Looking for some of the best-sounding pianos you can get for Studio One? Look no further than this Piano Collection from Chocolate Audio. And, lucky you, save 30% on the whole collection for the month of July 2019!
Three different pianos are available, each recorded with high-quality mics and expensive preamps. They also take advantage of Presence XT’s advanced scripting functionality to simulate the behavior of these beloved instruments as accurately as digitally possible.
Click on over to shop.presonus.com to hear audio demos of these incredible-sounding instruments. And if you’re still not sure after listening… get the combo pack of all three! The Chocolate Audio Piano Collection for Studio One is available only at shop.presonus.com.
Last but not least:
The Chocolate Audio Pianos are compatible with Studio One 3.2 or later: Prime, Artist, and Professional editions.
All of the pianos in this family have the following onboard script controls:
Well…maybe it actually is, and we’ll cover both positive and negative flanging (there’s a link to download multipresets for both options). Both do true, through-zero flanging, which sounds like the vintage, tape-based flanging sound from the late 60s.
The basis of this is—surprise!—our old friend the Autofilter (see the Friday Tip for June 17, Studio One’s Secret Equalizer, for information on using its unusual filter responses for sound design). The more I use that sucker, the more uses I find for it. I’m hoping there’s a dishwashing module in there somewhere…meanwhile, for this tip we’ll use the Comb filter.
Flanging depended on two signals playing against each other, with the time delay of one varying while the other stayed constant. Positive flanging was the result of the two signals being in phase. This gave a zinging, resonant type of flanging sound.
Fig. 1 shows the control settings for positive flanging. Turn Auto Gain off, Mix to 100%, and set both pairs of Env and LFO sliders to 0. Adding Drive gives a little saturation for more of a vintage tape sound (or follow the May 31 tip, In Praise of Saturation, for an alternate tape sound option). Resonance is to taste, but the setting shown above is a good place to start. The Gain control setting of 3 dB isn’t essential, but compensates for a volume loss when enabling/bypassing the FX Chain.
Varying the Cutoff controls the flanging effect. We won’t use the Autofilter’s LFO, because real tape flanging didn’t use an LFO—you controlled it by hand. Controlling the flanging process was always inexact due to tape recorder motor inertia, so a better strategy is to automate the Cutoff parameter, and create an automation curve that approximates the way flanging really varied (Fig. 2)—which was most definitely not a sine or triangle wave. A major advantage of creating an automation curve is that we can make sure that the flanging follows the music in the most fitting way.
Throwing one of the two signals used to create flanging out of phase gave negative flanging, which had a hollower, “sucking” kind of sound. Also, when the variable speed tape caught up with and matched the reference tape, the signal canceled briefly due to being out of phase. It’s a little more difficult to create negative flanging, but here’s how to do it.
So is this the best flanger plug-in ever? Well if not, it’s pretty close…listen to the audio examples, and see what you think.
Both examples are adapted/excerpted from the song All Over Again (Every Day).
If you like what you hear, download the multipresets. There are individual ones for Positive Flanging and Negative Flanging. To automate the Flange Freq knob, right-click on it and choose Edit Knob 1 Automation. This overlays an automation envelope on the track that you can edit as desired to control the flanging.
And here’s a fine point for the rocket scientists in the crowd. Although most flangers do flanging by delaying one signal compared to another, most delays can’t go all the way up to 0 ms of delay, which is crucial for through-zero flanging where the two signals cancel at the negative flanging’s peak. The usual workaround is to delay the dry signal somewhat, for example by 1 ms, so if the minimum delay time for the processed signal is 1 ms, the two will be identical and cancel. The advantage of using the comb filter approach is that there’s no need to add any delay to the dry signal, yet they can still cancel at the peak of the flanging.
Finally, I’d like to mention my latest eBook—More Than Compressors – The Complete Guide to Dynamics in Studio One. It’s the follow-up to the book How to Record and Mix Great Vocals in Studio One. The new book is 146 pages, covers all aspects of dynamics (not just the signal processors), and is available as a download for $9.99.
We were recently introduced to Denny White via his artist bro and Studio One fan Josh Cumbee. Denny combines pop and electronic beats, soulful blues vocals, and a singer/songwriter style that takes listeners on a trip! Living in Los Angeles has awarded him opportunities to play alongside acts such as Young the Giant, Dawes, and Tove Styrke. He JUST released some vocal sample packs with our friends at Splice, and he’s currently working on a collection of singles leading up to his debut full-length album coming out soon! We recently had the opportunity to chat with him about his career and his gear.
