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Hi there -- new Studio One Pro user here, bought Studio One Pro 3.5 to experiment for film composing to see if this is a viable platform so I can perhaps switch from Cubase Pro 9 (and other DAWs I use).

So far I'm extremely impressed, and I'm glad I spent the money. I think the S1 developers are really on to something great here! Congrats and bravo for the outstanding work -- it's clear that S1 is a world-class DAW and I'm excited to give it a real push on a test film project, before I commit to a much larger film project.

I'm sure there are some film composers who use S1, but I know most who use Cubase (and DP, and PT and Logic) of course... and I've been pretty disappointed by Steinberg lately (C9 has been a big let down for me so far) so I wanted to see if S1 was up to the job.

So far it's clear to me that S1's overall workflow is superior to Cubase -- the design and concept just make sense -- and it sort of feels like what Cubase SHOULD be at this point. Of course, it doesn't surprise me that one of the original developers of S1 came over from Steinberg... there is a heritage in S1 one can see and feel from Steinberg's legacy, but also a sense of fresh new ideas of the next generation.

However, it's definitely missing some key features that Cubase has that are tough for me to live without... I'm sure there are plenty of Cubase users and expatriots here, but for serious film work, S1 is just not quite there yet for me, personally. However, the overall workflow of S1 is such a big improvement, it might make up for the shortcomings. It's a tough decision! Hence the reason why I'm doing a test film project on it right now to see if I can work around the differences. I love the areas in which S1 is more advanced than Cubase... but can I live without the areas where Cubase has its strengths?

The key two areas that S1 3.5 seems to come up a bit short for film work IMO revolve around general MIDI/composition tools and general little issues for working with video clips.

I haven't compiled a comprehensive list yet, but some of the stand-out issues I'm noticing so far include -- off the top of my mind:

1) Easy way to align to a frame hit so I can easily lock up with the downbeat of a measure so I can compose (or do sound design) to specific frames. This needs to be fairly easy to do in a DAW and in Studio One it is currently a little messy and annoying. For example, one way to do this is to vary the tempo map to align a frame to a measure. Unfortunately, in Studio One, the tempo map is not refined enough to do this quickly. For example, the precision of the tempo map appears to be only two decimal places, which if you do the math, makes it difficult to line up a specific frame to the start of a measure later in the cue. You have to do multiple tempo changes, which gets sloppy, ESPECIALLY if you have SEVERAL frame hits you need in one music cue. There are other related issues.... Hope that makes sense, but bottom line, Cubase and Digital Performer, for example, handle this much better. DP, in particular, is very elegant when it comes to tempo and hit alignment (not to mention DP's unique "chunks" concept, which some film composers love). Anyway, this basic issue is the first one that I hope that Studio One will deal with.

2) Little things like intuitively, easily scrubbing back and forth frame-by-frame are important to film guys, and Studio One is just not naturally good at that kind of thing yet. Right now, the only way I can see to more or less easily scrub frame by frame is by clicking on the lower transport when it's set to frames and manually hitting the up and down arrow key, for example. There should be easily-accessible, frame-by-frame scrubbing and navigation intuitively built in everywhere -- including on the video transport window, timeline/arranger, etc., etc... Cubase, DP and PT all handle things like video clips much better than Studio One at this point.

3) Also, it would be fabulous to have multiple timeline tracks so I can see both frames and bars simultaneously. Cubase allows this and it's tough for me to get used to living without it in S1..... Cubase 9 even introduces multiple marker tracks... a feature that I thought wouldn't be helpful at first, but now I realize how great it is for separating song/music content from important hits in a video clip, for example. Anyway, multiple timeline tracks would be a good start... then we can talk about multiple marker tracks! :-)

4) In general, the overall workflow of the Studio One for film-oriented people could be significantly improved with minor additions to the interface here and there, key command options, etc... it's SOOOOO close to being a solid alternative! I wish I could sit down with the S1 developers for an afternoon and I could show them exactly what I'm talking about. I'm sure they have talked with film/video people, but I really hope they can spend more time on this.

5) The video engine could be significantly improved. I've already found one definite bug (I will report this later to Presonus) about its frame accuracy. Frame accuracy is critical! Overall, suffice it to say that additional video features would make life much easier for film guys... right now you basically just have a video offset feature, and that's pretty much it. I'm not asking for a million features here, but better navigation, visually sliding clips on the main arrange window, thumbnails, etc., etc., etc., would all be helpful.

