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Category Archives: Studio One


Need ANOTHER Reason to Join the Studio One Family?

Here you go – Deals like this don’t come around often!

Click to Shop!

We’ve combined the power and flexibility of Studio One with the Fat Channel Bundle for the ultimate StudioLive experience! Now through the end of August score the Classic Fat Channel Bundle for FREE when you purchase or upgrade to Studio One Pro! That’s a $249.95 USD value for FREEEEEEEE!!!!

Don’t forget—if you’re a StudioLive Series III mixer owner, these same Fat Channel plug-ins can also be run directly inside your mixer!

The following plug-ins are included in the Classic Fat Channel Bundle:

FC-670 Compressor
This model of an iconic compressor/limiter of the 1950s imparts an unmistakable silky warmth on just about any signal.

Brit Comp
Capturing the unique sound of a twin VCA gain-reduction amplifier design, the Brit Comp is ideal for taming piano dynamics or adding punch to drums and percussion.

Alpine EQ-550
The 1960s-vintage EQ provides consistent, repeatable equalization using three overlapping bands, divided into seven fixed frequency points, each with five steps of boost or cut. Its selectable peaking or shelving filters for the high and low band, along with an independently insertable bandpass filter, provide an easy path to creating acoustically superior equalization.

Solar 69 EQ
The sound of classic British EQ is absolutely legendary and has enhanced many a great recording. Emulating this classic British design, the Solar 69 EQ adds definition to kick drums, shapes electric guitars, and adds shimmer to acoustic guitars and vocals without sacrificing body.

 

Buy Studio One here and the Fat Channel Bundle will automatically be added to your account! 

 

 

Friday Tips – Why Mono Matters for Mixing

With the ideal mix, the balance among instruments is perfect, and you can hear every instrument (or instrument section) clearly and distinctly. However, getting there can take a while, with a lot of trial and error. Fortunately, there’s a simple trick you can use when setting up a mix to accelerate the process: Start your mix with all channel pan sliders set to center (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: All the pan sliders (outlined in white) are set to center for a reason.

With stereo tracks, changing the track interleave to mono isn’t adequate, because it will throw off the channel’s level in the mix. Instead, temporarily add a Dual Pan set for the -6dB Linear Pan Law, and center both the Left and Right panpots (fig. 2). Now your stereo track will appear in the mix as mono.

Figure 2: Use the Dual Pan, set to the -6dB Linear pan law, to convert stereo channels temporarily to mono when setting up for a mix.

Analysis Time

Now listen carefully to your mix. Are all the instruments distinct? Monitoring in mono will reveal places where one instrument might mask or interfere with another, like kick and bass, or piano and guitar (depending on the note range).

The solution is to use EQ to carve out each instrument’s rightful place in the frequency spectrum. For example, if you want to prioritize the guitar part, you may need to reduce some of the piano’s midrange, and boost the regions above and below the guitar. For the guitar, boost a bit in the region where you cut the piano. With those tweaks in place, you’ll find it easier to differentiate between the two.

For kick/bass issues, the usual solution is to increase treble on one of them—with kick, this brings out the beater sound and with bass, string “zings” and pick noises. Another option is to add saturation to the bass, while leaving the kick drum alone. If the bass is playing relatively high notes, then perhaps a boost to the kick around 50-70 Hz will help separate the two.

Keep carving away, and adjusting the EQ until all the instruments are clear and distinct. Now when you start doing stereo placement, the sound will be open, with a huge soundstage and a level of clarity you might not obtain otherwise—or which might take a lot of tweaking to achieve.

We’re Not Done with Mono Just Yet…

Okay, now you have a great stereo mix. But it’s also important to make sure your mix collapses well to mono, because you have no control over the playback system. It might play from someone’s smartphone, and sounds mostly mono…or play back over speakers that are close to each other, so there’s not real good stereo separation. Radio is another possibility where the stereo might not be wonderful.

Some processors, especially ones that control stereo imaging with mid-side processing, may have phase or other issues when collapsed to mono. Short, stereo delays can also have problems collapsing to mono, and produce comb-filtering-type effects. So, hop on over to the main bus, and click the Channel Mode button to convert the output to mono (Fig. 3).

Figure 3: The Channel Mode button (circled in yellow) can switch the output between mono and stereo.