Give us some background on yourself. How long have you been making music?
I grew up in a sleepy California suburb called Hemet and music was always at the centerpiece of everything we did. I fell slowly into making music as a career, and still find it crazy that I call this my “job.” My freshman year of college, I met my good buddy Brent Kutlze, who produced my first solo EP and mentored me early on. I saw first hand how he wrote & produced for other artists, while also being a full-time one himself in his band OneRepublic. Releasing that first EP led to me meeting a manager, doing hundreds of co-writes, moving to LA, and eventually signing a publishing deal with Warner Chappell.
How has the music industry changed since your early days?
It’s such a catch-22… everything’s changed while nothing has at the same time. I was technically streaming music in high school with Limewire and MySpace, but couldn’t have dreamed it would morph into streaming as we know it today. On the recording side, I’m still producing on a laptop like I was in college, but everything is light years better and faster than anything I could have imagined then. One of the biggest changes is the vast amounts of knowledge and resources available to everyone now. The industry once sounded like some mysterious faraway place that only a few had access to, but now that glass ceiling has been shattered. I’ve written with kids who know about publishing, licensing, producing, and even their own frequency preferences on a vocal, thanks to amazing resources like Pensado’s Place, or podcasts like Ross Golan’s And the Writer is.
My first song was written for a school talent show, and I hope to find a dusty VHS tape someday with a little me on it, most likely singing a mid-tempo Ben Folds-esque piano tune.
Who has been an influence in your life?
Hands down my wife’s been the biggest influence in my life. Musically, I’ve been the benefactor of so many talented friends and collaborators who’ve had an influence on me as well over the years, Brent Kutlze, Michael Brun, David Hodges, Alex Delicata, Steve Wilmot, and Jeff Sojka to name a few!
Have you ever wanted to give up on music? What keeps you going?
I’ve never wanted to give up on music per se, but have definitely contemplated other career paths, as this one has the propensity to drive you mad; you really have to love it despite the wild ebb and flow of the industry and embrace the process daily. My faith and family keep me going on days I don’t want to.
How did you first hear of PreSonus?
I’ve always known about PreSonus but knew little about the products until really hearing about Studio One from my freakishly talented friend Josh Cumbee last year.
What do you like about PreSonus? What caught your eye?
I remember being in Josh’s studio and was immediately intrigued when I saw the Start Page of Studio One. It felt so unique and custom to Josh. The first feature that caught my eye was the window in the middle where you can upload your own art, that prints on every mixdown. Also, the organization of seeing all recent files on the left, without having to scroll through a list or search your hard drive immediately spoke to my OCD-ness.
What PreSonus products do you use?
What features are you most impressed with in Studio One?
I really dig Console Shaper, and the immediate vibe it can give to any blank start. The hybrid dual buffer engine is insane and makes it possible to work in large projects that historically would have been a cluster cuss, and allows me to use instances of soft synths that are taxing on CPU like Kontact or Vengeance Avenger up until the finish line. Tracklist organization, Fat Channel, and “Candleblower” bass in Mai Tai are a few of the other million things I love in it.
Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with Studio One?
Recently I released a Vocal pack on Splice, and Sample One XT made all my vocal chops feel so much more creative and important-sounding than anything I could have accomplished in my sad old DAW’s sampler. First I’d record pass of adlibs, tune with the integrated Melodyne (insanely fast,) then map individual samples across 3-5 keys and quickly explore new melody ideas. Another huge lifehack is I have “W” set to “Locate Mouse Cursor.” It’s insane how much time these things have saved me, and now I’m able to be creative almost immediately.
How easy/difficult was Studio One to learn?
The transition was so easy. I was very reluctant at first, thinking It’d take way too much time, but after doing a few sessions in it I was back at full speed with a whole new perspective on producing.
Where do you go for support?
From the Knowledgebase to millions of videos on YouTube, or texting one of my friends about Studio One, there’s never a shortage of support.
Recent projects? What’s next for you?
Last week I released my first Vocal Sample Pack on Splice that I’m really proud of. Currently, I’m in the middle of writing for my album, while also producing a record for Gabriel Conte!
