Jake Owen is in the enviable stage of his career where he can work with whatever gear he wants. As such, we’re flattered that he’s taking a complete PreSonus recording rig on his tour bus that includes Studio One, Sceptre Monitors, ADL preamps, and much more. Any musical idea that his band has during impromptu jams can be recorded right on the road, without needing to stop in a recording studio!
CNN recently reported that “Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a $6.2 billion industry” and “the fastest-growing music genre out there.” Through cult-like followings on social media, hundreds of worldwide festivals, radio airplay, and collaborations with pop artists, EDM artists continue their foray into and beyond the mainstream.
One of these artists is Willem Rebergen, better known to his 172,000+ followers on Instagram as DJ Headhunterz. Rebergen kicked off his career in 2006 as a DJ and music producer, and quickly grew into one of the biggest names in the industry, recently performing at several major festivals, including Electric Daisy Carnival and Tomorrowland.
After eight years making hardstyle music, Rebergen was ready to tackle a new challenge. “Right now I’m translating my signature sound to something a bit different from what I used to do but I don’t necessarily want to settle in a single genre anymore,” he states. “I want to feel free to go where my heart wants to go. Everything changes—and so does my personal taste, so listening to that is the only way for me to keep tapping into my full creative potential. Who knows what I might make tomorrow?”
We recently chatted with Rebergen about where he wants to take his music, his creative process, and working with Studio One. “I have been using Studio One for about two and a half years now and I am currently on version 3,” Rebergen states. “I make EDM, so I would say I use Studio One for composing and sound designing. I basically use it for anything necessary to produce a song.”
A longtime Logic user, Rebergen was turned on to Studio One by a recommendation of a very wise friend. He was immediately hooked. “I had been on Logic for years, but became unsatisfied with the lack of development of the software since Apple bought it. I felt it got behind compared to other more forward-thinking companies making DAWs,” he asserts. “I tried Ableton but that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for either. I was excited to give Studio One a go—I’m always eager to test new software, I’ve always been kind of a nerd, honestly. Looking for the next thing that improves workflow or sound quality. Studio One immediately felt natural to me, it really didn’t take me long to get used to, and I think especially for people coming from either Logic or Cubase it will feel very intuitive right away.”
“When I started using Studio One, I was very happy to feel back in control of my audio editing. The cutting tool felt very “direct,” and I loved the slip editing tool which I didn’t have before. Automation was as tight as it could get, and very quick and convenient—which was also one of the reasons for my switch. That is how automation should be! When you make electronic music I often want to be very surgical with drawing in automation, and Studio One simply allows for this at all times, even under the pressure of latency-inducing plugins. Latency compensation is always on point!”
Another feature that made me fall in love with Studio One was Track Transform. It’s so much more flexible than in any other DAW that I know of, and opens up a whole new spectrum of working with content that otherwise would be literally frozen and untouchable.
“Furthermore, I have been working more quickly in Studio One than ever before. The browser changed my way of working completely, and motivated me to create a perfect personal library where all my hard work is stored and ready to put back into action. When I create a sound in a soft synth, I create a Musicloop by dragging it into my browser. This saves not only the synth preset, but also the MIDI sequence and effect Plug-ins. It even lets me play a preview when I select it in my browser, so I know exactly what I’m about to drag into my project. I could not think of a more convenient way to browse through my self-made sounds.”
“All of these functions have made it possible for me to feel much more creative while being in the actual creative process, and not being pulled out of it by having to search endlessly for that particular sound I’m looking for, or having to work around functions that are not doing what I want.”
“I also create a lot of macros to improve my workflow, I’m totally in love with the new arranger and scratchpad function which allows for me to be much quicker and intuitive when arranging my songs without making a mess.”
As a full-time producer, Rebergen’s working knowledge of Studio One runs deep. When pressed for workflow details, he’s much more open than many of his peers. “I recommend that Studio One users make full use of the Browser and the Musicloops,” he opines. “When I finish a song, I completely undress it and save all sounds I made in the form of channel presets, Musicloops, and audio files. With every song I make, my library expands—and whenever I’m in the creative process I can recall any sound I am looking for without having to get into sound designing or endlessly searching through sample libraries. I make sure that every sound I save in MY library is on point, so they rarely need a lot of tweaking to fit into a song and I can just get on with concentrating on the creative part.”
He’s also taken advantage of using other, prehaps modest applications in conjunction with Studio One to accellerate his already blazing workflow. “I keep an app open alongside Studio One called Sticky Notes. I type down all my newly-made key commands—yes, I constantly make new ones! I then force myself to use them all the time so they become a natural part of my workflow. Customizable key commands make everything so much quicker, and Studio One allows for using them for almost anything.”
