The Flanger Lab FX Chain provides a wide variety of effects, from traditional flanging to psycho-acoustic panning, and can even incorporate some mid-side mojo—it all depends on how you set the controls. Originally, I had planned to include a control panel for Studio One Pro users, but there are simply too many options to fit into eight controls. It’s more fun just to open up all the effects, play with the knobs, and be pleasantly surprised.
The FX Chain itself is fairly straightforward (fig. 1): A split into two Flangers, one preceded by a Mixtool to invert the phase, and a Dual Pan at the end.
Now let’s look at the effects (fig. 2).
The audio example, with stereo program material, uses the settings shown in figures 1 and 2. However, this is just one possible sound. Flanger Lab is equally effective with mono distorted guitar, stereo string pads, and more.
Here are some tips on how different control settings affect the sound.
The bottom line is you can play with the controls for hours. Well, at least I could! If you come up with a cool sound, save it as a custom FX Chain. Given the variables, you might not be able to find that sound again.
Finally, there seems to be persistent confusion about how to handle downloaded FX Chains, like where to store them, and how to put them in custom folders. For answers to these and other questions about FX Chains, please check out the Friday Tip Fun Facts about FX Chains.
When Studio One was released almost a dozen years ago, it instantly became one of the fastest-growing DAWs around. With each dot release and major update, Studio One has grown into a comprehensive powerhouse, offering features and innovative workflows not available anywhere else. We could make dozens of 10 Ten Lists of our favorite Studio One features, but here are the top 10 reasons we love Studio One today.
Studio One lets you build a sound as unique as you by letting you stack multiple instruments on a single Instrument Track. Multi-instruments can be built as layers, key splits, or both, and you can record, edit, and play them like a single Instrument. A fully customizable Macro Panel gives you control over any parameter on any stacked Instrument or over multiple parameters on multiple Instruments at the same time.
Each Multi Instrument has its own Mixer channel, while each individual output of the combined Instruments receive full-featured sub-channels. You can process these outputs with plug-ins and sends, and then save everything into a single Multi Preset. There’s no limit to the creative possibilities for creative production and sound design.
Edit fast with audio and MIDI! We’ve combined the Arrow and Range Tools to boost your audio editing efficiency through the roof. Select, move, split, or duplicate Events; trim start- and end-points of Events; adjust fades; and change the overall Event level in one seamless action—all with the same tool! Simply mouse over the upper or lower half of an Event to edit with the Arrow or Range Tools, respectively. Studio One’s smart tools change dynamically to stay in the moment with you!
MIDI Note events can be selected, moved, and resized. Plus, you can change note velocity, mute or unmute events, split events and parts, even glue adjacent notes—all with the same useful tool.
Only Studio One lets you add busses and groups on the fly right from the console. Need to add an FX Bus? Just drag and drop the plug-in you want to load to the send of any channel to instantly create the bus and the return and begin adjusting the send level immediately! Creating a drum bus is as easy as selecting all your drum channels, right-clicking, and selecting “Add Bus Channel.” Channels can be grouped and ungrouped on the fly the same way, simply select, right-click and group. Easy peasy.
Studio One pioneered the drag and drop workflow that quickly made it a fan favorite from version 1.0. More than the ability to drag-and-drop an object to a new location on the timeline, Studio One lets you use drag-and-drop to do just about anything:
No other DAW lets you work so quickly and efficiently.
Studio One comes loaded with a Native Effects plug-in suite that provides just about any tool you need for mixing, mastering, performing, and producing. These aren’t average stock DAW plug-ins, these plug-ins are so good we sell them separately for use in other DAWs. You get State-Space modeled guitar amps and stompboxes with Ampire and Pedalboard; the complete Analog Effects Collection featuring State-Spaced modeled input stages on select plug-ins; Fat Channel XT with two State-Space modeled Compressor and EQ models; a suite of analysis tools to help you fix your mix; plus inspiring effects like Autofilter, Groove Delay, Room Reverb and more!
But we didn’t stop with channel effects. Studio One Professional features the unique Console Shaper plug-in. Console Shaper uses our proprietary Mix Engine FX processing technology that affects your music across all channels on a bus, rather than just processing the bus output, as with a traditional plug-in. This allows for vintage-inspired artifacts like console crosstalk, surface noise, and drive. Mix Engine FX apply processing at a much deeper level, across any number of channels—and even in between.
