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

jbuhler

Senior Member
@robgb @jbuhler: Have you tried moving certain plugins to find out which plugin is responsible for the crashes on startup / close?
The crash on close seems related to Kontakt. In any case, it only crashes on close when I have a Kontakt instance in the project, and when I have a Kontakt instance, it will crash on close almost 100% of the time if I have the session open longer than 15 minutes. (And it doesn't seem to matter what libraries I have in Kontakt.) The incomplete load at start seems related to the program not completing the check for MIDI devices that are registered but I don't have connected. I have not yet tried to eliminate all the MIDI devices that I don't have connected to see if I still get the error on launch.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
The incomplete load at start seems related to the program not completing the check for MIDI devices that are registered but I don't have connected. I have not yet tried to eliminate all the MIDI devices that I don't have connected to see if I still get the error on launch.
Does the same happen when you reconnect the MIDI devices in the MIDI monitor window (icon at the bottom left)? Sometimes S1 freezes during this reconnect when my M-Audio Axiom Pro lost the USB connection. I'm pretty sure that same USB drivers are buggy and don't respond anymore during the scan which makes S1 freeze.
 

PaulieDC

1967 Bizzarini GT 5300 Strada
Hmm what have templates to do with multi core? Nothing!? ;)
Sorry, meaning if you have a huge template then you’ll potentially be running a lot of instruments which will need to all be loaded and if you use ‘em that doesn’t fly, which is why guys like Jon Wright abandoned that and use instrument presets, only dragging out what you need. Guess I should proofread first, eh?
 

DS_Joost

One day I'll fly away!
After getting back into mixing and audio recording after many years, my first interface in 2014 was PreSonus which came with studio one. The fluidity of the user interface is so awesome I upgraded to Pro became committed for life and I didn’t care about any other DAW. Built-in Melodyne, drag and drop everything, amazing mastering section, two clicks to set up a working effects bus, no dongle, 5 installs per license, you name it. When I saw the number of people jumping from ProTools to studio one, I knew I was on the right track. For audio that is. Then in 2016 the MIDI Orchestration bug bit me HARD and I started exploring that world. Self taught music school really. I started hearing about the limitations of Studio One in that realm but I figured it could be made to work. I owned Notion and when the integration between the 2 appeared in one of the FREE Studio One 3.X upgrades, I was stoked. Then I built a new i9 daw last year (specs below) and when I actually started to USE Studio One, that’s when I discovered how lack of true multi core support became a problem. I open Task Manager and the first core gets hammered to 100% then maybe a second core gets triggered, while the rest idle along. For simple libraries like layout libraries or those that aren’t cpu hogs, you can deal with it. Load up a major patch and problems kick right in and you have to start tweaking block size and all that to try and make it work. This request has been on Presonus’s plate for YEARS in their online request area with over 600 people hitting the Plus sign to agree... it’s the #1 request. Yet they release all this other stuff but don’t address that. For Audio or EDM, it’ll work fine, but big VI projects, no go. Then I tried to install Notion on the new DAW. NOPE, incompatible with i9 and Xeon-based processors. No specific plans to fix that because it requires a total rewrite using a new engine (tech support’s own words). There goes my notation capability that I had previously paid full price for. Then I find out that video support is minimal at best, something I didn’t even think about. Next we find out that templates don’t work all that well (with no multicore how would they), but you can use presets which I do like the concept of, I use them in mixing all the time. So I get the heavy duty Synchron Steinway on sale, pop it on the studio one timeline, and Core #1 maxes out and crackles if I hit a series of fast chords. That’s it, I’m done. It’s too much, I need my environment to work. With much regret I cross-graded to Cubase 10 Pro for $332. That night I honestly felt weird, like I broke off an engagement. Over SOFTWARE, but that’s how good the user experience is with Studio One. But now I’m committing to Cubase and everything is working like it should. Task Manager shows 14 cores flying along happily sharing the load. And the amount of MIDI tutorials and videos for Cubase is crazy. What really surprised me was all these “new features” in Cubase 10... I was familiar with all of them since they have been in Studio One for several years, lol! I swore I’d never leave Studio One but I had no choice. I will still use it for audio work and for all audio needs in my church where I’m head sound guy. But for VI Composing, do your research before you try to commit, Cubase is probably a better way to go. Except for the STUPID dependency on a USB dongle that you have to have plugged in. REALLY? IN 2019? And if you lose it you have to buy a license again? Hello 1994, hey, where’s my external RS-232 5-1/4” floppy drive?? Kudos to PreSonus, Berlin, EastWest and NI for their login-based authentication.
This post is absolutely the most honest and helpful here, and I agree with it 100%. This was my exact problem with Studio One, and I'd really urge people to demo the software because of this!
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
Sorry, meaning if you have a huge template then you’ll potentially be running a lot of instruments which will need to all be loaded and if you use ‘em that doesn’t fly, which is why guys like Jon Wright abandoned that and use instrument presets, only dragging out what you need. Guess I should proofread first, eh?
Ahh okay - sorry, wasn't meant to sound rude.

