by Gary Wolk
Looking for a new DAW? Well, I wasn’t, but when the time came to by a new interface a few months ago, I picked up the PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL, which came bundled with Studio One Artist version software. I have been using Logic Pro for the past 3 years, and Cubase before that, and have to say I was very impressed with Studio One, right out of the box. In fact I am using it exclusively now for all of the projects in my home studio.
Studio One was developed by the same people who gave us Cubase and Nuendo, so at first glance it has that look to it ( bit more colorful than Logic grey) and is compatible with Windows or MAC. It is also compatible with most 3rd party AU and VST plug-ins. Sampling rates are 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, and 96.0 and resolution at 16,24 and 32-bit float.
It comes in 4 versions:
Studio One Free ( good way to try it out with 8 Native Plug-ins)
Studio One Artist – $99.00 USD (with 26 Native Plug-ins)
Studio One Producer- $199.00 USD (with 26 Native Plug-ins)
Studio One Professional – $399.00 ( includes a full version of Melodyne Essential, 31 Native Plug-ins, and features 32 or 64-bit processing)
Upgrades are available a bit cheaper as usual. I started out with Artist, but soon upgraded to Producer and then Professional. All can be purchased and downloaded on the PreSonus website.
I found working with it very easy from the start. The program is very MIDI friendly and loop friendly for importing and time stretching. Another great feature is that you can drag and drop any effects, or plug-ins right on to the track or mixer page from the bin. No having to search off of the Song Page for them.
As far as the Plug-ins go, the effects processors ( EQ, Compressors, Limiters etc.) are fantastic. The pre-sets are very usable, and I do not have to do much tweaking ,depending on the instrument. In fact for awhile I was recording in Logic and flying my tracks into Studio One for processing, mixing, and mastering. Of course PreSonus has been making great hardware processors for years, so it makes they incorporate those settings into Studio One software.
As far as virtual instruments, this is where I think they fall short. The quality of some of the Strings and Horns tend to sound a bit “synthy”, as do some others. But if you want Synths they have a great selection, as well as drums. And they sound great., as well as their Pianos.
Studio One also features a guitar plug-in called Ampire, which I found to be all right for certain settings (as a guitarist) but like so many guitar software plug-ins, a bit too digital sounding.
So, all in all I find this DAW to be very easy to work with for my projects. As with any new software program, there is a bit of a learning curve. Since I have only been working with it for a few months, there is still much more to learn,, and get deeper into it and from what I’ve seen through tutorials etc. it does offer a lot. For now it allows me to work quickly, easily, and get a great final project. Check it out for yourself. www.presonus.com