Studio One Remote 1.6 remains free of charge, and is compatible with Studio One 5 Artist and Professional.
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?
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).
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:
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:
The default for the user data is:
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).
For Windows, my custom FX Chains now live at:
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.
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
Figure 2: The multi instrument window has two instances of Presence—one for the octave above strings, and the other for the unison strings.
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.
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.
Driven by a one-two combo of user requests and PreSonus Software innovation, Studio One 5.2 boasts over 30 new features and improvements… here’s a quick ten, with a full changelog linked below. This is a free update to PreSonus Sphere members and Studio One 5 owners, and can be obtained from your my.presonus account or by clicking “Check for Updates” on Studio One’s start page.
Use Studio One’s Arranger Track on the Show page to trigger different song sections during playback without missing a beat! You can even control your arrangement from the soon-to-be-updated Studio One Remote… and, actually, multiple Studio One Remote users will be able to control different elements of the same Show simultaneously.
You can also use Live Arranging on the Song Page to experiment with new song structures and arrangements without dropping the beat.
Extensive support for articulations in orchestral libraries has arrived in Studio One via Sound Variations, with a powerful but intuitive mapping editor that provides tools for managing complex articulation maps. Trigger your Sound Variations from remote commands, key switches, hardware controllers, macros, and more. Furthermore, the new Dynamic Mapping API lets third-party developers enable their VST2 and VST3 instruments’ articulations to be queried by Studio One so that Sound Variation maps are automatically generated. Vienna Symphonic Library and UJAM are already on board.
We’ve added Drum Notation and Tablature to the Score view! Tablature supports multiple instruments and multiple tunings, for everything from Strats to baritone ukuleles, and you can even view tablature and standard notation simultaneously. Drum Notation has new symbols for open/closed/half-open techniques to be added as well.
And in standard Score View, notes can be entered into multiple voices for a single instrument; up to four voices can be created per staff.
PreSonus Sphere workspaces are also now available directly from the Studio One Browser for easy bidirectional file transfer. Drag and drop stuff from Studio One’s Edit window to your PreSonus Sphere workspace folders.
The Splitter—our powerful parallel processing tool in the Channel Editor—now lives alongside other Native Effects Plug-ins in Studio One’s Browser. If you haven’t experimented with this powerful processing option in the past, you should—and now it’s hard to miss!
Genius updates to the Arrow tool make it easier than ever to edit Note Events in the Piano Roll.
ATOM SQ and FaderPort 8 and 16 now play better than ever with Studio One. ATOM SQ now supports Studio One’s Autofill command for plug-in control. Furthermore, you now get up to 8 pages of controls in Control Link for up to 64 individual controls. You can also now edit details of individual Pattern Steps with ATOM SQ.
FaderPort 8 and 16 users will be excited to know we’ve implemented grouping! Use multiple FaderPort 8/16s to create a robust mix setup that’s ideal for your space and process! You can also now deactivate Sends from your FaderPort as well as toggle the metronome and control volume level. Lastly, Studio One’s Channel visibility settings will now also be reflected accurately on your FaderPort(s).
Now you can make edits to an Audio Clip that don’t affect every instance of the Clip in your Song; apply clip-based edits in Gain Envelopes or Melodyne independently!
Studio One’s new “Boot with options” menu on launch allows you to troubleshoot problematic plug-ins and other culprits by selectively disabling them after a crash.
Studio One 5.2 is compatible with M1 Macs running Rosetta 2.
Notion 6.8.1 Maintenance Release
Notion 6.8.1 Build 18093 is now available, adding compatibility with the updated Score Editor of Studio One 5.2. It also includes a number of fixes, most notably for: VST instruments; the video window; and how Notion groups rests automatically. Notion 6.8.1 is a free update for Notion 6 owners or PreSonus Sphere members, and it can be obtained by clicking “Check for Updates” within Notion, or downloading from your PreSonus Sphere or myPreSonus account.
Compatible with Studio One 5.2
Studio One 5.2 adds new functions to its score editor, including tablature, drum notation, and multiple voices. These items are supported when you send score data between Studio One 5.2 and Notion 6.8.1. To see more about Studio One 5 and its Score Editor, click here.
New score elements that can be exchanged with Notion from Studio One 5.2:
For a full guide to Studio One and Notion transfer, see User Guide (Chapter 15.7)
Studio One offers multiple diagnostic tools. We covered the LUFS loudness measurement (based on the R128 loudness standard), in the context of creating consistent levels in a collection of songs. But what about that mysterious LRA reading to its right?
