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Studio One users, how do you find S1 for big orchestral projects?

Arise

Member
I more or less started on S1 as my first DAW and instantly fell in love with how easy and intuitive it is. But one of the faults of it imo is, how it handles CPU usage and it still not being that great at handling big templates or a big number of tracks (?)

My question is:
Does anyone here do big orchestral projects in it, and if so, how do you find it to be, performance and stability wise, say compared to for example Cubase. So hundreds of Kontakt/PLAY instruments, etc.

If Cubase is much better in this regard I will consider the switch, it's the only other DAW I would consider switching to.
 

DS_Joost

One day I'll fly away!
Coming from a Studio One user, I'd strongly suggest Cubase for this sort of thing. It's just better and more stable at it. Studio One is good at many things except CPU performance and save times. Abysmal imo. I have been using it for a long time now, and I love it, but it's not ready for prime time regarding orchestral stuff. I myself am seeing myself strongly looking at Reaper again for that purpose, no matter how strongly I can feel against that DAW sometimes.

One day, I'm sure it'll click...
 
OP
Arise

Arise

Member
Coming from a Studio One user, I'd strongly suggest Cubase for this sort of thing. It's just better and more stable at it. Studio One is good at many things except CPU performance and save times. Abysmal imo. I have been using it for a long time now, and I love it, but it's not ready for prime time regarding orchestral stuff. I myself am seeing myself strongly looking at Reaper again for that purpose, no matter how strongly I can feel against that DAW sometimes.

One day, I'm sure it'll click...
I see, that's the feeling I get too. I just wish Presonus focused more on orchestral composers/scoring, since now they are going the electronic route (but apparently it's on their list).
Reaper is a cool DAW, but I'm not the type to tinker much to get stuff working as I want them to, however I find it pretty unique and completely different to any other DAW out there and I tried more or less all of them. I keep it as a backup DAW now or a temporary one at least until I decide between my main (S1, or eventually, Cubase)
 

Pudge

Active Member
Would jump ship in a flash if Studio one added features for creating modular templates and handling track counts and expression maps. Also some sort of PLE would be nice to see.
 

Chris Hurst

www.chrishurstmusic.com
As the posts above has said, it isn’t the best due to auto saves. I’ve found they can get in the way a bit, which is a real shame as I really like it otherwise.

If they can sort that out, I may have another look in future.

In the meantime, I’ve moved over to Cubase and can see why it is popular for larger templates.
 

tabulius

Active Member
For smaller projects Studio One is great, but I had to move back to Cubase when I started to use a bigger 1000+ track template. Cubase is a much faster handling mega projects. I hope Studio One will improve, because I liked some of the workflow features. The transform midi to audio tracks was so great and I’m going to miss it when going back to Cubase.
 
Well, despite being a Cubase user since Atari days, I can't deny that S1 gets my creative juices flowing more easily then e.g. C10. Especially when starting from scratch on a new song / arrangement.

IMHO there are just too many annoying little workflow and GUI related issues that Steinberg stubbornly refuses to change or fix.

To me, the advantages of S1 often outweigh it's limitations.
So, instead of using a 1000 track template and visibility agents for manoeuvring around, S1 stimulates you to do more with less. Or one might argue "forces" you. But that's not always a bad thing :)

Looking at the rate of improvements happening over the last few years in S1, I'm optimistic...
 

ionian

Member
As a studio one user, for the most part it's pretty good but yes, it is seriously far behind the competition when it comes to CPU usage.

I was a very long time Sonar user and honestly Sonar is most likely one of, if not the top when it comes to CPU optimization. It's one of the few things that DAW actually excelled at.

I've moved projects over from Sonar to Studio One, exporting audio and midi and importing it S1, and saving the plug in settings and re-opening them in studio one so that the project is identical. Projects that hovered around 6% in Sonar were hitting anywhere from 28-30% in Studio One. It's kind of insane. I'm always rendering audio and deleting inserts to keep the CPU from pegging in the red which is something I never had to do with Sonar, no matter how many plugs I had running. How bad it is with the CPU has been a long time complaint and it's at the top of everyone's request lists but presonus is still lagging on it. Either they don't get it, or they can't figure out how to utilize all the cores of a CPU.

