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

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Now, S1 just ate all the CC data for expression from every instrument in this piece. I've never seen anything like it.

Yes, it’s true if I don’t have the automation lane open on an instrument that I get the behavior. My understanding from those on here though was the instruments were supposed to retain the state of the automation lanes last used in editing the instrument. That is evidently not the case...

The second thing is that some of my Spitfire instruments (especially those using the Spitfire sample player) evidently don’t use the regular MIDI CCs. In any case the parameters available in the automation lane chooser are different and “expression” for the Spitfire player is not the same as “expression” for most instruments. The upshot is that it is impossible to get the set of automation lanes under the music editor to be the same for, say, Spitfire Chamber Strings and Hans Zimmer Strings. This means that when I move from one to the other the automation configuration is always broken with S1 returning to something like a default state (generally but not always showing velocity or modulation in all lanes except modulation). In any case it just doesn’t work for that combination of instruments.

Now the problem if you are working on a large template like an orchestra piece is that every instrument has to be able to be configured the same with the automation lanes if the automation configuration is going to be retained. If any instrument can’t do this you are kind of screwed and condemned to having to reset the automation any time you jump to an instrument that can’t be configured in that fashion. This does not make for efficient work and it’s one way the editing and programming of MIDI remains a chore in S1. The program still has a long way to go...

I’ll add one cautionary tale, and that is as I was working last night at some point the expression data on all tracks just disappeared. (I was not able to reproduce the problem so I don’t know what happened.) In any case I was able to go back to a fairly recent version and recover it but that kind of bug is worrisome, and good thing I wasn’t working on deadline. Related, when I went to restore an earlier version S1 hung on closing the previous project (as it often does for any project contains a Kontakt instance—a king standing bug that I’ve reported to support and Presonus hasn’t deemed important enough to fix). It took several attempts to restore because S1 could not close the current project to open a previous one.

I love much about S1 and it’s workflow generally suits me better than Logic but the issues I’ve had the past couple of days as I’ve been working intensely with it remind me why I always end up going back to Logic for big projects involving lots of VIs.

One final question. Is there a way to open the automation envelopes created under the music editor as automation tracks in the main window. Whenever I open the automation parameter in the main window the automation envelope created in the music editor does not show up so I can’t figure out how to edit it there.

yes it seems like its does not save the state of each track's automation windows, as much as it just seems to try and retain the same view for every track. I'm honestly not sure which is better. maybe this needs to be an option in the future. For me personally, when I'm doing automation, I'm normally doing the same kind of automation for multiple tracks, so it showing the same pages all the time is helpful. However, i can see the reasoning behind wanting it to retain the same view you had it on previously.

as for automation in the main window, I never actually noticed that the two windows are not linked when you open up the automation. that must be a bug.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
as for automation in the main window, I never actually noticed that the two windows are not linked when you open up the automation. that must be a bug.
I was wondering if it was like the difference between track and region automation in Logic.

So you also can't open automation envelopes you created in the music editor in the main window?
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
I was wondering if it was like the difference between track and region automation in Logic.

So you also can't open automation envelopes you created in the music editor in the main window?
I can see the outline of my envelopes in the main window, but when i open the automation in the main window, it just shows a flat line. If i draw something new in the main window, it directly conflicts with the one form the midi editor.
 

samphony

Senior Member
These issues need to get sorted. Did you report them? A show only used controllers or show controller preset nr … macro should be implemented as well
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I can't reproduce it. It tried it even with different instruments (Spire and Mai Tai) which provide different parameters for automation. It still works as expected:


If nobody can reproduce it there's no change for this to get changed or fixed. If you sent me an example 2 track song with S1 internal instruments (or if that's not possible two empty KONTAKTs) where this happens I could take a look at it. But apparently you are not ready for it.
Here is a link to the S1 file. And here is an accompanying YouTube video:

I'll repeat that I sent these to Presonus support, and the support person said this was expected behavior and that it looks like the automation envelopes were created in different order. (They weren't except insofar as HZ Strings doesn't have the ordinary Expression of CC21 available.) It also doesn't really explain the behavior.

I would be fine if S1 either retained the configuration of the automation lanes on a per instrument basis or if you could set a default configuration that would appear regardless of whether the instrument had that automation available. But I can't even figure out how S1 expects its configurations to work. As best I can figure out the logic is: if the new instrument has the same parameter as the previous instrument retain it. If not, substitute velocity or some other randomly chosen default parameter.

Here is a partial list of the parameters available on HZ Strings:
Studio One Automatioon Parameters.jpg
The MIDI CCs are addressable but they are not the same format as the ordinary ones:
Studio One Automatioon Parameters2.jpg Studio One Automatioon Parameters3.jpg

In particular, the HZ Strings has no MIDI folder.