Hopefully, everything will sound correct—just collapsed to mono. But if not, start soloing channels and comparing what they sound like with the Channel Mode button in stereo and mono, until you chase down the culprit. Make the appropriate tweaks (which may be as simple as tweaking the delay time in one channel of a stereo delay processor), make sure the mix still sounds good in stereo, and you’re done.

Notion 6 for FREE When you Buy a PreSonus Bundle!

Yep.

You read that right. Get our award-winning notation software, Notion 6 for FREE when you buy a PreSonus bundle! That’s $150 USD for FREE!

If you have purchased and registered a qualifying PreSonus recording bundle between August 1, 2019, and September 30, 2019, you’re eligible to receive a free copy of Notion 6. Notion 6 will be added to your account automatically upon hardware registration.

The following bundles are included in this promo:

  • AudioBox 96 Studio
  • AudioBox iTwo Studio
  • AudioBox Studio Ultimate Bundle
  • ATOM Producer Lab

Hear what TopTenReviews.com has to say about Notion 6:

Notion 6 is by far the best music notation software for less than $200. It is easy to use once you get used to the interface, and the sampled instruments are the best we heard. We reviewed a few programs that cost less than Notion, but this software can compete with the best composition programs in any price range.

Click here to read the rest of the review! 

 

30% OFF ALL Zero-G Products for August 2019!

New month, new promos! 

Click here to shop!

Let’s introduce you to UK-based sample library developer Zero-G who we recently joined forces with to present dedicated sample packs for Studio One—and now you can enjoy 30% OFF the entire collection for the month of August. 

Zero-G offers six collections ranging from ambient sounds, vocals, and cinematic material to live played instruments and more, each Zero-G title has been fully customized for Studio One users in Presonus’ proprietary soundset format providing a smoother, creative experience and workflow.

Click here to shop the whole collection!

 

Sale on ALL SoundEngine Add-Ons!

Enjoy 30% off of all Sound Engine products right out of the PreSonus Shop!

All are up for grabs at 30% off including:

  • Clavinet and Pianet: Instantly recognizable, classic keyboard sounds from the ’70s! Over 40 presets for Presence XT!
  • Moog the Source: An iconic Moog synth brought to new life in Presence XT. Get those Devo vibes flowin’!
  • Prepared Piano: A versatile tribute to the prepared piano work of John Cage that includes 20 Presence XT presets.
  • Upright Pianos: Killer samples of some quintessential upright piano sounds. In and out of tune. 50 presets for Presence XT!

This offer is valid NOW through August 31 and is available worldwide!

Click here to SHOP!

 

SAVE 30% on the Artist Booster Pack!

Huuuuuuuggggeeee news!

BUY NOW

For one month only, take advantage of the full force of Studio One Artist with the Artist Booster Pack for 30% OFF! 

This bundle includes five of our most popular add-ons for Studio One Artist:

VST and AU and Rewire Support

  • Enables Studio One Artist to use third-party plugins and other software in a VST2, VST3, AU, or ReWire format.

Studio One Remote Support

  • Enables the use of the Studio One Remote app for iPad within Studio One Artist

Acoustic Drum Loops Vol. 2

  • A great sounding stereo loop library for Studio One. Featuring multiple styles, grooves, and song parts.

MP3 Converter Support

  • Enables Studio One Artist to import and export files in MP3 format

Ampire XT Metal Pack

  • Six new high-gain amplifier models
  • Six new cabinet models, including a bass cabinet
  • New metal drumkit for Impact
  • 35 new presets for Ampire

This offer is available for the month of August 2019 only and is available worldwide!

 

 

Friday Tip – Make Impact XT Drums More Expressive

A sampled drum sound can get pretty boring. There’s even a name for triggering the same sound repeatedly—“the machine gun effect.” Sometimes you want this, but often, it’s preferable to have a sound that responds to velocity and is more expressive.

There are two ways to address this with Impact XT, depending on whether you have multiple samples recorded at different intensities (i.e., softer and harder hits), or only one sample, which then means you have to “fake” it sounds like it was recorded with different intensities.

Multiple Drum Samples

This is the most common way to create expressive drum parts. Drum sample libraries often include multiple versions of the same drum sound—like soft, medium, and hard hits. The technique we’ll describe here works for more than three samples, but limiting it to three is helpful for the sake of illustration.

