PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 Review

presonus 2PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 Review

PreSonus Studio One recently released its second release titled PreSonus Studio One 2 Professional. While still a recent entrant in terms of releases, PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 has the advantage of not having a user-base familiar with an established interface, and therefore attempts to break new ground as compared to its predecessor. Is it successful? Let us review it.

PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 has an interface that has been re-designed to take advantage of wide-screen monitors. It packs in the ability to compose, edit or record your compositions from within the primary window. For those who are on smaller screens, there are options to switch to the older interface with separate, pop-out windows for mixing, editing and recording functions.

A major improvement is the drag-and-drop functionality that permeates every inch of the new interface. Want to specify a particular instrument for a track? Wish to create an automation nest? Trying to merge multiple versions? Just drag and drop! The determination to make the software easy to use can be gauged from the fact that if you are, say, a Cubase user, you can use the same program’s keyboard shortcuts through your MIDI.

The mixer has been re-designed with separate channels for each layer of audio output in the composition. This is a marked departure from the all-encompassing single channel per composition functionality of the old mixer, and has no doubt been designed to accommodate virtual instruments. As a result, effects can be specifically applied to certain channels. Besides time-stretches and audio-wraps as well as controller curves can be customized easily.

To be sure, for a software suite only into its second version, there are a few irritants. The lack of an event filter for one; or the over-reliance on a numeric keypad; or the dull blue and grey interface; however, these are minor on the whole and can easily be worked around.

There are some things which can’t be worked around, to be sure. For e.g. the lack of a TAB score or the absence of real-time clip sequencers to provide support for live performances, as also the complete lack of support for surround sound can be major turn-offs for some.

All things considered, PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 is still a powerful package when it comes to music production. Even the low-end Artist version includes 26 effects plug-ins which are heavily customizable. This is apart from the drum and keyboard instruments. The sound library consisting of numerous effects and patches too is available, though 3rd party plug-ins isn’t supported.

For 3rd Party plugs functionality, you need to upgrade to the Producer version, which is compatible with VST 3 as also AU Plug-ins, and not to forget, with ReWire as well. It also has a native MP3 exporter, besides including the “Native Instruments Komplete 8 Elements” which offers guitar effects and synths.

When you upgrade to the Professional edition, you get Melodyne, which is an auto-tuning functionality. Besides this you get support for plugging in hardware, as well as higher quality 64 bit audio processing ability. Apart from this you get the mastering module, which can be used to integrate various songs into one album. Using this module, mastering your composition by adding effects, tuning the volume or adjusting stereo panning etc. is a breeze. Once you are done, you can burn your album to a CD, or export it as a playlist in MP3 format, or share it online via Sound Cloud.

PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 has its quirks and irritants, but considering that this is just the second version, and looking at the possibility of future upgrades, PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 is a thoroughly recommended product.

From recording, mixing and editing scores, to producing audio, from MIDI and digital instruments, to a vast library of effects and patches, and from Drag-and-Drop functionality to a Mastering Module, PreSonus Studio One Professional 2 does it all. 

While the Professional Edition is a little steeply priced, for the ease and productivity that it brings into your music-making, it is well worth the asking price. For those on a tight budget, the Producer version will serve all their requirements, at a price lower than that of the competition.

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