It probably can optimize plug usage as well. If you're rendering or bouncing tracks, turn off all your plugs if the track doesn't need it to bounce or render (use the global on/off for effects) and all of a sudden rendering time increases 3x easily. Even if you're rendering the track solo'd! It has something to do that even if the other tracks are muted, S1 is calculating the plug ins or something and it slows everything down. There's a lot of things that show that Presonus isn't really knowledgeable in CPU / core usage and optimization.

It's one of the (very) few things I miss from Sonar. Well, that and non-destructive midi. It's strange S1 doesn't have that. It has non-destructive audio, but not midi. I miss that too from Sonar.
 

jonathanwright

Senior Member
Studio One definitely works best for a 'build as you go' composing process - and its workflow is pretty much designed to function that way.

So if you need a massive pre-built template, it isn't the best solution.

I've got around a lot of its limitations by creating a huge collection of instrument presets. I've then organised the presets into folders by instrument group, and also as 'templates'. So I can just open up a 'template' folder, select all and drag the whole lot into the project window, it takes seconds.

I've then created a very simple Macro which names all the channels in the mixer, inserts an EQ preset on all selected tracks and assigns them to a bus. I also use Keyboard Maestro to then trigger the bus name dialogue.

So for example, I can select my Brass tracks, press the key command and they'll all be named, have an EQ preset applied, routed to a new bus with a pop up asking for the bus name. The whole process is instant.

In many ways I find that faster than working with a template.
 

chibear

Active Member
New to S1 so can't comment on OP yet, but for those bothered (like me) with the autosave, you can turn it off. To replace it I added a macro button top left with 'SAVE' on it for when I actually do something worth saving.
 

soundmind

New Member
I use S1 in a similar way to Jonathan, though I setup my instrument presets (Strings, Synths, Guitars, etc.) in their own S1 'song template'. I also have a 'song template' with some of my instrument favorites as a starting point for composing. I keep a select few instruments enabled so as to keep load times down.

No matter which song I record a track with an initial idea (Strings, Synths, my main song template, etc.), I save the song, then import that track (via the files section in S1) into a new blank S1 song (another template I have that includes my global effects already setup). The imported track contains the instrument preset, effect inserts, the recorded midi, and even my track color coding for different instruments.

Then keeping with the "build as you go" process, I import other instrument tracks from their respective song templates to begin writing the track. Then to keep my song templates ready for the next idea, I simply delete the previously recorded midi track and re-save that song template.

I did not know about Jonathan's method, which seems like another great workflow, until I had already developed my setup. I really enjoy S1, and am hopeful for their continued improvements.
 

ionian

Member
As the posts above has said, it isn’t the best due to auto saves. I’ve found they can get in the way a bit, which is a real shame as I really like it otherwise.
Autosaves are annoying but they saved my bacon once.

Studio One has a really weird bug where once in a blue moon when you open a project, it will actually open your project TWICE and keep one hidden. I learned this the hard way, with clients in the room. (It took forever to sort this bug out).

So I opened a project which had been roughly sketched out in midi the day before. Spent almost 12 hours with musicians tracking everything for real. I saved and then closed Studio One. All of a sudden a dialog box opened that said, "Do you wish to save?" and I clicked "yes" like an idiot. All of a sudden you could actually see all the tracks and the work done all day disappear and then the file re-save! One of the musicians even said out loud, "What the f**k?!" My stomach hit the floor. I re-loaded the song and EVERYTHING was gone! All the work we had done all day. I was freaking out, the clients were freaking out. I just kept stuttering!

Thank God for "Versions". I had checked versions and was able to re-load a previous auto save and got everything back except for a single track of guitar, which we quickly re-tracked while it was fresh in the guitarist's mind.

It took me a while to hunt down the bug, which like I said, I eventually figured out that once in a while it will open two copies of the same project and hide one. So you work on one, then when you close Studio One, if it asks if you want to save again, it's actually referring to the hidden, untouched project. When I clicked "yes" it basically re-saved the untouched project as the most recent one!

The only workaround I've figured out to get around this bug is that I've gotten into the habit in Studio One now of when I'm actually done with everything, I do one final save and that way when I close Studio One right after, if it asks if I want to save I just click NO because I know I already saved it.

So that's something else I miss in Sonar...Sonar actually had a setting in the menu that says "Only allow one project at a time to be open" and you can choose if the program can't open more than one project.
 