Shakers, tambourines, eggs, maracas, and the like can add life and interest to a song by complementing the drum track. But it’s not always easy to play this kind of part. It has to be consistent, but not busy; humble enough to stay in the background, but strong enough to add impact…and this sounds like a job for version 4.5’s new MIDI features.
We’ll go through the process of creating a cool, 16th-note-based percussion part, but bear in mind that this is just one approach. Although it works well, there are many ways you can modify this process (which we’ll touch on at the end).
First, Choose Your Sound
Ideally, you’ll have a couple different samples of the percussion instrument you want to use. But if you don’t, there’s a simple workaround. I use Impact for these kinds of parts, and if there’s only one sample of something like a shaker, I’ll drag it to two pads, and detune one of the pads by -1 semitone so they sound different. In the following example, we’ll call the original sample Sound 1, and detuned sample, Sound 2.
Let’s create a two-bar percussion loop to start. Grab the Draw tool, and set the Quantize value to 1/4. Drag across the two measures to create a hit at every quarter note for Sound 1 (Fig. 1).
Next, set the Quantize value to 1/16. Drag across the two measures to create a hit at every 16th note for Sound 2 (Fig. 2). Hit Play, so you can marvel at how totally unmusical it sounds.
Now let’s make the part sound good. The key here is not to alter the 1/4 note hits—we want them rock solid, so that the rhythm won’t get pulled too far astray when we start adding variations to the 16th notes.
Select only the 16th notes for Sound 2, and let’s use version 4.5’s new Thin Out Notes command. I’m a fan of Delete notes randomly, and we’ll delete 40% of the notes. Choose the 1/16 grid, since that matches the part. Click OK, and now the part isn’t quite so annoyingly constant (Fig. 3).
But we still need to do something about the velocity, which is way too consistent—the real world doesn’t work that way. Select the string of 16th notes again, and this time, choose Humanize. Set a Velocity range and Note start range (like -40/40% and -.0015/0.0015 respectively), and then click OK (Fig. 4). Now look at the velocity strip: it’s a lot more interesting. The timing changes are also helpful, but they don’t have the “drunken percussion player” quality that you get a lot with randomized timings, because those rock-solid quarter note hits are still establishing the beat.
So now we have an interesting two-measure loop, but let’s not loop it—instead, we’ll create a part that lasts as long as we want, and it will still be interesting. Here’s how.
Duplicate the two measures for as long as you want. Select all the notes in the Sound B row, and choose Randomize notes. Uncheck everything except Shuffle Notes. Click on OK. All the notes will stay in the same position, and because there are no other candidate notes for shuffling, the timing won’t change. What will Shuffle is velocity. If you created a Shuffle Macro for the May 24 tip on End Boring MIDI Drum Parts, it will come in handy here—keep hitting that macro until the pattern is the way you want. After you de-select the notes, if you’ve chosen Velocity for note color, you’ll have a pretty colorful velocity strip (Fig. 5).
Now you have a part that sounds pretty good, and once you become familiar with the process, you’ll find it takes less time to generate a part than it does to read this. Here are some options to this technique.
The bottom line: there are a lot of possibilities!
Sometimes when you get inspired, you don’t have time to wait before laying down some tracks. But then you want a compressor, and maybe a bit of dirt for an amp sound, some EQ, and a little doubling for flavor…maybe a touch of funk…and by the time you’ve inserted and tweaked everything, you’ve forgotten what you were going to play. No more! The Bass QuickStrip FX Chain is here to help you dial up a sound in seconds.
Rather than go through all the backstory on how it’s done, just download the FX Chain, and reverse-engineer it to your heart’s content. Here are the highlights, along with crucial controls you can customize to make the chain your own.
Dirt Control: This is the Mix control for the RedLightDist processor, whose settings have been optimized for bass. For more highs, turn up the processor’s High Freq control, or turn down for a bassier growl. This stage has an associated enable/bypass button.
Funk Cutoff, Funk Res, and Funk Mix: These are the essential Autofilter controls for when you want to lay some funk on your bass. Cutoff covers the general range to match your playing, Res is the filter resonance, and because envelope filters are best for bass when placed in the parallel, Mix controls the dry/filter balance. It has an associated enable/bypass switch.
Note that the RedLightDist and Autofilter are fed off a split, so they do parallel processing. This is in addition to the parallel processing done within the processors themselves.
Bass, Mid, and Treble: This “tone stack” for the Bass QuickStrip controls parameters in the Pro EQ. They don’t cover the full boost/cut range, but if you want to get more extreme, be my guest.
