PreSonus, the makers of Studio One, has today announced the release of Studio One 4.5, a free update for owners of version 4 with over 70 new features and improvements.
PreSonus say; “this free update addresses some of the highest voted feature requests from our loyal Studio One user community and at the same time puts a new spin on advanced professional audio and MIDI production workflows. As you would expect from an important – yet free – update, the focus is on workflow and performance. With more and more users switching to Studio One from other DAWs, we want to make sure that essential tools and workflows are covered before moving on to implementing unique and innovative new features.”
We have created a 27 minute video ‘Everything You Need `to Know About Studio One 4.5’ you can watch.
Key New Features In Studio One 4.5 At A Glance
Redesigned Input Channel mixer section
Permanent Gain and Phase controls in every mixer channel
Advanced Group management
Group assignment and visibility
RMS metering per channel
Alternative (reverse) Sidechain routing
New note Actions in MIDI
Independent Quantize grids
Independent Macro Toolbars
Improved CPU performance with virtual instruments
Smooth audio waveforms and Snap to zero crossing
I/O Setup improvements
Import/Export I/O Setups
New Feature Highlights In Detail
Redesigned Input Channel mixer section and new console controls
The first big improvement is that PreSonus has paid attention to detail on the input section of Studio One, giving the user much greater flexibility on creating, arranging and setting up inputs. This starts at the newly redesigned I/O section where a user can set up multiple inputs in a matter of seconds and then customise them with colours and unique names before recording starts. On each input channel there is now a gain control and polarity switch just like a conventional console which allows the user to adjust an input that is too hot or too quiet as it enters the DAW. If the user has a qualified PreSonus interface (Studio 192, Quantum and digital mixers StudioLive Series III) then these will control the input preamps on the interface remotely. On all other interfaces this feature gives additional control over gain/phase when tracking.
Furthermore permanent Gain and Phase controls in every mixer channel appear on the console section and can be used when mixing to offer better gain options and allow the user to fix simple phase issues and also give an option to drive a plug-in such as a compressor harder if they wish.
With the addition of new Console options (Gain/Phase controls, Group assignment) it became necessary to provide more control over visibility of channel sections. Therefore, the Console Options menu has been redesigned to provide a comprehensive list of channel components with individual show/hide checkboxes: Audio Device Controls, Input Controls, Sends/Cue mix, I/O connections, VCA connections, Mix groups, Channel notes. (These settings are saved per song or as part of a template).
Advanced Group Management
Although there were some very simple ways to apply actions such as fader moves and other mixing tricks, grouping has been completely redesigned in Studio One 4.5 to bring it more in line with the pro features found in other DAWs.
Groups can be defined as Edit Group. Other attributes are Volume, Pan, Mute/Solo, Inserts and Sends
Each Group can be assigned with a name and colour
A dedicated command is provided to globally enable/disable all Groups at once
Groups can be nested (groups within other groups, such as “Snare Top/Bottom” inside a “Drum” group
Both the Arrangement and the Console now have a dedicated Group list with independent show/hide options.
From this list, Groups can be easily edited and activated/suspended with a single click.
The Console Options menu now has an option to show or hide the group assignment for each channel. In addition, the Channel context menu has a new sub- menu for Group assignment to quickly add or remove a channel to/from a Group with one click.
New Note Actions In MIDI
There is a new set of note actions in the Music Editor offering a multitude of powerful tools for those working in MIDI.
Apply Scale – the musical scale selected in the Music Editor Inspector can now be applied to any selected notes
Distribute Notes – any selection of note events can be equally distributed at a variable percentage
Randomize Notes – this powerful creative tool allows you to add some randomness to your music by applying a variable amount of pitch, velocity or note length randomization, as well as any combination.
Quantize Notes – in addition to applying globally set quantization to selected notes, you can directly apply any possible quantize configuration. With this action, any quantize setting can now be applied directly via keyboard shortcut or Macro Toolbar button.
Mirror Notes – this new note action will mirror notes either horizontally or vertically (or both) – in classical music this is known as retrograde and inversion
Repeat Notes to Part End – with this action, a selection of notes is repeated as many times as needed to fill the length of a part. A huge time saver when creating repeating patterns manually.
Thin out Notes – takes any selection of notes and deletes notes randomly or musically (based on note length) by a variable amount and musical grid. Works great on busy drum/percussion parts or free-form noodling...
Fill with Notes – another powerful creative tool, this note action generates note events based on a set of variables to fill a range or Part. Using a musical scale always produces musically meaningful results.
All note actions can be used manually and individually. However, they can also be assigned to keyboard shortcuts and used as part of a Macro command. Shortcuts or Macros can then be added to any Macro Toolbar, which opens the door for even more powerful customization options.
Improved CPU performance with virtual instruments
PreSonus claim that CPU performance for both PreSonus and third party virtual instruments has been drastically improved, they say this has been the number one feature request. In documentation provided to us they say;
“CPU performance with virtual instruments has significantly improved with Studio One 4.5. When using combined virtual instruments inside a Multi Instruments the CPU load is up to 70% lower compared to the previous version. Users will also notice significant Multi Instrument performance improvements for third-party instruments such as Kontakt (50% or better) Mai Tai now offers multi-core optimization which affects Multi Instruments as well as single instances. Presence XT shows overall vastly improved load balancing over multiple CPU cores as well.”
To be honest we took this claim with a pinch of salt, it’s not because we don’t believe PreSonus but on the whole these kind of tests tend to take place in ideal situations. So we decided to run a test that was less than fair, open both the same Song at the same time in both Studio One 4 and Studio One 4.5 and then check the performance while they play an instance of Presence XT and Mai Tai at the same time. Our test machine is a MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017) 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7 with 16GB of ram. However, it seems our skepticism was misplaced as the results above show better than those claim, Studio One 4 is on the left and Studio One 4.5 is on the right. Take you own tests and let us know how you get.
Smooth Audio Waveforms and Snap to Zero Crossings
Some may think this a minor improvement but for many the waveform draw, especially when zooming in left a lot to be desired when editing audio, as did the way the cursor was placed on the audio when tabbing to transients. Now in 4.5 there are smooth audio waveforms and Snap to Zero crossing, both of which are user selectable in preferences and in the snap menu. Snap to zero-crossing is set independently for the Arrangement (current track) and Audio Editor.
This has been a feature long requested by composer who work to film and then want to export a Song along with the film to send to a Producer or Director, now this is possible.
Studio One is now able to export audio embedded into a video file. When working on audio-to-picture, users can easily create a new video file with the audio mixdown as soundtrack.
All of the video codecs provided by the operating system are supported, so the video export format doesn’t have to be identical to the original video format. The available export options are otherwise identical to audio mixdown.
PreSonus has listened to a lot of user feedback from all sorts of different user groups and in doing so has managed to pack a serious punch with this update that will please those working in tracking studios, making MIDI based music, those working as composers in film and for those wanting more professionals features such as the new mixer features and RMS and pre-fader metering.
When many DAW owners are expected to pay for these kind of updates it’s nice to see a company that keeps offering more to its user base without asking for more money. 70+ new features and improvements at no extra cost… what’s not to love? For those who want to complain about a free update like this we suggest you Google the word ‘entitled.’ For the rest of you, let’s be thankful for the hardworking efforts of the amazing team at PreSonus who deliver a free update like this. Enjoy!