Jump to content

PreSonus Studio One Pro DAW


Anderton
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Although my favorite use for exploding MIDI parts involves drums, it's definitely not the only application.

For example, suppose you want to split the right and left hand parts of a piano. As long as they don't cross over too much (this would require some manual editing), you can explode the part and then recombine the notes.

The first attached image shows the piano part as recorded. (And yes, I really do love the fact that simply dragging an instrument from the browser into the arrange view creates a track!)

As it so happens, all the right hand notes happen from C3 on up, whereas the left hand notes are B2 and below. The second attached image shows the part after exploding each note pitch to its own track, and I've selected all the notes relating to the right hand part.

Now you just drag the part from each track that you want to consolidate into a single track. For example, everything from C3 and up gets dragged into one track, and everything from B2 on down gets dragged into a separate track.

At this point, though, all these tracks end up as separate layers within the two "master" tracks. All the notes from the various layers will show up in the edit window, so you don't really need to merge all the layers together just for editing (see the third attached image). However, if you look at the associated part, you only see the "topmost" layer, and you might want to be able to see an overview of the part. Or, you might want to edit on the part level, moving all notes around as one entity.

No problem: Just draw a marquee around the section of the track with the parts, and type G (or right-click on the part, go Part Functions > Merge Instrument Parts). Referring to the fourth attached image, the notes in the right hand part have already been merged, while the the notes in the left hand part are about to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 113
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Members

In post #75, I talked about exploding the notes of a drum part to put each MIDI drum part on its own track. "But," you say, "that doesn't help me if I want to add lots of reverb on the snare and EQ on the kick." You're right, it doesn't...but there's a function that does.

The first attached image shows an exploded drum part, where each drum note is on its own track. So far, so good. But it might be more useful if you could convert each MIDI track into an audio track with the audio that MIDI is driving, and that's what the "Bounce" function - as about to be selected in the screen shot - does.

After selecting Bounce, the MIDI parts play through the instrument, and the audio gets recorded as an audio track (see the second attached image). As you can see in the Edit window, the selected track is indeed an audio track (as are the others), that can be edited as appropriate. This is a faster-than-real-time process*- a relief, as I'm not a fan of being restricted to real-time bounces. Nor do you have to do any exporting-to-hard-drive-then-importing-into-project shuffle. Bounce, and it's there.

Note that the MIDI tracks still exist; they're just "pushed down" below the audio. Now each drum part is on its own track, and ready to be edited, processed, bent, folded, stapled, and mutilated as desired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

What we've been covering in the last few posts are what PreSonus calls "Part Functions" because they relate more to "managing" parts - merging, exploding, bouncing, etc. However, when you right-click on a part, you can also access "Musical" Functions, which affect the musical qualities of the part.

Many of these are common. For example, with Length, you can add or subtract particular amounts to or from notes, set notes to a fixed duration, or scale their lengths. Transpose can add or subtract semitones, or set all to the same pitch. Velocity works as expected, although it has a "compress" feature built into the dialog box - I don't have to divide by a certain amount, then add. I find the compress feature very useful, particularly as the only variable is a slider that sets the compression amount - simple.

Quantize also work as expected, in that you choose a rhythmic snap value, and you can quantize the note start and end times. However, there are a couple points of interest.

The first is that quantization is non-destructive at all times - you can always get back to the original part, as quantization is a playback-only phenomenon. However, if desired you can "freeze" quantization to make it become the de facto timing for the notes in a part.

The second is that there's a "Quantize 50%" command, which has an associated shortcut (Alt-Q). I almost always quantize based on a percentage strength, vastly preferring it to either tight quantization, or no quantization at all - it tightens up the part, but without making it rigid. I particularly like Studio One Pro's approach of making it a single key command rather than having to go into a menu and enter quantization strength. You can simple quantize 50%, and if you need it tighter, quantize again by 50%, and again, and again...it's like calculus, where you have successive approximations as the music gets tighter and tighter.

