PreSonus Blog

Notion iOS 2.6.1 Release Notes

Notion iOS 2.6.1 Maintenance Release

A maintenance update is now available for Notion iOS, the best-selling notation app on iOS. This is a free update for Notion iOS owners that can be obtained by visiting Notion in the App Store on your device, or checking your available updates in the App Store.

All the changes are below. And while you’re here, please join us at our new official Facebook user group for news, tips and community support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PreSonusNotionUsers

 


All Fixes and Enhancements:

  • Hairpins (cresc / decrescendo lines) now move as expected when dragged for the first time
  • Mixer now always updates between different files opening
  • Mixer now always shows on importing a MusicXML file that has a part with multiple instruments in the same voice
  • Fixed occasional spacing issue between notes in voice 1 and 2
  • Fix an issue when tying voice 2 notes across a bar line when voice 1 has the same note
  • Fix for issue with joined stems
  • German translation corrected for common/cut time and ‘Hide end of system courtesy’
  • General performance improvements in playback
  • Minimum requirements: Apple iOS9 or higher (please note, Notion 2.x will be the final version to support iOS9 and iOS10)

Notion 6.8.2 Now Available

Notion 6.8.2 Maintenance Release

Notion 6.8.2 Build 18133 is now available for Windows and macOS. It 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. All the changes are below.

 

Notion Facebook GroupPlease join us over at our new official Facebook user group for news, tips and community support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PreSonusNotionUsers

 


ALL FIXES

Improvements

  • ‘Insert multiple barlines’ tool added. Go to Tools Menu>Insert Barlines, or Right click>Tools>Insert Barlines
  • ‘Double at Interval’ tool added to right click>Notes (as well as still being available from the numeric keypad)
  • ‘Note after same’ condition for rules added

Fixes

  • Notion 6 now runs as expected when using an interface that presents more than 64 channels
  • [Win] Crash fixed when exporting MIDI or sending or Studio One when there is no audio device available
  • [macOS] Scrollbars enabled by default to improve graphics performance on Big Sur
  • Fix for playback not starting, if a range object (e.g. decrescendo) is dragged past the final measure line
  • Fixed occasional spacing issue between notes in voice 1 and 2
  • Fix an issue when tying voice 2 notes across a bar line when voice 1 has the same note
  • Fix for issue with joined stems
  • Fix issue when using the Fill with Rests tool, if a measure is overfull.
  • German translation corrected for common/cut time and ‘Hide end of system courtesy’
  • [macOS] More space added to text labels for translations
  • General performance improvements in playback

Mid-Side Reverb for Studio One Artist (and Pro)

 

But first: free stuff news! The eBook How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One Version 2.0 is now available as a free update to anyone who bought the original version (for new buyers, it’s $14.95)—just go to your PreSonus account, and download it. There’s new material on mix referencing and LCR mixing, numerous tweaks, additional tips, and a new layout that’s more smartphone- and tablet-friendly.

Okay…back to reverb. The blog post Mid-Side Meets Reverb used the Splitter, which is included only in Studio One Pro. However, when the post got comments like “OMG! Just did this for a simple guitar and vocal demo, and now it sounds massive and super-professional. This technique really gives space and depth to the mix!,” I thought I’d better come up with an Artist-friendly version. Pro users might even prefer this bus-oriented implementation. And because the tip is dedicated to reverb, it’s simpler than the more general-purpose blog post on Mid-Side Processing with Artist (which includes a refresher course on mid-side processing, if you need more background).

How It Works

It’s common practice to use a track send to feed audio to a reverb bus. But with this mid-side technique, there are two sends, which feed two reverb buses. One bus has reverb for the Mid (centered) audio (like bass, kick, snare, etc.), while the other reverb processes the Sides (what’s panned more toward the left and right, like hi-hat, doubled guitars, background vocalists, room mics, etc.). This can give an outstanding stereo image, more flexible editing, and you can use different reverbs for the mid and sides. Also, for those who like to use a dedicated vocal reverb, if the vocal is mixed to center it won’t be influenced by the reverb used on other instruments.

Fig. 1 applies this technique to processing a mixed drum loop.

Figure 1: Mid and Sides reverb buses, being fed by a mixed drum loop.