Studio One is a modern composer’s dream come true, and it all starts with Studio One’s Sound Variations—the next level in articulation support—so you get the most out of the complex virtual instruments and orchestral libraries. An extended mapping editor provides tools for managing complex articulation maps, and you can drag and drop Sound Variations into any order, or place them into custom folders for lightning-fast navigation. Sound Variations can be triggered by key switches, hardware controllers, keyboard shortcuts, custom macros, or highly customizable custom layouts for Studio One Remote. It’s never been easier to use orchestral libraries to their fullest potential.
But we didn’t stop there. Modern composers need tools that let them incorporate electronic elements with traditional scoring. The Score View brings the best features of PreSonus’ award-winning notation software, Notion, into Studio One. In addition to traditional notation, you get tablature and drum notation. View multiple staves at once to work on voicing, or view just one track at a time. Scores can be printed directly from Studio One. Staff Presets make it quick and easy to create lead sheets by automatically setting up the track name, cleff, staff type, and appropriate transposition for each instrument. And of course, scores created in Studio One can be sent to Notion and vice versa.
Studio One’s Arranger Track is a simple, intuitive way to reorder, duplicate, and remove Song sections like verses and choruses. Try out different arrangements, swap sections, lengthen or shorten solos, and structure a Song exactly the way you want with a simple drag-and-drop.
Try out new arrangements on the fly using the Arranger Track Inspector. Double-click any Arranger section to jump to it without missing a beat. Drag Arranger Track parts to a Scratch Pad to experiment with new mixes, parts, and more. If you like what you’ve created, you can drag the part back in to replace the old one or put it in a new section of your song.
Studio One Professional is the only DAW that links songs and stems with finished, mastered Projects. Transfer mixes or mixed stems to the Project page for mastering—but if you hear anything you need to change, simply jump back into the Song and make your tweaks; the revised version updates with a single click, so you can continue mastering without losing any previous work.
Use Studio One Native Effects and your favorite third-party plug-ins to provide the final EQ, dynamics, and imaging control you need to create a professional sound. You’ll also find analysis tools, like spectrum analysis, M/S-processing, K-System and EBU loudness metering, phase meter, expandable level meter, and oscilloscope to provide visual confirmation to what you hear, as well as help with conformance to existing broadcast and duplication standards.
And when your masterpiece is ready, you’ll find DDP export, CD burning, and direct upload to Soundcloud and PreSonus Sphere options to share your mastered recordings with your clients and collaborators—or release your albums to the world.
Studio One 5 takes you from the studio to the stage or stream with the Show Page. Create a Setlist using songs you’re already created in Studio One, incorporating a mix of live instruments, pre-recorded tracks, and virtual instruments. Each song in the Setlist can have its own unique instrumentation, and thanks to Studio One’s incredible amp modeling and virtual synth instruments, you may never need to bring a heavy amp to a show ever again.
Songs in your Setlist can be rearranged on the fly using drag-and-drop. Use the Arranger Track to alter your performance in real-time: loop sections on the fly, jump to a different part, and automatically change patches—all without missing a beat.
When it’s showtime, turn on the clean Performance view with Setlist navigation and use the customizable, real-time controls over the parameters you want to adjust on stage: levels, parameters, patches… even launch and loop entire Song sections. Every performer on stage can use Studio One Remote v1.6 to control their performance from their favorite mobile device. Your studio sound is larger than life—now your stage persona can be, too.
Studio One is designed to grow with you. To that end, PreSonus offers a complete suite of Studio One add-ons that add new features, sounds, and functions when you need them. Add three new State-Space modeled Mix Engine FX consoles with CTC-1 Pro Console Shaper. Expand Fat Channel XT with up to eight vintage compressor models and seven classic EQs. Add otherworldly synths, pads, and more to Presence XT with Deep Flight One. Or create complete orchestrations with PreSonus Symphony Orchestra and PreSonus Studio Grand. Need even more sound control? Unlock the Presence XT’s powerful Edit Page with the Presence XT Editor and turn Presence XT into the perfect host for any custom sampler sound library.