We'll get into the humanization and "de-glitching" functions next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

This isn't really part of the review, but as we're in PreSonus-land...I just reviewed the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile for EQmagazine, and I just have to say it's a very sweet FireWire interface (see the attached image). It has more I/O than usual (specifically, more line inputs), and the two mic pres are excellent. There's MIDI and S/PDIF on a breakout cable (if you don't need the functionality, don't bring the cable), and the whole thing is well-designed. I wouldn't bother to break into this review if I hadn't been impressed, but thought it was worth noting.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

This is one of the "musical" functions, and yes, it's intended to keep quantized MIDI parts from sounding too rigid (although you probably could have avoided that in the first place by using the Quantize 50% command...but I digress).

Anyway, in most cases Humanize doesn't do too much for me; humans don't change timing in random ways. (Well actually, I did play with a drummer once who seemed to change timing randomly, due to an affinity for beer. As a result I think most humanize menus should be calibrated in Beer Units - one beer of humanization, two beers of humanization, etc.)

But it's my duty to check out these things for pro reviews, so I humanized a drum part - the first audio example is the original quantized drum part, and the second audio example is the humanized version. There are also corresponding screen shots in the first attached image and second attached image, respectively.

As you can see, there are changes to start time, end times, and velocity. These are relatively subtle variations, which perhaps is a reason that this is the most musically successful humanize function I've heard in a DAW. However, the manual also has something to say about this: "The Humanize function...[is] based on rules modeled on common human performance patterns." Although I'm reluctant to throw the term "artificial intelligence" around, it does seem that the variations are not necessarily random. If anyone from PreSonus would care to chime in about the rules on which the humanize function was modeled, that would be fun information to know.

You can keep applying humanization if desired (the audio example went through two passes), however note that you have no real control over this process - you can't specify the degree of humanization, other than by re-applying the function multiple times (the audio example went through two passes). What you can do is reel it in if you go too far by selecting the "Humanize Less" function.

This is a surprisingly good humanize function - I'll actually use it, which I something I can't say for most randomizing options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Hiya ....

Any idea what DLL was moved by Wolfgang to get Studio one to recognize the cd burners? I have a problem with Studio One Pro not recognizing any of my cd burners.. any help to resolve this issue would be welcome
:thu:



IIRC, it was a somewhat complex process. Just download the latest update, it includes the "CD burner recognition" fix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • Members

Although as mentioned there are several standard MIDI editing options (like Transpose) as well as some overachievers (like Humanize), there are some other musical part options that do what might be thought of as standard tasks in innovative ways. For example...

Stretch. This is an easy way to do double or half-time tempos, but what intrigues me is the Free option, where you can "squeeze" a part's notes into a shorter overall length, or extend them to a longer length. The attached image shows stretch in action: The two parts are identical, except that the one on the left has been stretched to 88% of its original length.

This is useful for stretching particular passages of music to fit within certain constraints, such as matching audio to video. However, the real gem here is that you can apply stretch to notes within a part, not just an entire part. One of my favorite techniques for creating more interesting timing with (for example) tom rolls is to stretch the rolls out slightly over time, so each hit is just a teeny bit later than the previous one. This gives a "bigger" type of sound, as there's the effect of the drummer straining a bit to make the tom roll happen.

Another example is squeezing the last few notes of a repetitive high-hat pattern a little closer together at the end of a figure, as this "pushes" you into the next figure and adds an anticipatory feel. Bottom line: Studio One Pro's Stretch option is really useful for adding expressiveness to MIDI parts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Sometimes you'll get doubled notes that weren't supposed to be doubled. For example, you might have a "ghost" note that hits just a little late compared to another note and when the part is quantized, the notes end up on the same beat. This can also happen in the heat of editing, where you do something like merge a part into another, without realizing that some of the notes overlap.

