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PreSonus, Studio One 3 Professional Review



Studio One 3 Professional from PreSonus has got to be the most complete and robust DAW that I have ever come across, and that goes without mentioning all the hardware that PreSonus has that works with it perfectly.

From just starting out with creating a new song or project to those that have been doing it for years, Studio One 3 Professional is a workhorse and has everything you need to get your productions done without using extra plugins, loops, or software instruments. Alone, there are 44 tutorials covering every aspect of Studio One that you need to get you up and running in no time.

When creating a new song, you have an abundant amount of templates to choose from or you can create your own. What’s great about the style templates is that, say for instance, you load the House/Techno template, it opens up with a house/techno sample song complete with tracks and basically all you really need to get started to create your production.

Virtual Instruments

Studio One 3 Professional has five virtual instruments which include Impact, Mai Tai, Mojito, Presence XT, and SampleOne. Impact is a drum machine with 45 kits and 34 MVP Loops, which contains kits and special effects. Mai Tai is a synth with two oscillators, 2 LFO’s, filter and envelope controls, modulation, delay, and reverb, and noise control. Mai Tai has patches for bass, bell, drum, FX, Heavy Artillery, leads, pads, poly, strings, and templates to get you started on creating a synth of your own.

Mojito is another synth with 59 patches and the ability to create your own patches. Personally, I think Presence XT is the coolest synth in Studio One 3 Professional. Presence XT includes virtually all instruments such as guitars, keys, organs, percussion, bass, effects, strings, brass, and woodwinds. I noticed some of the instruments have key switches, especially within the orchestral ones.  SampleOne, as the name implies, is a sampler. SampleOne lets you import loops and will even let you import an audio file, either part or whole, into SampleOne right from the audio track. SampleOne even reads rex files that are widely used with reason. Having not used SampleOne before, I was up and running fairly quickly. If you have used samplers before, SampleOne really is a breeze.

Arranger Track and Scratch Pad

There are lots of tools and effects within Studio One 3 Professional to help you create your song the way you want it. The Arranger Track feature allows you to rearrange your song by copy and paste, moving sections, and deleting sections. The Arranger Track helps you organize your song into sections like Intro, Verse, Chorus, and so on. You can then click on a section and move it to anywhere in the song where you want it place. I have found that the Scratch Pad feature works great with Arranger Track. It let me create something, not being sure if it worked or not, and not messing up my creation, to experiment.

When creating the scratch pad, you can drag it over the original arrangement to the place where you want to try something different, and from that point, you can drag whatever you want from the original composition to the scratch pad. When you achieve want you want in Scratch Pad, you can drag it back to you original composition on Arranger Track. These two tools combined work great together.

I’ve been taking an EDM class, and one of the assignments was to create a track that is only 20-24 seconds long, a full composition, then break that down into different parts and make an entire arrangement out of that creation. This has and will make future compositions easier for myself and everyone else as well! You can create as many Scratch Pads as you want in a song, so the possibilities are endless, and even more fun for doing remixes.

Midi Effects

Diving into midi effects, I want to start off with Note FX, which is new to Studio One 3 Professional and is found under the Instruments tab. Note FX is used to help change and or make midi data easier to work with tools that you may be familiar with such as arpeggiators, input filters, repeaters, and chord tools.

What I found with the Arpeggiator was that the presets seemed more lifelike and not robotic as with some other DAWS. With having up to 32 note lengths for the Arpeggiator, the options are almost endless, but I think you may find yourself using the really cool presets more than creating your own and manipulating them in some form. It can do single note arpeggios or even add some cool rhythms to chords in chord mode, and of course, there is a user input mode. The Arpeggiator has nine presets.

The Chorder is another tool that creates chords from single notes and if you are like me, well, I can do okay on piano, but if I can play chords using one note, then that is what I’m going to do. There are presets to use or you can create your own to use. I like the fact that it is really quick to create your own chords in Chorder, especially if you want to use extended chords like maybe a C Major 11 for example. Chords can be transposed an octave up or down. The default range of Chorder is C2 to C4, but the range can be adjusted to be larger or smaller. The presets are divided into three sections, Chord Groups, Chord Types, and Intervals. Chord Groups has ten presets including Neo-Soul, EDM, and Rock. Chord Types has nine presets for Augmented, Diminished, Major, Sus Chords, and more.

Intervals has five presets including octaves, thirds, fourth, and fifths. I combined the Arpeggiator and Chorder on a piano track using the Piano in Presence XT and came up with some really cool ideas for future tracks.

