Studio One 4 Pro Review
I really have procrastinated on finishing this review, not because I didn’t want to, but due to the fact that I had a total blast playing around with the new features. While this is just the tip of the iceberg on what Studio One 4 Professional will do, the great new features are fun, easy to use, and extremely useful for your projects. You really don’t need to look any further thanl for a robust and complete DAW!
Impact XT looks like a drum machine… why? Because, basically, that’s what it is. In Studio One 4 Professional, Impact XT has 16 pads just like Studio One 3 did, but there are an additional 8 banks having 16 pads each notated on the left hand side of the pads as A-H that you can switch between, actually giving you a total of 128 pads. And a single pad can hold an unlimited number of layered samples. You can also choose different colors for each pad. Another change is the play mode and the choke giving you more options. Reverse and Normalize has also been added as a new option along with follow tempo mode, which is great for working with loops.
Adding samples is just as easy with Impact XT, just highlight the pad and drag the sample or loop into the window and it is assigned to the pad. I need to be honest here, I have not played around with Impact XT much at all and it was a quick and easy VI to learn to use. I can see the use of Impact XT being added greatly to my projects. Taking a loop for example, with the Pitch control, I was able to transpose, tune, adjust the ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release) parameters, along with velocity and envelope. The same when the Filter was applied, being able to adjust the cutoff and resonance, along with the drive, punch, envelope, velocity, and ADSR parameters. The AMP section adjusted the gain and pan setting as well as velocity and ADSR parameters. The same adjustments also worked with any sample that was loaded, however, the ADSR parameters are not available for the samples as AHD is (Attack, Hold, and Decay)
Another new feature addd with the Impact XT is the Impact XT Kits and Sounds. In the GBY Musicloops folder located in the file section under Impact XT Sounds and Kits. If you drag and drop one of the music loops into a track, it actually loads a kit with samples and loops, as well as giving a sample audio track of what you can create. For audio preview purposes… the big thing here is the Patterns they included. They come with variations and make beat arranging extremely fast and easy. Within the Impact XT Kits and Sounds folder are Impact Presets, Kits, Loops, and Samples. Impact XT, as the names states, will make a great impact on your music production and is a great update to Studio One 4 Professional.
Sample One XT
One item that I didn’t mention earlier about Impact XT is that you can change colors of the GUI, and this feature is also available with Sample One XT. This is a nice feature for eye candy, or if you want to have multiple instances open and want to differentiate them with using different colors. With the updated Sample One XT is a new interface and you can now record samples directly into Sample One XT. You can choose different inputs, depending on what you system has available, or you can record from virtual instruments that are already available. I find it a time saver to be able to actually record into Sample One XT instead of into Studio One and having to import the file. One you record the sample, you can edit it as a wave file.
Recording a virtual instrument into Sample One XT is just as easy. Just load the instrument into Studio One 4 and choose that as an input for Sample One XT. From there, you can edit the envelope and add effects to make a unique sample of your own. The choice of effects and how you can use them in Sample One XT is an added plus. Another new feature of Sample One XT is the follow song tempo feature. The feature allows you to play a loop at any key mapping, which changes the pitch and keeps the original tempo. An outstanding feature, which will make easier use of loops, especially if you want to use them at a different pitch.
The Chord Track is something I really can’t say enough about, is easy to use, and is a new feature that is just downright AWESOME! For me personally, this is one of the biggest new features and if you check it out, you will see why. I do some remote sessions for clients and a lot of times, they don’t have chord charts to send, so, I used to listen to the tune and write out my own charts, then record the bass line. Well, now those days are long gone. You can take a guitar track, or piano, as long as the instrument uses chords and the chord track will tell you what the chord changes are. Implementation is super easy. You need to engage Chord Track first and it is in the upper left hand corner of the Studio One 4 Professional… looks like a note with dashes behind it… then with just a right click on the audio track, go to Audio and choose “Extract to Chord Track” in the drop down and you also can do this with drag-and-drop!
The Drum Editor is a really nice function giving you a quicker ability to do note manipulation within Studio One for the drums. The Drum Editor works great along with Impact XT. Instead of the midi notes looking like dashes, they look like little triangles, with drums; we really don’t care about the note length, just knowing that it is a hit is enough. You can edit just one midi note or a group of them, perform a right click and all of the options come up for changing the parameters. You can also apply a name to the notes on the left hand side for the note. For example, if C1 is your kick drum, instead of just seeing it as C1, you can rename it to “kick” This makes it easier to see what you are editing as part of the drum kit. This also makes it easier for making custom drum kits within Studio One for yourself or others. Basic functions are still there such as the ability to zoom in or out, quantize, swing, velocity settings and more.
Import Song Data
The ability to Import Song Data from other projects you have been working on is just another one of the new great features in Studio One. Just suppose you are working on a track and you have a thought that something you created in another track may fit the song you are working on. Well, now you can import the data from the other song into the new song you are working on. It’s easy to do, just choose song, then import song data, and choose the song you want to import from. Once you choose the file you want to import from, you have options of also importing the tempo, markers, and which tracks you want to import. There are also track options to import such as events, layers, and automation. You can copy the files to the song folder, or save them in your new song, and you can also import features such as volume, pan, inserts, send, and instruments.
In conclusion, Studio One 4 Professional is a complete DAW that has everything you need for your songs and projects from start to finish without any need for additional plugins.
Also, please be sure to check out my previous review here at Bass Musician Mag on Studio One 3 Professional!