Compressor: The compression is optimized for bass, so the single control is a dry/compressed mix, paired with an enable/bypass switch. Any customization would be to taste—for example, a lower Threshold, or higher Ratio, for a more compressed sound. But if you want more variation and the ability to change the compression from light to heavy, another option is to use the settings for the EZ Squeez one-knob compressor, which was the subject of the Friday tip for August 24, 2018.
Doubler: This switch brings in a doubling effect, courtesy of the Analog Delay. It also bumps up the gain a bit using the Mixtool, so that the doubled and dry sounds have the same apparent level.
So download away—and lay down the low.
How long have you worked for PreSonus?
I joined the company in 2012.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? Why did you choose to work here?
Being able to develop meaningful relationships with influential and creatively successful people to showcase relate-able use cases of our product line in action; ultimately bringing humans together from different backgrounds in life who share a common love of expressing themselves through sound and vision.
I moved out to Louisiana from California back in 2012 to get away; a sabbatical from the L.A. hustle, if you will. Being the birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans to this day still has a vibrant live music scene compared to other cities and I had enough $$$ saved up to live for at least 6 months. So I went from one L.A. to another LA.
For those who aren’t aware, PreSonus is based an hour northwest of New Orleans and they were hiring so I applied, got hired and ended up moving to Baton Rouge. Even though I no longer live in Louisiana, I’m still very lucky to be working daily with such amazing talented people. No other company is quite like us in terms of camaraderie and dedication to making things happen, world-wide.
Got any tips for working with Studio One?
Yep! Check out my Studio One “1-Minute Tip” videos:
What instruments do you play?
Bass, guitar, piano, drums, cello and trumpet. Studio One is the DAW environment is where I can produce tangible recorded audio assets for others to use. But playing instruments *live* with other musicians has always been my greatest strength and main love, in terms of collaborative creative events.
What is it that you love about “live” performance?
It’s fun, brings people together and a very instantaneous source of joy. When everyone is in sync with each other, it’s magical. I believe it brings out the best in humanity.
Why is this your favorite endeavor?
Engaging in real-time musical conversations with other willing musicians and expressing myself freely without being bound by the spoken or written language construct. When those moments of true musical chemistry and magic happen, you know it’s because the people involved are actively listening to one another, putting their heart and soul into the collective effort and channeling it as a group “sonic painting” event that rarely happens exactly the same way twice.
Everyone has a side gig, what’s yours? OR when you’re not at PreSonus, what are you up to?
Recording instrumental tracks for singers, producers and working on sound design. Teaching applied music theory, ear training plus improvisation to students young and old. I’ve started getting into reverse-engineering analog effect pedal circuits. When I’m not PreSonus’ing or working on music, I’m in full-on #DadMode and loving every moment.
Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
“Interstellar”. I constantly travel between different ‘worlds’ and can access experiences from all points in the timeline of my life’s stored memory banks to find viable solutions and resolving issues effectively. Never journeyed through a wormhole, though.
What was the first 8-track, cassette, CD or digital download you purchased?
Prince & The Revolution “Purple Rain”.
Who’s your go-to band or artist(s) when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
70’s jazz-fusion. 80’s Minneapolis Sound. 90’s hip-hop and neo-soul. 00’s French electro-house. 10’s future funk.
The musicians who influenced your own playing or approach?
Everyone I’ve jammed with since the moment I picked up an instrument.
What’s your go-to Karaoke song?
“Regulate Ft. Nate Dogg” by Warren G. Next up would be “Crush On You” by Lil Kim and Crease.
Every January, we congregate for a week in Anaheim to demo our Products and field questions like a tightly-knit family at The NAMM Show. Stop by and visit us at Booth #18801 in the North Building.
What are you currently working on at PreSonus? What’s next for you?
Finding more relevant product/use case resonant relationships for the company. We’re really interested in content creators and live streamers with strong online audience engagement (YouTube and Twitch) in addition to Artists, Producers, Live FOH Engineers, Studio Mix Engineers, and Mastering Engineers. Continuing to develop my Studio One chops as there’s always new improvements to our DAW happening regularly from user base input. Helping to make our products better every day for you all to enjoy and benefit from.
What’s the strangest talent you have?
I used to be able to perform the Doctor Who theme (lead synth melody line) using a cello bow on the edge of a standard hand saw; all while having gulped an entire packet of grape-flavored Pop Rocks and not letting the chaos inside my mouth affect my musical performance. That talent came to an end when all the bow hair frayed out… GAME OVER.
