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

jbuhler

Senior Member
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?
I haven't been using Studio One the past few months, because I've been working on a bigger project. But here are some things I remember irritating me: The piano roll randomly resizes the zoom when moving about. When it does, it often forgets the saved zoom setting. The CC lanes that are visible change, again seemingly at random. It takes a lot of clicks to open anything other than the default lanes and I've never found a good way to create my own defaults. You can't open two piano roll windows at the same time; or if you can I haven't been able to figure out how to do it. (I do like the flexibility of the piano roll design Studio One has though, which allows easy navigation and overlay of many parts.) It has no articulation support. Because Studio One works best with multi-timbral output, you have to manually locate the instrument in the instance of Kontakt that houses it if you need to see the GUI. I also have persistent problems with Studio One failing on start up and crashing on close. Its manual is completely deficient.

That said, I like Studio One, and use it on my smaller projects. The sketch pad is a marvel that I wish other DAWs would emulate. I very much prefer the way its arranger works for moving around sections compared to the way, say, Logic does it.
 

Sean

I don't know what I'm talking about
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?
Sorry for being rather vague but it was a few weeks ago and honestly I don't remember exactly what the issues were, just that they were enough to put me off S1. It wasn't really a lack of functionality, it was just the workflow for midi editing felt awkward to me compared to Cubase or Reaper.
 

samphony

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.
Do you have a Macro that lets you Split Events without shorten notes at the split point? In S1 you have to change to the split tool and hold option to circumvent that.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
Did you read my post?
Yes. Okay, you mentioned that you did this on MacOS. But you didn't say where your 40% cpu value comes from. If it's just activity monitor then it doesn't say anything.

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.
Where do you know that S1 doesn't handle them as well as Logic? What makes you say that? Without knowing what exactly behaved different this experiment / result is pointless. Did you try how many Kontakt / Diva / etc. instruments you can load / play at the same time until you get cpu spikes / dropouts? Or how do you know which one "performs better"?

Don't get me wrong, I just want to have fair conditions for a comparison and not just some OS activity meter values that don't mean anything.

@jbuhler: Thanks for going into details.

The piano roll randomly resizes the zoom when moving about. When it does, it often forgets the saved zoom setting.
The piano roll editor saves the zoom per track. That means you can set your perfect zoom level for the strings than switch to your drum pattern and set another zoom, then go back to the string track and you will see that the string zoom is recalled. Maybe that's what happened in your example...?

The CC lanes that are visible change, again seemingly at random. It takes a lot of clicks to open anything other than the default lanes and I've never found a good way to create my own defaults.
The same here. The visible automation is saved for each track. Which is pretty clear because every instrument which is assigned to one track offers a different set of automation. That's why this can't be global (apart from velocity, pitchbend and aftertouch which are always available).

You can't open two piano roll windows at the same time; or if you can I haven't been able to figure out how to do it.
Yeah, that's true. There's only one instance of the Music Editor in Studio One.

Because Studio One works best with multi-timbral output
I can't really confirm that. I stopped using multitimbral templates in 2012 so I've been using single instrument instances for each track (Kontakt, Omnisphere, HALion Sonic, Stylus, VSL) and never had any problems with that approach. And my studio computer is still from 2011.

Concerning articulation support: Yes, that's one of the things that are very high on my TOP 10 list for S1 MIDI editing enhancements.
 

Jacob Cadmus

Active Member
@Lukas - fair enough, I'll provide a little more context. I ran two tests between Logic and S1: first test being a one-track-per-instance setup that I built in Logic, 150 tracks/instances from a combination of Kontakt and PLAY, with various libraries loaded (too many to name). CPU meters in Logic are barely moving. Might I also add that I installed the MenuMeters app in my Menu Bar - all 8 of my cores barely moving. I then saved every track as AU presets and reloaded them into Studio One. Dropout protection set to MAX. CPU performance in S1 reads 40%. The performance meters of each instrument show some very slight movement, but collectively add up to 40%. All cores in the menu bar firing up almost halfway.

Test #2: a multi-timbral template built in Studio One. Roughly 100 tracks, only 10 instances of Kontakt and PLAY being used. CPU performance in S1 reads between 9 and 15%. All cores on menu bar barely moving. I then saved those presets and reloaded them in Logic. CPU spikes on first core! WTF.

I can't make any generalizations here, and I'll run some stress tests next to be sure. But so far the main takeaway here is that the workflow of these two DAWs seems to be a give-and-take. Logic = single track/instance workflow; Studio One = multi-timbral. I can make a video of this if need be.

Also, my hardware specs are 2012 i7 Ivy Bridge, 32 gb ram, Samsung Evo 860 SSDs.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
The piano roll editor saves the zoom per track. That means you can set your perfect zoom level for the strings than switch to your drum pattern and set another zoom, then go back to the string track and you will see that the string zoom is recalled. Maybe that's what happened in your example...?
This is good to know and I hadn't realized zoom worked quite like this in moving track to track, but no this isn't the issue I have. My issue is the piano roll rezooming while I'm moving about editing the midi in a track, and suddenly I'm staring at giant notes (zoomed all the way in) or tiny notes (zoomed all the way out). And when it happens, the saved zoom also changes so my only recourse is to resize manually, which needless to say is a pain.

The same here. The visible automation is saved for each track. Which is pretty clear because every instrument which is assigned to one track offers a different set of automation. That's why this can't be global (apart from velocity, pitchbend and aftertouch which are always available).
I did know this and it's not quite the problem I'm having. Rather when I move to a different track in the main window and then come back, the visible CC lanes/velocity have changed. And it's not that it retains the order of the track I was just looking at. It just goes to some kind of default. (It doesn't happen all the time.) I also don't know an easy way to recall the configuration to get the lanes back other than to reselect them with clicks. Also there clearly could be global automation lane presets if Presonus wanted to institute them. An instrument may not use them, but what does it matter if there is an unused CC11 lane? How is that any different than an unused pitchbend lane? And the process of adding a CC lane is convoluted, requiring pop-up box and several clicks.