But if you have a huge template then you will have 95% of the instruments disabled so they shouln't stress the CPU at all. So CPU is not really the problem, I guess it's rather that the S1 GUI is not optimized for displaying and editing that many tracks.
 

DS_Joost

One day I'll fly away!
Ahh okay - sorry, wasn't meant to sound rude.

But if you have a huge template then you will have 95% of the instruments disabled so they shouln't stress the CPU at all. So CPU is not really the problem, I guess it's rather that the S1 GUI is not optimized for displaying and editing that many tracks.
You are both correct. Both the CPU usage and the way Studio One craps itself up after an x amount of tracks (even disabled, it doesn't matter) are huge showstoppers for me, and the reason I went back to Cubase.

Studio One always gets off to a running start. But when it's time to fly, it falls straight to the ground again. It never takes off. That is my analogy for it.
 

soundmind

New Member
Agree on the CPU usage of Studio One. It definitely has to be addressed and improved upon. However, with the track transform workaround, you can go back and forth from midi to audio with clicking “Preserve Instrument Track State”. I understand that this isn’t the solution with some vi’s that use an enormous amount of CPU out of the gate, but it has been a function that has helped me out with growing track counts due to dense layering of vi’s.
 

robgb

I was young once
Recently and a bit more troublesome, it usually takes 3 or 4 launches for it to get through the start up.
The last time I tried to launch it (a couple weeks ago), it simply would not launch. I must have tried ten times and it would crash while loading. I finally gave up. Maybe this problem has been addressed in Studio One 4, but I'm not going to pay a hundred or so dollars to find out.
 

samphony

Senior Member
Agree on the CPU usage of Studio One. It definitely has to be addressed and improved upon. However, with the track transform workaround, you can go back and forth from midi to audio with clicking “Preserve Instrument Track State”. I understand that this isn’t the solution with some vi’s that use an enormous amount of CPU out of the gate, but it has been a function that has helped me out with growing track counts due to dense layering of vi’s.
Just imagine a bigger project with lots of tracks and lots of scratch pads. Transforming will take ages and it is done track by track not in parallel!
 

Jacob Cadmus

Active Member
I must be one of the few lucky ones to not experience these apparent CPU issues in S1, because it works just fine for me. In all fairness though, I keep my templates pretty modest. Never had to load more than 150 tracks.
 

Sarah Mancuso

Esselfortium
The crash on close seems related to Kontakt. In any case, it only crashes on close when I have a Kontakt instance in the project, and when I have a Kontakt instance, it will crash on close almost 100% of the time if I have the session open longer than 15 minutes. (And it doesn't seem to matter what libraries I have in Kontakt.)
That's really odd. I've experienced a very similar problem with Kontakt when closing songs in Reason. I've found as a gross-hack workaround that I can avoid it locking up if I first do a select-all and delete all the instruments, then close the project, making sure not to re-save when I do. I'd assumed it was some sort of unresolved conflict between Reason and Kontakt, or an inexplicable oddity specific to my computer setup, so it's interesting to know it's also happening for some people in Studio One.
 

Headlands

Active Member
This is an interesting conversation. I've been on Cubase for a very long time and I feel like it's ancient in the way it does many things workflow-wise. After having done some work in Studio One, Live, and even Pro Tools, Cubase feels like a bunch of old men who are stuck in their old ways for lots of workflow things and also how it looks -- and I'm not a very young guy myself. :)

When I tried Studio One I found that the very advanced MIDI and editing capabilities weren't at the Cubase level, which is the main thing that's kept me from trying it again. This was about 1 1/2 years ago though, so maybe it's gotten better. Also, Cubase's ability to handle gigantic projects is imperative to me for a number of reasons.

