I originally started with Studio One by purchasing a digital copy of Studio One 4 Artist. Within a short time after PreSonus gave me a free upgrade to Studio One 5 Artist, which I had been using up until a few months ago. I had been wanting to try the Professional edition, so I went ahead and made the upgrade.
[Update: PreSonus has since upgraded my subscription to Studio One 6]
I recently signed up for PreSonus Sphere subscription which includes Studio One 5 Professional. It’s a significant upgrade over the very capable Artist version. In addition to a slew of plugins and virtual instruments, there’s the Notion music notation software to work out your musical compositions, though it would help to have a working knowledge of music notation to get the most out of the program.
I have spent most of my time in the recording or timeline view, easily tracking five or more inputs at a time. It’s pretty straightforward and easy enough to get the basics figured out. I also use this view to cut up audio, paste in samples, and basically edit my recordings.
There are also modes for performing and mastering, both of which I haven’t gotten into yet.
Please keep in mind I have only a cursory idea of what I am doing. With that in mind, it was a little difficult figuring out how to connect my audio interface as well as my midi inputs. Fortunately it wasn’t anything a YouTube video couldn’t help me decipher.
The included virtual instruments are a blast to play with. I’ve been using my AKAI MPK239, Nektar Impact LX88+, and even my tiny AKAI MPK Mini to provide my MIDI input. It’s fairly easy to (1) control one instrument with all three controllers and (2) assign different controllers to different instruments.
I don’t yet understand sidechaining and all the different types of signal routing that the software enables, so that’s something I’ll get to as I learn more.
The Sphere subscription includes with it around 30+ effects plugins and a dozen Studio One instruments. I often use Ampire to color the electric guitar signal coming from the audio interface. Sometimes I’ll mic a cabinet, but much of the time it’s Ampire.
I don’t remember if iZotope Neutron Elements comes with Studio One Professional or the Sphere subscription. I love this plug in. It can make just about any track sound magically better. If I have anything on besides a compressor and limiter, it’s likely Neutron Elements.
Also included are 80+ sample and sound loop libraries to use within Studio One. There are a lot of neat sounds and loops that could help kickstart a new song idea.
I absolutely want to learn how to use the Stage (performance) mode. I really enjoy creating beats using Roland’s Zenbeats and this seems to have similar functionality, though I only got that idea from watching the preview video above.
As for mastering, I will be trying that out soon. When I do mixdowns of tracks or export stems I often find the loudness to be lacking compared to other audio sources playing on the same computer. This includes when I try uploading content to my goodsoundwaves or binaryEXPLOSION Soundcloud streams.
Studio One takes less than a minute to load to the main selection screen when loaded from a SSD.
Below you’ll find a video from Studio One Expert where the hosts go over some things you should know when using Studio One.
I found the Studio One Artist edition to be very capable. Most of what I do in the Pro edition is what I was already doing in Artist. If you’re looking to record and produce tracks Studio One Artist is very capable, with external VST support as well as a bunch of bundled content.
Studio One Professional comes with so much more bundled content, including virtual instruments, sound packs, and third party add-ons. The additional Stage mode could be a game changer for live performances, though you’re going to have to look into that more specifically if that’s one of your selling points. The included Mastering mode is what I’m most excited about checking out next.
All of my Studio One experience so far revolves around recording live tracks. My gear allows for recording up to 20 simultaneous audio tracks. I’ve tried to see if my system could handle it, which I was pleasantly surprised that it could quite smoothly. Most of the time, though, it’s a lot closer to 3 or 5 tracks.
It’s easy to keep track of levels with the panel being easy to dock and set on a second monitor screen. This becomes particularly helpful when you start adding a series of plug-in effects filters to each channel.
All of the bundled features make the PreSonus Sphere (Professional) well worth the subscription. Of course, unlike many people, I have the Artist version to fall back on. Regardless of which version you use, I’m a huge fan of how easy PreSonus has made it for me to enjoy creating and recording.
Note: goodsoundwaves does not receive any compensation for this content or for your PreSonus purchases. I’m just really excited to share about this awesome DAW!