“Studio One invites us to have the best workflow we have ever had,” Rebergen continues. “I can’t believe I had been able to keep up with making new songs in the total mess I was working in when I used Logic. With every update, PreSonus puts out come fantastic new features which shows that the team is eager to keep pushing forward. They actually listen to what users want, and notice what users have been missing out on while working with other software. Coming from Logic, Studio One it gave me much better audio editing, better automation, more overview, a better overall workflow. I could keep going…”
And going he is. Rebergen has his hands in a lot of different projects apart from his own. “Currently, I have a collaboration out with R3hab called “Won’t Stop Rocking” on Spinnin Records. Other songs I have released this year are: “Live Your Life” with Crystal Lake and “The Power Of Now” with Steve Aoki. And, of course, some solo tracks, as well.”
Rebergen closes with a shout-out to the PreSonus krewe. “Team PreSonus has the perfect mindset to create the perfect DAW. In my opinion it already is the best DAW out there, and it’s going to get even more awesome, I’m sure. I’m beyond grateful to have Studio One in my life!”
We’ve recently released a lot of loop content for Studio One. It’s all available exclusively at shop.presonus.com. We’ve got a little something for everybody—especially if you’re making hip-hop or electronic music of nearly any flavor, including Indian Dubstep, we’ve got a loop pack for you. Click on any of the titles below to learn about the packs, hear audio demos, and download! (You can also buy them directly from within Studio One 3.)
From EarthMoments, we’ve got the Desert Oud; an ancient Iraqi instrument, Dubstep India; a blend of wub-wub basses with acoustic Indian instrumentation; and the Pure India bundle, which is a bundle of three packs that include gigabytes of traditional instruments, percussion samples, and vocals.
SampleMagic has been very prolific of late, covering all the basses. The most notable bass, of course, is the TB-303 in their Acid House pack. Further packs include the tape-echo saturated Future Dub; the stomping UK Garage of Future House; and the bevy of classic vintage Roland and LinnDrum hardware samples in New Wave. Ibiza-worthy Melodic Deep House and Festival Anthems round out the set. The details of these packs are too numerous to list in the blog, here, but click through any of the titles to learn more about the packs themselves. SampleMagic had planned to release a Vaporwave sample pack, but then this happened, effectively beating them to the punch.
MVP has brought in five new packs bristling with pure hip-hop bombast—but that’s not all. The Trevor Lawrence Jr.-produced Sound Squad offers nearly 2 gigs of hip-hop, EDM, R&B, and pop elements. Mix and match them to make your own styles! Sound Gang offers loops, riffs, and one-shot samples for modern urban production. is another modern hip-hop kit full of big drums and grimy synths, as do Magnaa Carter: Reloaded and OVXO Vol 2. Hook City Platinum Edition rounds out the offerings with an R&B and Soul-tinged vibe, produced by first-call musicians, writers, and engineers.
While not technically a loop pack, we’d be remiss to overlook the Analog Model Machine for Mai Tai. 200 synth presets lovingly crafted in the mold of Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, and more, from our very own Ari Ahrendt, Quality Assurance Specialist at PreSonus Software. You can get your Klaus Schulze on without devoting a room of your house to expensive analog electronics.
Passion for music and the last name Jackson go hand in hand. For Taryll Jackson, this passion is fueled by surrounding himself with his loving family, trusting his creative instincts, and utilizing a tool that will not slow down his process. That tool, among many, is PreSonus Studio One 3 Professional.
We recently heard about Jackson’s use of Studio One via Twitter. Flattered, we found it fitting to allow him more than 140 characters to share his thoughts on Studio One.
“I use Studio One 3 for everything,” Jackson reports. “Recording, composing, sound design—I’m using it in my home studio and with my mobile rig. I also use two FaderPorts, an HP60, an ADL 700, a FireBox, and a Central Station.”
Jackson is not stranger to working with multiple DAWs, and when he gives his reasons for choosing Studio One, he’s speaking from experience. “I’ve used pretty much all the DAWs,” he says. “In my opinion, Studio One was built from the user’s point of view and not from a programmer’s. It works exactly how writers, producers, songwriters, engineers would want it to work. I noticed with each DAW it was like they specialized in either audio or MIDI, but not really both. I was looking for a one-stop shop, something that could handle both sides but was also stable. I didn’t want to switch between programs, and most importantly, I wanted to feel inspired to create and get my ideas down as quickly as possible without the software getting in the way.”
