Questions & Answers

A new world of sound design possibilities and creativity with parameters modulation and interconnection flexibility !

+19 votes
163 views
asked Feb 5 in Instruments and Plug-Ins by anonyme2 (700 points)
edited Feb 11 by anonyme2

TL;DR :

A new world of sound design possibilities could be unlocked if Studio One allowed full parameters modulation and interconnection flexibility with better macro-controls.

Examples in other DAWs :

Bitwig's Unified Modulation System, Reaper's modulation, and Ableton M4L essentials control devices are great examples of such flexibility. Bitwig being probably the most flexible and extensive one. However, these examples may partially cover modulation and interconnection across tracks, which amongst others is discussed below.

What is it ?

Basically : any parameter or group of parameters of any VST (instrument and/or effect) or group of VSTs (especially VSTs from different tracks) could be modulated by one or several sources, including but not limited to : LFO (including random), Envelope Followers, Envelopes, midi (key, velocity), automation data, parameter of another VST (so one knob of a VST could move accordingly to the knob of another VST), etc... (see Bitwig's User Guide "Modulators" chapter for a look at what's possible). Of course, the modulators themselves could be modulated. The modulation link between a modulation source and a parameter should be fully customizable : range and transfer function per parameter. In addition to transfer function, modulator's signal could be transformed (envelope detector, mathematical expression, etc...) before being used as a modulation source.

This modulation flexibility goes hand in hand with the concept of global macro controls.The already existing macro-controls are a great idea, but it has not yet been taken as far as it could go : they are unfortunately limited to instruments or effects within one single track. This concept has to be extended with macro-controls over multiple tracks. With one single knob, we should be able to link as many different VST (instrument and/or effect, and across different tracks) parameters we want. We should be able to use as many global macro-controls as we want (knobs, buttons, XY pads, etc...). As with already existing macro-controls, link between global macro-controls and parameters should be fully customizable (range and transfer function per parameter). We should be able to control as many global macro-controls as we wish at the same time. Global macro controls could be modulated and automated. Each global macro-control could be linked to one or multiple other global macro-controls. We could link one or multiple global-macro controls to a single midi controller knob, fader, etc...

Ideally, the architecture of this modulation system and global macro-controls should be fully modular (unlimited number of "blocks" added and routed at will). Not fixed windows with fixed numbers of knobs and fixed routing.

Conclusion :

The feature described here should be a staple of any DAW : this is something essential for proper sound design and creativity. VSTs are "blind" :  it's the role of DAW to provide easy interconnection between VSTs (over different tracks), modulation sources and the rest of the DAW.

Please upvote if you believe in this concept for Studio One !

8 Answers

0 votes
answered Apr 10 by Lukas Ruschitzka (227,880 points)
 
Best answer

Thank you for the feature request. 

If anyone else agrees or disagrees, please VOTE!

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+2 votes
answered Feb 6 by jonathanpich1 (620 points)
I was looking for a way to translate the audio volume and average panning of a track into automation data so I can wire that to some other VST knob and scale my effects inversely. This would make it possible.

Interconnecting knobs? Maybe; I'd prefer to be able to assign an automation lane to multiple parameters instead because it's easier to see/change, or disable/enable them separately.
+2 votes
answered Feb 6 by anonyme2 (700 points)
@jonathanpich1 : For flexibility's sake, both workflows should be allowed.
–6 votes
answered Feb 6 by matthewritenburg (14,790 points)

I'd like to respectfully offer some counterpoint.  First let me say that I use both Studio One Pro and Ableton Live 10 Suite.  I use the features listed above regularly in Live 10 and know their value, so I am not disputing the value of these features.  What I would like to challenge is whether or not these features are the right direction for Studio One and what is best for Studio One in general.

I bought into Studio One at v3 because Studio One had proven itself as an actual, viable alternative to Pro Tools.  Studio One excels at recording, mixing, and mastering workflows.  This is an area where Live 10 and Bitwig are notably quite weak.  I found Studio One v3 to be easy, quick, intuitive, lightweight, and extremely stable even with complex mix sessions using tons of plugins, parallel processing, and side chaining.  Studio One v3 never crashed on me once.  I am on Studio One v4.6 now, and still find it to be extremely reliable and my tool of choice for recording,  mixing, and mastering.

Stability and reliability are my top priorities.  I don't want to have to think about the work arounds, or constantly saving, or features that don't really work well in a DAW.  I just want to use a DAW as a reliable tool to get work done.  Both Studio One v3 and v4 have been this reliable tool for me.