The mid audio is just the sum of the left and right channels, so all we need is a Dual Pan before the mid reverb, with both controls panned to center (Fig. 2).

Figure 2: Dual Pan settings for the Mid reverb bus.

Fig. 3 shows the effects used in the Sides reverb bus.

Figure 3:  Effects for the Sides reverb bus.


When a signal enters the Sides bus, the first Mixtool encodes the audio. The sides end up on what would usually be a stereo signal’s right channel, while the mids occupy what would normally be the left channel. By setting the Dual Pan Input Balance to right, only the sides go to your reverb of choice (it doesn’t have to be Room Reverb). Then, the processed sides go to the bottom Mixtool, which decodes the sides back into standard stereo.

Now you’re ready to choose your balance of the Mid and Sides reverb. Note that bringing up the sides widens the stereo image. The audio example plays a 4-measure drum loop without reverb, then only the mid reverb, then only the sides, then both together, then fades out on the dry drums.

For the reverbs, my go-to is the Open Air reverb, with impulses from the Surreal Reverb Impulse Responses pack. The Sides reverb uses the 4.00s Bright impulse, while the Mid uses the 2.00s Thinner impulse. The “Thinner” impulse reduces the bass response, so instruments like kick and bass don’t clutter up the reverb, but snare and other midrange instruments panned to center get reverb.

Happy ambiance!

So…What Does the CTC-1 Really Sound Like?

Good question, because the effect is subtle. If you play with the various controls while listening to a mix, you can tell that something is different, but you may not know exactly what. So, let’s find out what the CTC-1 actually contributes to the sound.

Bear in mind that Mix FX work across multiple buses, and the overall effect depends on the audio being sent through them, as well as the control settings. So while this tip can’t tell you what the CTC-1 will sound like under various conditions, you’ll get a sense of the character associated with each of the CTC-1’s mixer emulations. Note that the audio examples are not mixed songs, but only the effect added by the CTC-1 to mixes, and amplified so you can hear the effect clearly.

Also, it doesn’t look like PreSonus is letting up on Mix FX development any time soon (PortaCassettes and Alps, anyone?), so this tip should be handy in the future as well.

The Test Setup

  1. Load a track with a stereo mix of a song you like.
  2. Duplicate (complete) the track, and invert the copy’s polarity (phase). To invert the polarity, you can insert a Mixtool and click on the Invert Left and Invert Right buttons. Or enable the channel’s Input Controls, and flip the polarity with those (as shown in fig. 1).

Figure 1: Test setup for evaluating the CTC-1 mixer’s various characters.

  1. Insert a Bus, and assign the out-of-phase track’s output to the Bus input. The Bus output goes to the Main output, as does the in-phase track output. Make sure the Main output’s Mix FX is set to None.
  2. Set all faders to 0 dB, and start playback. With the Bus’s Mix FX set to None, you should hear nothing—the only audio sources are the original track, and the out-of-phase track playing back through the Bus. If you hear anything, then the faders are not at the same levels, the out-of-phase track is somehow getting into the Main bus, or the Main bus has a Mix FX enabled.

Now you can check out various CTC-1 mixers. Fig. 2 shows the default setting used for the tests. In the audio examples, the only changes are setting the Character control to 1.0, or to 10. 1.0 is the most faithful representation of the console being emulated, while 10 adds the equivalent of a sonic exclamation mark.

Figure 2: Default CTC-1 control settings used for these tests.

Let’s Start Testing!

Note that there’s a continuum of Character control settings between 1.0 and 10.  Settings other than those in the audio examples can make a major difference in the overall sound, and you can really hear them with this kind of nulling test.

Here’s what the Classic mixer sounds like. Its main effect is in the midrange, which a Character setting of 10 really emphasizes. Among other things, this gives a forward sound for vocals.

The Tube sound kicks up the low end, but turning up the Character control emphasizes a slightly higher midrange frequency than the Classic sound, while retaining the bass.

The Custom mixer is about adding brightness mojo and bass. Bob Marley would probably have loved this. Turning up Character emphasizes lower midrange frequencies than the other two.

Snake Oil, or the Real Deal?