When asked what Studio One features he finds most useful, Jackson’s obvious choice is drag and drop. “I think that drag and drop alone saves me so much time. When I’m creating, I don’t want to stop and set up bus channels, auxiliaries and routing. I don’t want to have to search for a plug-in through nested folders and sub-folders; I want stay focused on what I’m trying to create! Being able to drag a Reverb or Delay to a Send and having Studio One do all the work for me keeps my mind where it needs to be—on the idea. What takes other DAWs five steps, Studio One does in two steps—and sometimes one!”
“I can write a song in any DAW and I can produce a song in any of them,” Jackson continues. “For me, it’s about the process, the ease of flow. Studio One is going to work with me and help me get to the finish line quickly. It’s going to be fun and easy. I’ve had sessions with 240 tracks and Studio One still runs flawlessly. With other DAWs, I can’t have that many audio tracks, or it struggles and gives me errors. Studio One is tough to beat.”
Clearly, efficiency and flow are the order of the day in Jackson’s studio—he notes an oft-overlooked feature of Studio One that makes it uniquely his; customizable key commands. “I’m really big on key commands. I set them up the way I like, so I can fly. I believe you have to make it yours. Do what works for you—there is no right or wrong way, there’s just your way. What I love about Studio One is there are so many different ways to get to where you want to go. I think it’s the easiest and most powerful DAW out there. It works with you and your creativity, and not against it.”
The ever-driven Jackson has no plans on slowing down anytime soon. He’s currently working on a solo project, collaborating with other artists, and he and his brothers’ group 3T finished their third album, Chapter III, which is available today! The whole album was recorded on Studio One. Check out their song Fire below.
You can watch it all come together on the docu-series The Jacksons: Next Generation on Lifetime which airs its season finale November 6th.
Jackson closes with some kind words for the PreSonus crew—and the extended forum family.
“Love the company. Love the software. Love the forums and users. I’m excited about the Studio 192 and the new speakers. Studio One is definitely heading in a promising direction.”
“Fire,” from Chapter III:
How would you like to mix in Studio One using a 27″ touchscreen?
Well, now you can, thanks to Slate Digital LLC—check out the Raven Console running Studio One 3! For several months, our Hamburg team worked closely with Slate to get the best user experience out of this solution.
Learn more about it at http://www.slatemt.com
Don’t miss this Thursday’s PreSonus LIVE: Using the StudioLive CS18AI to Control Studio One!
Rehearsals started on Monday, September 15. Everyone came in with instruments: Joe had already set up his drums, and the film had rented a B3 and Leslie for Bernie. Rick the Bass Player had one of his Laklands, Rick Springfield had his Gibson SG, and Meryl had a Fender Telecaster. We had backup instruments, as well, and Danelectro sent us a couple of guitars (more on those later).
Neil, Mark, and I made several trips to the 14th St. Guitar Center to get pedals for Rick Springfield’s setup, and Line 6 sent us a guitar wireless system for Meryl. The premise is that Ricki (Meryl) is trying for stardom and is currently slugging it out in clubs in the San Fernando Valley, playing every Tuesday night at the Salt Well.
Gary Goetzman is the producer of the film, and he led the rehearsals, with assistance from Neil and Mark.
We started with a basic line check; the kick drum was miked with an ATM 250. All the other drums were triggered. Joe has triggers built into his custom Drum Workshop kit, and we just plugged out of the trigger module into my Radial DI boxes. We needed to make sure we had signal; one great thing about recording with PreSonus® Capture™ is that the send is pre-fader, so the fader position on the StudioLive AI console is irrelevant; the recording software uses the input gain level you set on the head amp actuators (trim knobs). It’s a really nifty design because it allows the house mixer to change the fader levels for the live house mix without affecting the recording.
Along the same lines, once we had the guitar amp levels where we wanted them with the Radial JDX boxes, we also took a “clean” feed, plugging the guitars directly into my Radial ProDI boxes before the amplifier, in case Neil and Mark wanted to “re-amp” the guitars during mixdown.
A quick aside: I’ll bring it up again later but I want to stress that Gary and director Jonathan Demme wanted authenticity, and they got it. Every note you hear is what was played by the musicians; there are no overdubs of instruments in this movie. There were a few extra band takes for vocals because of bleed but all of what you experience in the movie is Ricki and the Flash performing as you watch.
It was a treat to watch these professionals at work. Gary took five people who had never played together in this configuration and turned them into a band. Each song got a workout. Gary kept the band focused; they worked on one song at a time until they felt they had it down. From where I sat, it really paid off; by the end of rehearsals, I felt like I was mixing a band, not a loose knit group of musicians jamming, but a real, tight band.