The "Delete Double Notes" is sort of like a spell-checker for music. It checks for doubled notes based on whether the notes have the same start time, and deletes the one that's "on top of" the other note. However, there's no dialog box for this function, so you can't specify for example "Delete the one with lower velocity of the two" or "Delete the one with the shorter length." That would be handy to have, as many times the "wrong" note will be shorter or have a lower velocity.

There's also a "Delete Short Notes" function, or as I call it, the "MIDI Guitarist's Friend." A lot of times with MIDI guitar (and some other alternate controllers), you'll generate short, low-velocity notes that are a pain to track down unless you're zoomed way in, because they're so short. This command will delete any selected notes shorter than a 32nd note.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
    ). Some might find it a little faster to just click and drag rather than right-click and drag. it also means that if you've selected notes but since scrolled so they're out of view, you can still edit them without having to scroll back so they're visible.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Members

Let's check out how Studio One Pro performs with ReWire. As luck would have it, Reason 5 just came out, so that's as good a "reason" as any to get down and dirty with ReWire.

First, I checked for new Studio One Pro software as the program makes it so easy to do so, and yes, there was a new build of Studio One Pro. 41MB later, I had the latest version installed.

When you click on the Instruments tab, ReWire devices have a distinctive icon - see the first attached image. You drag a ReWire device into a song, just as you would any virtual instrument. When you do, a window appears that allows you to open the application (second attached image).

Reason opened up as expected. Interestingly, a ReWire device need take up only one track in the arrange view; if you want to bring out individual instrument outputs from Reason, you just assign them to the appropriate interface output in Reason, and in the Studio One Mix section, add channels for those outputs.

Well, I did my due diligence - made sure that the transports synched, that looping in Reason looped in Studio One Pro and vice-versa, and so on. In short, Studio One Pro was its delightfully drama-free self: Everything worked as expected, everything was easy to figure out, and I had ReWire nailed within minutes.

So much for a long post about how to use ReWire...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
  • Members

So I booted up Studio One Pro today because I thought a "96kHZ stress test" would be a useful addition to this review. The program informed me about software update 1.6 being available (love how it does that! Why don't all programs?), so of course, I downloaded it.

One of the new features relates to ReWire, so I wanted to mention it before proceeding. The "Allow Tempo/Signature Changes" option allows the ReWire application to make tempo and time-signature changes within Studio One Pro, but note this is optional; you can also disable it if desired.

Now to the stress test...mostly I want to see how easily it handles 96kHz audio, and whether the included plug-ins work well with it. However, there are also some significant improvements/updates in 1.6, which we'll cover after the stress test...so stay tuned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Or in the case of Studio One Pro, non-stress test.

I loaded up 8 tracks of 96kHZ/24-bit audio material (classical guitar), using the Phonic 808 interface (the subject of a parallel Pro Review) so I could give it somewhat of a stress test as well. I was mostly interested in two things: How the included plug-ins would perform, and whether Studio One Pro would feel any differently compared to running at lower sample rates.

Well, all the plug-ins worked fine, and as far as Studio One Pro was concerned, unless you looked on the Transport and saw 96kHz had been selected, you wouldn't even know it was running at a higher sample rate. But, kudos to my PC Audio Labs computer as well; the CPU meter was loafing along.

So everything worked. Please - could something blow up so we can add a little drama to this review?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Members

Well, nothing like an AES show to take a month out of your life :) Especially when you shoot and edit 75 videos by yourself! You can see them on our YouTube channel, and we even have a playlist so you can just play all the videos continuously and feel like you were actually at the show.

Anyway, it's back to Pro Reviews and I thought mixing and automation would be a good place to pick up where we left off for Studio One Pro. Mixing takes place in a console view, so that's where we'll start.

Like other DAW mixers, there are different types of mixer channels (audio, bus, FX, instruments, etc.). But, the most important question here is how easy it is to see what you want to see, when you want to see it.

