While modern EQ can emulate pretty much any curve that a “vintage EQ” could produce, there’s more to EQ than the curve itself.
Vintage EQ, due analog technology’s constraints, wasn’t as flexible as today’s EQs. Therefore, the various parameters were limited to specific choices—and these choices were made for musical reasons. When people talk about dialing in a great vocal or drum sound within seconds using vintage EQ, I suspect it’s because those vintage EQs were engineered for fast, efficient changes that made musical sense.
So as an experiment, I created a Pro EQ2 FX chain that emulated (quite accurately, if I do say so myself!) not just the curves, but the controls of a Pultec MEQ-5 midrange equalizer (Fig. 1).
The Lo and Hi stages have a Frequency control and Boost (no cut) control. Originally, the low band had stepped frequencies of 200, 300, 500, 700, and 1 kHz, while the high band had 1.5, 2, 3, 4, and 5 kHz. The Freq controls cover mostly the same range, although in recognition of bass’s importance in today’s music, the low band goes down to 60 Hz. Another tweak is that the high band had a fixed EQ, which I always felt was a bit too narrow anyway—so I added a Q control.
The midrange section cuts (no boost) from 200 Hz to 7 kHz. However, the MEQ-5 had a subtle EQ shift that depended on the amount of cut, which is emulated here. I also added a RedLightDist to give subtle saturation effects.
So next time you need EQ, download and try out this FX Chain. It won’t sound different than what you can achieve with a Pro EQ2—but you may very well get where you want to go faster. Maybe even much faster.
Imagine our surprise when Studio One, a FaderPort 8, and a pair of Scepters are prominently displayed with Taylor’s music in the background. We had to find out more about this project, the studio, the engineers, and how Studio One helped TWO of Taylor’s secret albums come to life, Folklore and Evermore. Here’s our interview with Jonathan Gautier, sound engineer and owner of Sound House Studio in Lakeland, FL.
Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?
I started playing the piano at age five. My parents pretty much nurtured rather than forced learning music, so I latched on rather quickly. From 5th grade to 8th grade, I went to a performing arts school, Rochelle School of the Arts, where my mother taught shortly after we moved from Boston to Lakeland. While there, I played cello in the orchestra and sang in the choir. After middle school, I got accepted into Harrison Arts Center for piano. Throughout this whole time, I was playing in church and playing in bands. After high school, I went to the University of Central Florida where I studied Digital Music/Music Production and later received my master’s degree in Music/Music Technology.
How has the music industry changed since your early days?
I’m 36, so I am not sure if I would be considered “old school,” but I feel like the music industry is changing for the better since I started. More tools are accessible than when I started, and you can definitely make music at a better quality. I started out on the original Mbox and a Tascam 4-track in high school, and now people are making better quality music on their phones than I ever did. I also feel that artists are being more responsible with their songs, especially on how they brand themselves, where they want to record, and how they want to use streaming platforms.
Who has been an influence in your life?
My dad was one of my major influences in my life. He, along with my mother, definitely understood the dream that I had to be a producer and own a studio. My dad always would tell me that the world needs dreamers.
Can you please share with us about the Taylor Swift project?
One of our clients, Rob Hecht, aka “Bobby Hawk,” comes to the studio frequently to record violin for various artists, all of which are not disclosed to us. Not even a day before Folklore is released, we get a text from Bobby and he tells us that we have a credit on Taylor Swift’s new album. It was definitely a surreal experience because it came out of nowhere. I almost didn’t want to believe it and when Bobby sent us the link to the credits, sure enough on the song “August” there it is: violins by Bobby Hawk recorded at Sound House Studios by Jonathan Gautier and Michael Williams! (Michael is our other engineer.) We also received another credit on her sister album, Evermore, which was just released on the song “Gold Rush.”
What was your first PreSonus product? What all do you have now?
I have known about PreSonus for a while now. They were one of the first products that I started to build a studio around. My first PreSonus product was the two-channel tube preamp, the BlueTube, and then I had the Digimax LT that I used for an extra eight channels along with my Digi003 rack. Now I use Studio One for my DAW, a FaderPort 8 production controller, Eris 8s as monitors, and a DigiMax DP88.
