PreSonus Blog

The Presence 12-String Electric Guitar

 

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

 

  1. Create an Instrument track with Presence, and load the Guitar > Telecaster > Telecaster Open preset. This guitar sound is closest to a Rickenbacker, but we’ll do some EQ tricks later to get it closer.
  2. Create a new Instrument track with Presence, and load the same preset. Drag a second instance of Presence into the same track. When asked whether you want to “load the instrument or combine the instrument Presence,” choose Combine. This opens the Multi Instrument window. Load the same preset into the new Presence instance as well.
  3. In the multi instrument, drag the upper end of one Presence key range down to A#2 (we’ll call this the “Octave Presence”). Drag the lower end of the other Presence key range up to B2 (we’ll call this the “Unison Presence”). Fig. 2 shows the multi instrument window.

Figure 2: The multi instrument window has two instances of Presence—one for the octave above strings, and the other for the unison strings.

 

  1. Open the Octave Presence preset. Set Transpose to +12, and Pitch Fine Tune to +5 cents. Then open the Unison Presence preset, and change Pitch Fine Tune to -2 cents.
  2. Insert an Analog Delay in the multi Instrument channel , with the settings shown in Fig. 3. The reason for the 20 ms delay is because the higher string in a pair of strings gets hit just a little bit late. (We can’t use the Delay in Presence itself, because the mix needs to be 100% delay—no dry sound.) Without this delay, the emulated 12-string doesn’t sound right.

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.

 

Additional Tweaks

 

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.

Studio One 5.2 has arrived. Here’s what’s new!

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.

Arrange your songs live from the Show Page or Song 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.

Sound Variations

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. 

Score View Improvements

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 in the Browser

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.

Splitter is now a plug-in

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!

Arrow tool Improvements

Genius updates to the Arrow tool make it easier than ever to edit Note Events in the Piano Roll.

Hardware Controller Improvements

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).

Clip Versions

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!

New Safety Features

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.

M1 Mac compatibility

Studio One 5.2 is compatible with M1 Macs running Rosetta 2.

And more…

 

Notion 6.8.1 Now Available

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.


NEW

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.

Studio One 5.2 Now Available!

New score elements that can be exchanged with Notion from Studio One 5.2:

  • Guitar tablature
  • Drum notation
  • Multiple voices on the same staff
  • Rest groupings improved when exchanging MIDI (not score data) between Studio One and Notion and vice versa

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


ALL FIXES

Improvements

  • Automatic rest groupings improved for MIDI import, Realtime MIDI record, Studio One import, and Fill with Rests tool
  • MusicXML import of verse information from Sibelius improved

Fixes

  • [Win] Improved VST plug-in compatibility (for example with Best Service Engine)
  • Hitpoints now show as expected if there is a video offset time
  • Slash chord playback of enharmonic chords e.g. G#, D#, E#, A# now sounds as expected
  • [Win] Improved drawn line in handwriting
  • Issue fixed with cross-staff beamed triplets that have glissandi
  • Final barline no longer breaks multi-measure rest
  • Fixed crash when cross-staff beaming the first pitch of the first chord of a tuplet
  • [macOS] Can now select single note of a chord as expected, after the note start has been dragged forward over the barline in sequencer staff/overlay
  • [Win] Layout now updates immediately on releasing a layout handle drag
  • Staccatissimo now toggles with keyboard shortcut as expected
  • Fix for occasional issue when changing guitar tab numbers
  • Shown ranges for Viola (Section), Cello (Section) and Bass (Section) have been corrected
  • [Win] Fix for issue with selected printer drivers that lead to overlong measure lines when printing a single instrument

Other

  • Guitar Pro files removed as acceptable import formats in import dialog (MusicXML is now the preferred route for bringing in GP files)
  • Soundcloud API is no longer called if previously enabled in an older version of Notion that supported it

Mastering: What LRA Means to You

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 Mornay: Twenty Five Ten

We’re extremely excited for our good friend and recording artist Luke Mornay on the release of his new album Twenty Five Ten which has already grabbed a 5-Star review on New Sounds UK!

Let’s find out more about what he’s been up to with this project as a longstanding user of PreSonus hardware and software for his musical endeavors through the years.


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.

For what applications are you using Studio One Professional?

Im working 100% in the box and I’m using Studio One for everything and anywhere.

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?

This software brings me peace of mind, and that’s priceless. PreSonus shines by making huge steps at their own pace with three priorities: the user experience, consistency and coherence. 

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 doesnt get enough spotlight (or isnt 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.


PreSonus Sphere Members: check out Luke’s newest Studio One Presets on his Featured Artist Profile!

Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify

Website : www.lukemornay.com

Get a $400/€400 rebate on StudioLive 64s digital mixers in March 2021!

Now through the end of March 2021, save $400/€400 on the StudioLive 64S!