Studio One Pro is into the whole "have it your way" philosophy, and the mixer is no exception. Some DAWs have large mixers where you show/hide different elements so that they're all visible for all channels (e.g., if you show sends, you see sends for all channels). The mixer can do this, looking more like a conventional mixer (see the first attached image).

You can change the splitter bar between the inserts and sends, to see more of one of the other; but if there are, for example, more sends than can fit in the allocated space, you can scroll through them. So basically, if you want to see everything at once and want to give up the real estate to do so, you can, or you can take the more compact approach described later. Note that in the screen shot the mixer is detached; this seems intended for those who like to stick the mixer in one monitor and the arrange/track view in another, resembling a more conventional hardware studio. This way of working is well-suited for the mixing stage of the production process, where you're less interested in track editing and other details.

However, note that you can also dock the mixer along the bottom of the main window, which "eats" a lot of space from the arrangement area, but may be useful if you have multiple tracks with sends, and want to monitor what they're all doing.

If on the other hand you're the type of person who likes to mix as you go along, you're covered there as well. You can retain the layout of the mixer as a strip along the bottom, and instead of expanding vertically, expand individual channels horizontally to the right to see insert and sends for the selected channel. You expand/contract the channel by clicking on the little arrow that's to the upper right of the fader.

You can expand as many channels as you want, as well as shift their positions relative to each other, but expanding a channel takes up about as much space as four unexpanded channels - a good argument for extending the Studio One Pro window across two monitors.

Referring to the second attached image, as with the conventional view the channel on the extreme right edge is the main out channel, whose position is fixed (logically enough). The channel outlined in red is an audio channel, and has been expanded to show the channel's insert effect (a Studio One Pro phaser) and a send to an FX channel, which is also expanded and outlined in yellow. This has the Scarlett Reverb from Novation inserted, not necessarily because I like it better than what's in Studio One Pro, but because I hadn't used it in a while and wanted to remind myself what it sounded like so I could call it up when appropriate.

Although the mixer looks modest, there's intelligence behind the design as you can do a lot from the mixer itself: Color-code tracks, call up effects preset chains as inserts, select pre/post fader for sends, turn effects and sends on or off, and so on. Also in either view note the toolbar on the left, which lets you show inputs if you're recording as well as mixing, check out which instruments are being used, see what you've taken into the trash (like a send, which you can then restore or delete permanently), etc.

So those are the mixer basics, but as this is a review and not a manual, let's give some value judgements and deal with limitations first.

First, unless I've really missed something, there are no track folders. You may or may not be used to working with them, but I do find track folders handing for tidying up the mixer by consolidating tracks I've already mixed into a folder.

Second, if you like seeing EQ controls above a fader, it ain't gonna happen. However, there is a mitigating factor. Suppose you insert a channel strip processor into several channels. If you don't pin them to a specific position, then each time you click on a channel's strip, it will appear and replace the previously-selected strip. If you need to see multiple channel strips simultaneously you can pin them to specific positions, but in many cases this won't be necessary.

Third, there aren't track icons, only color-coding. I would never have considered this an issue until I started using track icons in Sonar, and found them very useful for parsing tracks fast. It's not a huge deal here, and the color-coding provides many of the same benefits, but if you're into track icons this is something you need to know.

Fourth, the meters are more for decoration than analysis - they aren't even calibrated, and there's no indication for stats (like the peak level attained). You also can't change the meter – like restricting he range to only the top 12dB or so to gauge the effects of compression. This isn't really a deal-breaker, especially for those who feel we spend entirely too much time looking at DAWs instead of listening to them, but there are times when I prefer to know more detail about what's happening with signal levels.

As to the benefits, from a conceptual/design standpoint, the mixer is consistent with Studio One Pro's emphasis on configurability and concentration on the most important elements at the expense of deeper, lesser-used features. Nonetheless, smaller features that are essential - like having post-master-fader effects slots for effects like dithering - are present.