Every Studio One Add-on is available separately, so you can buy what you want when you need it. Or, join PreSonus Sphere and get it all: Studio One Professional, Notion, every PreSonus Add-on for Studio One, exclusive Studio One features, access to curated Studio One presets and effects chains from PreSonus artists; and so much more. All in PreSonus Sphere.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend here in the States and to celebrate moms everywhere, we’re offering 25% OFF Studio One 5 and Notion!
For the mom in your life who makes music, just started her own podcast, or is fast becoming TikTok famous for her song parodies, upgrading her studio tools will be a delightful change of pace from yet another ‘World’s Greatest Mom’ coffee mug. Whether she’s producing high-quality EDM or writing scores for independent documentaries, Studio One and Notion will help her do both—lightning fast.
And for all the moms out there about to get an ugly robe you’ll never wear… treat yourself. You deserve it.
This offer is available worldwide, May 7-10, 2021 at shop.presonus.com and at your favorite PreSonus retailer and includes Notion, Studio One Artist and Professional as well as upgrades. EDU licensing and crossgrades are excluded.
P.S. If your mom doesn’t make music but YOU do, there’s never been a better opportunity to record her something special this weekend…
Want to capture the sound of other industry professionals? How about collaborate with a Grammy nominated artist?
With Exchange, you’re able to use presets and sounds from select PreSonus Artists in your own projects. Under the “Browse” section, you’ll also find thousands of downloadable assets from other Sphere Members, and the ability to upload your own unique sounds.
In this last episode, Jacob takes a look at the PreSonus Sphere Exchange tab and demonstrates how to import an Artist’s sound into your Studio One song session.
Lately, it seems there’s an increasing buzz about “LCR” mixing. LCR stands for Left, Center, and Right, and it’s a panning technique where all panpots are set to either left, center, or right—nothing in between. Look it up on the internet, and you’ll find polarized opinions that vary from it’s the Holy Grail of mixing, to it’s ridiculous and vaguely idiotic. Well, I’m not polarized, so I’ll give you the bottom line: it can work well in some situations, but not so well in others.
Proponents of this style of mixing claim several advantages:
There are plenty of engineers who prefer LCR mixes for the reasons given above. However, LCR is not a panacea, nor is it necessarily desirable. It also may not fit an artist’s goal. For those who think of music in more symphonic terms—as multiple elements creating a greater whole, to be listened to under optimal conditions—the idea of doing something like panning the woodwinds and brass far left and the violins full right, with orchestral percussion and double bass in the middle, makes no sense. Conversely, if you’re doing a pop mix where you want every element to be distinct, an LCR approach can work well, if done properly.
Then again, some engineers consider a mix to be essentially a variation on mono, because the most important elements are panned to center. They don’t want distractions on the left and right; those elements exist to provide a “frame” around the center.
Another consideration is according to all the stats I’ve seen, these days more people listen on headphones than component system speakers. LCR mixing can sound great at first on headphones due to the novelty, but eventually becomes unnatural and fatiguing. Then again, as depressing a thought as this may be, a disturbingly large part of the population listens to music on computer speakers. Any panning nuances are lost under those conditions, whereas LCR mixing can sound direct and unambiguous.
Help Is on the Way!
So what’s a mix engineer to do? Well, a good way to get familiar with LCR is to load up some of your favorite songs into Studio One, and listen to the mid and sides separately. Hearing instruments in the sides tends to imply an LCR mix; Madonna’s “Ray of Light” comes to mind. For a “pure” LCR mix, listen to the original version of Cat Stevens’ “Matthew and Son” on YouTube. It was recorded in 1966 (trivia fans: John Paul Jones, later of Led Zeppelin, played bass). Back then, the limited number of tracks, and mixing console limitations, almost forced engineers into doing LCR. In case you wondered why some songs of that era had the drums in one channel and the bass in the opposite channel…now you know why.
Anyway, it’s easy to do mid-side analysis in Studio One (Fig. 1).
The Mixtool, with MS Transform selected, encodes a stereo signal into mid (left channel) and sides (right channel). However, it’s difficult to do any meaningful analysis with the mid in one ear and the sides in the other. So, the Dual Pan’s Input Balance control chooses either the mid <L> or sides <R>. The panpots place the chosen audio in the center of the stereo field.