Oh, and all the expression data just disappeared from my project again...

I was again able to recover it by going back to an earlier version, but this is seriously worrisome.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I can see the outline of my envelopes in the main window, but when i open the automation in the main window, it just shows a flat line. If i draw something new in the main window, it directly conflicts with the one form the midi editor.
Yes, that's the behavior I get as well.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
These issues need to get sorted. Did you report them? A show only used controllers or show controller preset nr … macro should be implemented as well
Yes, I did report it, and got the response that I should make a feature request! I don't really even know how to describe the problem and how to propose it as a feature since it doesn't seem to affect everyone.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Here is a link to the S1 file. And here is an accompanying YouTube video:

I'll repeat that I sent these to Presonus support, and the support person said this was expected behavior and that it looks like the automation envelopes were created in different order. (They weren't except insofar as HZ Strings doesn't have the ordinary Expression of CC21 available.) It also doesn't really explain the behavior.

I would be fine if S1 either retained the configuration of the automation lanes on a per instrument basis or if you could set a default configuration that would appear regardless of whether the instrument had that automation available. But I can't even figure out how S1 expects its configurations to work. As best I can figure out the logic is: if the new instrument has the same parameter as the previous instrument retain it. If not, substitute velocity or some other randomly chosen default parameter.

Here is a partial list of the parameters available on HZ Strings:
View attachment 20568
The MIDI CCs are addressable but they are not the same format as the ordinary ones:
View attachment 20569 View attachment 20570

In particular, the HZ Strings has no MIDI folder.

Oh, and all the expression data just disappeared from my project again...

I was again able to recover it by going back to an earlier version, but this is seriously worrisome.
I’ve sometimes overwritten expression data by accidentally recording when multiple tracks were selected for edit (the blue pencil icons). Is that the case? Another time when I’ve “lost” automation is when recording midi on top of Previously recorded event of midi. This sometimes resulted in two events layered on top of each other and when i then merged the two some automation data was lost because the newer midi event did not have expression/automation recorded.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I’ve sometimes overwritten expression data by accidentally recording when multiple tracks were selected for edit (the blue pencil icons). Is that the case? Another time when I’ve “lost” automation is when recording midi on top of Previously recorded event of midi. This sometimes resulted in two events layered on top of each other and when i then merged the two some automation data was lost because the newer midi event did not have expression/automation recorded.
No. I wasn't recording anything, and this morning I only opened the file to take those screen shots of the automation manager, so didn't do anything except that. Went to look at an instrument for other reasons and noticed the expression and CC21 data were missing again.

There is something seriously messed up. Maybe this particular file is corrupt. If so, what's the best way to resolve it? Export the midi and reimport into a new project?
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
Thanks @jbuhler for the song file! I took a look at it. Clear case: There is no Expression in your "HZ Violin 1" so it's pretty obvious why Expression switches to Velocity. It can't display a parameter which you haven't added.

In your video you open the Music Editor but you have no instrument parts in the song. The editor shows only automation parameters for a track that has something to display (notes, controller data or at least a part for it). That's why you don't see the controller lane change when you select the tracks. Add two empty instrument parts to your "HZ Violin 1" and "Violin 1" tracks and do the same thing again. You will see that HZ Violin 1 has no Expression. So here's the reason why it changes to Velocity :) I've added Expression for this track and now it works as you want.

That's why I asked for an example song. This mostly helps to see what's wrong.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Thanks @jbuhler for the song file! I took a look at it. Clear case: There is no Expression in your "HZ Violin 1" so it's pretty obvious why Expression switches to Velocity. It can't display a parameter which you haven't added.

In your video you open the Music Editor but you have no instrument parts in the song. The editor shows only automation parameters for a track that has something to display (notes, controller data or at least a part for it). That's why you don't see the controller lane change when you select the tracks. Add two empty instrument parts to your "HZ Violin 1" and "Violin 1" tracks and do the same thing again. You will see that HZ Violin 1 has no Expression. So here's the reason why it changes to Velocity :) I've added Expression for this track and now it works as you want.

That's why I asked for an example song. This mostly helps to see what's wrong.
Well, yes, this is the example you told me to produce that had no instrument on it. Since there are no instruments on either track, expression shouldn't even be there, but it was retained from the original tracks that had those instruments on it after I deleted the instrument. Interestingly, vibrato and CC21 disappeared when I deleted the instrument, but expression was retained.