I don’t have the mixers on which these settings were modeled, so I can’t say whether this is the real deal. But I can say it’s definitely not snake oil. The effect is far more nuanced then just EQ, and the audio examples confirm that Studio One owners who say the CTC-1 adds some kind of mysterious fairy dust are right…it does add some kind of mysterious fairy dust.

These audio examples should make it easier to get the sound you want. For example, if you like the way the Custom hits the bass and treble, but it’s a bit much, then simply turn up the Character control for a little more midrange. If your mix is already pretty much where you want it, but it needs to pop a bit more, the Classic is the droid you’re looking for. The Tube really does remind me of all those years I spent on tube consoles, especially if I turn up Character a little bit.

Sure, you just turn select mixer emulations, and play with controls, until something sounds “right.” But I must say that running these tests have made it much easier to zero in, quickly, on the sound I want.

 

Combi-Band Processing

I’m a big fan of multiband processing, and setting the Splitter to split by frequency makes this easy. However, there’s more to life than bi-amping or multiband processing—so let’s look at what I call “combi-band processing.” It gets its name because although the signal is split into three frequency bands, the low and high bands are combined, and processed by a single effect. Meanwhile, a second effect processes the mid band.

Bi-amping is great for amp sims (choose the best amp for lows, and the best for highs). I find it doesn’t work so well for effects, because when you split an instrument (like guitar) into only lows and highs, many effects aren’t all that useful for low frequencies. But if you raise the crossover frequency so that the low effect covers a wider range of frequencies, then there aren’t enough high frequencies for the effect that processes the highs.

With the combi-band approach, one effect handles the all-important midrange frequencies, while the other processes the low and highs. As a result, both effects have an obvious impact on the sound—as you’ll hear in the audio example. This also results in a simpler setup than three or more discrete bands of processing.

Combi-Band Processing FX Chain

Apologies to Artist aficionados…this one requires Studio One Pro, because of the Splitter’s frequency-split talents. However, I’m trying to figure out an easy way to do this in Artist. If it works, you’ll see it in a future tip.

The FX Chain starts with a Splitter in Normal Mode, which feeds two Splitters in Frequency Split mode (fig. 1)

Figure 1: The FX Chain for Combi-Band Processing. The Chorus and Pan effects aren’t part of the process, but are the ones used in the audio example. Of course, other effects are just as suitable.

Both Splitters have almost identical parameters, including the split frequencies. In this case, they’re set to 300 Hz and 1.5 kHz, which seem to work well with guitar. Tweak the split frequencies as needed to optimize them for different instruments.

The parameters that differ are the various level controls. The level is pulled down for the middle band in Splitter 2, so its output consists of only the low and high frequency bands. Meanwhile for Splitter 3, the level for the low and high frequency bands is pulled all the way down, so its output consists of only the middle band. Fig. 2 shows what happens when you inject pink noise into the effects chain, and monitor the outputs of the two splitters.

Figure 2: The top view shows Splitter 2’s frequency response, while the bottom view shows Splitter 3’s frequency response. If you sum these together, the response is flat.

About the Audio Example

Let’s listen to an example of Combi-Band Processing in action. There are three audio snippets. The first one is the midrange frequencies only, going through the Chorus, which is set to a fairly fast speed. The second snippet is the low and high frequencies only. It also goes through a Chorus, but set to Doubler mode. A Binaural Pan follows this to widen out the highs and lows.

The final snippet is the sound of combining the two paths together, which creates a gorgeous, rich chorusing sound. But plenty of other effects work well, like tempo-synched tremolos set to different LFO frequencies or waveforms, echoes with different delay times or feedback amounts, reverb on only the mids and echo on the highs and lows…you get the idea. So combi-up, and check out a different twist on signal processing.

Get $30/€30 cash back on AudioBox Studio Ultimate—for a limited time at participating dealers!

Now through the end of Oct. 2021, — get $30/€30 cash back on AudioBox Studio Ultimate at participating dealers!

If you or someone you know is getting started in music, audio production, or content creation, there’s never been a better time to buy the AudioBox Studio Ultimate Bundle! It includes everything you need to start producing music out of the box: The AudioBox 96 USB audio interface, HD7 headphones, an M7 microphone, Studio One Artist (a $99 USD value) the Eris E3.5 studio monitors—one of the best-selling media reference monitors in the world.