Brian2112

Active Member
As a former Sonar refugee myself, I usually start to compose and arrange in Studio One. If the thing gets too heavy I just port it to Cubase. A lot of CPU intensive stuff I have running in VE pro anyway and have track templates of those in both so it’s just a matter of transferring the midi. Using more than one DAW is not that uncommon these days. In my opinion, Cubase is the king (on PC) for now. But potentially S1 could far surpass it at some point.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I haven’t experienced the CPU issues personally, and for me it seems to work better in that respect than Logic. S1 has also been more stable for me than Logic. I agree it works best with load as you go rather than large templates. I find when I get more than about 40 midi tracks it just gets hard to find things because of the way S1 manages the Instrument plug-in windows.
 

ionian

Member
Also, if you use Kontakt in Studio One, make sure to turn on the Multi-core support in the Kontakt settings! If you check the warnings in Kontakt, it says to not turn it on if your DAW uses Multi cores because it'll cause conflictions. Because I used Sonar which was excellent with multi-cores I used to leave it off.

When I switched to Studio One, I had a lot of problems using even mid-level kontakt libraries in Studio One without the meter pegging in the red on even a moderate number of notes. When I figured out that Studio One doesn't utilize multi-cores, I switched on the multi-core support in Kontakt, set it for the number of cores I have, and then Kontakt's usage dropped a huge amount and then I didn't have issues using libraries in Studio One.
 

muziksculp

Senior Member
For very large templates, using Slave PCs with VE-Pro is the safest, and most reliable way to go, that imho. applies to any DAW that has to deal with a huge track count template.

I love working with Studio One Pro 4, it is very stable (I'm on PC-Windows 8.1 Pro), and for large template work, I use two slave PCs via VE-Pro 6. I was a Cubase Pro 9 user, but the workflow in S1Pro 4 is fast, and wonderful compared to Cubase, I also feel Cubase is getting too clunky, with too many features, and it is slow to open, and save projects, S1Pro 4 just feel a lot snappier for me.

Hopefully Presonus will update it with more Scoring/Orchestral composer related features that will make it more efficient, productive, and suitable for this type of genre. I think the next big upgrade with new features will be Studio One Pro 4.5.
 

soundmind

New Member
Also, if you use Kontakt in Studio One, make sure to turn on the Multi-core support in the Kontakt settings! If you check the warnings in Kontakt, it says to not turn it on if your DAW uses Multi cores because it'll cause conflictions. Because I used Sonar which was excellent with multi-cores I used to leave it off.

When I switched to Studio One, I had a lot of problems using even mid-level kontakt libraries in Studio One without the meter pegging in the red on even a moderate number of notes. When I figured out that Studio One doesn't utilize multi-cores, I switched on the multi-core support in Kontakt, set it for the number of cores I have, and then Kontakt's usage dropped a huge amount and then I didn't have issues using libraries in Studio One.
Thanks for the info!
 

5Lives

Senior Member
S1 needs some things before it is great for orchestral work, but I would put my money of it getting there before Steinberg fixes many of the long-standing workflow issues and “design choices” of Cubase.
 

JPQ

Senior Member
I haven’t experienced the CPU issues personally, and for me it seems to work better in that respect than Logic. S1 has also been more stable for me than Logic. I agree it works best with load as you go rather than large templates. I find when I get more than about 40 midi tracks it just gets hard to find things because of the way S1 manages the Instrument plug-in windows.
I feel also work better my old Logic (9.1.8). in btw i msut i try check today how hardware synths work with it. and few other things. and i itself dont like premade templates maybe related how poor my mac mini is. and i want simple projects not projects ith many tracks (soon as possible switch pc side and i dont generally like wrote complex projects like more songs few carefully selected elements like one song earlier this forum what i think is cello and piano).
 

ThomasL

Senior Member
To me, the advantages of S1 often outweigh it's limitations.
So, instead of using a 1000 track template and visibility agents for manoeuvring around, S1 stimulates you to do more with less. Or one might argue "forces" you. But that's not always a bad thing :)
+1

I've saved quite a few instruments as "Export Instrument + FX Preset..." and if I need anything it's just drag-and-drop and it's there. Works good for almost all single instruments as well as my hardware synths. Kontakt Multis on the other hand, not so good. So I keep a basic setup of multis disabled in S1 and enable them when they are needed.

S1 has made me think in new ways, I was a bit obsessed with BIG ULTIMATE templates for quite some time but using less has gotten me to write better. At least I think so :)
 
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