 

More power than you’ll ever need… for less money! If you’ve been looking to upgrade your studio or your venue’s mixing power, there’s never been a better time to get a StudioLive 64s. USA and Canadian customers can get their $400 off instantly at participating dealers; European customers in the following countries will need to use the rebate form linked below. Qualifying territories include: Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, Hungary, France, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Click here to get the EU rebate form.

Find a PreSonus dealer in the US here.

Find a PreSonus dealer in Canada here.

The StudioLive 64S is a 64-channel mixer that brings the power of a large format console to small format digital mixing. Powered by the new quad-core PreSonus FLEX DSP Engine, the StudioLive 64S is equipped with 76 mixing channels, 43 mix buses, and 526 simultaneous processors—including 8 stereo reverberation systems, and Fat Channel plug-in models on every input channel and mix bus. With 128 (64X64) channels of USB recording, 128 channels of AVB I/O, flexible routing options, and the studio-grade audio quality that made StudioLive mixers famous, the StudioLive 64S delivers a truly exceptional mixing experience that’s in a class of its own.

But you don’t have to take our word for it:

“The 64S is a jump forward in power and capability for the StudioLive series.”

Michael Lawrence, ProSoundWeb, September 2019
Click here to read the full ProSoundWeb review

 

“Currently, there is no other option for these kinds of features at this price. That’s a homerun for PreSonus, and for churches looking to step up their game in the digital console world.”

Matt Kees, Worship Musician, May 2019
Click here to read the full Worship Musician review

 

 

#ATOMChallenge

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:

  1. You must tag PreSonus on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok
  2. Post a video of yourself performing a beat on your ATOM or ATOM SQ
  3. Post the video to your account and include the hashtag #ATOMChallenge in the caption

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:

Get Three Months of Auto-Tune Unlimited with Qualifying Purchase

Now through the end of May 2021: Get three months of access to Auto-Tune Unlimited from Antares when you buy a qualifying PreSonus interface or mixer!

The headline says it all, really.

Auto-Tune Unlimited is Antares’ new subscription service is a lot more than pitch correction. Auto-Tune Unlimited currently a wealth of industry-standard vocal tools in a single package, and includes:

  • Every current version of Auto-Tune
  • The AVOX 4 plug-in bundle, containing 11 processing modules for mic modeling; tape saturation; choir effects; and more
  • Auto-Key for automatic key and scale detection.

Subscribers also receive free upgrades, access to select new plug-ins as they’re released, and exclusive educational content.

…and it can be yours when you choose a PreSonus mixer or interface!

 

All you have to do is…

  1. Pick the PreSonus mixer or interface that’s right for you (see the list below)
  2. Login or create an account at My.PreSonus.com and register your qualifying product.
  3. Once you have completed your hardware registration, you will find your redemption code under Products | Add-ons in your MyPreSonus account.
  4. Copy the code and follow the link to the private landing page hosted at www.antarestech.com
  5. Follow the instructions to redeem your offer.

Hurry! While the duration of this offer is limited, this flavor of Auto-Tune isn’t.

No job too big or too small, we’ve got an interface or mixer for you! Well, many of these products are both, technically.

Revelator 

ioStation 24c

AudioBox Series Interfaces

  • AudioBox USB 96
  • AudioBox 96 Studio
  • AudioBox Studio Ultimate
  • AudioBox iOne
  • AudioBox iTwo
  • AudioBox iTwo Studio

Studio Series Interfaces

  • Studio 24c
  • Studio 26c
  • Studio 68c
  • Studio 1810c
  • Studio 1824c
  • Studio 192

Quantum Series Interfaces

  • Quantum 2626
  • Quantum 
  • Quantum 4848

StudioLive ARc Series Mixers

  • StudioLive AR8c
  • StudioLive AR12c
  • StudioLive AR16c

StudioLive Series III Mixers

  • StudioLive 32SC
  • StudioLive 32SX
  • StudioLive 32S
  • StudioLive 64S
  • StudioLive 16R
  • StudioLIve 24R
  • StudioLive 32R

 

Find a dealer:

  • To find a dealer in the USA, click here!
  • To find a dealer outside of the USA, click here!

Remembering Peter Burrows

Simultaneously an industry giant and a gentle one, Peter Burrows was 300 pounds of motorcycle-riding, upright bass-slapping, River Thames moxy shoehorned into a tweed vest and a newsie cap. He was an engineering marvel, a devoted family man, a history buff, and a well-traveled audio industry vet; simultaneously an impossibly kind soul who took no crap. Pete, wiser than most of us, seemed to have figured out the secret to an anxiety-free life balanced in confidence, love, intellect, and humor—leaving many of us a little jealous about why we couldn’t figure out how to to do that for ourselves. But, you see, figuring things out was just what Pete did. Pete reverse-engineered living.