Here’s a great review of the AudioBox Studio Ultimate from Edward Smith: “Overall, I’m really impressed with the audio quality and everything you get for only around $300.”

The fine print:

USA and Canadian customers can get their $30 off instantly at participating dealers.

European customers need to use the rebate forms, linked below. Qualifying territories include: Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, Hungary, France, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

To find a dealer outside of the USA, click the links below!

Get $30/€30 cash back on Eris E7XT—for a limited time at participating dealers!

Now through the end of Oct. 2021, — get $30/€30 cash back on Eris E7XT at participating dealers!

Sound better for less! For the first time ever, we’re offering a significant discount on the Eris E7Xt studio monitors, winners of a 2020 Sound on Sound SOS award. 

With their smooth, accurate frequency response; powerful amplification with tons of headroom; and acoustic tuning functions that ensure you always get the best sound, it’s no wonder that Eris-series studio monitors have been a runaway hit since their introduction. The Eris E7 XT builds on the Eris XT series, adding big, controlled bass in a compact form that will fit into a studio of nearly any size. Deep lows and a wide, more controlled sweet spot (thanks to its EBM waveguide design) mean that our best-selling studio monitors just got even better.

Of the E7XTs, Mix magazine said, “…getting mixes to sound good on them was easy in terms of both instrumental balances and EQ, and more importantly, those mixes translated well to other listening environments.” Read the full review here.

The fine print:

USA and Canadian customers can get their $30 off instantly at participating dealers.

European customers need to use the rebate forms, linked below. Qualifying territories include: Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, Hungary, France, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

To find a dealer outside of the USA, click the links below!

Get $30/€30 cash back on AudioBox 96 Studio—for a limited time at participating dealers!

Now through the end of Oct. 2021, — get $30/€30 cash back on AudioBox 96 Studio at participating dealers!

If you or someone you know is getting started in music, audio production, or content creation, there’s never been a better time to buy the AudioBox 96 Studio Bundle! It includes everything you need to start producing music out of the box: The AudioBox 96 USB audio interface, HD7 headphones, an M7 microphone, Studio One Artist—a $99 USD value!

All Things Gear had this to say about the AudioBox 96 Studio: “If you’re just starting to get into recording, or are a singer/songwriter looking for a portable interface to take on the road with you, then the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 recording interface is an excellent option. The M7 microphone and HD7 headphones are nice additions in the PreSonus AudioBox 96 Studio, though if you can afford it we recommend buying the microphone and headphones separately.”

The fine print:

USA and Canadian customers can get their $30 off instantly at participating dealers.

European customers need to use the rebate forms, linked below. Qualifying territories include: Germany, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, Hungary, France, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

To find a dealer outside of the USA, click the links below!

Slapback Echo—Elvis Lives!

 

John D. made a comment in my Sphere workspace, which hosts the companion files for The Huge Book of Studio One Tips and Tricks: “How about a tip on how to create the original Elvis echo from his Sun Studios days? I really love that sound.” Well John, we take requests around here! So here ya go.

I asked the internet if anyone knew the time in ms for the slapback echo Elvis used. The various answers didn’t seem right, so I went to the source, and analyzed Elvis Presley’s “I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine” and as well as Carl Perkins’ “Her Love Rubbed Off” (he also recorded at Sun Studios). After measuring the duration for three repeats and dividing by 3, the answer was around 135 ms (fig. 1).

Figure 1: Measuring slapback echo time for the Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins songs.

The analog delay has all the parameters needed to achieve this sound (fig. 2).

Figure 2: The “Elvis Lives” analog delay settings.

The time is, of course, 135 ms. Feedback is 0.0%, because the echo was run through a separate tape recorder. It didn’t sound like the echo was being re-routed back to the input on the recordings I heard, but it might have been, and later recordings did do this…so choose what works best for you.

The Color controls are important. I pulled back the lows just a bit, as well as the highs, because 7.5 IPS recorders don’t have as crisp a high-frequency response as 15 IPS machines (but who knows how the echo tape machine was aligned?). When you listen to these recordings, you’ll often notice some distortion, so kick up the Drive control as desired. 6.0% was about right for my taste. Adjust Dry/Wet for the desired amount ratio of echo to dry sound.

You’re probably wondering about the Speed and Amount controls. I decided what the heck, I’d add some mechanical tape flutter. 15 Hz corresponds to 7.5 IPS, and the amount seemed reasonable.

Does it really sound like that famous echo effect? Well, at the risk of great (and possibly irreversible) public embarrassment, I donned an Elvis impersonator outfit, put on 50 pounds, and did my approximation of a 50s-style vocal for “That’s All Right, Mama.” True, I didn’t write the song—that honor goes to Arthur Crudup, who recorded it in 1946. But it’s under 30 seconds, for educational purposes, transformed (done digitally by someone who doesn’t sound even remotely like Elvis), and doesn’t diminish the market value of the music. I think we’re cool from a Fair Use standpoint.

And there you have your vintage slapback echo. Yes, I do take requests—I’ll be here all week, don’t forget to tip your servers, and remember, every Thursday night the Chez PreSonus eatery in Baton Rouge has its famous 2-for-1 gumbo special! See you soon.

Studio One Sings!

Let’s get one thing straight: yes, I did promise a tip of the week. But, I specifically didn’t promise it would be normal. Besides, I know some EDM fans are just going to love this one. And with plenty of creative Studio One aficionados out there, who knows what you’ll do with this…

I wanted to see if it was possible to use a simple, no-cost text-to-speech synthesizer, create a phrase, load it into Studio One, and tune it with the Chord Track. While the results won’t be mistaken for Realitone’s Blue, this setup can do some cool tricks—check out the audio example, with a vocal that’s not being sung by a human.

Generating the Speech

This all started because a person who had bought The Huge Book of Studio One Tips and Tricks mentioned that you could load the PDF into Microsoft Edge (which is cross-platform). Then if you invoked Edge’s Read Aloud function, the program would read the text to you. Say what? I had to try it.

There are plenty of text-to-speech converters, including ones built into MacOS and Adobe Acrobat. Extensions are available for various browsers, and there are cloud-based text-to-speech services. But Microsoft Edge’s implementation is a great way to get started—just open a PDF doc in Edge. (Non-PDF docs will have to be converted or exported first; you can always use a free option, like Open Office.) Select what you want it to read, and then click on Read Aloud. The fidelity is excellent, and you can speed up or slow down the reading speed.

There are 10 different English speakers, but if you choose one of the other 28 languages, depending on the language, they’ll read English with an accent (fig. 1). Of course, these languages are meant to read texts in their native language, but who cares? I used Katja, the German speaker, for the audio example. She speaks English quite well.

Figure 1: The text-to-speech feature in Microsoft Edge is surprisingly flexible.

Next, you need to get the speech output into Studio One. I have a PreSonus 1824c interface running on a Windows computer, and in that scenario, all that’s necessary is enabling the virtual input while Edge reads the words. Just remember that when you record the audio, to avoid feedback, don’t enable Input Monitor for the track you’re recording—just listen to the virtual input.

In addition to third-party apps that capture audio, the Mac has a fun way to generate speech. Open TextEdit, and write (or load) the text you want. From the TextEdit menu, choose Services > Services Preferences. Next, click Services in the keyboard shortcuts pane. In the right pane, scroll down to Text, and check its box. To create a recording, which you can bring into Studio One, select the text, go to the TextEdit menu again, and under Services, choose Add to iTunes as a Spoken Track. When you initiate the text-to-speech process, the audio file will be saved in the album you specify.

If all else fails, patch the audio output from a device that produces speech, to an audio input for Studio One.

Editing the Voice

Once the voice was in Studio One, I separated the words to place them rhythmically in relation to the Musicloop. Copying the vocal two more times allowed for panning, timing shifts (one track -20 ms, one track +20 ms, one with no shift), and reverb. To give a sense of pitch, the vocal tracks followed the Chord Track in Universal mode (fig. 2). If you want to get really granular, Melodyne does an outstanding job of varying inflections.

Figure 2: The vocals now accompany a Musicloop. It’s necessary to Follow Chords in Universal mode.

That’s really all there is to it. I just know someone is going to figure out how to use this to create some cool novelty song, it will be a big hit, get zillions of streams, and shower a Studio One user with riches and fame. That’s why it’s so important to read the Friday Tip every week 😊