Studio One 5 : A Viable Option?

mjsalam

Active Member
Been playing about with Studio One 5 Pro demo and without having gone super deep am intrigued by what appears to be a decent middle ground between Logic and Cubase (both of which I perpetually waffle between). Reading though threads here the consensus on S1 seems to be one (or all of the following):

- Great DAW - want to like it but performance is awful (compared to ...) and crashes a ton.
- Great DAW - worthy of serious consideration...in 5-10 years.
- Great DAW - so close...but not quite for "serious" work.

On the surface though here is what I like about it:

- has the track visibility and management options I really like in Cubase (which logic doesn't have)
- cross-platform (in case that dark day comes where I can no longer justify the Apple ecosystem)
- much better licensing scheme than Steinberg (ie. no dongle). I work between a laptop and desktop a lot and for me dongles are pure shite.
- seems to have a sensible balance between power features and "simplicity" / workflow
- like the idea of of the "project" component allowing you to treat a body of work as a ..well...a body of work and apply treatment accoridngly

In terms of what I want to do - I write all manner of music - but I am very focused these days on orchestral/hybrid.

So my question to all is ...have any of you gone down this path for similar reasons (or coming from similar places) only to find that you hit a wall and returned to from whence you came?

TIA!
 

RenePedersen

New Member
I would say the only reason not to use S1, is if you work with video, as its player is not really up to par with something like Cubase or Logic. Apart from that there's nothing that should hold you back from writing any music with the DAW, with v5 it now has Expression Maps and notation editor, basically all the things that kept orchestral composers from using it.
 
OP
mjsalam

mjsalam

Active Member
Thanks for the input! Apart from the lack of a video track is there anything specifically wrong with their video implementation? I didn't notice anything glaring.
 

RenePedersen

New Member
Thanks for the input! Apart from the lack of a video track is there anything specifically wrong with their video implementation? I didn't notice anything glaring.
I would say no. But not having a video track is my opinion the only problem S1 has now, when it comes to scoring.
 

Kuusniemi

Active Member
- Great DAW - want to like it but performance is awful (compared to ...) and crashes a ton.
- Great DAW - worthy of serious consideration...in 5-10 years.
- Great DAW - so close...but not quite for "serious" work.
Yeah, I think these are all pretty much BS.
Personally I have not had any performance problems nor crashes. It is just as much for serious work as any other DAW. 5 to 10 years, come on it is already a mature DAW.

Besides and again, no one is going to know what software you used in the end. It's not the DAW making the music. If it works for you and you like it then use it. :)
 

RenePedersen

New Member
Yeah, I think these are all pretty much BS.
Personally I have not had any performance problems nor crashes. It is just as much for serious work as any other DAW. 5 to 10 years, come on it is already a mature DAW.

Besides and again, no one is going to know what software you used in the end. It's not the DAW making the music. If it works for you and you like it then use it. :)
I agree 100%. The only problems I have had with S1 was related to ASIO driver while not using an audio interface, it would cause projects hang and not respond for a bit, but other than that, it's a fucking amazing DAW, with one of the best workflow and quality of life features that most other DAWs don't have.

It's all about workflow, so like Kuusniemi says - Use it if you like it, it's up there with the big boys now.
 

Mucusman

Enthusiastic hobbyist
I would say no. But not having a video track is my opinion the only problem S1 has now, when it comes to scoring.
Last week I created a quick soundtrack (underscore) for a video I shot for work; it was the first time I ever imported video into Studio One. I can’t speak to how other DAWs handle video, but the process for me was painless. Worked like a charm. But perhaps this is because the video I imported already had audio (dialogue) I was able to extract to its own audio track. Whenever I hit play or record, the picture was in sync.
 

RenePedersen

New Member
Last week I created a quick soundtrack (underscore) for a video I shot for work; it was the first time I ever imported video into Studio One. I can’t speak to how other DAWs handle video, but the process for me was painless. Worked like a charm. But perhaps this is because the video I imported already had audio (dialogue) I was able to extract to its own audio track. Whenever I hit play or record, the picture was in sync.
Oh yes I'm sure it works fine, but it's the video thumbnail track that is missing mate. That's all. :)
 
OP
mjsalam

mjsalam

Active Member
This is great feedback thanks - definitely giving me some confidence to invest some real time and effort.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
If you master it, and your system can handle the tasks you intend to do, Studio One will do most everything you need it to do. I agree that it'd be nice to have a video track, but even without it, I've scored a film with no problem. I am sure that feature will come soon, and maybe even expression maps if people vote it up enough on the forums. Presonus is very responsive like that.
 
