lower the LUFS reading, but don’t worry about it: Spotify will turn up the track anyway to reach -14.0 LUFS.

Coda: I always thought that squashing dynamic range to try and win the loudness wars made listening to music a less pleasant experience, and that’s one of the reasons CD sales kept declining. Does the end of the loudness wars correspond to the current music industry rebound from streaming? I don’t know… but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Sonarworks Reference 4 Headphone Edition 30% Off for Seven Days!

Click here to shop!

Sonarworks Reference 4 Headphone Edition is 30% Off starting Friday, October 16 through Thursday, October 22!

Finally, you can mix with confidence on your current setup. Sonarworks Reference 4 HE removes unwanted colouration from your headphones. With the Sonarworks SR (Studio Reference) sound, you can focus on music instead of worrying about the sound in the studio or on-the-go.

Reference 4 Headphone Edition includes:
  • Reference 4 Systemwide: Sonarworks SR applied to all audio output
  • Reference 4 Plugin: Sonarworks SR with zero latency in your DAW
  • Headphone profiles: See the list of supported models here: https://www.sonarworks.com/reference/headphones

This offer is available worldwide right in the PreSonus Shop. It is valid today through October 22, 2020.

Shop NOW!

 

Select Image Sounds products up to 80% off for one week!

ACT FAST!

Now through October 22, SAVE up to 80% on select Image Sounds products right out of the PreSonus Shop! That’s over 50 loop bundles up for grabs at the best price all year—products from Image Sounds have never been this low-priced in our shop, grab ’em while you can!

This offer is available worldwide starting today through October 22.

Click here to shop!

 

One Week ONLY – Notion Acoustic Bundle 50% off!

Shop NOW!

For ONE week only… Save 50% on the Notion Acoustic Bundle!

  • Recorded by Brad Newell, Neil Zaza, and David Doucet
  • Includes sample variations for open strings, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and left-hand and right-hand fingering control
  • Tab and chord progression input capability with the Notion Fretboard interface
  • For use with Notion 5.1 or later and Progression 3 or later

Included in this bundle is BanjoMandolin, Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar, and Ukulele.

This offer is available right in the PreSonus Shop, offered worldwide, and is valid now through October 22, 2020.

Click here to shop.

 

SAVE 50% on ALL Spark Collection Products!

Click here to shop!

GREAT NEWS!

Already at a LOW price, the price for all Spark Collections is now even lower for the next SEVEN days only!

We announced the Spark Collection back in 2019; here’s a little snippet about it:

Hit the ground running with the Spark Collection of loops and add-ons from PreSonus! These low-priced loop packs are a great place to start making music for less. These professional, royalty-free tracks are a great source of inspiration for starting a new song, learning how to mix, or adding a little flavor to your existing compositions. We’ve launched Spark Collections with a whopping 35 packs… with many more to come!

Everything from trap, reggae, pop, and sound FX are available in the Spark Collections–NOW ALL for 50% off! 

This offer is valid starting today, October 16, 2020, runs through October 22, and is offered worldwide!

Click here to shop.

Notion iOS 2.5.5 Release Notes

Notion iOS 2.5.5 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—if you missed all the major news for v2.5 itself, check it out here.

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:

New:

  • New language: Portuguese

Sounds Menu fixes:

  • In Store tab, Notion now shows a check mark (instead of a cloud) for purchased bundles
  • In Store tab, now shows a check for instruments purchased in bundles
  • In Store tab, icons are force refreshed after tapping Restore Purchases
  • In Sounds tab, instruments are reloaded after restoring purchases
  • Notion no longer restarts purchase downloads when the app launches

Languages:

  • (iOS13 and later) Can now change preferred language for just Notion, rather than following the language set globally for the device. Go to Device Settings>Notion>Preferred Language
  • ‘Choose Instruments’ now localised as expected in New Score dialog
  • Improved Korean translations in score setup
  • Template documents localised
  • Templates now open as expected in all languages

General:

  • Fix for drawing a tie if only “tied” element is present in an imported MusicXML file
  • Fix for Chord Root changing on iPhone only version of Chord Library when selecting extensions
  • Half notes will now split into tied notes on MIDI import, if they are syncopated and across the middle of a bar
  • General performance improvements
  • Minimum requirements: Apple iOS9 or higher (please note, Notion 2.5.x will be the final version to support iOS9 and iOS10)

My Craziest Mastering Salvage Job (So Far)

 

My mastering specialty is salvage jobs, which has become easier to do with Studio One. But this gig was something else.

Martha Davis’s last solo album (I Have My Standards, whose mastering challenges were covered in this blog post) has done really well. Since the pandemic has sidelined her from touring as Martha Davis and the Motels or going into the studio, she’s releasing a new song every month online. These involve excellent, but unreleased, material.