Input Filter is a tool I will probably be using a lot. It helps to define the key range and velocity of your midi data. Sometimes when creating a new song, I find myself adjusting velocity for each note, which can be time consuming, Input Filter will help speed up this process so you can spend more time creating new music. The last tool in Note FX is the Repeater. The Repeater can create echo and delay effects, adjust pitch and velocity, and note length. In a way, this may seem similar to the Arpeggiator, but it isn’t. A lot of different patterns can be created from this with dynamics and velocity being a big part of the patterns. I think I had the most fun combining the Chorder and Repeater and taking the presets and manipulating them. It came up with some really cool chord changes and rhythms with being able to adjust pitch and velocity for each step, having a total of up to 32 steps. You can also adjust the note length from quarter note to a 1/64th triplet note. The Repeater can also transpose down 70 semitones or up 120 semitones for each individual step. Not only does it make for some nice chord changes, it can be used to create some groovy bass lines too!

Extended FX Chains

Extended FX Chains allow you to be more creative with effects and can be any combination of serial or parallel effects. Each channel in the Mix console has a channel editor, which also allows you to do routing of the effects, with basically just drag and drop into the channel editor. You also have the option of using a splitter within the channel editor, which allows you to expand the routing of effects even more with being able to do up to 5 connections with the splitter. You can also mute any of the effects and have options for split mode to include normal, channel, or frequency split. In normal mode, the signal is sent to all devices on the splitter, in channel mode, say if you have 2 effects on the splitter, one will go to the right channel, the other to the left channel. In frequency mode narrows or widens the frequency range to the effects. You can even use splitters within splitters, so the amount of effects that you can use is practically limitless!

Multi Instruments

Another cool feature of Studio One 3 Professional is Multi Instruments. This, as the name applies, lets you have multiple instruments on one track and allows you to record and play them as a single instrument. Basically, this works very similar to the FX chains, just drag and drop an instrument on a track, then add another to the same track. When you drag another instrument onto the track, choose the option to combine instead of replace. You then get a window where the multi instruments are displayed. From this point, you can edit the instruments in the Multi Instrument window changing the many options that are available, adding NoteFX, with a minimum of 3 instruments, setting the range, transpose, panning each instrument individually, and more. You also have the option to save these instruments as presets and there are a lot of Multi Instrument presets already provided for use. All VST and AU instruments will work as Multi Instruments. Once you have your multi instruments set up, you can add and remove different instruments right into the multi instrument window, instead of dragging them to the track and adding them that way. More options include control knobs to control parameters and effects of the instruments. I suggest taking a look at the multi instrument presets to get an idea of how powerful this is.


Studio One 3 Professional is packed full of everything you need, from starting and building your song, all the way down to final mastering. Studio One 3 Professional includes all the tools needed to master your project or song, no matter what level you are at. Studio One projects are built for mastering and it has four workspaces. You start out by placing the songs you want to master in the track column or project page. Studio One 3 Professional can also mix down your song for you automatically. Each track can be modified separately for your project. VST and AU effects and tools can be used along with the mastering tools already found in Studio One 3 Professional. The mastering section has everything you need to finish your project including compressors, limiters, EQs, spectrum analyzers, ability to place your tracks in different order and even crossfade tracks. I can see where crossfading tracks would be exceptionally beneficial with doing film scoring.


Studio One 3 Professional is the complete package, from start to finish for your songs and projects, no matter what the genre. Over the past few months, I have learned a lot about Studio One 3 Professional and still have a lot more to learn. There is so much that it can do that it is almost impossible to cover everything. From a basic standpoint, it is a DAW that allows you to create, produce and master your creations, whether it be EDM, or just doing tracks for others.

From a bigger perspective, it is everything you need in one package. I used it for quite a few airgigs and my clients were very pleased. I’ve used it in combination with Notion 6 and I’ve also used it to create EDM, beats, etc, and it does it all. As a matter of fact, with everything included in Studio One 3 Professional, you don’t need anything else.

Studio One 3 Professional also works great with other tools from PreSonus such as the Faderport series and PreSonus audio interfaces. It’s pretty cool how the Faderport works along with Studio One 3 Professional really giving you the feeling and control of something bigger than a home studio.

Check out Studio One 3 Professional online at or at a PreSonus dealer near you.

Bass Videos

String Instrument Humidifiers



String Instrument Humidifiers

String Instrument Humidifiers

After living in some very humid parts of the country for decades, we moved to a dryer, much sunnier location. As a result, I started noticing some fret sprout on my string instruments and recently did a video on fret sprout correction.

It occurred to me that I should take a more preventative approach to string instrument humidification. Of course, I turned to my instrument maintenance experts, Music Nomad Equipment Care, for a solution and they suggested their Humitar series. (Note: They sent two press samples and I purchased the remainder online.)

