PreSonus Studio One Pro 1.5 Review

Apr 27, 2010 2:44 PM, By Brandon Hickey

MAJOR UPGRADE ADDS VIDEO, SOUNDCLOUD, WORKFLOW ENHANCEMENTS

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Studio One Version 1.5 adds video support and improved workflow to its feature set.

Studio One Version 1.5 adds video support and improved workflow to its feature set.






















Last year, when I heard PreSonus was releasing a DAW, I wondered, “Why get into the DAW game now when major players like Digidesign and Apple have spent years tweaking and retooling their already-popular products?” But when I got the first release of Studio One, I was impressed. The company’s “all muscle, no bloat” slogan carried through on the promise of powerful features without extraneous functionality to slow the software down. The 1.5 update offers powerful new features that fill the holes in the original release. It’s as if PreSonus took everyone’s favorite features from the industry’s standard DAWs, packaged them together and then pushed the whole thing forward with major technology innovations.

ONLINE EXTRAS

READ:
EM PreSonus Studio One Pro Review

UNDER THE HOOD
Studio One’s state-of-the-art mix engine features 64-bit, double-precision, floating-point math. The software’s been engineered to perform at this resolution, even within the confines of a 32-bit operating system. To accommodate this mix system, PreSonus includes 25 proprietary 64-bit plug-ins that process in high resolution. And when using third-party VST or AU plug-ins, incapable of 64-bit operation, the intelligent mixer automatically reverts to 32-bit, single-precision, floating-point math. In every scenario I tested, this created an incredibly powerful summing architecture, with pristine quality and generous dynamic range. Additionally, the mixer provides complete automatic delay compensation on every channel. One included plug-in—Pipeline—lets the software treat a hardware insert as a plug-in, with manual delay compensation. A built-in ’scope makes delay calculations simple and user-friendly.

FOCUS ON WORKFLOW
Version 1.5 speaks the project studio’s language where a song is typically carried from composition, tracking, mixing and mastering—all on one platform. To that end, V. 1.5 has a powerful mastering suite that focuses on deliverability. Finished mixes from the Song side of the software can be exported directly into a mastering Project. Here, all of the songs on an album can be trimmed, timed and metered with the K-System (a standard devised by mastering guru Bob Katz); treated with the same 64-bit plug-ins and processing from the mixer; and then assembled into a finished package. If a song is already part of a mastering Project and the mix is revised in the Song page, the mastering Project will update to reflect the new mix. Tracks can be stamped with metadata tags (song titles, artist names and copyright info) through a clear and easily accessible pane. Tagged files can then be exported as MP3s for Web publishing. The software can also burn a Redbook reference copy without needing third-party software. Once the client is satisfied, Studio One can create a disc image to send off for duplication.

Studio One now offers Sound Cloud, a third-party, Web-based service that allows for the sharing of audio by uploading to a remote server and delivering access points to collaborators or clients. The packages range in price, the most basic being free. In each case, you are allowed a certain number of minutes of audio storage, unrestricted in bit rate; you are limited by time, not file size. The Studio One interface for uploading files is very slick and easy to use. As always, files can be dragged and dropped into the window, embedded with the metadata song info and even album art, which will be transmitted with the file.

To further enhance workflow, preset keyboard shortcut templates based on Pro Tools, Logic and Cubase quick keys map common key commands to those with which you are already familiar. In V. 1.5, you can build on those presets by customizing every keyboard shortcut in the software. The software also borrows a useful Nuendo feature that provides a gain control on each individual audio region. This time-saver pushes the necessity for automation to the tail end of the mix, as you can level out a vocal without having to ride the fader. At the same time, some exciting new innovations such as Control Link™ allow easy mapping of any software parameter to a hardware controller. Click the parameter, touch the hardware control, click “Link” and you’re mapped.






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