When did you first hear about Studio One?
Definitely Joe Gilder and Home Studio Corner even before he was heavily involved with PreSonus. Also, the tech director at our church talked about it a lot.
Any user tips or tricks based on your experience with Studio One?
One of my favorite features in Studio One is the Pipeline XT plugin that allows you to use your outboard gear as plug-ins. That was a game-changer for me. I also think pocketing audio tracks using the cursor and Option-Command to line things up over global quantizing is better, at least for me.
How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn?
Coming from Pro Tools, I felt that the learning curve was easier than I thought it would be. I also love the wealth of online resources there are for Studio One, so I never felt stuck. Since making the switch to Studio One and having other PreSonus gear, I have felt that I have been able to be more productive in my studio than ever before.
Recent projects? What’s next for you?
Well, aside from the Taylor Swift stuff, I produced an album project for my church, Access, and another church, Redemption Church. Currently producing album projects for a few local artists: Hana McCartnety and Giselle Gutierrez, as well as mixing virtual choir performances for schools around the country and live recording and mixing for churches for their live streaming. You can check out our new releases on our Spotify Playlist!
HUGE congrats to Jonathan and Bobby for all their success from everyone at PreSonus… and Happy Birthday to Taylor Swift!
Holiday Shopping Pro Tip: If you wait until the last minute…it only takes a minute! It’s not too late to find the most perfect gift for the music lover in your life. Scroll through some of our most popular gift ideas and get your stocking stuffed today!
Just about every software product we make can be yours for a low monthly membership fee—or an even lower annual fee. Studio One Professional, Notion, all of our Add-ons and Plug-ins, over 100 content libraries, and more… You’ll always have the latest version of all PreSonus software, ready-to-go, and you’ll never pay extra for updates or upgrades for as long as you’re a PreSonus Sphere member. And we’re adding new stuff to the offering with every passing month.
PreSonus® Eris-series studio monitors are used worldwide by audio engineers who need to hear every detail of their recordings. Ideal for gaming and home video production, the Eris E3.5 employs the same technology as the larger Eris models to deliver studio-quality sound, with smooth and accurate frequency response. Yet they’re compact enough to fit almost anywhere… like under a Christmas tree.
Now for LESS than $100 you get:
Whether you’re looking for a USB microphone for streaming, vlogging, podcasting, or a simple recording solution for voice-overs or your home studio, Revelator is designed to deliver polished, professional-sounding results with ease. 16 easy-to-use, professionally-crafted presets and fully editable, award-winning StudioLive EQ and compression processing plus voice effects and reverb give you studio-quality sound with minimal effort. Revelator also provides three different polar patterns in one USB microphone to provide maximum flexibility.
Two stereo loopback channels make recording and mixing audio from multiple applications like Skype or Discord quick and easy. Built-in monitoring and an onboard headphone amplifier let you listen to your performance in real-time. So whether you’re recording in Studio One or going live on Instagram, Revelator is right there with you to make you sound—and look—professional.
High-definition, desktop audio interface and production controller with USB-C™ compatible connectivity; two transparent XMAX mic preamps plus two switchable line/instrument inputs combined with a powerful DAW controller that includes a touch-sensitive, motorized, 100 mm fader; DAW recording transport; innovative Session Navigator that simplifies controlling and recording in your favorite DAW; support for HUI and Mackie Control emulation; native control of Studio One®; Studio One Artist included.
Both a flexible performance controller and a tightly integrated production environment, PreSonus®’ ATOM™ pad controller and included Studio One Artist production software let you create and perform with ease. The most versatile pad controller in its class, ATOM is compatible with most music software and lets you perform and produce with virtual instruments and trigger samples and loops in real-time, using 16 full-size, velocity- and pressure-sensitive RGB pads; 4 programmable rotary encoders; 20 assignable buttons; and 8 assignable pad banks. To fuel your creativity, you get an MVP Loops library custom-designed for ATOM, in addition to more than 2 GB of Studio One content.