LRA stands for Loudness Range. A complex algorithm measures loudness, analyzes how it’s distributed throughout a song, determines a song’s dynamics properties, and represents that with a number. The lower the number, the less dynamics. (Note that this is not about dynamic range, but rather, musical dynamics.)
Dynamics don’t reflect recording quality. Some songs have lots of dynamics, some don’t. Dynamics may or may not relate to whether the music is compressed or limited—heavily compressed music can still have major loudness differences, whereas music with light compression may not have much dynamics at all.
An Artistic Measurement—Not So Much a Technical One
LRA is more interesting from an artistic standpoint than a technical one. There’s really no “typical” LRA reading for various genres, aside from broad generalities: Classical music is most dynamic, so you can expect LRA readings of 9 or more. Country or jazz will have less dynamics; a reading of 6 to 8 is typical. Rock and EDM often hit around 5 to 6, and hip-hop, 5 or less. But again, LRA readings vary all over the place within any specific genre, as well as within an album. On my most recent album, LRA readings varied from 4 for a slamming, full-tilt track up to 10 for a longer, more nuanced song.
My main use of LRA is checking out soundtracks intended to go behind narration or industrial videos, because excessive dynamics can distract from the messaging. If there’s a high LRA reading, I’ll tweak the level automation as needed to smooth out variations. (Of course, I’d hear any problem variations when assembling the video, but prepping a track beforehand saves time.)
Conversely, if I want some sections in a rock track to really pop in contrast to sections that are more sedate, the LRA reading will confirm whether that goal has been met. If not, I might want to re-consider making the parts that are supposed to be quiet quieter, and then supercharge the dramatic sections. This isn’t only about changing levels. For example, the part that’s supposed to hit harder might benefit from a screaming lead guitar overdub, and more drums.
Do Dynamics Really Matter?
People might assume EDM doesn’t have a lot of dynamics, because they think of four-on-the-floor kick drums. But while researching various pieces of music for this post, I found that my favorite EDM artists tended to make music with more dynamic range—often more than typical rock songs. Coincidence? I’m not sure. But it makes sense that if a DJ wants to take you on a journey over the course of a set, that would involve dynamic variations.
Dynamics are a part of music. If all your songs have LRA readings of 3 or 4, there may not be enough changes in dynamics to keep listeners engaged for more than a few songs…but maybe your intention is to create a hypnotic groove, in which case a low LRA reading could be totally appropriate.
Ultimately, LRA isn’t about rules, but about data. How you use that data is up to you, but I hope you now have a better understanding of what that data means.
Luke: I’m a producer / composer and mixing engineer best known for my remixes for Kylie Minogue (a Grammy-nominated Billboard #1), The Killers, Robbie Williams, Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse–to name but a few–I just produced Twenty Five Ten, an album in homage to my late mother.
It has sounds for here and now, rooted in decades of influences and experiences.
Featuring successful collaborations with Kevin Godley (10 CC, Godley & Creme), model Roxy Horner, Nick Tart (Diamond Head), Rachael & James Akin (EMF), Lucy Pullin (The Isle of Man, Robbie Williams), Melanie Taylor, Flora, Phat Hat.
My 18-track album was recorded in various places such as Brisbane (Australia), Tel Aviv, Mallorca, Brussels, Los Angeles, Dublin, Katowice (Poland), and Baton Rouge (USA).
Besides my emotional motivation to get this project done, I really wanted this record to connect genres, eras, and mix generations. Somehow connect the dots between timelines in a unified story, with its joyful and bonkers moments, with its own directions and contradictions, or more simply put: my story.
I have a rock-solid PreSonus eco-system based around a Quantum 2, FaderPort 16, and ATOM, nothing superfluous—they all have a purpose. The FaderPort 16 is giving me the gestures I’m used to when balancing tracks on a console; the vibe is based on even relationships between instruments.
It’s a different experience, and the decisions I’m making helped me to assign a more prominent role to sounds buried in a mix, with fingers on all faders I’m sorta painting a sonic picture based on my impression. With a mouse it’s also achievable, but it’s more cerebral; it’s laser focused, and less expressive.
The ATOM is perfect when I want to jam with drums or synth shots. It’s perfect for fortunate accidents! I come up with ideas I wouldn’t get from a keyboard. In some of my remixes I like to slice vocals that I then drop into impact to create what we call “vox lox” to build new lines, for example that was a centerpiece of my Kim Wilde Kids In America remix. The new chorus idea was all done with Impact XT and the ATOM.