Once you start finding out whether your favorite songs are LCR or mixed more conventionally, it will help you decide what might work best for you. If you decide to experiment with LCR mixing, bear in mind that it kind of lives by its own rules, and it takes some experience to wrap your head around how to get the most out of it.
And the Verdict Is…
Well, you can believe whatever you like from what you see on the internet, and more importantly, choose what sounds best to you…but this is my blog post, so here’s what I think 😊. Any and all comments are welcome!
As mentioned in a previous blog post, I always start mixes in mono. I feel this is the best way to find out if sounds mask either other, whether some tracks are redundant because they don’t contribute that much to the arrangement, and which tracks need EQ so they can carve out their own part of the frequency spectrum. That way, whether instruments are on top of each other or spread out, they’ll work well together.
But from there on, I split my approach. I still favor the center and use the sides as a frame, but also selectively choose particular elements (usually rhythm guitar, keyboards, and percussion) to pan off to the left or right so there’s a strong presence in the sides. For me, this gives the best of both worlds: a wide mix with good separation of various elements, but done in service of creating a full mix, without holes in the stereo field. Those who listen on headphones won’t be subjected to an over-exaggerated stereo effect, while those who listen over speakers will have a less critical “sweet spot” than if there was nuanced panning.
I came up with this approach simply because it fits the kind of music I make, and the way I expect most people will listen to it. Only later did I find out I had combined LCR mixing with a more traditional approach, and that underscores the bottom line: all music is different, and there are few—if any—“one-size-fits-all” rules.
Well, with the possible exception of “oil the kick drum pedal before you press record.”
When you join PreSonus Sphere your membership comes with Studio One Professional, Notion plus the native software instruments, effects and plug-ins that PreSonus offers.
Studio One Professional is a powerful and intuitive DAW that works for you – made only more powerful by the full catalog of plugins – while Notion is an easy way to create full scores, sheet music for individual instruments, or guitar tabs and chord charts. Sphere members can also enjoy ongoing software upgrades when new versions are released.
In this Sphere episode, Jacob takes us through a demo of the “Products” tab, and all that is included.
With a PreSonus Sphere membership you get access to exclusive masterclasses in the “Learn” section.
Here you can dive into practical recording topics from industry professionals, covering recording tips, manipulating compression, perfecting EQ on a track, general mixing/mastering techniques, and more! Beyond the recording side, you can explore PreSonus Sphere product-specific videos like dialing in your guitar tone with Ampire, navigating Studio One and learning Notion.
In this episode, Jacob shows us the layout of the “Learn” tab, and how to navigate this “one stop shop” of classes.
I am from Guangzhou, China, a metropolitan city close to Hong Kong where many imports and exports occur. As a child, I didn’t have the luxury of accessing music at the touch of my fingertips, like I do now. I remember going to secret spots on the weekends to pick out records among piles and piles of CDs with broken cases, which were smuggled in from overseas and were damaged by the customs. My mom had a Sony stereo set with a CD player and two cassette slots… it was pretty fancy in the ’90s. I was obsessed with recording my favorite songs to the cassette tapes. And then my mom bought a Walkman with recording ability through its built-in mic—I figured out how to play music in the background with my mom’s stereo and record bedtime stories I wrote. I paid for all of those CDs, but none of the profits went to the creators.
My family wanted me to follow in their footsteps and become a visual artist or a designer, but I was already obsessed with music. I always wanted to play the piano. So at the age of 16, I decided to pursue music secretly. I found two incredible music teachers on the Internet and started taking lessons, unbeknownst to my family. I learned how to read, play, and study music with strict and intense classical training. It was really difficult at the time because I didn’t know if anything would come from it, and I had to make money on the side to pay for the lessons. Looking back, I’m glad I took that risk. It was totally worth it. A year later, I was accepted to the Communication University of China, the best music and technology program in China, to study music. My music career began.
The next part of my journey called for a relocation to the states, so I moved to Los Angeles after college. I started at Paramount Recording Studios and climbed the career ladder there. The learning never stops in Los Angeles; every day I pick up something new and practice until it becomes a habit. I am so inspired by the music culture in L.A., everyone I meet is just so talented, driven and inspiring. You don’t have to learn how to read music to be able to create music. How it sounds and how it connects with people is the most important part of the business.
The PreSonus audio products that I’ve been using are the StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixer and their award-winning Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software Studio One Professional, which I mostly use for producing.
