Questions & Answers

THE MISSING BASIC FEATURES FOR PRO AUDIO WORK! Vote this up if you want S1 to sit at the big boys' table!

+280 votes
2,491 views
asked Oct 15, 2018 in Mixing by jrocamora (1,330 points)
edited Oct 17, 2018 by jrocamora
  1. SMPTE LOCK
    Needed for video work. Allows you to lock sound effects/foley to timecode. This way, if you make a change in the timing of the music, the sfx track will remain unchanged according to the video. I don't need to explain why this is crucial for a professional DAW. A lot of professionals work in advertising, and uh, when's the last time you saw a commercial with audio?
     

  2. DUAL PAN IN CONSOLE
     Currently, panning stereo tracks in studio one isn't actually panning. The single control type that Studio One uses is called a Balance Control. With a stereo track, this simply raises the volume of one channel while lowering the other, which means if you "pan" hard left with the current control, you can kiss the right hand of your stereo recorded piano goodbye. There are workarounds to this currently which are... 

    1. Splitting the stereo track into two mono tracks and bussing them. This works fine and dandy but is severely inefficient and if you have multiple stereo tracks your organization and time will be sacrificed a lot, and it still shares the same problem as the next 'solution'.

    2. Using the dual pan plugin. This will give you the true stereo panning control that you are after BUT there is a major issue with this technique, which is that now your panning control is in the plugin phase of the signal flow, which makes it go through even when pre-fader is on, which would ruin any auxiliary send routing if you wanted follow-main-pan to not go through... which brings us to our next point​:

  3. PROPER PANNING SIGNAL FLOW / FOLLOW MAIN PAN CONTROL
    This one is probably one of the worst offenders. Right now, sends don't care about your panning, like at all. If you have a mono track and hard pan left and stick a send routed to a ping-pong delay, the delay comes out square in the center instead of hard right, as if your track was not panned at all. So if you want follow-main-pan, too bad. You're gonna have to set the pan on the sends manually to match the main pan, or connect the two by macro and only use that WHICH by the way is an incompatible method with dual pan on a stereo track. But wait... oh, that's right dual pan is in the plugin phase of signal flow, so you can't turn off follow-main-pan even if you wanted too.

  4. DUAL PAN ON THE SENDS / BUSES / FX TRACKS & SENDING A SEND TO ITSELF
    Just so we're clear here, the mixing console problems need to be fixed not only for the tracks but for the sends themselves. Stereo audio tracks should have dual pan pots on everything that can possibly be routed through, otherwise you are harshly limited in your creative options down the signal flow. A technique that I commonly use in ProTools that is simply too inconvenient to pull off in Studio One is to route a vocal track with a panned send over to a delay fx aux send. In the aux send I have the delay with 0% feedback as well as an eq with boost in a mid-high frequency. I then send the send back to itself with attenuation that exceeds the eq boost to prevent bad signal feedback, with both pan pots routed to opposite sides, so now this delay effect is ping-ponging as well as being actively eq'd through it's own feedback. Try doing this in Studio one and tell me how it goes. It won't go well, and it will take about ten times as long to set up.

  5. SNAP REGION / EVENT TO START OR END OF PLAYHEAD
    If you have a sample of a riser that you want to add your track, right now you will just have to eyeball for a kind of perfect alignment. In ProTools you can hold a few keys on your keyboard and click the audio region you want to snap to the end of your playhead and you're done. 

I would recommend Studio One to my colleagues in a heartbeat if these problems were solved, but I don't currently because I am too embarrassed by the fact that I still want to like it despite how much it is missing. You've almost got it right, Presonus. Just fix these things and I can finally, without lying, tell everyone I know that Studio One is better than Logic or Cubase, a great alternative to ProTools, and a strong contender against Ableton and Bitwig.

7 Answers

–5 votes
answered Jan 5 by jonnylipsham (13,300 points)
 
Best answer
Hi there,

First off, please make each one of these a separate FR. Then, please check if these are not already FRs. If they are, please remove from this list and vote up the existing FRs.