Join me as I look at these useful tools for keeping my string instruments in tip-top condition.

The Humitar series is available online at Music Nomad Equipment Care, as well as

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Bass Videos

Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks



Review: CrystalBright Rombo Picks

CrystalBright Rombo Picks

PR Sample

Playing bass with a pick is still a touchy subject in our community. I believe you should be able to use whatever you need to get your sound. Even though I mostly play with my fingers, I like to check out innovative new picks that might have something new to offer, sonically speaking.

Judith and Carlos from Rombo recently contacted me about a new material called CrystalBright that they have been researching for the last 12 months and offered to send some prototype picks. After trying them out, I put together this video with my findings.

For more info check out @rombopicks

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New Joe Dart Bass From Sterling By Music Man



Sterling by Music Man introduces the Joe Dart Artist Series Bass (“Joe Dart”), named after and designed in collaboration with the celebrated Vulfpeck bassist.

Above photo credit: JORDAN THIBEAUX

This highly-anticipated model marks the debut of the Dart bass in the Sterling by Music Man lineup, paying homage to the Ernie Ball Music Man original that all funk players know and love. The bass embodies many of the original model’s distinctive features, from its iconic minimalist design to the passive electronics.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The design process prioritized reliability, playability, and accessibility at the forefront. Constructed from the timeless Sterling body, the Dart features a slightly smaller neck profile, offering a clean tone within a comfortable package. The body is crafted from soft maple wood for clarity and warmth while the natural finish emphasizes the simple yet unique look.

Engineered for straightforward performance, this passive bass features a ceramic humbucking bridge pickup and a single ‘toaster’ knob for volume control. Reliable with a classic tone, it’s perfect for playing in the pocket. The Dart is strung with the all-new Ernie Ball Stainless Steel Flatwound Electric Bass Strings for the smoothest feel and a mellow sound.

Joe Dart Artist Series Bass

The Sterling by Music Man Joe Dart Bass is a special “Timed Edition” release, exclusively available for order on the Sterling by Music Man website for just one month. Each bass is made to order, with the window closing on May 31st and shipping starting in November. A dedicated countdown timer will indicate the remaining time for purchase on the product page. Additionally, the back of the headstock will be marked with a “2024 Crop” stamp to commemorate the harvest year for this special, one-of-a-kind release. 

The Joe Dart Bass is priced at $399.99 (MAP) and can be ordered globally at 

To learn more about Joe Dart, visit the official Vulfpeck artist site here

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Gear Reviews

The Frank Brocklehurst 6-String Fretless Bass Build



The Frank Brocklehurst 6 String Fretless Bass Build

A few months ago, my Ken Bebensee 6-string fretted bass needed some TLC. You know, the one rocking those Pink Neon strings! I scoured my Connecticut neighborhood for a top-notch luthier and got pointed to Frank Brocklehurst, F Brock Music. He swung by my place, scooped up the bass, and boom, returned it the next day, good as new. Not only that, he showed up with a custom 5-string fretted bass that blew me away. I couldn’t resist asking if he could whip up a 6-string fretless for me. 

Alright, let’s break down the process here. We’ve got our raw materials: Mahogany, Maple, and Holly. Fun fact – the Mahogany and Maple have been chilling in the wood vault for a solid 13 years. Frank is serious about his wood; they buy it, stash it away, and keep an eye on it to make sure it’s stable.  

First up, they’re tackling the Mahogany. Frank glues it together, then lets it sit for a few days to let everything settle and the glue to fully dry. After that, it’s onto the thickness planer and sander to get it nice and flat for the CNC machine. The CNC machine’s the real star here – it’s gonna carve out the body chambers and volume control cavity like a pro.

While the Mahogany’s doing its thing, Frank goes onto the neck core. Three pieces of quartersawn maple are coming together for this bad boy. Quartersawn means the grain’s going vertical. He is also sneaking in some graphite rods under the fingerboard for stability and to avoid any dead spots. The truss rod is going to be two-way adjustable, and the CNC machine’s doing its magic to make sure everything’s just right.


Now, onto the design phase. Frank uses CAD software to plan out the body shape, neck pocket, chambering, and those cool f-holes. I had this idea for trapezoid F-holes, just to do something different. The CAD software also helps us map out the neck shape, graphite channels, and truss-rod channel with pinpoint accuracy.

Once everything’s planned out, it’s CNC time again. Frank cuts out the body outline, neck pocket, and the trapezoid F-holes. Then it’s a mix of hand sanding and power tools to get that neck just how we like it. Oh, and those f holes? We’re going for trapezoids of different sizes – gotta keep things interesting.