It's possible to score to picture, but if you need to create a fixed tempo map then you will be out of luck, as still of SO5 you are unable to lock the markers; so any changes there will lead to your lines going out of sync with the timing.

Also handling lots and lots of tracks can become cumbersome for those wanting to have all their instruments in the template from starting your project, whether you're using them or not due to their restricted instrument pane in the the mixer view; for instance this may be the case when dealing with lots of instruments or if you prefer one articulation per track. Although SO has a clear separation of tracks which are essentially data lists and the audio signal path which is bound to their mixer which can prove handy.

Like many DAWS you can always freeze your tracks and bounce them to audio or if you prefer a bonus feature is Studio One supports hybrid tracks, allowing you to easily convert midi to audio and back again.

Other than that I'd say the workflow makes up for the shortcomings; although some duplication of UI features in the various panes may seem redundant and don't always behave in each case as expected.

Studio One probably covers 90% of most features that the competitive professional DAWs have, just the rest of them are not so advanced. If you can live without expression maps and don't need to seriously score to picture then why not check it out.
 
Tried the demo, it's beautiful and some of the functionality is really intuitive. But it still isn't nearly as deep as Cubase. Maybe in a few years.
 

RenePedersen

New Member
Tried the demo, it's beautiful and some of the functionality is really intuitive. But it still isn't nearly as deep as Cubase. Maybe in a few years.
What do you mean by it not being as deep as Cubase? Keep in mind that the demo is probably has restrictions when comes to features.
 

Dr.Quest

Senior Member
What do you mean by it not being as deep as Cubase? Keep in mind that the demo is probably has restrictions when comes to features.
I believe all Studio One demos have always had full functionality for 30 days. That was always my experience.
 

ALittleNightMusic

Active Member
The articulation support they just added was very welcome and thankfully they quickly fixed their track delay issue. It's still has a subset of the functionality of the big guys (Cubase, Logic) but that isn't surprising given how long it has been around. And of course, part of the appeal is the lean-ness of it and not having all the bloat. However, sometimes that bloat is helpful when you're trying to do specific things - and then when there is a DAW that is a superset, hard to not choose that. While I own it, I prefer working in Logic (and sometimes Cubase).
 

jonathanwright

Senior Member
It’s a great DAW, but it is still a little lacking when it comes to scoring to video, fine for a linear short, but for anything involving multiple tempo changes etc, it’s not as accomplished as other DAW’s. The Studio One workflow is still very good though.

A couple of points.

1. Use VST if you’re on a Mac. I found using AU caused all sorts of problems with crashing. As soon as I disabled AU they all disappeared.

2. Look into Macros. They’re very easy to configure, and you’ll probably be able to cover 90% of features you miss from Logic or Cubase, probably adding others you hadn’t thought of.
 
Just a few things from my short time with it:

-No drag/ pencil duplicate feature like in Cubase
-Limited to one marker track
- Expression map functionality and customization very limited
-No link between MIDI tracks and faders. This is a huge one for me. It takes a minute just to set up a MIDI track to a rack instrument and have it controllable by a fader in the mixer. And then doing simple things like coloring the track are not linked and you have to do it twice
-Lack of saveable workspaces
-Video options limited
-Seems optimized for one screen, rather than multiple. I didn't see any options to always have the mixer as a separate window, or the MIDI editor etc. I always have to click and drag it out. Seems like they're more concerned with the usability on a laptop than an actual workstation
-No separate keycommand to return to last start position. In Cubase I have two. One to return to project start, and one to return to last start position.
-No divide track list option

I think there were more but these were the things that turned me off right out of the gate. I could be wrong on some of this as I only used for a short period, so please correct me and point me in the right direction if so. On top of that, these are just the cons. There were many many positives and things that I envy as a Cubase user. Just not enough to switch yet.
 
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Just a few things from my short time with it:
-Seems optimized for one screen, rather than multiple. I didn't see any options to always have the mixer as a separate window, or the MIDI editor etc. I always have to click and drag it out. Seems like they're more concerned with the usability on a laptop then an actual workstation
Actually from base principles this seems like it is true, as SO has a consolidated window optimised for the Mac.

In practice just go to any view, and click on the diagonal arrow icon at top right-hand corner of the pane. And then the window peels out and you can resize and move it elsewhere -- even to a new monitor. This works on Windows PC. Haven't tried it on a MAC.