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PreSonus finally unveils Studio One 3

Three years after v2, PreSonus finally launches the third generation of its Studio One DAW on Mac OS X and Windows.

PreSonus surprised us with a Studio One 2 DAW that was both ergonomic, full-featured and easy to use. Version 3 also adds interesting new features that could be a real game-changer for musicians seeking for easy process, but let’s start with the bad news.

Though this new version is still available in free (renamed Prime), Artist and Professional editions, the intermediary Producer version has disappeared. The Artist version doesn’t include default support for VST, AU and ReWire plug-ins, this feature will have to be unlocked via a paid option ($79.99). Also, you’ll have to pay $9.99 to convert your projects to MP3 format. 

Now the good news:

  • New Arranger Track (Professional version only) located under the marker track, that allows for on the fly track arrangement with section drag and drop ; includes a pencil tool to draw sections on the track with automatic naming and supports for on the fly color and name change
  • Scratch Pads (Professional version only) that allows for experimenting variations of a track or arrangement without altering the original or render/bounce different versions. A button on the menu bar vertically splits the timeline, with the original arrangement on the left and the Scratch Pad on the right of the divider ; you’ll only need to drag and drop events, parts or full Arranger sections from left to right or create a copy, then edit the content in the Scratch Pad without affecting the original and drag the changes back to the original arrangement when satisfied ; it is possible to create multiple Scratch Pads in each project and save the contents with the song.
  • Note FX: a new category of plug-ins that process instrument note data instead of audio signal (similar to MIDI plug-ins in other DAWs but PreSonus doesn’t use MIDI in the software) ; can be used on instrument tracks and are saved with the song or in new ‘instrument + FX “ presets. Studio One 3 launches with a arpeggiator with pattern mode, adjustable velocity and gate on up to 32 steps and Chord and Manual modes ; a chord generator from any single note with Learn and Copy features to create presets, and transpose function ; a Repeater to create delay/echo effects or complex patterns and glissandi, with graphic edit and display ; and Input Filter that replaces the Instrument Inspector filter and will serve for input instrument note and velocity range limit.
  • Step recorder for tracks and beat programing
  • Updated Presence sampler to Presence XT with a new instrument engine, 15 GB of sounds included, support for SoundFont, EXS, Kontakt and Giga formats in the Professional edition and introduction of a new generic multi-sample format that will allow for sound exchange between hosts (currently only Bitwig supports this new format)
  • Added Mai Tai polyphonic analog modeling synthesizer using the new instrument engine, with 2 oscillators, a sub-oscillator, a noise generator, 5 types of filter, Character module, 3 envelope generators, 2 LFOs, built-in effects and modulation matrix
  • New Cloud tab that compiles all the online content, including the new PreSonus Shop in which users can purchase sound content, such as the Presence Studio Grand Piano or Presence Symphonic Orchestra
  • New Bitcrusher plug-in that combines decimator, sample rate reductor, overdrive and clipping
  • New Rotor plug-in that emulates a Leslie cab with State Space Modeling tube preamp model offering drive, tone and mic position controls
  • New Loops tab where are displayed all factory and third party loops, with tags for search
  • New browser to search samples, loops (more than 2,000 included) and presets
  • Improved automation curves
  • Updated Console with new Extended FX Chains (Professional version only) that allow for chaining and combining insert plug-ins (in series and parallel), with parallel audio split, per channel or frequency options ; new Edit button on each channel that opens the effect chain routing view ; Multi Instruments (Professional version only) to combine multiple VST/AU instruments (split or layered) into a single Instrument track in order to record, edit and play them as a single instrument, with built-in routing editor, support for Note FX and Macro panel with controls that can be assigned to any instrument parameter ; ability to save an instrument with its Note FX and audio effects to a specific preset ; Macro Control page for each channel and Multi Instrument with 8 assignable macro control switches and knobs, ability to assign multiple parameters to a same control and save the content to a specific preset ; new Options panel to chain the arrangement tracks and consol channels ; extended console view where the gain reduction of each channel is displayed ; added mono/stereo switch to each bus and FX ; ability to resize volume faders and add color to the full channel strip
  • Revamped GUI with Direct2D rendering engine on Windows, support for multi-touch on touchscreen on both Mac (a world first, with free TUIO protocole, since OS X doesn’t support multi-touch yet) and PC (Windows 8), improved colors and more
  • Updated élastique Pro 3 time stretch and pitch shift algorithm
  • Built-in user manual
  • Various improvements and fixes

Last, iPad users will discover in June at the AppStore the free Studio One Remote app, with which they’ll control the transport, mix, macro controls, keyboard and pads of Studio One 3 Professional from their tablet.

PreSonus is offering upgrades and crossgrades to owners of previous versions:

The free Studio One Prime will be available in June. See all the details about Studio One 3 at