I can't really confirm that. I stopped using multitimbral templates in 2012 so I've been using single instrument instances for each track (Kontakt, Omnisphere, HALion Sonic, Stylus, VSL) and never had any problems with that approach. And my studio computer is still from 2011.
The instrument plug-in window is organized by tabs, so the more instances of Kontakt or other instruments you have the more tabs you have, and once you go over about eight, the tabs become far less useless, and it also seems to take longer to save with more instances, though I've never taken out a stopwatch... I will say that I've never had a CPU issue with Studio One with large track counts. It's always been a visual organizational thing that keeps me from going above about 50 virtual instrument tracks.
 

samphony

Senior Member
Hopefully S1 will gain screen sets in version 5 or later. Also keep in mind regarding cpu on idle Logic uses dynamic plugin processing whereas S1 doesn’t.

Meaning Logic won’t adress full cpu cycles if no audio or midi is present under the playhead.

On the other hand depending on libraries you use Logic might struggle with playing live spiking on one core whereas S1 doesn’t.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
This is good to know and I hadn't realized zoom worked quite like this in moving track to track, but no this isn't the issue I have. My issue is the piano roll rezooming while I'm moving about editing the midi in a track, and suddenly I'm staring at giant notes (zoomed all the way in) or tiny notes (zoomed all the way out). And when it happens, the saved zoom also changes so my only recourse is to resize manually, which needless to say is a pain.
Sounds very strange. I've never seen this behaviour. Maybe you double-clicked you event in the arrangement while holding alt/option? This would fire the "zoom to fit" command which zooms the instrument part so that you see the whole event in the editor.

but what does it matter if there is an unused CC11 lane? How is that any different than an unused pitchbend lane? And the process of adding a CC lane is convoluted, requiring pop-up box and several clicks.
When you load different instruments and look at the automation parameters they offer you will see that they differ from instrument to instrument. For example Presence XT offers Sustain, Breath Control, Expression and a custom set of parameters categorized into plugin sections (Filter, LFO 1, LFO2, Amp Env etc.) or scripting parameters. Omnisphere offers Program Change, the default 128 MIDI CCs by exposes custom parameters (like Master Filter) when you enable Host Automation for a specific parameter.

Because every plugin supports a individual set of automation parameters (and they can also change while being loaded) you can't have a global controller set for all instruments.

I tried to reproduce the behaviour you described (visible automation parameters change when switching tracks) but wasn't able to make it happen.

The instrument plug-in window is organized by tabs, so the more instances of Kontakt or other instruments you have the more tabs you have, and once you go over about eight, the tabs become far less useless, and it also seems to take longer to save with more instances, though I've never taken out a stopwatch... I will say that I've never had a CPU issue with Studio One with large track counts. It's always been a visual organizational thing that keeps me from going above about 50 virtual instrument tracks.
That's interesting. I never used the tabs to navigate through different Kontakt instances. I always use the "Instrument Editor" button in the arrangement to show the plugin windows for a certain track.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
That's interesting. I never used the tabs to navigate through different Kontakt instances. I always use the "Instrument Editor" button in the arrangement to show the plugin windows for a certain track.
When you exceed the tabs visual limit you can just click the menu button at the end of tabs lane and select the one you want in the menu as well.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
...which is not that helpful if you have 20 instruments called Kontakt 5 10, Kontakt 5 11, Kontakt 5 12, Kontakt 5 13 and so on... ;) That's why I prefer calling them from my tracks which have more meaningful names.

studio-one-instrument-rack.jpg
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
I know. I wrote a script to name them automatically by their track names according to the "Apply Track Names to Mixer Channels" function.
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
I think he meant screen sets rather as a function to save and recall different window states (visibility, collapsed or expanded) and positions on the screen. The scenes are more for showing/hiding groups of channels and tracks.
 

neblix

Music, Math, Cats
It really is understated how powerful the "Import Song Data" feature in Studio One. You can import entire chunks of other projects (or if you're clever, a "source" project template) complete with bus routings and fx chains.

For example I can start an empty project to doodle whatever, then decide I want to get my finely tuned and pre-mixed Chamber Strings setup in here. Using this feature I can just pull the whole group of tracks right out of the source project in seconds.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
It really is understated how powerful the "Import Song Data" feature in Studio One. You can import entire chunks of other projects (or if you're clever, a "source" project template) complete with bus routings and fx chains.

For example I can start an empty project to doodle whatever, then decide I want to get my finely tuned and pre-mixed Chamber Strings setup in here. Using this feature I can just pull the whole group of tracks right out of the source project in seconds.
agreed...while ill admit that auto-save gets long when you have big projects, its a small trade off given how versatile the overall system is. Its of course not perfect, but you get out of it what you put into it. There are so many various ways to customize and automate what you want to do. Import song data, templates and presets for pretty much everything. It's an underestimated DAW, and even better now that it has better export options for use with pro tools
 

ThomasL

Senior Member
I think he meant screen sets rather as a function to save and recall different window states (visibility, collapsed or expanded) and positions on the screen. The scenes are more for showing/hiding groups of channels and tracks.
Yeah I know, but it was the only thing I used screen sets in Logic for, showing/hiding tracks :)
 

samphony

Senior Member
I meant screen layouts not showing hiding tracks. I like how Nuendo and Cubase deal with that. What you are showing is called scenes. And only 5 of them can be recalled with key commands.