Impact XT makes it super-simple to take advantage of sounds recorded at different intensities because you can load multiple samples on a single pad. However, note that if a pad already contains a sample and you drag a new sample to a pad, it will replace, not supplement, the existing sample. So, you need to use a different approach.

  1. Drag the first (soft) sample on to an empty pad.
  2. Click the + sign to the lower left of the pad sample’s waveform display, navigate to the medium sample, and load it (Fig. 1).

 

Figure 1: Click on the + sign to load another sample on to a pad.

  1. Click the + sign again, navigate to the hard sample, and load it.
  2. Above the pad’s waveform view, you’ll now see three numbers—one for each sample. Impact XT splits the velocity range into an equal number of smaller ranges based on the number of drums you’ve loaded, and automatically assigns the drums to the ranges. 1 is the first sample (soft) you dragged in, 2 is the second (medium) sample, and 3 is the last (hard) sample. Although Impact XT does automatic velocity assignment, you can drag the splitter bar between the numbered sections to vary the velocity ranges (Fig. 2).

 

Figure 2: The splitter bar between samples can alter the velocity range to which a sample responds.

Now you’ll trigger different drum samples, depending on the velocity.

How to Fake Multiple Drum Samples

If you have a single drum sample with a hard hit, then you can use Impact XT’s sample start parameter to fake softer hits by changing the sample start time. (Starting sample playback later in the sample cuts off part of the attack, which sounds like a drum that’s hit softer.)

  1. Do all the steps above, but keep loading the single, hard hit. This loads multiple versions of the same sample on the same pad, split into different velocities.
  2. Click on the number 1 in the bar above the waveform to select the first sample.
  3. Drag the sample start time further into the sample to create the softest hit (Fig. 3).

Figure 3: Click on the sample start line, and drag right to start sample playback past the initial attack. The readout toward the lower right shows the amount of offset, in samples.

 

  1. Click on the number 2 in the bar above the waveform to select the second sample.
  2. Move the sample start time halfway between the sample start and the altered sample start time in step 3.

Play the drum at different velocities. Tweak sample start times, and/or velocities, to obtain a smooth change from lower to higher velocities.

But Wait…There’s More!

Let’s add two more elements to emphasize the dynamics. These parameters affect all samples loaded on the pad, and are also effective with pads that have only a single sample.

 

Figure 4: Assigning velocity to Pitch and Filter Cutoff can enhance dynamics even further.

At the Pitch module, turn up the Velocity to Pitch parameter by around 0.26 semitones (Fig. 4). This raises the pitch slightly when you hit the drum harder, which emulates acoustic drums (the initial strike raises the tension on the head, which increases pitch slightly, depending on how hard you hit the drum).

Similarly, back off on the Filter Cutoff slightly, and turn up the Filter’s Vel parameter a little bit (e.g., 10%). This will make the sound brighter with higher velocities.

Done! Now go forth, and give your music more expressive drum sounds.

 

Friday Tip – Create “Virtual Mics” with EQ

I sometimes record acoustic rhythm guitars with one mic for two main reasons: no issues with phase cancellations among multiple mics, and faster setup time. Besides, rhythm guitar parts often sit in the background, so some ambiance with electronic delay and reverb can give a somewhat bigger sound. However, on an album project with the late classical guitarist Linda Cohen, the solo guitar needed to be upfront, and the lack of a stereo image due to using a single mic was problematic.

Rather than experiment with multiple mics and deal with phase issues, I decided to go for the most accurate sound possible from one high-quality, condenser mic. This was successful, in the sense that moving from the control room to the studio sounded virtually identical; but the sound lacked realism. Thinking about what you hear when sitting close to a classical guitar provided clues on how to obtain the desired sound.

If you’re facing a guitarist, your right ear picks up on some of the finger squeaks and string noise from the guitarist’s fretting hand. Meanwhile, your left ear picks up some of the body’s “bass boom.” Although not as directional as the high-frequency finger noise, it still shifts the lower part of the frequency spectrum somewhat to the left. Meanwhile, the main guitar sound fills the room, providing the acoustic equivalent of a center channel.

Sending the guitar track into two additional buses solved the imaging problem by giving one bus a drastic treble cut and panning it somewhat left. The other bus had a drastic bass cut and was panned toward the right (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: The main track (toward the left) splits into three pre-fader buses, each with its own EQ.