Anything else you want to share?
“No amount of money ever bought a second of time” (Howard Stark, The Avengers Endgame) really resonates the older I get and I hope that others will take that quote to heart too, as we make decisions that will inevitably shape the reality of what future generations will inherit from us.
Basically, choose wisely what you do with every moment of your lifetime and don’t take anything for granted!
[Announcement: the follow-up book to “How to Record and Mix Great Vocals in Studio One” is now available—hop on over to the PreSonus Shop to check out “More than Compressors: The Complete Guide to Dynamics in Studio One.” Thank you! We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.]
Pop quiz: How many EQ plug-ins ship with Studio One Pro?
If you answered seven, congratulations! Then you know about the Pro EQ, the three different Fat Channel EQs, Ampire’s Graphic Equalizer, the Channel Strip, and using the Multiband Dynamics as a really hip graphic EQ. But actually, the correct answer is eight.
If you turn off the “auto” aspects of the Autofilter, you can take advantage of two filters, each with multiple filter topologies: three “rhymes-with-vogue”-style lowpass Ladder filters (sorry, if I mention the actual synthesizer name, I get hassled), two analog state-variable filters (yes, the same topology as the infamous Project #17, the “Super Tone Control,” in my book Electronic Projects for Musicians), one digital state-variable filter, a comb filter, and a zero-delay, 24/dB octave low-pass filter. Furthermore, you can route the two filters in series, or in parallel, as well as offset their cutoff frequencies from each other by up to 2 octaves.
The state-variable filters are particularly interesting because you can alter the response continuously from lowpass, to bandpass, to highpass, all with variable cutoff and resonance. This gives responses that are difficult, if not impossible, to obtain any other way.
So who cares about different filter types, anyway—other than guitar players who want to get totally rad wah effects? Well, these are invaluable for sound design, FX and breaks for DJs, synthesizer sweeps, and to add spice to tracks that sound just too darn normal. Don’t think of these filters necessarily as standard EQ, but more like EQ-based special effects. These parameters are automatable too, which opens up even more possibilities.
Using the testing procedure described in the Testing, Testing tip from May 16, let’s look at some of the spectral responses this exceptionally versatile pair of filters can produce.
But First, Turn Off Everything that Says Auto
To use the Autofilter as a filter, we need to turn off the automated aspects. Ctrl+click on both pairs of Env and LFO sliders to zero them out. Now we’re left with only the filters, not the modulators trying to control them. Also turn off the gain’s Auto function, because in some of the unusual ways we’ll be using the filter, overloading and nasty distortion can result from Auto gain.
Fig. 1 shows the response for the 24 dB/octave ladder filter, with resonance turned up. Note that the Pro EQ high cut (lowpass) and low cut (highpass) filters can’t create this kind of curve, because they don’t have resonance controls. This is very much like the response of the classic rhymes-with-“vogue” filter, and you can automate the filter cutoff for grandiose filter sweeps.
But wait! There’s more—because there are two different filter sections, you can offset the resonant frequencies to create double peaks. In Fig. 2, the frequencies are offset by two octaves, and the filters are in parallel (see the section outlined in orange). So now we have a double-peak ladder filter…cool.
We can also do the “twin peaks” type of filter effect with the state-variable filters set to bandpass mode (Fig. 3). Here the filters are in parallel, and as with the above curve, they’re offset two octaves apart.
If you chain the two state-variable filters in series, set them to bandpass mode, don’t offset them, and boost the resonance, the filter curve makes a wonderful wah pedal (Fig. 4). The peak is sharp, with a steep rolloff on either side.
This also produces a strong sense of pitch with white or pink noise. One cool trick is using this setting to add a “tuned” aspect to snare drums, and other percussion instruments. Edit Studio One’s Tone Generator plug-in to generate pink noise, feed that into the above filter configuration, turn up the resonance, tune the cutoff to the desired pitch, then gate the noise with a snare hit. Mix in the desired amount of noise to give the drum a sense of pitch.
The highpass setting is useful as well, because you can obtain what’s popularly called the “voice of the Gods” effect for announcing and narration. Using a highpass filter gets rid of the super-low-frequency p-pops, but the resonance adds a boost in the bass range above the nasty stuff, so the voice still sounds full and big (Fig. 5).
It’s also possible to create responses that are just plain unusual, like this notch + double peak outside of the notch (Fig. 6). For some sound-design type wind sounds, drop the resonance to around 30%, and sweep the cutoff between 2 kHz and 6 kHz. Modulating randomly around a relatively low cutoff frequency can also give good rain and downpour sounds. Besides, who doesn’t like a curve that looks like Batman.
Combining two different filter topologies can also give interesting results. Fig. 7 shows a ladder filter in parallel with a state variable filter, along with considerable amounts of resonance. If you really want to scope out this configuration’s flexibility, vary the Filter 2 slider to alter the topology, and/or vary the Filter Spread to change the offset between the two filter types. Of course, changing resonance alters the sound even further.
And finally…this is going to sound ridiculous, but bear with me. I often augment sampled female choir presets; octave lower sine waves mixed in subtly can give the illusion of a male choir combined with a female choir. But that’s not all—noise can be a powerful enhancer for choirs, and it’s possible to set the Autofilter to impart vocal-like qualities to pink noise.
For this application, the Zero Delay LP 24 dB is the filter of choice to insert after the Tone Generator’s pink noise output, because the filtering has a smooth kind of quality, even with high resonance. To concentrate the spectrum on voice, a Pro EQ follows the Autofilter to take off the highs and lows outside of the vocal range (Fig. 8).
Okay, now for the bummer: You can’t control the Autofilter cutoff, and therefore the pitch, with notes—only controllers. That’s not a problem if you just need a kind of pedal point choir addition; tune the cutoff to the desired pitch, and use volume automation to bring it in and out.
One workaround is to sample the resulting choir-like noise at different pitches, and load them into Sample One XT (or Impact XT) so you can create envelopes that match the envelope of whatever choir sound you’re using, and play the notes from a keyboard. The result is uncanny—in some ways, it makes a sampled choir sound more like a real choir than if it consisted only of samples. And finally, for sound design, don’t forget that filtered white noise can also augment crowd sounds.
Autofilter? Okay, yeah, well…I guess. But there’s a lot more to the story than just wah pedals and funk bass.
Randy Hanley is the founder and host of the Manly Hanley podcast. He’s been using Studio One and a StudioLive mixer to produce the show, and sent us a TON of info on his production method and why he’s chosen PreSonus. If you’re looking to get into Podcasting, this is a great read.
Give us some background on yourself. Who are you, what do you do, and how long have you been podcasting?
I started out as a drummer, professionally teaching at music stores for 12 years. Drums lead me to learn about computers and technology through my interest in recording. I received a certificate at the Recording Institute of Detroit, back when we were still using mini ADAT Recorders, just when a software that rhymes with “Mo’ Jewels” was becoming “the thing.” There was just something about Mo’ Jewels that I was never able to become comfortable with.
I heard of PreSonus, when a music store colleague of mine mentioned that he was going to buy the ACP 88 Compressor. I didn’t even know what it was at the time, but he explained it to me, how it offered all of this compression/multiple channels, at an extremely great value. That’s basically the very first time I heard of PreSonus.
I started a Podcast back in 2011 called “Getting Android,” but I never followed through with it. After I bought my PreSonus FireStudio Project rig for recording music, I realized that I have way more than enough power/setup to do a simple podcast, so why not give it a try? Well, I eventually got around to it, in 2019 and I’m glad I did. I’m more of a reborn podcaster, so technically, I’ve been doing it (consistently) since January.
What PreSonus products do you use?
I use Studio One 4.5 Artist and the StudioLive 16, Series III. I originally started with the FireStudio Project.
What features, in particular, make StudioLive and Studio One suitable for podcasters?
The Templates, ease-of-use, and the perfect integration between Studio One and basically ANY hardware interfaces.
For Podcasting, I’ve created my own template, which you can see below.
What I think really makes PreSonus Studio One accessible to Podcasters? It’s future-proof. For instance, many podcasters move into doing more with their podcast, and that often includes Video/Vlogging. With the Professional edition of Studio One, you have all you need to not have to jump between programs! It’s tiring to jump back and forth from Camtasia (because its audio features are terrible), just to grab the audio file from a DAW. Studio One has it all there in one place. I won’t have to worry about sync issues, or format confusion, because the recent format additions in Studio One 4.5 are amazing and all I’ll ever need.
I also have noticed that Studio One is easy on the CPU/RAM resources–which I think is very important to us Podcasters–My machine isn’t a video-rendering beast–I just use it to record audio and Studio One is extremely fast, even on my somewhat modest machine.
I never feel like I’m lost with the way I can label things. It’s easy enough for my co-host to sit a tablet on the StudioLive and remotely control the faders of the mixer if we need to fix levels. Additionally, the labels on the mixer can reflect what I’ve named them in Studio One. I feel like there is always a way for me to get the job done with PreSonus.
Before I purchased the StudioLive 16, I thought to myself that this might be total overkill to use for a podcast. But then I thought back to how many products I’ve wasted my money on over the years, such as cheaper USB microphones. All of the money I spent on those products easily cost more than just buying this mixer, which includes Studio One anyway. It was a no-brainer. (Incidentally, I recently heard that PreSonus dropped the price on some of the Series III mixers as much as $200.)
Additionally, I was frequenting some Facebook podcasting groups, seeing which kind of problems users commonly had. Users were always running into issues setting up Audacity. Users also ask questions about “Where do I get my Podcast edited, produced, normalized, compressed…” the list went on an on. I realized I could do ALL of the above in Studio One. It’s a HUGE money-saver when it comes to producing my own podcast. I’m not paying anyone to do anything other than advertising and host my Podcast. The way I’m looking at it, I’m saving a ton of money each and every month producing it on my own. With my plug-ins and templates inside of Studio One, I don’t really have to do much editing, ever!
I heard so many good things about Studio One, especially that it was included with many of the hardware products that PreSonus sells and integrates well. Studio One can open projects from other DAWs such as Cubase, Pro Tools and others.
I also never have to worry about running out of inputs. I don’t know of a podcast that has 16 people talking at once 😊.
Also, with Studio One and my PreSonus hardware interface working with USB is the big sell for me doing this podcast. USB just works. I haven’t had to install any legacy drivers, etc.
What features are you most impressed with?
Ease-of-use and stability! Never crashes on me… EVER!
I am really impressed with how the StudioLive mixer has recall of the effects and fader positions–it doesn’t have to rely on my computer and Studio One’s project settings if I feel like just using the mixer as a LIVE MIXER. But then, if I want to jump into DAW mode, I can make the mixer follow the computer’s settings. There is so much flexibility, it’s crazy. I cannot think of anything I need. I’m also impressed that PreSonus uses AVB, an open standard that allows any vendor to support it. It’s not closed-minded and just feels like freedom. I’m an open-source guy whenever possible–it’s transparent and honest.
Oh, here’s a bonus feature: the community. The PreSonus forums are the best support you could ask for. When I started out with Studio One and my StudioLive mixer, I had a couple basic question. Embarrassingly, the answers were in the manual that came with the mixer, but the community was friendly and helped point me in the right direction. It’s like a small town of nice people wanting to help because they share similar passions, supporting this company that cares about its customers.
Any user tips or tricks or interesting stories based on your experience with PreSonus hardware and software?
I recorded some amazing bluegrass artists on some of the old FireStudio hardware and it still sounds phenomenal today.
As for tips, I’m a HUGE believer in templates. That’s the best way to be productive and save so much time. PreSonus templates are the best.
For Podcasting, I literally have to do zero cleanup. I have my effects set on the mixer (I typically use the Male Voice 1 or 2) and it applies just the right amount of compression and gating. I can do these effects on each individual Mic channel for each podcast co-host. I receive lots of compliments on how nice and clear the audio is. I share my experience often in some Podcast Support groups on Facebook, including this one.
What features do you want to see next in Studio One or StudioLive?
I’d like to maybe just a see a few more default templates, that are Podcast-specific, heck, I’ll share mine with any other Podcasters, just shoot me a message.
What’s next for you?
I hope to learn my mixer / DAW more. I want to do a live podcast eventually. I’d like to use the SD Card feature on the StudioLive mixer, because I know that Studio One makes it easier than ever to take those recordings, directly off the SD card, then opening the project, ready-to-edit on my computer!
I like anything that kickstarts creativity and gets you out of a rut—which is what this tip is all about. And, there’s even a bonus tip about how to create a Macro to make this process as simple as invoking a key command.
Here’s the premise. You have a MIDI drum part. It’s fine, but you want to add interest with a fill in various measures. So you move hits around to create a fill, but then you realize you want fills in quite a few places…and maybe you tend to fall into doing the same kind of fills, so you want some fresh ideas.