But Cubase is often like bashing your head against the wall with so many things that they either refuse to adapt to the modern age with or are stuck in years-old legacy code. It's frustrating and I'm definitely keeping an eye on Studio One. Cubase is great in some ways but it feels so old (because it is), and when I tried Studio One it was like getting a very strong decongestant in certain ways. :)
 

Sean

I don't know what I'm talking about
When I tried Studio One I found that the very advanced MIDI and editing capabilities weren't at the Cubase level, which is the main thing that's kept me from trying it again.
I recently tried Studio One Pro from Splice and still found the MIDI to be a bit frustrating to edit but take what I say with a grain of salt as I didn't experiment too much with it. I find Cubase much easier for MIDI editing as well.
 

Jacob Cadmus

Active Member
OK so I did a little experiment to help me gain a bit of insight into S1's CPU debacle. Having originally come from a Windows environment and utilizing multitimbral midi slots per instrument (Kontakt, PLAY, etc.), S1 ran fine with little-to-no issue. Since then I had switched over to Mac and got accustomed to Logic's workflow (optimized for ONE midi slot per instrument). I then replicated my Logic template into S1 (using the AU presets I saved in Logic, mind you), and WOAH... 40% cpu at IDLE. I see it now. Speaking only for S1 and Logic, they're practically opposites in the way they handle VIs. So I started a new template in S1, this time doing multitimbral slots once again - crisis averted.
 

jonathanwright

Senior Member
On the surface, MIDI editing in S1 isn’t the best. But setting up Macros to fill in a lot of the gaps makes a huge difference.

Of course it’s not as deep as the Logical Editor in Cubase, but Macro’s can get you 90% of the way there.

Easy to set up too.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
When I tried Studio One I found that the very advanced MIDI and editing capabilities weren't at the Cubase level, which is the main thing that's kept me from trying it again.
I recently tried Studio One Pro from Splice and still found the MIDI to be a bit frustrating to edit
That's very diffuse. Could you please be a bit more concrete and give examples? What exactly do you miss and what exactly is not so good when it comes to MIDI editing?

OK so I did a little experiment to help me gain a bit of insight into S1's CPU debacle. Having originally come from a Windows environment and utilizing multitimbral midi slots per instrument (Kontakt, PLAY, etc.), S1 ran fine with little-to-no issue. Since then I had switched over to Mac and got accustomed to Logic's workflow (optimized for ONE midi slot per instrument). I then replicated my Logic template into S1 (using the AU presets I saved in Logic, mind you), and WOAH... 40% cpu at IDLE. I see it now. Speaking only for S1 and Logic, they're practically opposites in the way they handle VIs.
To compare the performances you have to tell us how you did it. Windows or Mac? Dropout protection properly set? Which settings? Which plugins? "40% CPU at IDLE". Where do you know? Task manager? The task manager displays are not meaningful so any comparison only task manager is be useless (everyone is doing it anyway... that's why there are so many stupid reports in forums that argue that one single plugin (DIVA, KONTAKT etc.) uses sooo much more CPU in DAW X than in DAW Y...).

If you really want to compare the performance of two DAWs you have to try out how many instances of plugins you can insert until you get dropouts.
 

Jacob Cadmus

Active Member
To compare the performances you have to tell us how you did it. Windows or Mac? Dropout protection properly set? Which settings? Which plugins? "40% CPU at IDLE". Where do you know? Task manager? The task manager displays are not meaningful so any comparison only task manager is be useless (everyone is doing it anyway... that's why there are so many stupid reports in forums that argue that one single plugin (DIVA, KONTAKT etc.) uses sooo much more CPU in DAW X than in DAW Y...).

If you really want to compare the performance of two DAWs you have to try out how many instances of plugins you can insert until you get dropouts.
Did you read my post? I'm pretty sure I've covered all those bases. I think you misunderstand my stance on S1; I'm not trying to bash it, in fact I prefer S1 over Logic and plan to do a full switcheroo.

But to answer your questions; I've tested S1 on both platforms, with dropout protection on MAX. I'm fully aware that it performs marginally better on Windows, and I've analyzed both system and DAW monitors. In Mac land, I made an apples-to-apples replica of my Logic template in S1, and I can attest that S1 does not handle high instrument counts as well as Logic does. HOWEVER, the workaround in S1 is that utilizing multitimbral outs per instrument reduces the need for high instrument counts, and performs significantly better that way; Logic on the other hand falls apart when going multitimbral. In the end of it all, I prefer the multitimbral method that S1 excels at, plus it's much more RAM-friendly than Logic. I hope that clears things up a bit.
 
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