Again like the rest of Studio One Pro, the mixer is very clean and inviting, and the layout has nothing mystifying about it. And although I've said this before, it's significant that I can jump right into Studio One Pro after about month of not being able to use it, and feel right at home. I don't like programs where I have to re-learn everything if I take a break, and Studio One Pro definitely does not have that problem.

So overall, the mixer gets high marks for transparency and obvious operation, but in keeping with Studio One Pro's "streamline it" philosophy, some extras you find on other DAW mixers - which may or may not be important to you - are missing.

Okay...we'll look at automation next.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Good coverage of the mixer Craig.

Second, if you like seeing EQ controls above a fader, it ain't gonna happen.



There is a case where that happens with the Presonus ProEq, using the micro-views in the slots, using right click "Expand" on the plug-in slot. You only get it above the channel if the mixer is expanded vertically, otherwise it will/can also be shown in the horizontal panel. Micro views are only available with the Presonus plugs so your other EQ's or 3rd party plugs won't display like that, but all of the Presonus plugs allow micro views in the slots.

You can also edit the EQ curves from there. Q settings for ProEq can be adjusted with the mouse wheel.

2010-11-24_1742.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Members

As with many DAWs, automation for instrument parameters can be handled differently compared to channel parameters like pan and volume. This is because with instruments, the automation will relate to the notes being played, so if you move the notes, you want the automation to move along with it. On the other hand with channel parameters, you often want the automation to remain fixed; for example, if the level needs to come up for the big chorus, you’ll probably still want the level to come up even if you make some tweaks to the underlying tracks.

Refer to the attached image, which shows the Presence virtual instrument (doncha think they should have called it PreSence, given that it’s from PreSonus?), the Control Link control window, and the Presence automation display. We covered the Control Link feature back at the beginning, but the summary is that Studio One Pro makes it easy to set up a “virtual control surface” that centralizes hardware control surface controllers, and where MIDI Learn occurs for the controls. In this case, three controls on an M-Audio Axiom 49 controller have been assigned to Filter Cutoff, FX Main Mix, and Amp Envelope Decay.

In its simplest form, recording part automation is indeed simple: Click on Record, and move either the control in the virtual Link window, or on your hardware controller. For instrument automation, it’s not necessary to select a particular automation mode, like Write or Read, at the instrument itself; it’s all very automatic.

Again referring to the attached image, note that just above the part envelope, there are tabs for the different automation curves in the track. When you add another parameter for automation, another tab gets added. You can see up to two automation envelope curves at a time, which is handy if you want to compare what’s happening with one automated parameter compared to another (e.g., filter resonance and filter cutoff). Note that one difference with part automation is that if you overdub new automation, the existing curve is displayed during the recording process; the new curve appears when you go out of record, and the curve redraws. However, you will see the curve being drawn, in real-time, on the instrument’s MIDI clip itself. This makes sense: The clip is more about recording, while the Edit window is more about (drum roll, please!) editing.

Of course you can also edit and draw curves, using the kind of pencil/eraser tools we’ve used since the days of steam-powered DAWs. But there’s also a tool for drawing periodic waveforms, and an even cooler “transform” tool that draws a box around the automation, and squish, expand, move, and do other useful transformations. This works for all automation, not just part automation.

See the attached videos to check out waveform drawing and the transform function in action, as the videos will explain what’s going on much better than a bunch of words. Videos are available in WMV or MP4 (iPhone) format, so pick whichever you prefer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

There is a case where that happens with the Presonus ProEq, using the micro-views in the slots, using right click "Expand" on the plug-in slot. You only get it above the channel if the mixer is expanded vertically, otherwise it will/can also be shown in the horizontal panel. Micro views are only available with the Presonus plugs so your other EQ's or 3rd party plugs won't display like that, but all of the Presonus plugs allow micro views in the slots.

 

Y'know, I knew that, and I covered it previously, but I used a poor choice of words...I was using the "EQ curve" thing as a catch-all to describe what you don't see that you do with a mixer as in Cubase, Sonar 8, etc. where there's a full-blown emulation of a console with knobs, EQ curves, dust on the front panel (kidding!), and the like. Thanks for pointing out my lack of clarity so I don't give people the wrong impression.