Quantum 2 is just brilliant, it’s been my companion in so many tasks, it’s never let me down. As musical director for a Native American show I’m in charge of, I used this thing on stage in large venues with thousands of people, the sound was amazing and so stable. I also mixed a full season series for a TV network; a short film for Disney; sound mix for HBO; my album and remixes—it’s been so reliable and with a constant, pristine sound. It fits perfectly in my backpack, so I’m super mobile.
I usually work from home, and when necessary I just take my laptop to a commercial studio, plug my Quantum 2 to their system, launch Studio One, and I’m set. I can do the adjustments I feel are needed and go back home.
My album was also mastered that way, I’ve had a reliable listening environment there, and all songs loaded into the project page. The big plus was when I felt that I was doing too much tweak, I could just open the song, fix whatever was needed with one click and go back.
Lately besides my remixes, I’ve been asked to mix a couple of original songs from the ’80s/’90s on which I’ve been given the multi-tracks, such as Fine Young Cannibals, Shakespear’s Sister, or Bananarama to name but a few.
I could really set up Studio One to be ready at all time and nicely organized like a vintage console, and now with Version 5 Professional, I can switch between an SSL or Neve sound in just 2 clicks. That’s fantastic.
What led you to choose Studio One?
Studio One is just another part of me, it never gets in the way. It’s a companion standing in front of me that is always ready for war.
The interface is very clean and soothing in a way, it always feels like some quietness before the storm. It also sounds great, fully-featured and with the Project page, you can virtually do anything within ONE app.
These days as a musician you have to wear so many hats that the last thing you want is distractions and learning curves on different apps. With Studio One I can produce, compose, mix, and master with features located in familiar places.
What Studio One features have proven particularly useful and why?
The drag & drop concept, be it for sounds, presets, instruments, or FX. This thing is a home run. When I feel that I’m not going to be in a productive mood, I spend a lot of time organizing all of the above for future sessions.
How does Studio One compare to other DAWs you have used?
They can be the adult in the room in a world where feature lists to sell new major updates are prioritized over the quality of their achievement.
With backward compatibility, if something is poorly implemented from the start, then you’re stuck with it until the end of days. We all love new features, of course, but it shouldn’t come at that price.
So when I see something not yet available in Studio One, I just tell myself: “If you can’t make music with what Studio One has to offer today, maybe you should just quit.” The kid in me is not a fan of that sentence, but it’s a nice motto to move on.
Which Studio One feature or concept doesn’t get enough spotlight (or isn’t talked about enough) in your opinion?
Without a doubt I’d say macros, they can be really powerful, I remember doing one for a friend of mine, he was new to Studio One, he was looking after a way to slice and map samples easily.
So I came up with one that analyzed the loop, detected transients, sliced at transients and sent them to Sample One XT, it was so good that I’ve added it to a shortcut and ended up using it myself. I’m thinking of sharing it with the community.
Any useful tips/tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with Studio One that would be of interest to our user base?
During the lockdown with friends we’ve had some virtual sessions, we were sending ideas back and forth and it appeared that none of them used MusicLoops, they were saving their ideas or overdubs as songs.
I told them that I have a folder called ideas, so every time I try a new synth or jamming with a virtual instrument, I just drag & drop it to that folder, and it then becomes an asset for my future project. Everything is saved in a single file with an audio version, MIDI, presets, and FX used all in one go.
From time to time, I like to browse that folder to see if there’s anything inspiring or useful.
That’s basically the story of the opening track on my album, I’ve had this nasty groove made with Impact XT floating around for some time, and one day it was the right idea for the mood I was in.
Never lose your ideas, phrases and so on, don’t expect to remember anything two years or two months from now with random or cryptic names… Just drag and drop in a place, where you’ll find your sparkles of ideas at all times!
Any final comments about PreSonus and Studio One?
I always found the name intriguing, now that I see how powerful it’s become over the years, and on its way to become the ultimate DAW, I take it that it was not just a name… it was a plan.
Show us your ATOM or ATOM SQ in action! Tag PreSonus in a video of you performing your sickest beat with the hashtag #ATOMChallenge to be entered to win an ioStation 24c and one free year of album distribution from TuneCore. Contest is held from March 1st – 31st, winner announced April 2nd.
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
START SUBMITTING ENTRIES TODAY!
One winner will be chosen on April 2nd and win an ioStation 24c and one free year of album distribution from TuneCore. Private accounts will not qualify, so set your profiles to public if you want to win! Winners will be contacted directly by PreSonus.
Check out Product Manager, Dom Bazille, accepting the challenge: