PreSonus Blog

River City Session: Sydney and The SAMS

Music is essential.

And that’s why we’re excited to share the next episode of River City Sessions. This month, we’re sharing an original song titled “Papi Chulo,” by South Louisiana natives Sydney and The SAMS. Read more about the band, the song, and how it was recorded below.

Follow Sydney and The SAMS here!

Give us some background on yourself and the band. How long have you guys been making music?

We have been a band surprisingly for less than a year! I think we have a natural friendship and chemistry that makes people think that we’ve been together for years.

Follow Sydney on Instagram

“Papi Chulo” Such a great song! Can you tell us when you wrote it? What’s the inspiration? 

“Papi Chulo” was actually the first song I ever wrote! I (Sydney) recorded three years ago when I first started making music. When we got together as a band, we started incorporating some of my originals into our sets and this song became an instant hit with our fans. 
“Papi Chulo” is about liking a guy and wanting to hang out and smoke. It was actually about a guy I liked at the time and all we did was hang out in the car and talk.

Does writing a melody come naturally to you? 

It depends. The beat has to be catchy. I have to find the melody and it kinda has to come to me. If I don’t feel it in a few minutes, I usually move on. 

Where do your ideas for songs come from? 

All my music comes from personal experiences. I feel like songwriting is therapy to me. The fact that it’s relatable to listeners is just extra. It feels good to know my lyric is relatable and people have been in the same positions as me and felt like I’ve felt at some point. That’s the point of music; to touch people in some way whether it be a happy emotion or a sad one. 

Can you describe the first time you wrote a song?

I found this cool beat on YouTube and just started writing. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do but never really tried to do. One day I was like, “whatever, I’ll try.” I did a rough record on my phone and sent to NJ (my engineer) and told him “If this sucks, tell me. If not, I wanna book a session.” And it’s been history ever since.

Do you prefer performing your own music or covers? What’s the difference? 

I enjoy both because even when we do covers, we always put our own little spin on it or rearrange it so it’s more our own. We also do medleys with our originals to kinda bring the crowd back and make them interact with us. Ultimately it’s about having a good time and making sure the crowd has an amazing, memorable time. 

How has the Coronavirus affected your music? 

We used to gig so much and it really put all our gigging and traveling at a complete halt. At first it was creatively discouraging but we decided to virtual concerts to continue to perform and connect with our fans in a different way. People really loved them and received it really well. Livestreaming  is a way for us to reconnect and stay fresh. It also gave us time to finish our EP which will be released this July!

Follow Sydney and THE SAMS

Now that the coronavirus has thrown a wrench in everything, What do you miss most about performing live? 

I miss having fun with the crowds mostly. Dancing and singing with them was the most fun part of it all. As a concertgoer, that was my most memorable time and now as an entertainer, I want every person in the room dancing and having an amazing time! I hope we do that every time.

Do you plan on doing any live streams? 

We’ve done two live-stream virtual concerts. We’ll be live streaming our EP release concert and party as well. So y’all join the fun!

WATCH the performance here.

Connect with Sydney and THE SAMS on Facebook

Follow Syndey on Instagram!

Rockin’ Rhythms with Multiband Gating

We’ve covered multiband processing before, but now it’s time for something different: multiband gating.

You send a drum or percussion track to three buses, each with an EQ covering a different frequency range—e.g., kick, snare, and cymbals. These provide three control signals…and here’s what we do with them.

A guitar track feeds an FX Chain with Ampire, which goes into a Splitter that splits by frequency. There’s a gate in each split, and they’re driven by the control signals. So when the kick hits, the guitar’s low frequencies come through. When snare and upper toms hit, the mids come through and when there are high-frequency sounds like percussion, they trigger the highs. You can think of the effect as similar to a mini-vocoder.

The audio example has some Brazilian rhythms triggering the gates, and you can hear the kind of animation this technique adds to the guitar part. The first four measures have the drums mixed with the processed guitar, while the second four measures are processed guitar only.

 

 

SETTING IT UP

Fig. 1: The track layout for multiband gating.

The Drums track has three pre-fader sends, which go to the Lo, Mid, and Hi frequency buses. Each bus has a Pro EQ to emphasize the desired low, mid, and high frequencies. Then, each bus has a send that goes to its associated Gate sidechain in the Guitar track (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Splitter and Gate setup for multiband gating.

The guitar goes to Ampire, which splits into three frequencies bands thanks ot the Splitter’s Frequency Split magical powers. Each split goes to a Gate, and the sends from the Lo, Mid, and Hi buses feed their respective gate sidechains.

Inserting a Dual Pan after the Mid and Hi gates can enhance the sound further, by spreading these frequencies a bit to the left or right to give more of a stereo spread. You’ll probably want to keep the low frequencies centered.

You don’t have to get too precise about tuning the EQs in the buses, or setting the Splitter frequencies. I set up the Splitter frequencies by playing guitar through the Splitter, and adjusting the bands so that the guitar’s various frequency ranges seemed balanced. As for the Pro EQs in the buses, I just tuned those to the drum sounds until the guitar rhythm was rockin’ along.

This takes a little effort to set up, but multiband gating can add a unique rhythmic kick to your music. Interestingly, you may also find that you don’t need as much instrumentation when one of them is blurring the line between melody and rhythm.

Add Studio One to your workflow today for 30% off!

 

 

 

Craig Anderton’s Big Book Round-Up

If you’ve spent a couple of spare evenings at home poking around the web for tips on music and audio production, it’s really very likely that you’ve run into some posts, articles, or comments from Craig Anderton. In fact, you may have had to update your search criteria to sort by “most recent,” because it’s fairly common for Google to show you some Craig Anderton posts from the dawn of the internet age, which—while cool—may not be particularly full of insight on Studio One version 4.

Fact is Craig is our industry’s most acclaimed writers, and he’s spoken about Studio One in-person at more events than I can count, and is of course responsible for the Friday Tips section of this very blog. In short, Craig’s contributions to the success and proliferation of Studio One can’t really be counted.

But his Studio One books? Those can be counted. There are five.

We wanted to take a minute to thank Craig for all of his hard work, broadly-reaching creative output, and continued support of PreSonus and Studio One. Let’s take a closer look at what he’s got over at shop.presonus.com. Chances are one or more of these will prove valuable to you and your process. Note that these are eBooks, not hardcover books, and will be downloaded as PDFs.


How to Record and Mix Great Guitar Sounds in Studio One

Essential reading for anyone who records guitars in Studio One, this definitive book covers invaluable production and engineering techniques.

  • 274-page, beautifully-illustrated eBook is the fifth book in this acclaimed series of how to get the absolute most out of Studio One
  • Covers all aspects of recording and mixing guitar, from how to choose the right strings for a particular tone, to advanced techniques that bring out the best in amp modeling plug-ins
  • Applicable to all genres, from acoustic folk to heavy metal
  • Links from contents page to topics—find specific subjects quickly
  • Find out how to use DSP, effects, real-time control, and much more

The Big Book of Studio One Tips and Tricks

Consolidates, updates, expands on, and categorizes 130 tips from Craig’s popular “Friday Tip of the Week” blog posts that you probably have been checking out right here. Essential reading. This massive book includes tips on how solve problems, enhance sound quality, improve workflow, achieve greater expressiveness, create signature sounds, and much more.

  • 289 pages with 278 four-color illustrations to help streamline the learning process
  • Includes 39 free presets (28 Multipresets, 10 Mai Tai presets, 1 Presence XT preset) that support the tips

 


How to Create Compelling Mixes in Studio One

A comprehensive, practical, and above all inspiring guide on how to use Studio One’s sophisticated toolset to craft the perfect mix.

  • 258-page eBook with over 180 four-color illustrations
  • Downloadable PDF format, with links from the contents to book topics
  • “Key Takeaways” section for each chapter summarizes chapter highlights
  • “Tech Talk” sidebars do deep dives into selected topics
  • Covers all aspects of mixing with Studio One

Also available en Español!


More than Compressors: The Complete Guide to Dynamics in Studio One

The ultimate guide to becoming an expert on Studio One’s dynamics processors and dynamics-oriented features.

  • 258-page eBook with over 180 four-color illustrations
  • Downloadable PDF format, with links from the contents to book topics
  • “Key Takeaways” section for each chapter summarizes chapter highlights
  • “Tech Talk” sidebars do deep dives into selected topics
  • Covers all aspects of mixing with Studio One

 


How to Record and Mix Great Vocals in Studio One

The ultimate guide to capturing, producing, and mixing superb vocal performances in Studio One.

  • Profusely illustrated, 121-page eBook
  • Covers everything from microphones to the final mix
  • Tips on creating compelling vocal performances
  • Links from contents page to topics
  • Filled with practical, real-world examples

 

SuperKick—Tune and Enhance Your Kick Drum

If you do hip-hop or EDM, you’re in the right place.

This tip turns wimpy kicks into superkicks, using a different technique compared to drum replacement (see the Friday Tip for February 9, 2018). Listen to the audio example, and you’ll hear why this is cool.

Audio Example: The second four measures add the SuperKick effect to the loop in the first four measures. The added kick is 40 Hz…so don’t expect to hear anything on laptop speakers!

The basic concept is to add another track with a low-frequency sine wave, tuned to your pitch of choice. This can be a WAV file, but this example uses the highly-underrated, and extremely useful, Tone Generator plug-in set to a floor-shaking 40 Hz sine wave. A Bus “listens” to the loop, and uses EQ to filter out everything except the kick; you don’t hear this audio, but it gates the Tone Generator’s sine wave so that it tracks the kick. Fig. 1 shows the setup.

 

Figure 1: Setup to tune and enhance the kick in an existing loop.

  1. Track 1 is your drum loop; the audio example uses the Warehouse Tech Musicloop included in Studio One. Insert a pre-fader Send that goes to a Bus (named “EQ Bus” in this example). The reason for a pre-fader send is you’ll want to turn the Track fader down when tweaking the EQ and Gate responses covered later.
  2. Insert the Pro EQ into the EQ Bus. Tweak the response to filter out everything but the kick. The High Cut’s 48 dB/octave slope will probably do the job, although if there’s a lot of other bass action (like floor toms or bass) you may need to add an additional Peaking stage. Zero in on the kick’s lowest audible frequency, and apply a narrow boost.
  3. Add a Track, and insert the Tone Generator. Turn it on, then set it to produce a constant, low-frequency sine wave. Follow the tone Generator with a Gate.
  4. Add a pre-fader send from the EQ Bus to the Gate’s sidechain.
  5. To produce the most reliable triggering, the Gate settings and the Send level going to the Gate’s sidechain are crucial. Set the Threshold Close just slightly lower than the Open setting. Release determines how long the kick will last; 5 to 10 ms of hold minimizes “chattering.” Start by setting the Open and Threshold controls as shown, and adjust the Send to the sidechain for the most reliable triggering. If the kick tone doesn’t trigger, even with the Send to the sidechain turned up, lower the Open and Threshold close controls. If the kick tone stays on all the time, lower the Send level.

With the loop fader down so you’re not distracted, play with the Tone Generator frequency, EQ frequency to isolate the kick sound, and Gate settings until there’s reliable kick triggering. How you set the gate provides various options: extend the Release for a “hum drum” effect, or for more expressiveness, automate the release time. Increasing the Hold time alters the character as well.=

And after everything is set up…stand back while the floors shake!

Buy Studio One for LESS now!

 

 

PreSonus Solution: How to have a Worship Service in the Midst of Covid-19

When making ministry decisions, it’s important to ask yourself questions beyond just budgetary concerns.

Ask yourself and your team things like: 

  • “How will this help?” 
  • “What am I/we doing to be a good steward of the equipment, money, resources, and manpower given to me/us?” 
  • “What is the best use of those resources?”

As countries and cities around the globe slowly ease shelter-in-place orders, it’s vital to understand that even as we can begin to open the doors to our houses of worship, members of our congregation and newcomers as well may not feel comfortable coming together in confined spaces. With that said, many houses of worship are turning to outdoor services as a viable, serious, stand-alone option during this pleasant summer season as an easy, safe, and affordable alternative to reduced indoor occupancy.  

 

Thankfully, you can easily put the pieces into place to accommodate an outdoor service… you might even have most of what you need already. PreSonus offers systems that are affordable, expandable, easy to use, and best of all, great-sounding. Find out what thousands of outdoor venues already know – PreSonus has a solution to fit your needs, regardless of budget, size, or skill level. With a three-year warranty on our mixers and an amazing six-year warranty on our speaker systems, you’ll have the peace of mind about your equipment that your people will have about your concerns for their well-being.

Learn more about the PreSonus Air Loudspeakers here: https://www.presonus.com/products/AIR-Loudspeakers

Find a StudioLive Series III Rack Mixer that’s right for you here: https://www.presonus.com/products/StudioLive-Series-III-Rack-Mixers

WATCH more here:

Studio One 4.6.2 is here

To get this free update for Studio One 4 users, just click “Check for updates” from Studio One’s Start Page!

Here’s the complete change log:

New features and improvements:

  • Improved ARA chord integration (Melodyne 5 compatibility)
  • Added Quantum 2626 Device Template
Fixes:
  • [Ampire] Audible pop on instantiation
  • [Ampire] Loud click when switching thru Wah models
  • [Melodyne] Crash when using “Copy Song Data to Note Assignment”
  • [Presence XT] Sample start modulation shifts loop start as well
  • [Windows] Slow redraw moving less than 51 items
  • [Windows] Crash on duplicating / moving / replacing arranger sections
  • [Windows] Fat Channel Plug-ins not working on certain systems
  • Multi Instruments w/ NoteFX missing Fader/Inserts when recalled
  • Pattern Part “Variations” are not recalled correctly
  • Automation not responding on scroll wheel in Pattern Melodic Mode
  • Menu item “Assign in ascending order” should not appear pipeline’s port menus
  • Redraw problems in Scratchpad timeline
  • Potential crash on playback when an audio event has an invalid length or offset
  • “Tab to Transients” doesn’t work in .multitrack files
  • VST2 plugins do not report key switches

Thanks for making us part of your process—software sale extended… again!

Strange days have been upon us for a while now. We wanted to take a minute to let you, as a creator, know something: we see you. In fact, the world sees you. And hears you. How do we know?

Because in a time when many businesses have had to close—temporarily or even permanently—dealers of musical instruments and associated accouterments are, frankly, kickin’ ass. So much so, in fact, that Rolling Stone ran an article on the matter. And when was the last time you read a Rolling Stone article on something as thrilling as audio interface sales trends?

 

Look, the day’s going to come when this is all over. And we know that as a musician or a creator, you’re going to come out of this thing with something priceless. Because you’re a creative, and you know what to do with idle hands—you get some art made. Make some music. Jumpstart that podcast idea. You get to work during this weird time, and create… not just for yourself, but for the people around you who need to know they’re not alone.

In ten years, people are going to be telling stories about that time when I am Legend almost happened for real back in 2020, and how it kept us from our friends and families. And some of them will most certainly remember the songs you wrote about it. They’ll remember the socially-distant concerts performed to passersby from front porches. They’ll recall the Skype/Zoom/Google Hangout/FaceTime/live-streamed online collaborations and performances; family members huddled around tablets like some sort of digital 21st-century e-campfire.They might even be listening to the 500th episode of that podcast you launched three weeks ago.

This too shall pass. But when we look back on the moments that were made a little more tolerable, a little brighter—and daresay even fun—it’s going to be because we had creators like you to chronicle the experience and immortalize your unique experience of it your art of choice: song, podcast, vlog, or something in between.

What you’re doing as an artist is as important to our history as this pandemic itself, and PreSonus wants you to know that we’re honored to have some small part in your process. Thanks for choosing us, and if Studio One or Notion or your AudioBox has helped you realize your creative vision.. well, that helps us sleep at night, and it’s why we’re all working from our kitchens and spare bedrooms to keep PreSonus running… to support you.

Because what you’re doing is so important, we’re gonna keep Studio One and Notion at 30% off, for another month.  

Keep safe, keep creating. Thank you for keeping us inspired.

 

The De-Stresser FX Chain

Feeling a little bit stressed?

I’m not surprised. Or do you ever have one of those days? Of course you do! Wouldn’t it be great to go down to the beach, listen to the waves for a while, and chill to those soothing sounds? The only problem for me is that going to the beach would involve a 7-hour drive.

Hence the De-Stresser FX Chain, which doesn’t sound exactly like the ocean—but emulates its desirable sonic effects. If you’re already stressed out, then you probably don’t want to take the time to assemble this chain, so feel free to go to the download link. Load the FX Chain into a channel, but note that you must enable input monitoring, because the sound source is the plug-in Tone Generator’s white noise option.

About the FX Chain

Figure 1: Effects used to create the De-Stresser’s virtual ocean.

Fig. 1 shows the FX Chain’s “block diagram.” The Splitter adds variety to the overall sound by feeding dual asynchronous “waves,” as generated by the X-Trems (set for tremolo mode). The X-Trem LFO’s lowest rate is 0.10 Hz; this should be slow enough, but for even slower waves, you can sync to tempo with a long note value, and set a really slow tempo.

Waves also have a little filtering as they break on the beach, which the Autofilters provide. The Pro EQs tailor the low- and high-frequency content to alter the waves’ apparent size and distance.