That’s THE good news. The bad news is that her latest song choice, “In the Meantime,” had the drum machine kick mixed so loud the song should have been credited as “Solo Kick Drum with Vocal Accompaniment.” With a vocalist like Martha (listen to any of her many hits from the 80s), that’s a crime. She was hoping I could fix it.

Don’t tune out, EDM/hip-hop fans. What about those TR-808 “toms” that are always mixed way too high? When I was given a Boy George song to remix, those toms were like sonic kryptonite before I figured out how to deal with them. And let’s not get into those clichéd 808 claps, okay? But we have a solution.

What Didn’t Work

I tried everything to deal with the kick, including EQ, iZotope RX7 spectral reduction, mid-side processing using the Mixtool, and more. The mix was mostly mono, and the kick was full-frequency—from low-frequency boom to a nasty click that was louder than the lead vocal. Multiband dynamics didn’t work because the kick covered too wide a frequency range.

What Did Work

In desperation, I thought maybe I could find an isolated kick sound, throw it out of phase, and cancel the kick wherever it appeared in the song. Very fortunately, the song intro had a kick sound that could be isolated as an individual sample. So instead of going directly to Studio One’s mastering page, I went into the Song page, imported the stereo mix into one track, created a second track for only the kick, and dragged the copied kick to match up with every kick instance in the song (yes, this did take some time…). It wasn’t difficult to line up the copied kicks with sample- (or at least near-sample) accuracy (Fig. 1).

 

Figure 1: The top track is from the original song, while the lower track is an isolated kick. After lining the sounds up with respect to timing, flipping the kick track phase removed the kick sound from the mixed tracks.

The payoff was inserting Mixtool in the kicks-only track and flipping its phase 180 degrees. It canceled the kick! Wow—this physics stuff actually works.

But now there was no kick. So, I added the Waves LinEQ Broadband linear-phase equalizer (a non-linear-phase EQ can’t work in this context) in the kick drum track. This filtered out some of the kick drum’s lower frequencies so there was less cancellation while leaving the highs intact so they would still cancel as much as possible. Adjusting the shelving frequency and attenuation let in just enough of the original kick, without overwhelming the track. Even better, because the kick level was lower, I could bring up the low end to resurrect the bass part that had been overshadowed by the kick.

The Rest of the Story

The mix traveled to the mastering page for a little more processing (Studio One’s Pro EQ and Binaural Pan, IK Multimedia’s Stealth maximizer, and Studio One’s metering). After hitting the desired readings of -13.0 LUFS with -0.2 True Peak readings, the mastering was done. Sure, I would much rather have had the individual tracks to do a remix, but it was what it was—a 28-year-old two-track mix.

To hear how this ended up, the audio example first plays an excerpt from the mastered version. Then there’s a brief pause, followed by the same section with the original file. I’m sure you’ll hear the difference in the kick drum.

Listen to an audio example from In the Meantime here: 

 

Pigface: Everywhere All At Once

Saturday, October 10th

(click)👉Pigface will go live online HERE at 6PM (CST)👈(click)


(Concert photography by: Bobby Talamine)

Martin Atkins has been a longstanding PreSonus artist/endorser and we’re excited that both he and his audio engineer, Mark Williams have embraced our StudioLive 64S Series III console mixers are their go-to “mission control” for their studio recording workflows.

Let’s find out more about them and what’s new in the Pigface camp in these surreal times we’re in:

Martin: I’ve had a long storied career – starting in 1979 when I joined Public Image Limited (the band started by Johnny Rotten when the Sex Pistols imploded) for a 5 year spell that included world tours and their most successful albums. A few years with Killing Joke (who just opened for Tool last year) some work with Nine Inch Nails (appearing on the Grammy award winning Wish) touring with Ministry and founding my own band Pigface – an industrial ‘supergroup’ that has included Mary Byker (PWEI, Gaye Bykers On Acid), Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Randy Blythe (Lamb Of God), Danny Carey (Tool), Curse Mackey (Evil Mothers), En Esch (KMFDM), Lesley Rankine (Silverfish, Ruby), Charles Levi (My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult), Bobdog Catlin (Evil Mothers), Bradley Bills (Chant), Andrew Weiss (Ween, The Rollins Band), Greta Brinkman (Moby, Druglord), Orville Kline (Porn and Chicken), Gaelynn Lea, Dirk Flanigan (77 Luscious Babes), Leanne Murray (Beer Nuts), Chris Harris (Project 44), Mike Reidy (Worm), Leyla Royale, Andrew Apocalypse, Ali Jafri, Roger Ebner, Bruce Lamont, Jesse Hunt, Dai, C.A.M., J Lamar, Just Chris (courtesy of Add-2) and Rona Rougeheart

I started my own label Invisible Records in 1988 and, after a few short years it was obvious I should open my own studio – I bought Steve Albini’s tape machines (an 8 Track ½” and a  ¼” machine both by Otari.) As digital started to enter our lives my studio became a hybrid of cool quirky analog, circuit bent pieces, and whatever digital interfaces were affordable at the time. 