Next step: gluing that neck into the pocket with some old-school hide glue. It’s got great tonal transfer and can be taken apart later if needed. Then it’s onto hand-carving that neck-body transition.

For the custom-made bridge, Frank uses brass for definition and Ebony for tonal transfer and that warm, woody sound.

BTW, for tunes, Frank went with Hipshot Ultralights with a D Tuner on the low B. This way I can drop to a low A which is a wonderful tone particularly if you are doing any demolition around your house! 

Now it’s time for the side dots. Typically, on most basses, these dots sit right in the middle of the frets. But with this bass, they’re placed around the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets.

Frank’s got his pickup hookup. Since the pickup he was building wasn’t ready, he popped in a Nordstrand blade to give it a whirl.

It sounded good, but I was itching for that single-coil vibe! And speaking of pickups, Frank showed me the Holly cover he was cutting to match, along with all the pink wire – talk about attention to detail!

A couple of things, while it is important for me to go passive, it is equally important for me to just go with a volume knob. Tone knobs are really just low-pass filters and the less in the way of a pure sound for me, the better. 

Finally, it’s string time! As usual, I went for the DR Pink Neon strings. Hey, I even have matching pink Cons…Both low tops and high!


Once we’ve got everything tuned up and settled, we’ll give it a day or two and then tweak that truss rod as needed. And voila, we’ve got ourselves a custom-made bass ready to rock and roll.

I want to thank Frank Brocklehurst for creating this 6 string beast for me. 

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Gear Reviews

Review Transcript: BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass



Review - BITE Custom Bass - The Black Knight PP Bass

This is a written transcript of our video review of the BITE Custom Bass Black Knight PP Bass originally published on March 4, 2024

BITE Custom Bass – The Black Knight PP Bass Review…

Bass Musician Magazine did a review on a Steampunk bass from BITE Guitars about three years ago, it was an amazing instrument, and we were very impressed. Now we’re happy to bring you another BITE bass, the Black Knight PP.

Everybody needs a P-type bass, it’s the standard of bass. If you’re recording, they want you to have a P bass. So why not have something that gives you a little more by having two instead of one P pickup. That’s the idea of this bass, it’s the first thing that leaps out: the double P pickup configuration.

Installing two of their 1000 millivolt split-coil pickups, BITE then went one step further and wired them up in a 4-way parallel/series circuit, a look at the controls reveal a 4-way rotary selector:

The first position, marked “B”, gives you the bridge pickup by itself.

The second position, marked “P”, gives you the bridge and neck pickups in parallel mode, that’s the traditional J-type circuit, it reduces output due to the physical law of parallel circuits.

Position number 3 is marked “N”, it gives you the neck pickup by itself.

And finally, number 4, marked “S”, gives your bridge and neck in a series (humbucking) mode which adds up resistances and thus boosts output. The other two controls are master volume and master tone.

What’s more, like every BITE bass, this one also has a reinforced headstock heel designed to give it extra output and sustain. The BITE website features a graph and explanation of what they have done to the heel, as compared to traditional headstocks.

A look at the body reveals a beautiful Black Blast body finish and underneath that we have alder wood. The bass has a matching headstock with a 4-in-line tuner setup and the traditional bite out of it, so everybody will know what kind of bass you’re playing. The pickguard is 3-ply black, the neck is vintage tinted hard maple and it has a satin speed finish at the back which keeps your thumb from sticking.

On top of that, there’s a clear-coated roasted black locust fretboard with black blocks marking the frets. The nut is a black Graph Tec nut, we’ve got diamond dome control knobs, and the tuners are lightweight compacts with cloverleaf buttons and a 1:17 ratio precision gear. The bridge is a Gotoh brass bridge with 19-millimeter string spacing.

Overall measurements: we’ve got a standard 34″ scale, a 1.65″ width nut and a C neck profile. This bass weighs 8.2 pounds, or 3,7 kilograms for our metric friends, and it uses standard 18% nickel silver frets.

Taking a closer look at the sound, this bass is a joy to play. The BITE proprietary 1000 millivolt pickups deliver an extraordinary amount of output which is surprising considering this is a passive instrument. You may even want to set your amp to active mode because of all of the juice you’re getting out of this guy.

The tonal possibilities are very versatile, it’s a straight P if you want but also much more with those different arrangements of the circuitry. So why have multiple basses when you’ve got one that can give you your basic P plus a lot more?

To sum it up, the Black Knight PP is an amazing instrument. The attention to detail that BITE puts into their basses is second to none. This bass is also amazingly balanced and gorgeous to hold and feel with the satin neck finish.

For more information, visit online at

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