A great choice for mobile musicians, guitarists, and podcasters, the 2-in, 2-out AudioBox USB® 96 audio interface is bus-powered, compact, ruggedly built, and works with virtually any PC or Mac recording software. It boasts two combo mic/instrument inputs with high-performance Class A mic preamplifiers, MIDI I/O, and professional-quality, 24-bit, 96 kHz converters. And it comes with PreSonus’ amazing Studio One® Artist DAW software for Mac® and Windows®.
Designed for musicians and performers who demand outstanding audio quality, the PreSonus PX-1 cardioid condenser microphone is an ideal solution for recording vocals, guitar, podcasts, and much more. A true side-address, large-diaphragm condenser microphone, the PX-1 features a 25 mm, gold-sputtered capsule designed to provide exceptional clarity throughout its frequency response range. Rugged construction and top-quality performance specifications make the PX-1 large diaphragm microphone an excellent addition for any home recording or streaming studio.
A superior solution for anyone who mixes in the box, only the FaderPort 16 provides 16 100 mm touch-sensitive, motorized faders in a compact chassis that easily sits on any desk. Like PreSonus®’ popular FaderPort 8, the FaderPort 16 features digital scribble strip displays; mute and solo for every channel; complete automation and transport control; plus level, pan, send, and plug-in control modes for every fader. The unique Session Navigator makes mixing and controlling your favorite DAW application quick and easy by putting eight critical functions under your fingers, including navigation, zoom, and master fader control. The FaderPort 16 is compatible with virtually any DAW host for Mac® or Windows®, with support for HUI and Mackie Control, including customized Mackie Control modes for Logic, Cubase, and Sonar. Its native Studio One® support provides even more functionality with PreSonus’ easy-to-use DAW, including Control Link support as well as parameter follow, allowing you quick access to any control under your mouse. Its ergonomic design makes it a comfortable companion to your keyboard and mouse.
Record, produce, mix, master, and perform all from a single, intuitive application. Designed with ease of use at its core, Studio One® 5 is your creative partner from studio to stage. Studio One is driven by tools that enhance your creativity without getting in the way; we pioneered its drag-and-drop workflow that continues to be imitated elsewhere. Laborious tasks that take five steps in other DAWs usually only take… One. A popular example: you can convert MIDI to audio and back with a simple drag-and-drop.
Several of the comments have mentioned wanting me to do some video tips, and this week’s tip is well-suited to a video treatment—so here you go.
Gain envelopes have many uses, but one of my favorites is using them to bring down peaks with vocal and narration to allow boosting the overall level. This is a further refinement of the phrase-by-phrase normalization technique I’ve mentioned in the past, which is basically like compressing without a compressor. As a result there are none of the artifacts associated with compression or limiting, so the resulting sound is totally natural.
Showing this with a video makes it easy to see how placing nodes strategically simplifies taming peaks, and how clicking and dragging on a single node can control your dynamics, quickly and efficiently.
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If you like the video, let me know in the comments section, and I’ll do more videos in the future if I think they can convey a concept better or more efficiently than text.
And while we’re on the subject of videos…if you’re not aware of Gregor Beyerle’s playlist of Studio One video tips, they’re well worth watching. Unlike so many YouTube “tips” videos, after watching his videos you’ll feel you learned useful techniques that will help you use Studio One more efficiently—not wasted several minutes of your life you’ll never get back 😊. Even when I’ve known much of what he covers, there are always some little gems I hadn’t discovered before.
First, thank you for your continued support of the Studio One eBooks. The goal was to make sure that the books remain current—so there are revisions, as well as new editions.
Revisions are like software “point” updates. They’re free to registered users of the original book, and also make sure new buyers get the latest information. A revision for “How to Make Compelling Mixes with Studio One” will be available next week. New editions expand substantially on the original (like how software advances from one version to the next). The latest is More than Compressors: The Complete Guide to Dynamics in Studio One – 2nd Edition, available now in the PreSonus shop (available to owners of the first edition for half-price).
Second, remember that if you have any questions, comments, corrections, or additional ideas about the books, there’s a support thread where you can ask questions and I’ll answer them. The thread also announces when revisions and new editions are available.
And now…on to the tip!
Creating steel or slide guitar sounds with keyboards is difficult, because few soft synths have polyphonic glide. If they do, sometimes the results are unpredictable.
