Presonus – a company that produces Audio Interfaces, Mixing Systems, Preamplifiers and Control Surfaces, is looking to centralize their product offering with audio recording software that challenges industry standards. And with the newest version – my opinion is they have achieved just that. Studio One, a post-millennial DAW that entered the market more recently- is fast approaching ‘established brand’ status. As we near it’s 10th year anniversary, we take a look at version 4.5 of the digital audio workstation. This is Studio One 4.
Studio One, comes in three flavors- Prime, Artist and Professional. Prime is the free, yet generous albeit limited version compared to Artist and Professional. The Prime edition gives you access to the core features of the DAW and unlimited audio and MIDI track count, but out of the 5 built-in virtual instruments it only offers Presence XT and no 3rd party VST support. S1 Prime also allows .wav, .flac. and .mp3 export of your music.
The Artist Edition gives you access to all 5 of S1’s virtual instruments with an additional 5GB of sounds, while Professional offers more than 20GB of sounds and a Project Page where you can create final masters ready for release.
Impact XT- Multichannel Drum Sampler
Mai Tai- Polyphonic Virtual Analog Synthesizer
Mojito- Monophonic Subtractive Synthesizer
Presence XT – Sample Playback Instrument with Support for third-party sampler format (EXS, Giga, Kontakt)
Sample One XT– Drag and Drop Integrated Live Sampler
Presonus has given Studio One a broad and versatile collection of virtual instruments that helps it stand toe-to-toe with any music production software packages. Impact XT gives you MPC-style drum programming, Presence XT has support for third-party sample formats like Kontakt and EXS, while Sample One XT handles live sampling of any audio content you import into it. Mojito and Mai Tai handles any and all synthesis between the two.
Version 4 – New Features
Some of the standout features new to Studio One 4 include advanced export options including video scoring, the Chord Track, and the Drum Roll.
Chord Track – a new feature that uses Harmonic Editing to change, preserve, and extract chord data from your compositions with flexible transposition, key modulation, and chord substitution for note data and audio.
Drum Roll View – Takes the beloved Piano Roll view and repurposes it for drum programming, making realistic drum sequences easier than ever. Drop Hi-Hats in double time and program your snares with ease.
Project View – (Professional Only)
Exclusive to Studio One Professional is the Project Page- an integrated mastering suite which contains tools for mastering, managing the metadata of, and exporting one or more songs simultaneously, including options for creating Red Book Standard CDs or disk images. The project page puts Studio One in a different space than every other DAW on the market, offering features unavailable in traditional DAWs like Pro Tools, Cubase, and Logic – while surpassing the capabilities of mastering suites like Sound Forge and WaveLab. Melodyne essential also comes bundled with the Pro version.
Studio One is known for being one of the more modern, future-proof DAWs – carrying over all of the useful features of programs with traditional, linear User Interfaces (think Cubase and Pro Tools) introducing innovative features like a multi-touch interface/UI with drag-and-drop functionality to the desktop-class programs. It’s look and feature set, puts it in square competition with DAWs like Pro Tools, Cubase, Digital Performer and Logic Pro- while it’s MIDI programming abilities and instruments make it capable of replacing programs like Reason or Bitwig for music production. I find it’s workflow and look reminiscent of Apple’s Logic Pro more than any other DAW, though the Project page gives Studio One the edge over Apple’s Logic.
It’s Sound Library and Loops offer more acoustic content from real world instruments than electronic, which compliments music production software like FL Studio and Ableton Live – whose sounds lean more on the experimental “EDM” side. While there is no shortage of good DAWs on the market that many great musicians swear by, there is no doubt that there is space on the market for one with as broad of a feature set as this. If I had to pick one DAW, that I had to stick with to create an album from start to finish- it would be Studio One Professional .