Actually HZStrings does have "Expression"; it just happens not to be the same "expression" as SCS, which follows the standard MIDI one. HZStrings will respond to "expression" data however as MIDI CC 0|11 or under its own parameter of "expression." But Studio One does not interpret either of those as the same lane as CC11/expression in other instruments. It works similarly for vibrato.

None of this gets to the basic problem though: the automation configuration does not travel with the instrument as was initially stated by someone on one of these threads. That is simply not the behavior S1 is programmed to follow in general. So if you have an instrument like HZ Strings that does not address expression as CC11 (even though it responds to it as such) or vibrato as CC21, then I see no way to set up a configuration that will translate consistently across all instruments. You have to manually reset the configuration every time. I'm sorry, but that makes no sense in terms of design (it's really a lack of design and S1 not really being optimized for handling large numbers of VIs) and it results in a very kludgy workflow. And it makes working with a large number of tracks (to address the topic of this thread) difficult compared to other DAWs because I spend so much time manually resetting the automation configuration, which generally requires at least two clicks to reset expression and CC21 every time I change instruments.

Now if someone can tell me how to set up the instruments so I can avoid this, I'd be grateful, and it would address one big reservation to using S1 for large orchestral projects.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Well, yes, this is the example you told me to produce that had no instrument on it. Since there are no instruments on either track, expression shouldn't even be there, but it was retained from the original tracks that had those instruments on it after I deleted the instrument. Interestingly, vibrato and CC21 disappeared when I deleted the instrument, but expression was retained.

Actually HZStrings does have "Expression"; it just happens not to be the same "expression" as SCS, which follows the standard MIDI one. HZStrings will respond to "expression" data however as MIDI CC 0|11 or under its own parameter of "expression." But Studio One does not interpret either of those as the same lane as CC11/expression in other instruments. It works similarly for vibrato.

None of this gets to the basic problem though: the automation configuration does not travel with the instrument as was initially stated by someone on one of these threads. That is simply not the behavior S1 is programmed to follow in general. So if you have an instrument like HZ Strings that does not address expression as CC11 (even though it responds to it as such) or vibrato as CC21, then I see no way to set up a configuration that will translate consistently across all instruments. You have to manually reset the configuration every time. I'm sorry, but that makes no sense in terms of design (it's really a lack of design and S1 not really being optimized for handling large numbers of VIs) and it results in a very kludgy workflow. And it makes working with a large number of tracks (to address the topic of this thread) difficult compared to other DAWs because I spend so much time manually resetting the automation configuration, which generally requires at least two clicks to reset expression and CC21 every time I change instruments.

Now if someone can tell me how to set up the instruments so I can avoid this, I'd be grateful, and it would address one big reservation to using S1 for large orchestral projects.
Addendum: I tried to set up a template with Spitfire Orchestra instruments and HZ Strings and with automation lanes defined. The SSO stuff all worked fine until I added the HZS and then it stopped working. Whenever I would go to a HZS instrument, the automation would have to be reset. And the same going back to an SSO instrument.

The basic problem is that the user is not allowed to define a default state for the configuration of the automation lanes nor is the configuration saved with the instrument. Instead, when S1 encounters an anomaly it defaults to something, mostly velocity, but even that is not consistent. And then it retains that as the state going forward. Which is just not helpful and shows a lack of thought and design on the part of the developers. I really don't understand how Presonus is thinking about this. I mean, how do they expect that we will be using these automation configurations that would make this behavior reasonable?
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
Another issue I'm having with S1 as I work with large templates that militates against recommending it for big orchestral templates: whenever I get above about 50 GB of active memory used (I have 64GB) by S1, System, and other apps, S1 starts to have occasional pops from what seems to be unexplained CPU spikes. The problem exhibits more like the drives are not responding fast enough except that S1's performance meter and the Activity Monitor core meter both show a CPU spike in the first core, but the spikes don't correlate with a high number of instruments playing or anything obvious like that.

Then, too, when working with large projects S1 often stalls randomly during export stems and mixdowns (stopping for 3 or 4 seconds at some point in the song with one of the CPU cores maxed out). Again, I only have these issues when working with large projects (more than 40-45GB of sample content) and this is almost entirely orchestral instruments in Kontakt and the SF player, and nothing appears to be a CPU hog.
 

maestro2be

Active Member
I also just wonder how much of it is it's inability to handle Kontakt. It has been an issue for me for several versions. I am purposefully building an entire orchestration song out of only VSL instruments to see if I ever run across this issue as I get nothing but crashes and hangs when Kontakt is somewhere in the project. I can't imagine having 64GB of kontakt instruments. Just one instance of Gravity or Spitfire Chamber Strings and my projects go to shit. And it doesn't seem to care if it's Kontakt 5 or 6. It discriminates against both equally :).
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
My last hybrid orchestra production had ~ 50 instances if KONTAKT, ~ 20 GB samples in the RAM...