For my first, admittedly pathetic attempt at “steel synth,” I tried setting the synth bend range to 12 semitones and using the pitch bend wheel to slide entire chords up or down in pitch. However, hitting an exact pitch with the wheel is really difficult. I tried editing the parts to have correct tuning…but that took forever.
Fortunately, there’s a simple answer. It’s not a real-time solution (you’ll need to use the note data edit view), but it works really well—check out the audio example.
The basic idea for slide emulations is you sustain a note, and then use pitch bend to slide the sustained note(s) up (or down). In Fig. 1, a C major chord is gliding up to F and then G, to create the ever-popular I-IV-V progression.
Figure 1: A C major chord is sliding up to an F major, and then a G major.
To ensure correct tuning, create a pitch bend node where you want the new pitch to begin. Right-click on it, and then enter a number that corresponds to the number of semitones you want to “glide” (see the table below). This assumes the synth’s pitch bend range is set to 12 semitones. If you want to bend down by a certain number of semitones, use the same pitch bend amount—just make it negative.
Remember that pitch bend is based on a percentage scale, so in Fig. 1, the first pitch bend node (circled in white to make it more obvious) is set to 0.417 (5 semitones). The second node for the fifth is 0.583 semitones. Lines from one node to the next create the actual glide.
When you right-click on a node to enter a number, the resolution appears to be only two digits to the right of the decimal point, which isn’t good enough for accurate tuning. However, you can enter a three-digit number, as shown above. Even though it won’t be displayed, if you enter that third digit, the dialog box accepts it and Studio One will remember it—so now, you can glide to the exact right pitch.
Starting now through the January 31 2021, get the Studio One Premium Add-On bundle FREE with the purchase of one of the following qualifying products. That’s A $229.80 USD value for FREE!
How to redeem?
All you need to do is purchase and register one of the above qualifying products to your account at my.presonus.com within the qualifying date range (November 27 through
December 31, 2020. January 31, 2021!) and the Studio One Premium Add-On Bundle will be automatically added to your account. That’s it!
What all comes with the Studio One Premium Add-On Bundle?
This offer is available worldwide and runs NOW through
December 31, 2020. January 31, 2021!
Now through the end of 2020, get the PX-1 or a pair of PM-2 microphones—for less than $100 USD!
The PreSonus PX-1 cardioid condenser microphone is an ideal solution for recording vocals, guitar, podcasts, and much more. A true side-address, large-diaphragm condenser microphone, the PX-1 features a 25 mm, gold-sputtered capsule designed to provide exceptional clarity throughout its frequency response range. Rugged construction and top-quality performance specifications make the PX-1 large diaphragm microphone an excellent addition for any home recording or streaming studio.
Ideal for stereo recordings of acoustic instruments, drum overheads, ensembles, and more, the PreSonus PM-2 stereo microphone set provides the tools you need to create professional results. Each PreSonus PM-2 small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone is equipped with a ¾” gold-sputtered capsule housed in an ultra-light chassis, making it easier to perfectly position your microphones without fighting gravity. Sold as a sonically matched pair, the PM-2 comes equipped with a stereo bar for XY mic placement. PM-2 microphones can be used together or individually, making them an excellent addition for any home or professional recording environment.
I never lost faith in the potential of tremolo, even after those opto-based amplitude processors in guitar amps had become quaint. X-Trem rewarded my faith—and it’s about time tremolo joined the 21st century, given that we’re a fifth of the way through it already.
This FX Chain does dual-band standard tremolo, harmonic tremolo, and panning—and because it’s dual-band, the high and low frequencies are processed independently. You can download the Ultimate TremPan FX Chain if you can’t wait, but because of the flexibility, let’s go through the control panel before covering how it works.
The control panel (Fig. 1) gives multiple ways to configure the effect. The low- and high-frequency bands have identical switches.
Figure 1: The TremPan control panel.
Let’s look at the controls. The low- and high-frequency bands have three controls in common.