6) MIDI and general composition tools... so this is a HUGE topic and I won't waste time going into much detail here. But in general, those who have dived deeply into Cubase know that it does indeed go very deep for MIDI and composition. Especially when you start considering the breadth of MIDI/composition tools in Cubase, from chord tracks (which I don't use) to the Cubase Logical Editor, to Expression Maps, Note Expression, to articulation management, to editing/processing, etc., etc., etc.... I feel Studio One 3.5 has definitely reached a usable MIDI level now, but it's clearly not as developed in the MIDI/composition area. I appreciate the Note FX introduced in Studio One 3, for example, so maybe some solid core architecture is already inside Studio One... but it needs another level of love. Again, I'm not asking for the world here... just more time and energy on MIDI and composition tools to bring it up one more level. Cubase has the huge advantage of many many years of legacy code with some of their MIDI tools -- this is one of the reasons why Cubase feels bloated now IMO -- but some of those MIDI/composition tools are pretty useful. I'm definitely not asking for the Cubase chord assistant for example! But it is pretty cool that they have put so much time into MIDI/composition tools. Studio One could stand to have an upgrade in that department!

Having said all that, I'm not asking for a million features. Just some investment in those areas to help film people work more smoothly in Studio One. I'm NOT asking for OMF/AAF import, deep post-production features, video exporting, a large number of video codecs, crazy MIDI processing, deep custom scripting tools (i.e. Reaper), DP chunks, video overlays, etc., etc.... I'm just asking for spending some time on elevating the MIDI/composition/video/navigation for film people ONE level up. That would make a HUGE difference to the basic workflow and I bet a lot of film composers and sound designers would take a good hard look at Studio One with great enthusiasm. Because I can tell you that a lot of us are not happy with Cubase 9 right now. And Logic. And Digital Performer. And Pro Tools..... etc... Studio One feels like a breath of fresh air. It's sooooooooooo close for film work... just PLEASE sit down with real working film composers and have them show you what I'm talking about!

I bet a single point release would do it (by Presonus standards) and it would accelerate the defection from other DAWs.

In any case, I'm doing a real-world test with a real film cue to see how it goes... but I already know I miss certain key film/video/composition features from other DAWs, in particular Cubase. The good news is that the overall workflow of Studio One is significantly better so it's worth a real try, and I just hope the Studio One developers will listen to film/video people asking for these kinds of features, because Studio One is really the next generation of DAW IMO.
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by michdb on Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:55 am
check this scrip for studio one to add a lot of features of midi edit and also the articulation swich.
http://studioonex.narechk.net/index_en.html

but i hope on next big update they add more features thinking on composers
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by jpettit on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:05 am
jdurham wrote1) For example, the precision of the tempo map appears to be only two decimal places

2) scrubbing back and forth frame-by-frame

3) multiple timeline tracks so I can see both frames and bars simultaneously.

4) In general, the overall workflow of the Studio One for film-oriented people could be significantly improved with minor additions

5) The video engine could be significantly improved.

6) t it's clearly not as developed in the MIDI/composition area.

Welcome aboard :thumbup:
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Suggest you put these in the answers DB as Feature Request fro S1. See my signature for a link.

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by jdurham on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:11 am
michdb wrotecheck this scrip for studio one to add a lot of features of midi edit and also the articulation swich.
http://studioonex.narechk.net/index_en.html

but i hope on next big update they add more features thinking on composers


Yes, thank you, I did see Studio One X in my research but I have not yet tested it. It looks to have some very helpful tools, especially the scripts library. I'm hesitant to install the executable library though (which is a DLL in this case I believe). In any case, many of these features should be standard in Studio One! I hope the developers look at this for ideas.

And totally with you that I hope the next big update addresses these kinds of issues! Glad to know that someone feels the same that Studio One needs more love in the composition department!
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by Jose7822 on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:23 am
Jdurham,

You already know I completely agree with you on this. Take jpettit's advice and create a feature request(s). I'll surely vote them up :thumbup:

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by jdurham on Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:30 am
Jose7822 wroteJdurham,

You already know I completely agree with you on this. Take jpettit's advice and create a feature request(s). I'll surely vote them up :thumbup:


Excellent!!!! Thank you, my friend! :-)
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by scottmoncrieff on Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:21 am
Nice to see some other film composers making their entry to the Studio One platform. Composing film music is one area that I've been focusing on for the past few years and having migrated from another daw called Reason, it's been great in providing much more flexibility and accessibility in the way of tools it provides. Whilst Cubase is considered to be a logical consideration for film score work generally in the music industry, Studio One 3 / 3.5 is certainly capable of catering to much of the requisite needs for a composer to go down that avenue. With free third party extension developments that go beyond the core Studio One program, the scope to cater for the depths that Cubase might posses, may be closer and within grasp. That's not to say that there isn't a handful of midi functions I'd like to see included to help make tasks quicker or simpler.