He came from London to the states (likely by motorcycle, because he would have figured that out, too) in the mid ‘90s to work at Mackie, and it wasn’t too long before he eventually found his way down to PreSonus about nine years ago. He worked with us for a long time in Engineering Services, where his troubleshooting acumen and larger-than-life personality couldn’t have been a better fit. Pete had a tendency to ride his Harleys and Indians to work in sweltering Louisiana summers—but only on the days when he didn’t show up in a hot rod. (The only thing louder than those engines was his laugh, by the way.)

But when Baton Rouge flooded in 2016, Peter Burrows was the one guy who still found a way to come into work. That’s admirable enough to an employer, of course—but Pete, being Pete, chose to come in by kayak. 

Seriously.

And that’s the kind of guy he was. What might be a problem to you or I wasn’t a problem for Peter Freakin’ Burrows. It was, in fact, an opportunity for him to show you he had an idea for a fix, and he was sure it was going to work, so let’s just get it started and—hey look, it worked! Wasn’t so hard after all, mate.

As Pete aged, so did his tastes. He maintained a particular musical passion for primal rockabilly. And while his nonmusical interests were diverse, they also tended to skew vintage. He explored classic motorcycles, old guns, pinball repair, and 1930s fashion to their absolute fullest. Of course, that was all going down when he wasn’t spending boardgame time with his wife and two kids. Pete’s family is suggesting donations to Gentleman’s Ride, with friends in the UK encouraged to reach out to the Canal River Trust.

Take some time today to hug your loved ones and raise a glass to departed friends. It’s what Pete would’ve wanted you to do.

Godspeed, Pete. We’re not sure what you’re riding on your trip to the other side, but we can’t wait to see you again so you can show us how it works.

 

Quad Image Enhancer

Studio One’s Binaural Pan processor can widen, or narrow, an instrument’s stereo image. Aside from making “bigger” sounds that fill out the stereo spread, it also has practical applications. For example, you can  spread out a thick stereo synth pad, or a guitar feeding two cabs in stereo, by turning the width control clockwise from the center position. This opens up more room for vocals, kick, snare, bass, and other centered elements. Binaural Pan can also do the reverse—like narrowing a wide, stereo synth bass part to focus it more—by turning the Width control counter-clockwise from the center position.

 

For mastering, Binaural Pan can make mixes seem larger than life. However, it’s not necessarily a “one-size-fits-all-frequencies” solution, because you might want to spread the highs as far as possible, but narrow the bass, and add only a little bit of spreading to the upper mids—so let’s make ourselves a multiband image enhancer.

 

This Quad Image Enhancer FX Chain is ideal for mastering, as well as for working with individual instruments. Fig. 1 shows the modules. The Splitter splits the audio into four bands: Low (below 250 Hz), Low Mid (250 Hz – 1 kHz), Hi Mid (1 kHz – 4 kHz), and High (above 4 kHz). Each of these goes to a Binaural Pan to control the image, and a Mixtool to trim the level (-6 dB to +6 dB).

Figure 1: Modules used in the Quad Image Enhancer multipreset.

 

The split frequencies are arbitrary. You might want to move them around, although the ones in the default multipreset work well with a variety of music.

 

The Control Panel (Fig. 2) accesses all the needed parameters. Enabling the Mono button is like turning Width fully counter-clockwise, but being able to switch this provides a convenient diagnostic tool for quickly comparing a band’s sound in stereo or mono. Similarly, enabling Bypass makes it easy to hear the effect that widening (or narrowing) has on a particular band. If you need to mute individual bands so you focus completely on one or two bands while editing them, open up the FX Chain, select the Splitter, and mute the desired output(s) in the edit window’s upper-left corner.

Figure 2: Quad Image Enhancer control panel.

 

How to Use It

 

When the Width controls are centered, they don’t affect the sound. You can crank up the widths for a wider sound, but you can also be a little more strategic. The following audio example plays an excerpt of mixed but unmastered  audio, followed by the same excerpt going through the Quad Image Enhancer. For this application, the Lo band is narrowed, Lo Mid unchanged, Hi Mid widened slightly, and Hi widened all the way. 

 

Note that unlike some delay-based widening solutions, this FX Chain doesn’t cause any comb filtering-induced “phaseyness” if collapsed to mono.

 

 

 

To widen a sound even further, turn up the Trim control for the Hi Mid or Hi bands by 1-2 dB. Because high frequencies are more directional than low frequencies, emphasizing the high frequencies increases the illusion of width.

 

Although there are some excellent third-party multiband imaging plug-ins available, you don’t need to go outside the Studio One ecosystem—just download the multipreset, and you’ll be ready to widen, or narrow, your stereo image.

 

DOWNLOAD THE QUAD IMAGE ENHANCER PRESET HERE