One send goes to bus 1. The EQ is set to around 400 Hz (but also try lower frequencies), with a 24 dB/octave slope to focus on the guitar body’s “boom.” Another send goes to bus 2, which emphasizes finger noises and high frequencies. Its EQ has a highpass filter response with a 24dB/octave slope and frequency around 1 kHz. Pan bus 1 toward the left and bus 2 toward the right, because if you’re facing a guitarist the body boom will be toward the listener’s left, and the finger and neck noises will be toward the listener’s right.

The send to bus 3 goes to the main guitar sound bus. Offset its highpass and lowpass filters a little more than an octave from the other two buses, e.g., 160 Hz for the highpass and 2.4 kHz for the lowpass (Fig. 2). This isn’t “technically correct,” but I felt it gave the best sound.

 

Figure 2: The top curve trims the response of the main guitar sound, the middle curve isolates the high frequencies, and the lower curve isolates the low frequencies. EQ controls that aren’t relevant are grayed out.

Monitor the first two buses, and set a good balance of the low and high frequencies. Then bring up the third send’s level, with its pan centered. The result should be a big guitar sound with a stereo image, but we’re not done quite yet.

The balance of the three tracks is crucial to obtaining the most realistic sound, as are the EQ frequencies. Experiment with the EQ settings, and consider reducing the frequency range of the bus with the main guitar sound. If the image is too wide, pan the low and high-frequency buses more to center. It helps to monitor the output in mono as well as stereo for a reality check.

Once you nail the right settings, you may be taken aback to hear the sound of a stereo acoustic guitar with no phase issues. The sound is stronger, more consistent, and the stereo image is rock-solid.

Video Using VocALign in Studio One Pro!

 

In this video, producer Paul Drew shows how VocALign seamlessly works inside Presonus Studio One Professional and almost instantly aligns the timing of multiple vocal tracks to a lead using ARA2, potentially saving hours of painstaking editing time.

ARA (Audio Random Access) is a pioneering extension for audio plug-in interfaces. Co-developed by Celemony and PreSonus, ARA technology enhances the communication between plug-in and DAW, and gives the plug-in and host instant access to the audio data. This video shows Studio One but the workflow is very similar in Cubase Pro & Nuendo, Cakewalk by Bandlab and Reaper.

Purchase VocALign today right out of the PreSonus Shop!

Friday Tip – Panning Laws: Why They Matter

Spoiler alert: We’ll get into some rocket science stuff here, which probably doesn’t affect your projects much anyway…so if you prefer something with a more musical vibe, come back next week. But to dispel some of the confusion regarding an oft-misunderstood concept, keep reading.

You pan a mono signal from left to right. Simple, right? Actually, no. In the center, there’s a 3 dB RMS volume buildup because the same signal is in both channels. Ideally, you want the signal’s average level—its power—to have the same perceived volume, whether the sound is panned left, right, or center. Dropping the level when centered by 3 dB RMS accomplishes this. As a result, traditional hardware mixers tapered the response as you turned a panpot to create this 3 dB dip.

However, there are other panning protocols. (Before your head explodes, please note you don’t need to learn all this stuff—it’s just to give you an idea of the complexity of pan laws, because all we really need to do is understand how things work in Studio One.) For example, some engineers preferred more of a drop in the center, so that audio panned to the sides would “pop” more due to the higher level, and open up more space in the center for vocals, kick, and bass. You could accomplish the same result by adjusting the channel level and pan, but the additional drop was sort of like having a preference you didn’t need to think about. To complicate matters further, some mixers lowered the center signal compared to the sides, while others raised the side signals compared to the center. If a DAW does the latter, when you import a normalized file and pan it hard left or hard right, it will go above 0 and clip.

But wait! There’s more. Some engineers didn’t want equal power over the panpot’s entire travel, but a slightly different curve. Others wanted a linear change that didn’t dip the signal at all.

Fortunately, Studio One has a rational approach to pan laws, namely…

  • The panpots in Studio Once’s channels default to the traditional 3 dB dip, so there’s perceived constant level as you pan a mono signal from left to right. For stereo, they act as a balance control.
  • Although most programs set the pan law as a global preference, Studio One includes the Dual Pan plug-in, which offers five different pan laws. This lets different channels follow different pan laws.