Here’s the solution: Studio One 4.5’s new Randomize menu, which can introduce random variations in velocity, note length, and other parameters. But what’s of interest for this application is the way Shuffle can move notes around on the timeline, while retaining the same pitch. This is great for drum parts.
The following drum part has a really simple pattern in measure 4—let’s spice it up. The notes follow an 8th note rhythm; applying shuffle will retain the 8th note rhythm, but let’s suppose you want to shuffle the fills into 16th-note rhythms.
Here’s a cool trick for altering the rhythm. If you’re using Impact, mute a drum you’re not using, and enter a string of 16th notes for that drum (outlined in orange in the following image). Then select all the notes you want to shuffle.
Go to the Action menu, and under Process, choose Randomize Notes. Next, click the box for Shuffle notes (outlined in orange).
Click on OK, and the notes will be shuffled to create a new pattern. You won’t hear the “ghost” 16th notes triggering the silent drum, but they’ll affect the shuffle. Here’s the pattern after shuffling.
If you like what you hear from the randomization, great. But if not, adding a couple more hits manually might do what you need. However, you can also make the randomizing process really efficient by creating a Macro to Undo/Shuffle/hit Enter.
Create the Macro by clicking on Edit|Undo in the left column, and then choose Add. Next, add Musical Functions|Randomize. For the Argument, check Shuffle notes; I also like to randomize Velocity between 40% and 100%. The last step in the Macro is Navigation|Enter. Finally, assign the Macro to a keyboard shortcut. I assigned it to Ctrl+Alt+E (as in, End Boring Drum Parts).
With the Macro, if you don’t like the results of the shuffle, then just hit the keyboard shortcut to initiate another shuffle…listen, decide, repeat as needed. (Note that you need to do the first in a series of shuffles manually because the Macro starts with an Undo command.) It usually doesn’t take too many tries to come up with something cool, or that with minimum modifications will do what you want. Once you have a fill you like, you can erase the ghost notes.
If the fill isn’t “dense” enough, no problem. Just add some extra kick, snare, etc. hits, do the first Randomize process, and then keep hitting the Macro keyboard shortcut until you hear a fill you like. Sometimes, drum hits will end up on the same note—this can actually be useful, by adding unanticipated dynamics.
Perhaps this sounds too good to be true, but try it. It’s never been easier to generate a bunch of fills—and then keep the ones you like best.
Boosting the highs a bit is a time-honored mixing and mastering technique. You don’t want to overdo it, but a little brightness can give a song a lift, increase vocal intelligibility, articulate instruments better, and add some welcome “ear candy.” If you look at the spectral energy of a lot of hit records going back decades, you’ll often find a few extra dB of boost in the 7 to 10 kHz range, to add some “air” and sweetness.
So just boost the EQ a little bit, right? Well, that’s one option…but we can do better. The Air Machine FX Chain (Fig. 1) is equally at home on individual tracks in the Song page (try it judiciously on drums, drum room mics, acoustic guitar, piano, vocals, etc.), or on finished mixes in the Project page. And yes, there’s a download at the end so you don’t even have to create this yourself.
Here’s how it works. By choosing the Splitter’s Frequency Split mode (outlined in orange), the Splitter acts as a crossover that sends the high frequencies through the right-hand split. The default crossover frequency is 7 kHz, but we’ll have more to say about this later.
The high frequencies then go through the Binaural Pan processor, which spreads out the stereo imaging. Because high frequencies are very directional, this not only increases the sense of “air,” but the feeling of space. Then, the Mixtool adds the appropriate amount of high-frequency boost.
As to assigning controls to the FX Chain, see Fig. 2.
The Air Width parameter alters the Binaural Pan Width parameter over its full range. The Air Boost control sweeps from no boost (0 dB Gain on the Mixtool) up to a maximum of about 6 dB. You really don’t want to go any higher than that.
The one control I couldn’t put in the FX Chain was the Splitter’s crossover frequency, so you may want to open up the FX Chain to alter this. The higher the frequency, the more boost you can apply without the high frequencies becoming overbearing. Sometimes, though, you might want to bring the crossover frequency down to 5 kHz or so if you want a more pronounced effect…or even up to 10 kHz for just a light dusting of high frequencies.
Yes, it really is that simple. And yes, the effect is best when used subtly. But try it—I think there’s a chance this may end up becoming one of your favorite FX Chains.