While it’s not unusual for DAWs to have the ability to export effects chain presets, Studio One goes a bit beyond the norm by allowing you to capture effects chains for any and all mixer channels in one go by dragging-and-dropping all selected mixer channels directly to the file browser.
Disabled tracks are a great way to streamline the process of preparing large instrument sets without using too many of your system’s resources, making the loading of large templates much faster and more efficient.
You can take, say, a 70-track orchestral template project, preconfigured with effects inserts, VCA channels, send effects, and arrange folders, and get it to load almost instantly by disabling all instruments in the template by default. Rather than waiting for all those large instrument sample sets to load, it becomes an on-demand production choice.
You can get straight to the point and turn any track back on by right-clicking and selecting Enable, to start playing it almost immediately.
Studio One’s Folder Tracks are very flexible, and that means they have a lot of uses that aren’t immeditaly apparent. For example, by using Folder Tracks with the Disable Tracks feature, you can put an entire mix into a folder, collapse it, and duplicate it, complete with all inserts, sends, routing, automation. By disabling the original folder and contents, you can create an alternate, separate mix on the same timeline without consuming additional resources. This all becomes even more flexible when you consider that folder clips allow automatic grouped editing across all child tracks.
The Studio One browser is fully bidirectional, so you can drag things from your file browser into the Arrangement or Mixer view, or drag elements from your session into your file browser. This becomes very useful when importing and exporting stems. You can even drag files directly from SoundCloud into the Arrangement view – this will create a new track in your session and download the file at the same time.
There are many ways to render, consolidate, or export audio from Studio One. One of the more useful methods is dragging and dropping a selection range to the browser to render audio consolidations. You can drag and drop to render most common formats directly, with no export dialog needed. Rendering can be done either pre or post insert effects – just hold Ctrl to take pre inserts or Alt to take post inserts There are multiple export variations depending on what’s selected, and you can use marquee or range selection to render multiple independent clips or consolidations at once.
In the Metronome Setup window, you can customise the samples used when Studio One’s metronome plays, and you can render it to an audio channel to send it wherever you want. You could even make it default to a kick to get tracks started faster.
Studio One’s extended Channel Editor offers signal routing, giving a seemingly infinite number of ways to have your channels act the way you want. As a basic example, you can split a stereo signal to apply different processing to each side on a single mixer channel, as shown in the image below.
The routings that can be accomplished in the Channel Editor are almost unlimited, and are a huge space saver. Not having to use bus channels and similar typical channel routing and staging methods to accomplish some things also helps avoid exploding the console channel count.
Not only does the Channel Editor give you plenty of creative scope, you can also save setups into the Browser. Whatever your routing or use of splitter devices, drag from the mixer’s Insert header to convert the whole thing into a preset. When you load the strip onto another channel and check out its Channel Editor, you’ll see your original setup, routing, splitters and all.
Studio One 3 introduced NoteFX, MIDI plugins proprietary to the Studio One platform. The Chorder, for example, is a NoteFX plugin for playing chords when striking a single key… but it also has an alternate use: remapping MIDI notes.
You can create a Chorder preset that singularly maps one input note pitch to a different output note pitch. In this way, you can make any MIDI input or output pitch remapping you need. For example, you can remap your drum sampler so that all the kick drums, snares, and hi-hats are side-by-side on your MIDI keyboard, and then use the Pitch Map Editor (see tip 18) to make a named pitch map for it, to reuse anywhere else you see fit!
One of the most overlooked and unique features of Studio One is dedicated Automation Tracks. Instead of needing to house automation lanes in the same space as a track’s audio or MIDI information, you can house them on dedicated tracks, along with automation data for other instruments and effects. This means you can make a dedicated track for, say, a build-up, and assign all elements to be automated during the build-up to that track, helping you overlay and compare their movements.
Speaking of automation, you know that hand that appears in the top left of Studio One whenever you click a parameter? You can drag it onto any track to create an automation track instantly, or even drag it onto the note editor to control the parameter’s automation alongside the piano roll.
Studio One’s Presence XT sampler loads its instruments in the .multiinstrument format, which is also used by fellow young DAW Bitwig Studio. Hence, some of your Bitwig instruments can load straight into Presence XT. Here’s hoping that this format branches out even more in the future!
Scratch Pads offer an alternate timeline to work on different sections, arrangements and ideas in the same project. When you add in Studio One 3’s Arranger Track and section ‘blocks’, there are even more things you can achieve. Here’s three ways to get the most out of Scratch Pads…
Studio One’s macros allow you to automate your work, creating customised ‘workflows’ for commonly used actions. Macros can be set up with keyboard shortcuts to make short work of long tasks.
For example, Studio One doesn’t offer a dedicated key command to nudge the play-head, but you can do it yourself. To create a quick command for this, you only need to create a simple macro made up of the following stages…
> Create Range From Cursor (create a range which can be moved via command action)
> Move Range (moves the range forward— or Move Range Back moves backward)
> Locate Selection (moves the play cursor to the range start position)
This essentially allows you to nudge the play cursor forward or backward as you would with media clips. The behavior is based on the current grid value if Snap is on, or based on one-millisecond steps if Snap is off.
This is one simple example of how powerful macros can be. If you think something can’t be done in Studio One 3, or if it’s not built-in or dedicated to a command action, you can typically create it yourself and either bind it to a key command or put it on a macro toolbar button.
You can download ready-made macros from the PreSonus Exchange at bit.ly/SO3macros.
Got a load of projects open? Of course you do – you’re a producer! Try hitting Ctrl-Tab to switch between your currently open projects and also find your way back to Studio One’s start page.
A tiny tip, this, but fun nonetheless: with your cursor placed over the colour strip at the bottom of a mixer channel, simply scroll the mouse wheel to whizz through track colours at lightning-fast speed.
You don’t have to stick to traditional note names in the piano roll. If you’re working with samples or drums, click the drum icon above the piano roll keys to extend them, and click the spanner icon to open the Edit Pitch Names window, where you can – you guesses it – edit the names of the pitches of the notes on the piano roll. You can also save and load presets for later use with the same instrument.
Click and hold on the Pen tool and you’ll get to select a few common shapes to draw instantly. With lines, sines, squares and more, this is a great way to make automation meet modulation as you draw in specific shapes at different rates, throughout your entire track or certain sections.
Your master channel has two insert effects sections: those to be placed pre-fader and those to be placed post-fader. How to get the best out of the both of them?
Analysers should always go last in the chain, just so you know you’re seeing exactly what you’re hearing. Compression and limiting is more nuanced: put your ‘safety’ limiter postfader to save your ears from accidents, but consider placing your ‘active’ limiter before the master fader – this’ll help you use the master to bring levels up and down for referencing without affecting how the dynamics processing reacts to the signal.
Any Channel Editor setup can be exported and reused later, in the same project or another
You can drag whole effects chains – even from multiple channels – into Studio One’s browser to be used later
Create bitesize tasks Move individual sections of a long live recording to individual Scratch Pads to edit and mix the song sections individually. Once each song is mixed, it can be dragged right back into the main recording with the mix, automation and edits in place. Blocks meet Pads Scratch Pads become even more flexible in conjunction with the ability to randomly rearrange full sections for your song using the Arranger Blocks, including ripple edits on drag and drop. Copy an entire song to a new Scratch Pad and create an alternate mix.
You can choose custom names for the notes on your piano roll, and save them to be used again and again
Make new versions Experiment with multiple alternate song arrangements in multiple Scratch Pads. Maybe it’s a radio mix, a backing track mix or a club edit… none of them have to affect the original version of your main track’s arrangement.