THE “WHAT-THE-HECK-DO-PAN-LAWS-DO” TEST SETUP

To see how the different panning laws affect signal levels, I created a test setup (Fig. 1) with a mono track fed by the Tone Generator set to a sine wave. Two pre-fader sends went to two buses, each with a Dual Pan inserted and linked for mono. That way, one bus’s Dual Pan could be set for hard pan and the other bus’s Dual Pan for center, to compare what happens to the signal level.

 

Figure 1: Test setup to determine how different pan laws affect signal levels.

In all the following test result images, Track 1 shows the mono sine wave at 0 dB, Bus 1 shows the result of panning the Dual Pan full left, and Bus 2 shows the result of panning the Dual Pan to center.

Fig. 2 uses the -3dB Constant Power Sin/Cos setting for the Dual Pans. Note that the centered version in Bus 2 is 3 dB below the same signal panned full left. This is the same setting as the default for the channel panpots. However, if you collapse the output signal to mono, you’ll get a 3 dB center-channel buildup. (A fine point: setting the Main bus mode to mono affects signals leaving the main bus; the meters still show the incoming signal. To see what’s happening when you collapse the Main out to mono, you need to insert a Dual Pan in the Main bus, click on Link, and set all controls to center.)

 

Figure 2: -3dB Constant Power Sin/Cos pan law.

Fig. 3 uses the -6 dB linear curve. Here, the centered signal is -6 dB below the signal panned hard left. Use this curve if the signal is going to be collapsed to mono after the main bus, because it keeps the gain constant when you collapse stereo to mono by eliminating the +3 dB increase that would happen otherwise.

 

Figure 3: The -6 dB linear curve is often preferable if you’re mixing in stereo, but also anticipate that the final result will end up being collapsed to mono.

Fig. 4 shows the resulting signal from the 0dB Balanced Sin/Cos setting. There’s no bump or decrease compared to the centered signal, so this acts like a balance control with a constant amount of gain as you pan from left to right.

Figure 4:  0dB Balanced Sin/Cos acts like a balance control.

Sharp-eyed readers who haven’t dozed off yet may have noticed we haven’t covered two variations on the curves described so far. -3dB Constant Power Sqrt (Fig. 5; Sqrt stands for Square Root) is like the ‑3 dB Constant Power Sin/Cos, but the curve is subtly different.

 

Figure 5: -3dB Constant Power Sqrt bends the curve shape slightly compared to the other Constant Power curve.

In this example, the panpot is set to 75% left instead of full left. Bus 1 shows what happens with -3dB Constant Power Sin/Cos, while Bus 2 is the Sqrt version. The Sqrt version is in less of a hurry to attenuate the right channel as you pan toward the left. Some engineers feel this more closely the situation in a space that’s not acoustically treated, so there’s a natural acoustic center buildup.

Finally, Fig. 6 compares the 0 dB Balance variations, sin/cos and linear.

 

 

 

Figure 6: Comparing the two 0 dB Balance pan law options.

The difference is similar to the Constant Power examples, in that the basic idea is the same, but again, the linear version doesn’t attenuate the right channel as rapidly when you pan left.

I HAVEN’T FALLEN ASLEEP YET, SO PLEASE, JUST TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD USE!

The bottom line is when using the channel panpot with a mono track, if you live in a stereo mixdown world the above is mostly of academic interest. But if you’re mixing in stereo and know that your mix will be collapsed to mono (e.g., for broadcast), consider using the Dual Pan in mono channels, and set it to the -6 dB Linear pan law.

For stereo audio, again, a channel panpot works as it should—it acts like a balance control. However if the output is going to be collapsed into mono, you might want to leave the channel panpot centered, and insert a Dual Pan control to do the panning. It should be set to -6 dB Linear, controls unlinked, and then you move both controls equally to pan (e.g., if you want the sound slightly right of center, set both the left and right panpots to 66% right). Now when you pan, the mono levels in the main bus will be constant.

ONE MORE TAKEAWAY…

And finally…I’m sure you’ve seen people on the net who swear that DAW “A” sounds better than DAW “B” because they exported the tracks from one DAW, brought them into a second DAW, set the channel faders and panpots the same, and then were shocked that the two DAWs didn’t sound identical. And for further proof, they note that after mixing down the outputs and doing a null test, the outputs didn’t null. Well, maybe that proves that DAWs are different…but maybe what it really proves is that different programs default to different pan laws, so of course, there are bound to be differences in the mixes.