More and more of my time was spent either in the studio or out recording live events with my band in the US or over in China where I travelled a couple of times. I’ve always been impressed by how supportive PreSonus is to artists– either with no nonsense customer support when needed or by carefully crafting new pieces of equipment that just make sense. I think the piece that illustrated their support of artists for me was the now “classic” Faderport– when most companies were trying to sell multi-fader automation they (and then I) realized that most of us only needed one channel to write volume and pan automation – so, that, I guess, cemented everything for me.

It feels like things are really coming to fruition now, with support from PreSonus and my good friend and audio engineer, Mark Williams. I got to see the StudioLive 64S Series III console mixer in action first at Mark’s studio in Baton Rouge where he laid out all of the tracks, but then we got to work at River City Studio, which is an amazing recording facility, right there at the PreSonus office building. Everyone was so welcoming, people jumping out of meetings to say hi that I had met speaking at PreSonuSphere years ago (you should bring that back!) and I even met the CEO. Mark and I were able to tweak the tracks there and then finish up any tweaks remotely from Chicago.

All of this made the need for a StudioLive 64S console essential for my studio– with so much catalog and multi-track sessions it will be an essential hub of our next few years of activity as a band and as a label. I have the ability to quickly communicate the power of these live shows we have been creating. We recorded many of the shows during our 2019 tour – the line up was just AMAZING and, just be reading through the names you’ll know this was nothing to roll the dice with – the new format allows seamless passing of sessions, follow up tweaks, and easy workflows. Not only has the StudioLive 64S made the mixing of the live tracks from the last tour possible, it’s enabling possibilities of making other shows available for the fans who want more material from us.

Mark: I met Martin the first time in 1993 while working in college radio at the University of Alabama. I worked for him as a field representative for Invisible Records for about 5 or 6 years. Martin contacted PreSonus about one of his ACP88’s and became an Endorser for the company. Throughout the years, PreSonus has outfitted his studio with products including: the ADL600, Central Station, Fadeport, Digimax 96, and their award-winning DAW software, Studio One.

I’ve worked on numerous recording projects and mixes throughout the years with Martin and in November 2016, we recorded the Pigface 25th anniversary concert at the Chicago House of Blues using 2 StudioLive RM32 rackmount mixers and Capture recording software.

In 2019, I supplied Martin with a Quantum interface to record all Pigface live concerts with. The front-of-house (FOH) engineer for the final concert at Thalia Hall sent me all 32 channels of the recording. I synced up the 26 channels from the multitrack with 6 additional channels from the board mix and FOH feed.

Breaking down the 32 channels, 48khz recording down by song was quite an undertaking, as it was a massive amount of data to go through.

Martin flew down the last week of February 2020 so we could mix the album in my studio. The heart of our system was an IMAC with 32 gigs of RAM with a few external terabyte drives, a StudioLive SL64 console mixer, Scepter 8 monitors and Avantone Mixcubes. We went through each song to evaluate what we would use. As we did that, we created template fat channels for each musician. We had 3 drummers, 3 bassists, 2 guitarists, a DJ, 3 saxophones, cello, viola, violin, sitar and more vocalists than I can remember.

Basically we mixed everything “live” using the StudioLive 64S, relying on the console for dynamics processing and effects. We did some simple edits in Studio One. However, to maintain the integrity of the recording, we didn’t repair or fix anything. We used the recording as is in all its chaos and beauty. We didn’t correct any timing, pitch (i.e. no Auto-Tune!). I wanted to stay true to the Pigface form for the live energy.

A couple of days went by of mixing in my studio and then went to River City Studio. I was able to store the presets for the StudioLive 64 on the iMac. We just carried it up to the studio and plugged it in. The scenes loaded up quickly and easily. The transition from my studio to the PreSonus studio was seamless. We were able to get a different perspective in PAE HQ due to the different room and monitoring.

Then, we finalized the mixing in my studio and I uploaded the mixes online for filesharing, as Martin had to fly home to Chicago. He and I tweaked the final mixes over the next month easily to get to the final product that has been pressed to a beautiful Double LP. Y’all need to check it out… click on the link below for more info!

The mix that we did there is what is being used for the live video concert on October 10th.