As a film composer though, there's nothing that really sticks out that hinders me for this task. The only thing I can think of which would probably benefit others more than myself is a built in Notation Editor. For my own needs, a Video Timeline strip with some basic controls / functions would greatly be of benefit for scoring purposes. This is an 11 minute film score I did a few months back with Studio One 3, click here to hear it.

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by Jemusic on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:34 pm
I am often composing music for film and TV and have not run into any major issues. One area that would be nice is to be able to offset the Studio One timecode readout so that if there is burned in timecode on the vision then the Studio One timecode can be set to match it. This would enable one to also do multiple music cues as separate song files and start all of them say on bar 3 for example.

It is really worth watching the Groove 3 video on working with MIDI as it explains lots of features that I did not know were present. I use a lot of external hardware as well as internal instruments and I am finding Studio One is handling all that extremely well.

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by jdurham on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:43 pm
Jemusic wroteOne area that would be nice is to be able to offset the Studio One timecode readout so that if there is burned in timecode on the vision then the Studio One timecode can be set to match it.


YES! Studio One needs this!
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by jdurham on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:53 pm
BTW, I just went to the Presonus "answers" forum as suggested and searched around for all the existing feature requests that seem similar to what I feel is missing from Studio One. Then I up-voted those features... pretty much anything to do with film, video and MIDI! I did not see a feature request for multiple timeline tracks, so I added one, but most of what I discussed above was listed in some form or another in the feature requests...

http://answers.presonus.com/18602/multi ... -designers

Here are some of the other features I voted or commented on:

http://answers.presonus.com/12351/s1-fi ... res-needed

http://answers.presonus.com/7261/featur ... tty-please

http://answers.presonus.com/12643/video ... e-timeline

http://answers.presonus.com/2751/featur ... utomations

http://answers.presonus.com/10569/allow ... indow-time

http://answers.presonus.com/3240/articulation-editor

http://answers.presonus.com/7676/set-ti ... g-to-video

http://answers.presonus.com/11068/profe ... or-scoring

For the heck of it, I voted on this one too, although the others are higher priority for me:

http://answers.presonus.com/2953/export ... aaf-format

In any case, if you all haven't done so yet or when you get a chance to -- may I ask you to please head over to the "answer" board and vote on your favorites - whatever they might be? Maybe we'll luck out and the developers will get inspired to spend a point release on us! :-)
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by jdurham on Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:03 pm
And I just found this one about multiple visible rulers...

http://answers.presonus.com/12173/multi ... ble-rulers
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by jpettit on Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:35 pm
Good job.
I voted for many

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by Jose7822 on Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:35 pm
Voted! :-)

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by jdurham on Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:17 pm
Thank you guys! Some of those items had a lot of votes already, crossing fingers the development team was already working on some of them! :-)
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by Bbd on Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:35 pm
Voted. Great job putting all those FR's together. I haven't done any scoring in S1 for a long time and most of my experience with scoring was a long time ago with DP. Movie soundtracks stuff.
I am totally on board for any FR's that can make S1 more usable in that department.
:thumbup:

Bbd

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by nk_e on Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:44 am
Fantastic post and you are spot on with your observations! I too would love to be able to make the switch to StudioOne for film scoring, but find that the issues listed - while not making it impossible - make it less efficient and under deadline pressure less efficiency is not a good thing.

That being said, there is a fix for the single frame scrubbing issue. I think it was user jpetit or Lawrence who suggested this originally. You can write a macro that does this. I then assigned the macro's key command to the shuttle wheel of my $60 contour shuttle express (https://9to5mac.com/2016/12/29/contour- ... eview-mac/) and instant frame accurate control.

I think Presonus just rolled the new video engine in recently and at the time they promised that we would see further improvements in video capabilities. Hopefully this will involve more tempo related functions also.

Please keep us posted on your progress with your test case. Welcome!

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by jdurham on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:53 am
Thanks for the tip on the scrub macro/shuttle wheel idea! I'll look into that!

Yes, it would be great to switch over... and I'll post an update once I finish this test case. So far so good.