[This just in from Steve Cook, session bassist extraordinaire!]
This music business is a funny one. We have our steady gigs, we have producers that like to call on us for different sessions, then there’s the ‘X’ factor: the random gig calls. Sometimes they are for a used car lot sale or a hot dog stand dedication, however sometimes they are from the largest pickup manufacturer in the world. I like hot dogs, and I like Seymour Duncan pickups a whole lot as well.
The voice on the other end of the phone was Kathy Duncan, the head of Seymour Duncan, and her request was a simple one: “Can you record samples of every one of our bass pickups? You have creative liberty to do whatever you like, we just need the samples to be consistent, and representative of the pickups their truest form.”
Well, that narrows it down a bit, doesn’t it?
There were a couple of hurdles to leap in order to make this happen. First, we needed to find all the instruments required in which to install the pickups. Second, I found a tech that would come to the recording sessions and basically work on an assembly line of removing and installing pickups. For example, as I tracked the first P-bass pickup, he would be installing the first Jazz bass pickups, then we’d swap instruments, and move on to the second in each type, and so on.
Where the logistics were a bit daunting, the one constant on which I could rely was my recording set up. For this project (and all my home recording projects), I run PreSonus Studio One through a couple of FireStudio Projects, controlled with a FaderPort. The Class-A preamps in the FireStudios sound amazing, and Studio One is an incredibly fluid and easy platform in which to work. The FaderPort made the whole process easy. I had controls under my left hand with a bass in my right. The finished files sound great, and I (and thankfully Seymour Duncan) were happy with the results.
The project was really a lot of fun for me for several reasons. Rarely do we get to sample dozens of pickups at the same time. As I go back and listen to the individual tracks, I have been able to pinpoint exact tones I like paired with certain instruments, and I know exactly which pickups to install in my personal basses—mission accomplished! I also liked getting to know my Studio One software and other PreSonus products more in-depth, and that I have great sounding tools at my fingertips.
Thanks PreSonus, for continuing to impress, and for keeping us Nashville musicians rockin’! You can hear the demos over at the new Seymour Duncan site.
[This just in from PreSonus artist and good friend Brian Botkiller. His latest record was produced on a StudioLive and in Studio One!]
For my new record, In Case of Revolution, I tracked all my vocals and did all of my mixing in Studio One, as well as instrumental tracking. I began the record in the Studio One 2 era, but I finished the record in Studio One 3. I also mastered 52 songs in Studio One last year bfor a project I was part of called “Weekly Beats,” which challenged participants to write and release one song per week in 2014. I managed to finish the project, and Studio One was integral to that. It was so easy to take stems into Studio One, mix them, then go into the Project section to begin the mastering process. I built a template which I was able to start from, which made the whole process much easier.
[This just in from Ryan Gruss over at The LoopLoft. He’s put together a demo song for Studio One 3 featuring loops from Matt Chamberlain Drums Vol. 1 and is making it available to anyone who is interested for free!]
To take Studio One 3 for my first test drive, I wanted to see how quickly and easily I could create a drum mix and song arrangement with the multitrack loops from The Loop Loft’s Matt Chamberlain Drums Vol 1 collection. These drums were recorded at Matt’s personal studio located inside of the famed Sound City complex in Los Angeles and feature 15 channels of 96 kHz / 24 bit audio, so they were the perfect specimen for putting this new DAW through its paces.
Within ten minutes, I had a full “pop/rock” arrangement (intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus/outro) inside of Studio One. I was able to quickly drag and drop the multitrack loops directly into the session, label the song sections with markers, bus the drum tracks (and create their own folder) and most importantly: create a great sounding drum mix.
My favorite new feature in Studio One 3 are the FX Chain presets for drums, which are great for speeding up my mixing workflow. Just by dragging and dropping them into a drum track, I instantly had a great starting point, complete with gating, EQ, and compression. I utilized all these drum presets across all of the close miked drums; kick, snare, toms etc., and tweaked as necessary.
So, now that I’ve created a quick drum mix and arrangement. I wanted to share it with all of the Studio One users out there to let them experiment with mixing and arranging tracks from one of the world’s best session drummers. Try rearranging the session. Dial in your own mixes, speed things up or slow them down—the loops will stay locked to the session tempo! Experience Matt Chamberlain’s power, feel and musicality for yourself!
Click here to download the Studio One 3 demo Song file described above. Submitting your e-mail gets you download access, as well as 40% off the Matt Chamberlain library!