The Hi/Lo Mix control determines the balance of the low- and high-frequency bands. Imaging spreads the low and high bands; when centered, the low and high bands are centered too, and if a band is in panning mode, it pans the full stereo field. Turning this control counter-clockwise moves the low band toward the left and the high band toward the right, while de-emphasizing panning so that when fully counter-clockwise, both bands are acting as tremolos in their respective channels. Turning this control clockwise reverse the action, i.e., when fully clockwise, the high band sounds like a tremolo in the left channel, while the low band sounds like a tremolo in the right channel.
Figure 2 shows the block diagram.
Figure 2: The processors inside the Ultimate TremPan FX Chain.
The Splitter does two splits based on frequency, with a split around 800 Hz. This seems to work well for guitar, but feel free to play around with it (I hope that in some future update, Splitter parameters will be assignable to control panel Macro knobs).
The Mixtools have their gains varied oppositely by the Lo/Hi Mix control to set the proportions of the high and low bands. The Dual pans in the Splits have their Input Balance controlled oppositely by the Imaging knob.
You have a lot of options, but here are some of my favorites.
The rhythmically synched effects can make one instrument almost sound like two instruments, working together as a team. This FX Chain can also animate hand percussion tracks by varying where the percussion happens in the stereo field. Have fun with this sucker—it’s time to re-discover amplitude modulation.
Studio One 5 and Notion are both 30% off this week!
This offer excludes EDU licensing—ends November 30, 2020. Available worldwide right out of the PreSonus Shop and at your favorite music retailer.
Well, PreSonus Sphere is just for you!We’re celebrating PreSonus Sphere’s first-ever holiday season by offering one free month of Sphere when you purchase an annual subscription! In short, PreSonus Sphere is a complete collection of award-winning software, inspiring content libraries, collaboration tools, cloud storage, weekly live streams, video tutorials, and much more… this offer is available worldwide, starts today and ends November 30, 2020.
For ONE WEEK only, SAVE 50% on the entire Fat Channel Collection right out of the PreSonus Shop! Buy the individual plug-ins at a discounted price or grab the whole bundle for less than $350 USD.
These plug-ins are virtual signal processors that load in your StudioLive Series III console or rack mixer’s Fat Channel, expanding your Fat Channel processor library much like plug-ins do in a DAW. Each plug-in comes in both StudioLive Series III format and Studio One format so you can use your new processor in both mixer and DAW Fat Channels.
This is a Worldwide offer and available only in the PreSonus Shop. Offer ends November 30, 2020.
Buy now through November 30 and save 50% on Notion’s Brass Section Bundle right out of the PreSonus Shop!
This bundle includes the following:
Now for LESS than $100 you get:
Worship Musician‘s Mitch Bohannon says the Eris HD10BTs are, “… superb, authentic and clear!” Read the full review HERE!
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Universal Control 3.4 has arrived, adding WDM support and Interface Mode to StudioLive Series III mixers! (This update also adds support for Revelator and AVB-D16; Click here for the full release notes)
Interface Mode is designed to allow the inputs and outputs of your StudioLive mixer to be used like a traditional USB interface, instead of as a mixer with a USB interface that draws from the mixer’s channels and buses. In this configuration, the StudioLive’s USB Returns bypass the mix engine, and instead run directly to the physical, analog outputs on the mixer.
While this streamlined configuration does not work with a mixer that is in Stage Box or Monitor Mixer Mode, you will still be able to utilize your PreSonus AVB Ecosystem products with Interface Mode. You can still create personal monitor mixes via EarMix16M and connect different rooms with NSB Stage Boxes.
Note that Interface Mode will only affect the USB routing and the analog output sources. It won’t make any changes to the operation of your AVB routing.
Before using Interface Mode or Enhanced WDM Support on your StudioLive Series III, you’ll need to update two things:
To turn on Interface Mode for your mixer from the touch screen of the console mixers
Your FlexMixes will still be there if and when you choose to turn off Interface Mode, or turn an individual mix back on which I’ll go through a little later.
To turn on Interface Mode from UC Surface
That’s it! You’re now in interface mode. To turn Interface Mode off and go back to the default mixer setup just repeat these same steps.
For a deeper dive on Interface Mode and WDM support, download the new Interface Mode Addendum now!