I definitely feel the missing features from Cubase, etc., but I am enjoying Studio One. It really is so darn close. Right there on the edge! Part of what is driving me to test out S1 is my real frustration with Steinberg, but what I hope to discover with this test is to find a better motivation. I'd rather be drawn into S1 out of a positive experience rather than my negative for Steinberg.
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by nk_e on Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:12 am
I totally get that. Our sentiments are not that far a part.

I did a similar test and found that S1 is not there yet for my personal needs vis-a-vis film work. Very close as you say (and definitely workable). However, I do use it exclusively for producing audiobooks and audio dramas. The workflow in that use case is unbeatable by Logic or Cubase. I also use it with a Raven MTi and, of all the DAWs, it has the most seamless integration with Raven since it supports the Slate protocol natively. It's a real pleasure to use.

I use Logic more than Cubase these days. The VI performance of Cubase on my system took a serious backpedal with version 9. (V8.5 was ok.) The GUI in Logic is also just cleaner and clearer to me so I find that I am more productive in Logic than Cubase in general. I keep my hand in Cubase though. Most of the other Film Composers I know use it.

Cheers and good luck!!

aka "gesslr" or "george napier"

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http://www.storyaudio.com
FB: geo.napier3

PLEASE SUPPORT THESE FRs

Video follows edit mode
http://tinyurl.com/yc2gc9b3

Studio One Workspaces
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by nk_e on Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:14 am
Here's that single frame discussion and solution:

viewtopic.php?f=151&t=21678&p=118528&hilit=single+frame#p118528

aka "gesslr" or "george napier"

10 core iMacPro 1,1 | 64GB | OSX 10.15.6 | S1Pro 5.0.1 | MOTU I/O | Too Many Plug-ins |

http://www.storyaudio.com
FB: geo.napier3

PLEASE SUPPORT THESE FRs

Video follows edit mode
http://tinyurl.com/yc2gc9b3

Studio One Workspaces
http://tinyurl.com/ybgfjpoj
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by jdurham on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:34 am
nk_e wroteI use Logic more than Cubase these days. The VI performance of Cubase on my system took a serious backpedal with version 9. (V8.5 was ok.)


Agreed on Cubase 9, has been disappointing so far.

Long-time DAW user here of pretty much all the platforms over the years -- Re: Logic, in another life, I was a Logic user.

For me, Logic is like an ex-wife -- there was a reason why I married her, and a reason why I divorced her. Definitely not going back. :-)

Pro Tools is like a grumpy old uncle... he occasionally brings new jokes to the party, but he's basically the same guy, now with gray hair and a grizzly attitude. He's had bypass surgery, but keeps on kicking... he has tons of experience but can be unreliable in his old age, doesn't like to try new things, but sometimes will bite the bullet and go for it, sometimes with success, sometimes not. He occasionally shows up with a new hat or shoes, but if you look closely, he's now wearing bifocals, he takes a while to answer questions, likes to recall "the good ol' days" and you begin to wonder when he'll kick the bucket. He's definitely NOT the life of the party.

Ableton Live, on the other hand, IS the life of the party. She shows up in her neon-colored pants (which are now a little faded) and she really gets the party moving. She's smart, creative, fun, and I've flirted with her many times over the years.... but in the end, I realized she's a little too "loopy" for me. :-)

Cubase is like an old brother-in-law who is a pretty cool guy, but sometimes does things to really bleep you off, but then a few years later he's your friend again. Then he pisses you off again. He can say the dumbest things sometimes, but then he'll turn around and surprise you with a pretty dang good idea, but does it in a half-ass way. He drives the same brand of car, every year for the last three decades... he just upgrades to a recent model every 4 years. Never flamboyant, often unreliable, occasionally brilliant, a little lumpy at the midsection, he's still there for you and generally knows his stuff.

Reaper is like that nerdy sibling who shows up and has an answer for everything. She's smart as nails, plays a killer chess game, likes to hike and drives a Subaru. She carries a Swiss Army Knife with her everywhere she goes and actually can start a fire with two rocks and some sticks. She can pretty much do anything, but there's a good chance it's going to be convoluted getting there. As a child, she loved legos, and she'll be the first to line up for a new lego movie.

And I feel Studio One is like the smart cousin who recently graduated from grad school. He's got some great ideas, is smart and talented and brings some fresh thinking to the family, but he's still got a ways to go before he reaches his full potential. So far, he seems unassuming, willing to listen, a little green around the ears maybe, a bit too optimistic perhaps, but he's got passion and wants to make the world a better place with his ideas. Oh, and he does wear denim and does NOT like to go camping.

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