And of course, there’s the ever-popular Binaural Pan at the end. This helps create a more realistic stereo image when listening on headphones.

Macro Controls

Figure 2: The Macro Controls panel.

Regarding the Macro Controls panel (Fig. 2), the two Timbre controls alter the filter type for the two Autofilters. This provides additional variety, so choose whichever filter type combination you prefer. Crest alters the X-Trem depth, so higher values increase the difference between the waves’ peaks and troughs.

The Sci-Fi Ocean control adds resonance to the filtering. This isn’t designed to enhance the realism, but it’s kinda fun. Another subtle sci-fi sound involves setting the two Timbre controls to the Comb response.

As you move further away from real waves, the sound has fewer high frequencies. So, Distance controls the Pro EQ HC (High Cut) filters. Similarly, Wave Size controls the LC filter, because bigger waves have more of a low-frequency component. The Calmer control varies the Autofilter mix; turning it up gives smaller, shallower waves.

When you want to relax, this makes a soothing background. Put on good headphones, and you can lose yourself in the sound. It also makes a relaxing environmental sound when played over speakers at a low level. If your computer has Bluetooth, and you have Bluetooth speakers, try playing this in the background at the end of a long day.

Son of the Beach

This is just one example of the kind of environmental sounds and effects you can make with Studio One, so let me know if this type of tip interests you. I’ve also done rain, rocket engines, howling gales, the engine room of an interstellar cargo ship, cosmic thuds, various soundscapes, and even backgrounds designed to encourage theta and delta brain waves. I made the last one originally for a friend of mine whose children had a hard time going to sleep, and burned it to CD. When I asked what he thought, he said “no one has ever heard how it ends.” So I guess it worked! Chalk up another unusual Studio One application.

 

Download the De-Stresser FX Chain here!

Shop Studio One NOW!

BUY NOW – Seven Day Savings on Notion’s Percussion Bundle

SHOP NOW!

The Percussion Bundle is the percussionist’s toolbox.

The entire Notion Percussion bundle is a palette of drums, rhythm shakers, cymbals, noise makers and sound effects from around the globe.

Click here to shop!

The entire bundle is available in this single convenient download, or you can pick and choose from the various collections available in the bundle. Get just the sizzle cymbal, bongo, or duck call that works just right for you and your project—for 30% less!

Drums
Tenor Drum, Side Drum, Piccolo Snare, Long Drum, Bongos, Bongos w/ Sticks, and Bodhran.
The drum samples were played by Neil Percy of the London Symphony Orchestra.
(53.7 MB download)

Cymbals
Splash Cymbal, Finger Cymbal, Sizzle Cymbal, and Chinese Bo.
The cymbal samples were played by Neil Percy of the London Symphony Orchestra.
(101.7 MB download)

Effects
Hand Clap, Champagne Bottle, Church Bell, Car Horn (low & high), Siren, Thunder Sheet, Wind Machine, Lead Pipe (low & high), Flower Pots, Hammer, Lion’s Roar, Cuckoo, Referee Whistle, Duck Call, Train Whistle, and Nightingale.
The effects samples were played by Neil Percy of the London Symphony Orchestra.
(42.3 MB download)

Pitched Percussion
Tuned Gongs, Almglocken, Saw, Hand Bells, Wine Glasses, Whistling, and Whistling (Vibrato).
The pitched percussion samples were played by Neil Percy of the London Symphony Orchestra.
(148.4 MB download)

Percussion
Cuica, Ocean Drum, Log Drum 1, Bodhran, Slide Whistle, Anvil, Sand Blocks, Rainstick, Drum Sticks, Agogo (low & high), Brake Drum (low & high), Ratchet (low & high), Whip Flexatone, Vibrastick, Vibraslap (low & high), Water Gong, and Bell Tree.
The percussion samples were played by Neil Percy of the London Symphony Orchestra.
(88.7 MB download)

This offer is available now through June 7, 2020, and is offered worldwide.

Save 50% on the CTC-1 Pro Console Shaper!

SHOP NOW!

 

This week only…

Save 5o% on the CTC-1 Pro Console Shaper right out of the PreSonus Shop!

The CTC-1 Pro Console Shaper is the second in its series of Mix Engine FX plug-ins for Studio One. The add-on, which works with Studio One Professional 3.3.1 and later, provides three great-sounding models of classic British, vintage tube, and custom consoles and adds several major enhancements to the Mix Engine FX environment.

HURRY! This offer is valid now through June 7, 2020, and is available worldwide.