What do the crash dumps say? Where did the crash happen? Studio One can't do anything if a plugin crashes.

And does it happen with VSL / VE too? Or one if KONTAKT is involved?
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I also just wonder how much of it is it's inability to handle Kontakt. It has been an issue for me for several versions. I am purposefully building an entire orchestration song out of only VSL instruments to see if I ever run across this issue as I get nothing but crashes and hangs when Kontakt is somewhere in the project. I can't imagine having 64GB of kontakt instruments. Just one instance of Gravity or Spitfire Chamber Strings and my projects go to shit. And it doesn't seem to care if it's Kontakt 5 or 6. It discriminates against both equally :).
I'll be interested in hearing your results. But S1 is not going to earn many converts for media scoring if it can't handle Kontakt. This is another thing that I've complained to Presonus support about several times dating back to at least early iterations of Version 3 and have received a very indifferent response. Either it is technically too hard or they don't care, but the lack of response on the matter suggests to me that they don't see it as a priority.

What do the crash dumps say? Where did the crash happen? Studio One can't do anything if a plugin crashes.
The crashes almost always happen when I close a project, and it usually hangs rather than officially crashes. I haven't checked recently and don't remember what it said when I looked into it but when I've contacted support about it, they never blamed it on a plug-in. It was more like: Well, it's not affecting your ability to work in the project or save it, so we don't really need to pursue this further at this time. And in any case, if Kontakt isn't behaving well in S1 but it works fine in Logic and every other DAW, in my book that's still on Presonus to solve. It's not like Kontakt is some obscure plug-in.

I compare this to Apple support on Logic, where twice in the last year or so I've had long discussions about some strange behaviors related to Kontakt scripting, especially in Spitfire instruments. In both cases, the problem had been addressed in the next update of Logic.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I also just wonder how much of it is it's inability to handle Kontakt. It has been an issue for me for several versions. I am purposefully building an entire orchestration song out of only VSL instruments to see if I ever run across this issue as I get nothing but crashes and hangs when Kontakt is somewhere in the project. I can't imagine having 64GB of kontakt instruments. Just one instance of Gravity or Spitfire Chamber Strings and my projects go to shit. And it doesn't seem to care if it's Kontakt 5 or 6. It discriminates against both equally :).
How do you have kontakt configured. Do you have multithreaded option turned on in Kontakt by any chance? It probably should not be.
 

rrichard63

Perpetual Novice
Either it is technically too hard or they don't care, but the lack of response on the matter suggests to me that they don't see it as a priority.
If I had to guess, my guess would be that Presonus's priority is producers of pop, urban and EDM. I would further guess that if they were to start taking this seriously, they would have to hire someone with a background in film scoring, TV or production music. That sounds expensive. But doing so might lead to development of a Studio One 5 or 6 that would eventually dominate the entire DAW marketplace. Other parts of the foundation are there.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
If I had to guess, my guess would be that Presonus's priority is producers of pop, urban and EDM. I would further guess that if they were to start taking this seriously, they would have to hire someone with a background in film scoring, TV or production music. That sounds expensive. But doing so might lead to development of a Studio One 5 or 6 that would eventually dominate the entire DAW marketplace. Other parts of the foundation are there.
I think the last 4.0 aimed at beatmakers and EDM, while the 4.5 update was defintely aimed at pro tools users. Balancing everything out, S1 is still my preferred daw because I do many genres and it overall fits best to spark creativity for me. However to be perfectly honest, I can see why film scoring is low priority for them. In today’s market, how much more money do they stand to make appealing to all the beatmakers and “producers” compared to the decreasing number of people in film scores. Not to say the community is insignificant, but I mean...we’re more indies than mainstream.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
And in any case, if Kontakt isn't behaving well in S1 but it works fine in Logic and every other DAW, in my book that's still on Presonus to solve. It's not like Kontakt is some obscure plug-in.
It is known that PreSonus / Studio One does not fix bugs and incompatibilities (like not conforming to the VST specification) in 3rd party software (plugins)... what Cubase and Logic have done several times in the past.

If a plugin behaves better in one certain DAW it doesn't mean it's Studio One's fault.

But in the case of Kontakt my guess is the system. I haven't ever had any problems with Kontakt in Studio One. I had problems with Arturia plugins, Waves plugins, Spectrasonics plugins. But not Kontakt (and Kontakt is an instrument which is in each of my songs).
 
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