 

The Studio One Pro mixer does let you see quite a few things if you want to, but still, for those who want something like Record that looks just like a hardware mixer, that's not what Studio One Pro does. Not that there's anything wrong with that :)

 

Thanks again for your participation! Hope you liked the videos in the previous post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
The Studio One Pro mixer does let you see quite a few things if you want to, but still, for those who want something like Record that looks just like a hardware mixer, that's not what Studio One Pro does. Not that there's anything wrong with that
:)

Thanks again for your participation! Hope you liked the videos in the previous post.



Thanks. I think I missed your earlier reference so carry on sir. Loved the vids, great stuff. :thu:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Downloaded the demo of Studio One Pro from the Presonus site two days ago as I was thinking of taking the plunge with Logic Express (haven't touched Logic in 3 years) and my trusty copy of Dimension Pro has been somewhat neglected in its DVD case for the better part of 6 Months since using the Reason/Record Duo. So I have been testing out Automat, Crystal and DimPro along with Reason & Record and my Korg Prophecy - must say I really wouldn't need any more plug ins bar my lovely Michael Norris suite of Spectral Effects and Apple AU Plugs that come with the iMac myself.

I've got my Electribe EMX + ESX and an Analog Solutions Telemark waiting for me in Canada so I think I've found the perfect working setup once I get my proper audio interface and a new Quadcore 27" iMac.

Quite impressive it is indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • Members

Great (and entertaining) review! I've been using S1 for about a year now, my first real DAW experience, and I absolutely love it. I bought it bundled with the Firestudio Mobile you mentioned, and the integration is just fantastic, also with the MIDI keyboard I've since bought and learned how to use, blissfully simple. I've recently upgraded to the Pro version and the mastering is very nice as well. It's great to read a review from someone with a lot of experience with these things, I was wondering how it compares to different DAWs and how it's received in the industry, and it seems I'm not the only one digging it.

 

About the lack of a peak hold function, I use the TT Dynamic Range Meter you can download here near the bottom of the page, and it's a great tool (I guess, with my limited experience it's hard to make comparisons, but it does seem to adress your problem, and more).

 

One of the things I'd like to see added is a noise reduction insert effect (is that common at all in DAWs?), I'm using the paramatric EQ with a very narrow Q on a frequency where there's a hiss or something, but I guess that's not the best approach...

 

Anyway, love the program! Worthy of my first post in a long time on HC...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • Members

Hey Anderton... quick question... I have a buddy who got one of those "dr dre" HP laptops and the Presonus AudioBox to go with it. He installed the Studio One that came with it and is having a problem. When he starts a new session and adds a new audio track to record, the record enable is grayed out and will not light up. Studio One see's the Audiobox and when i plugged in an SM58 i got definitely got a signal in the Studio One meter. I looked around and could not find anything addressing this issue. Im not sure the config of the laptop, but like I said the laptop and software see the Audiobox and a signal is clearly coming into the software. We just can't figure out why the record enable will not light up (its def an audio track we added.) Any ideas as to what is going on?

 

Thanks,

Mac

 

BTW he has called presonus a couple time and the techs say "thats weird"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

That's weird... :lol:

 

Have you downloaded the most recent update? Sometimes updating solves mysterious problems unrelated to the update.

 

It may be that something else is trying to grab the audio stream. Go to Device Manager and look under Sound, Video, and Game Controllers. Disable the laptop's internal sound chip (don't remove, just disable). I've seen many cases where internal sound chips and external interfaces fight for control, and the internal chips usually win unless you disable them. While you're at it, disable any internal wireless card - these can play havoc with laptops and audio.

 

If that doesn't do it, go Options > Advanced and check "Release Audio Devices in Background" and see if that helps.

 

Report back about whether any of this works or not...

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share




×
×
  • Create New...