Thanks.
+16 votes
answered Oct 18, 2018 by dwaynevalentine (3,970 points)
ALL GREAT POINTS! We have inquiries all the time about what equipment and software we use in our studio. I hate that we have to mention that we have Pro Tools even though I prefer working in Studio One. Give us more 'pro' features to really put Presonus on the map!
+16 votes
answered Nov 2, 2018 by andysun (560 points)
I really don't see a good reason not to add all of these. Studio One should be able to do everything other DAWs can.
–3 votes
answered Dec 5, 2018 by angel2808 (410 points)
Very valuable thoughts. Maybe professionals are not the intented target customer group. Looks like it.

I am in the process of recording my album and I will have to go back to Logic if I want to synch my reelmachines and maintain a professional workflow. And I like recording to tape ;-)
0 votes
answered Jun 29 by philschroeder1 (310 points)
edited Jun 29 by philschroeder1

jrocamora, you are spot on, and sadly this list isn't long enough. S1 is elegant in so many ways but so incredibly unfocused in others. I simply can't believe the numbers of "pros" (I'm a pro, by the way) who tout S1 as a replacement for Pro Tools. It isn't even close. It could be, but it's not. Is anyone at PreSonus paying attention?

Before I give you my list, I want to frame the debate, because here's the deal: there are a lot of DAWs and a lot of composers/mixers/etc, and diversity is a bonus. Avid, while owning the "industry standard," has created a horrific customer experience that leaves a huge opportunity for PreSonus (and others) to fill the gap. Well-intentioned commenters love what they love, but the debate must acknowledge that many pro users will need to keep Pro Tools in their arsenal for years to come and the winner of the DAW wars will be the company that makes it super simple to move in and out of PT with elegance. This isn't just about importing and exporting but about understanding workflows and finding strong compatibilities. It's not just about mapping key commands but about mapping the mind of the user and understanding her/his experience. This is where Avid fails and where PreSonus could succeed. The major updates in 4.5 were window dressing compared to what it's going to take. S1 still has a long way to go to be a real pro's tool.

1. Let's talk automation. Lanes? There is nothing special about lanes and frankly, they're clumsy. How about real "write to end" console-based automation like the kind that's been standard in computer-based automation since, uh, 1980? Did you just find the perfect level for your snare drum halfway through the song? Think you can set it and forget it? Think again. You'll need to stop, open those "lanes," fuss around with a bunch of stupid tiny dots and redraw the levels forwards and backwards. 

2. Let's talk composing. Midi composing is a mess! S1creates new layers every time I punch in on a midi track. It hides the notes at the beginning of a bar if I punch halfway through. It hides the notes at the end of the bar if I try to punch on the downbeat of the next bar. No one noticed this?! Instead of composing, I'm futzing with GUI. I have to stop, go back and uncover the missing layers, and I still have all of these funky layers of midi takes to deal with. Layers? You can have it. It took me 60 minutes to compose something I'd have spent 15 minutes on in PT. (Of course, PT has a bug where it might arbitrarily erase all of my notes when I'm writing, so I pick my poison with caution.) But seriously, how can you mess up midi recording in 2019? 

3. Let's talk solo buttons. I'm working with a group of four instruments, let's say I'm composing the horns, and I want to just solo the four tracks I'm writing, with one in record while I compose. Every time I stop playing/recording, the other three tracks fall out of solo. WTF? Stop it already, S1! Another feature, right...? Settings I make should not be undone by the software, that seems like a simple rule.

4. Let's talk instrument tracks, record buttons and composing workflows. Instrument tracks need to come out of record when I move to record into another track. Period. There is no functional reason instrument or midi tracks should ever remain in record when I jump to another track to continue composing. Composing in midi is a different kind of workflow from audio recording and needs to be understood as such. Moving on to the next track means leaving the old one behind, and so on. (For those actually recording multiples of these tracks, that would be a non-default special option, usually done with the alt key and the Rec button.) Oh, and by the way, I know that if I click a track in the mixer, the record button will follow, turning the old one off. But that's crazy! I have a lot of reasons I might want to click on a track. It's not a good work flow.

5. Let's talk ReWire. Reason won't load as ReWire in S1. It should be stupid simple.

6. Let's talk importing audio files. Some try to pretend that S1 has a super simple, just slightly different way of doing what the "shuffle" button in Pro Tools does, but this is a stinky lie. There is no reason in the universe that I shouldn't be able to drag in a new audio file/stem/etc and have it automatically locate to the very beginning of the session. No, I don't want to designate a marker, have it locate there and then move things around again. The word is "beginning." The b-e-g-i-n-n-i-n-g of my session. Please. Go there. Now. Most of us – and especially the ones desperately trying to secure a digital divorce from Pro Tools and find marital bliss elsewhere – have to work in stems or head-to-tail files for sharing. Why make it so hard on us?

