PreSonus Studio One Pro Version 2 Review

Jan 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Brandon T. Hickey



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Melodyne is now directly integrated into Studio One.

Melodyne is now directly integrated into Studio One.

At the end of 2009, I first became familiar with Studio One and was immediately impressed with the overall look, ease of use and extensive features. The next upgrade, Version 1.5, added QuickTime movie imports, uploads to SoundCloud integrated into the mastering suite, “time stretching” and numerous other tweaks and improvements in response to user feedback. My expectations were high for V. 2, reviewed here, especially with radical innovations like the first DAW implementation of Celemony’s Melodyne ARA technology, which seamlessly integrates the popular pitch-correction software into Studio One.

Studio One’s new Melodyne integration is powerful. Instead of transferring audio into Melodyne, tweaking it and then rendering it, any region can simply be invited to “Edit With Melodyne.” At that point, the Melodyne interface appears in a window much like the Studio One Waveform Editor window, the audio is analyzed and you can process Melodyne pitch and time correction in place. The Melodyne window can be closed, and then you can return to the Melodyne window later and pick up where you left off. So far, sounds no different than what you are used to, right?

The novelty comes from the fact that now, that region, whose pitch has been corrected, can be dragged, nudged or trimmed in the regular audio timeline, and upon returning to the Melodyne editor there is no need to re-transfer. The Melodyne edits are locked to the region, or even the audio underlying the region, and no longer to the transferred audio recorded into the plug-in. The region in the Edit window will display its Melodyne information in an appearance like looking at a MIDI region on top of an audio region. Any Melodyne operation can be undone or done differently at will. This is absolutely a great concept, and at times it was incredibly useful; however, I’m eager to see this idea evolve even further. For example, the tools in the Melodyne editor can’t be accessed with any keyboard shortcuts. Zooming using shortcuts is also unavailable in the Melodyne editor. Eventually, I would love to see the PreSonus tools and shortcuts apply to the integrated Melodyne editor, creating a truly connected experience.

As cool as the new integration of Melodyne is, I did have some issues. I first tried the Melodyne editor on an old session that I had originally recorded using Studio One V. 1.5. At that point, the software didn’t offer multitake comping. Back then, I recorded vocal takes on different tracks and then manually solo’d, chopped and comp’d to one track. I selected all the regions of the first verse, which had been comp’d starting with a piece of Take 3, then a word or two from Take 2, back to Take 3 and then it finished with Take 1. With all of these regions selected, I chose the “Edit With Melodyne” command, but instead of loading the whole verse into the Melodyne editor, only the last region in the selection was loaded.

Melodyne displayed the entire underlying audio passage of Take 1 and highlighted the section that was actually being used in the track. Naturally, only that highlighted section was audible during playback. Technically, this was correct, and if I manipulated the underlying audio that was not being used in that particular region, it still updated any other region using the same audio. The result, though, was that I had to pitch-correct the verse region by region if I wanted to take advantage of the new style of editing, making it a cumbersome process to try to hear and adjust the pitch effects while playing back the rest of the tracks in the session. In the end, I found it much more advantageous to simply transfer into a regular plug-in instance the old way, and there the entire passage could be listened to in the context of the song.

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