With v5, it seems Presonus is attempting to becomes all things to all people.  It seems that Studio One as a product that is a true, viable alternative to Pro Tools just isn't bringing enough market share to Presonus. Sure, v5 has added many new features to appeal to a broader audience, but v5 is still quite unstable compared to the rock-solid reliability of v3 and v4.  With new features come new bugs.  I'm waiting to upgrade v5, but consistently read about stability issues that postpone that decision.

At bottom, my concern is that if Presonus continues down this path of trying to appeal to a broader user base by chasing functionality available in other DAWs, rather than focusing on stability/reliability and perfecting the recording, mixing, and mastering capabilities, they will destroy Studio One as a true alternative to Pro Tools.  I get that Presonus may have made a decision to pursue a broader audience, and that is their choice, but core users who valued Studio One as a rock-solid, premiere tool for recording, mixing, and mastering will begin to look elsewhere.

I acknowledge that my opinion may represent the minority, but felt it needed to be respectfully voiced just the same. 

+4 votes
answered Feb 6 by anonyme2 (700 points)
edited Feb 11 by anonyme2

Hi @matthewritenburg, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. However, I have to respectfully disagree with what has been said and would like to provide more detail.

As you said, Studio One provides a polished experience as far as recording, mixing and mastering goes, even with large number of plugins involved. I found the DAW somewhat efficient at handling and automating large orchestral templates.

But to me, it becomes frustrating and less efficient on sound design/creativity compared to where it could go. I don't know if Ableton M4L's modulat or Bitwig's unified modulation system appeal to a wider or broader audience (some may even consider this is "niche"), but one thing is sure : they are fundamental tools for providing flexible enough sound design, and any decent DAW can't ignore this. All the competitors are somehow providing this, and to me this has to become a staple of any proper DAW. I'm not saying Studio One is weak considering sound design (of course possibilities are already endless),  I'm saying it could go much much further and it will become something essential. You can have all the VST's you want, it's a drastic limitation and frustrating experience creativity-wise if they can't fluently communicate with eachother : this is to me the role and expected evolution of any modern DAW to provide this flexibility and interconnection. As we wouldn't expect a DAW to come without automation features, we can't expect a modern DAW to be crippled with lack of flexibility / interconnections. It's frustrating to use cumbersome workarounds to compensate for its lack of flexibility.

Having workflow scattered between 2 DAWs completely prevents what flexibility / modularity could bring sound design wise. To caricaturate, doing your orchestration in one DAW and your sound design in another is not a viable alternative if one wants a proper organic interaction between these process : they have to be merged together. Studio One is very close to achieving this flexibility, and combined with its great ability to handle large orchestral projects or recording sessions, it could become a very powerful DAW. To me, it provides a more solid basis to evolve toward flexibility rather than Ableton or Bitwig evolving toward what Studio One does better (but I may be wrong here !).

TL;DR :

To give an analogy, I would not want a text editor crippled with the lack of a "copy-paste" function, as stable and reliable it would be without this fundamental feature.

+2 votes
answered Feb 11 by Skaperverket (3,980 points)
Great feature request. And great discussion.
+3 votes
answered Mar 7 by alexleonard2 (1,280 points)
I'd be hugely in favour of this. Coming from Reason Studios as my primary production tool, the lack of ability to cross route modulation between channels and plugins is the main reason I wouldn't imagine myself using Studio One for creative production work.

As I work more with hardware in my productions, I'd really love to see Studio One open up this area. Studio One hands down beats Reason Studios for recording my external gear, but at the moment I see myself sketching out ideas on the hardware, recording into Studio One, and then exporting those stems into Reason Studios for expanding on those ideas in a 'creative production' phase.

Once I've finished the creative production phase in Reason, I'll then export the stems back into Studio One for a proper mixdown (again Studio One hands down beats Reason for straight mixing work). And even with the new Reason Rack VST, the lack of cross modulation between VST instances is enough that I'd rather do my creative production work directly in Reason.

This may not be as big a deal for more traditional recording/mixing work, but for experimental electronic productions, it's hugely important.
0 votes
answered Apr 5 by leoncampbell (420 points)

I wish this had more upvotes! It is the feature that has me teetering on edge of switching to Bitwig because it is just so **** useful and an important part of my own creative process (and that of many others, no doubt). It is part and parcel of most DAWs these days.

Thank you for taking the time to develop this feature request post, anonyme2! I really hope it sees the light of day soon enough.

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