7. Let's talk export range. Why the hell can't I EASILY set a range of time from which to export my mix? Start markers aren't the answer. Loop markers aren't the answer. It takes me four or five minutes to set this up, and god help me if I have to stop and change something. Pro Tools' solution isn't great, but at least it's a single tool dragged across the entire edit window that defines the range. It's no big deal. Cubase lets you define and save ranges – a great idea! S1...good luck, soldier.

8. Let's talk transport. The options for start and stop, especially with respect to what the screen does on stop, don't cover the waterfront. You get two choices: either you stop where you stop, then continue to play from there (a mostly useless option for a composer or mixer who needs to go back and hear/do it again), or you can set prefs to have the cursor jump back and start again from the same defined place. The problem is: let's say I start playing from measure 10 and play about 15 bars and at bar 25 I see something I want to fix and stop. In my version 2 of the transport options, the screen immediately jumps back to bar 10, my starting place. No! I needed to see the place I stopped! There is no third option for S1 to stop in place, then play again from the Go To bar already set. Yes, like Pro Tools does. Oh, and Cubase, DP, Logic and even Reason (the worst sequencer ever). 

9. Let's talk console window. I mostly love the console window, but I'm one of those guys who almost never wants it attached to the main edit window, because I like it big. S1 seems to make no accommodation for this workflow, with every new session beginning with the console window built into the main window, and when opening it as separate, it opens up really small. Believe it or not, I kind of want what I want the same way all the time. Give me the option to have a fixed size for my console window from session to session. This should be an easy overall preference.

10. And while we're on the console window...I want my sends and inserts to be aligned horizontally. If I move the horizon for sends up on one track, I want all tracks to follow. I don't want a mash-mash of horizons. It looks bad and confuses my eyes. I'm fine with the idea that the verticals can scale, unlike Pro Tools and other DAWs where they're fixed, but I like straight, symmetrical lines.

11. Let's talk HUI/Mackie and Artist Mix. It doesn't work. Except that PreSonus documentation says it should but support blames Avid when it doesn't. Guys, let's do what others have done and get this working. The Artist Mix is one of the slickest little mixers ever made and more important, I own it! I don't want to buy another one. Why? Because as I said earlier, I will not ever be without the need to open Pro Tools, even if you fix all of this and I can make the full switch to S1. I have 15 years of legacy sessions in Pro Tools and I don't want two mixers. 

I don't expect any of these things to be taken seriously by PreSonus, unfortunately. And that's a real shame, because the things that are supremely awesome about S1 are amazing advances for those of us trying to work a little faster, a little cleaner and frankly, trying to have a little more fun. My first week working with Studio One, before I started hitting all of these road blocks, was the most fun I've had with a DAW in a long time. But without real and professional workflow solutions that address stuff like I mentioned above and that jrocamora mentions, S1 ends up creating more problems than it solves. And despite the dozens of glowing YouTube blah blah blahs, the truth is eventually going to emerge that S1 is close – but not really there. I firmly believe that those pro mixers who claim to have fallen in love with S1 and abandoned Pro Tools haven't actually done that at all. Like me, they keep booting up Pro Tools and putting up with its shortcomings  because the work flows are still better, and as long as you don't see beachballs, it sorta works. Pretty much.

And that is a real shame because Studio One is beautiful, super stable and sounds great. It just doesn't do enough. I'll be learning Cubase next week, in hopes of finding answers there, but by all means, PreSonus, look me up if you want to have a serious conversation.

commented Jul 1 by arndkaiser (1,370 points)
Of course, you're free to put a collection of feature requests like this into a comment of another post but don't expect anything to happen. Nobody will be able to vote for any requests you listed in here. Also, always check first if a request has already been posted by someone else. In that case, please don't post another duplicate request. Simply vote and comment on the existing request. Thanks!
+2 votes
answered Sep 10 by Scoox (11,260 points)
Sign me up and serve me double
+2 votes
answered Sep 10 by nneilmctavish (480 points)
Yes yes, yes!!!
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