Its ease of use, flexibility and Macros are among the top features that led me to choose working creatively in this environment. Other DAWs usually require third-party software to program Macros, whereas with Studio One it is integrated natively as part of the DAW workflow itself.
Another particularly useful feature about Studio One that I find useful is the ARA integration (with Melodyne pitch correction) to the Studio One software engine. It saves so much time and I can edit vocal audio clips in real time at any stage of the process.
I love the quick-nudge capability inside of an audio clip. It’s a fast workflow and I don’t have to clean up the edit point or cross-fades every time I make an edit.
In short, Studio One flows really well, it’s quick and intuitive. No downtime for creativity. Truly amazing!
I had a bunch of legacy Acid projects from my pre-Studio One days, as well as some Ableton Live projects that were part of my live performances. With live performance a non-starter for the past year, I wanted to turn them into songs, and mix them in Studio One’s environment.
Gregor’s clever video, Ableton Live and Studio One Side-by-Side, shows how to drag-and-drop files between Live and Studio One. But I didn’t want individual files, I needed entire tracks…including ones I could improvise in real time with Live. The obvious answer is ReWire, since both Acid and Live can ReWire into Studio One. However, you can’t record what comes into the Instrument tracks used by ReWire. Nor can you bounce the ReWired audio, because there’s nothing physically in Studio One to bounce.
It turned out the answer is temporarily messy—but totally simple. First, let’s refresh our memory about ReWire.
Setting Up ReWire
Start by telling Studio One to recognize ReWire devices. Under Options > Advanced > Services, make sure ReWire Support is enabled. In Studio One’s browser, under the Instruments tab, open the ReWire folder. Drag in the program you want to ReWire, the same way you’d drag in an instrument. (Incidentally, although you’re limited to dragging in one instance of the same ReWire client, you can ReWire two or more different clients into Studio One. Suitable clients includes Live, Acid Pro, FL Studio, Renoise, Reason before version 11, and others.)
After dragging in Ableton Live, open it. ReWired clients are supposed to open automatically, but that’s not always the case.
Now we need to patch Live and Studio One together. In Ableton Live, for the Audio To fields, choose ReWire Out, and a separate output bus for each track. In my project, there were 9 stereo tracks (Fig. 1).
Figure 1: Assign Ableton Live’s ReWire outputs to buses. These connect to Studio One as track inputs.
Then, expand the Instrument panel in Studio One, and check all the buses that were assigned in Ableton Live. This automatically opens up mixer channels to play back the audio (Fig. 2). However, the mixer channels can’t record anything, so we need to go further.
Figure 2: Ableton Live loaded into Studio One, which treats Ableton Live like a virtual instrument with multiple outputs.
Recording the ReWired Program
As mentioned, the following is temporarily messy. But once you’re recorded your tracks, you can tidy everything up, and your Live project will be a Studio One project. (Note that I renamed the tracks in Studio One as 1-9, so I didn’t have to refer to the stereo bus numbers in the following steps.) To do recording:
Figure 3: The buses are carrying the audio from Ableton Live’s outputs.
Figure 4: Studio One is set up to record the audio from Ableton Live.
Figure 5: The Ableton Live audio has completed its move into Studio One. Now you can delete the instrument and bus channels you don’t need any more, close Ableton Live, return the U-Haul, and start doing your favorite Studio One stuff to supplement what you did in Live. Harmonic Editing, anyone?
Bonus tip: This is also the way to play Ableton Live instruments in real time, especially through Live’s various tempo-synched effects, while recording them in Studio One. And don’t forget about Gregor’s trick of moving Studio One files over to Live—this opens up using Live’s effects on Studio One tracks, which you can then record back into Studio One, along with other tracks, using the above technique.
Granted, I use Studio One for most of my multitrack projects. But there’s a lot to be gained by becoming fluent in multiple programs.
If you’re a musician working with other artists, or working alone and trying to keep your folders organized and neat, the PreSonus Sphere Workspaces tab is an indispensable tool for file sharing and organization.
Collaboration has never been easier; share whole songs or individual instrument stems, with quick listening right inside the Workspaces page—no downloading needed! In this Sphere episode, Jacob Lamb takes us through some of his thoughts on how Workspaces can be utilized in his studio, for both song creation and teaching students.