Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
jonljacobi
KVRian
1427 posts since 16 Jan, 2013 from USA

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:06 pm

Yes, S1 is one of the best alternatives. So are Logic, Cakewalk, Cubase, Mixbus, Mixcraft, and Reaper. Probably others. Demo.

Kinh
KVRian
1322 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:32 pm

burnt circuit wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:10 am
Kinh wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:55 pm
Good point but the reason people ask the question first is because they dont have the time to demo, learning several daws at once from scratch + they have limited C drive space (in my case). It's just quicker to get a consensus so people can, in this case explain how it's similar to protools or whatever the question is
But, they obviously have enough time to read and write in this thread about other people's opinions on which DAW they should get and why, even without demoing it themselves. Makes perfect sense...

You don't need to overload your computer with multiple demos at the same time, you've got to try and outsmart the computer. :lol:

How else are you going to know if a certain piece of software runs on your specific and personally configured system? Hint: Demo
Some are recommending Reaper, some Cakewalk, some FL, Mixbus, Cubase, Mixcraft, which do you recommend I spend hours learning first? :clap:

Kinh
KVRian
1322 posts since 26 Aug, 2012

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:33 pm

burnt circuit wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:10 am


But, they obviously have enough time to read and write in this thread about other people's opinions on which DAW they should get and why, even without demoing it themselves. Makes perfect sense...

You don't need to overload your computer with multiple demos at the same time, you've got to try and outsmart the computer. :lol:

How else are you going to know if a certain piece of software runs on your specific and personally configured system? Hint: Demo
Some are recommending Reaper, some Cakewalk, some FL, Mixbus, Cubase, Mixcraft, which one do you recommend I spend hours learning first?

oneway
KVRist
148 posts since 11 Dec, 2017

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:37 pm

I really think you’ll like Studio One but that still means you should demo it. Let’s say, for example, your favorite 3rd party plugins do not prove stable in S1 on your particular system. Wouldn’t you like to know that before shelling out $300? It’s a free fully featured demo.

User avatar
Distorted Horizon
KVRAF
3458 posts since 17 Jan, 2017 from Planet of cats

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:12 pm

Kinh wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:32 pm
which do you recommend I spend hours learning first? :clap:
Shouldn't be an issue.. Give a week/DAW and in couple of months, you'll have your DAW for years.

burnt circuit
Banned
142 posts since 15 Jan, 2020

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:17 am

burnt circuit wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:01 am

But, most importantly is if the workflow fits your style of creativity and technicality. The truly best way to find out is to demo and spend a few days to a week on each one, then decide.

Unless you don't know exactly what you're looking for, just something different then what you're currently using. Then maybe some opinions may help narrow your search, but never underestimate the power of researching it for yourself.

Unless you can truly trust another person's opinion, that always has your best interest in mind, and perfectly matches your life, preferences, needs, setup and goals...
Kinh wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:33 pm
Some are recommending Reaper, some Cakewalk, some FL, Mixbus, Cubase, Mixcraft, which one do you recommend I spend hours learning first?

By the looks of this thread, it appears that Studio One would be a good choice to start demoing first.
It's not the quality of audio, it's the quality of production that matters.

Jopol
KVRist
31 posts since 4 Apr, 2019

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:11 am

The single biggest issue for me is the cpu spikes I get despite having a iMac 2019 core i9 with 40gb ram and 2tb m2 ssd. It seems multi threading leaves something to wish for. Though this mainly occurs when using virtual instruments.

Another issue, that I believe most Daws struggle with, is the fact that when a plugin crashes the whole app crashes.

Functionality and feature wise I find S1 to be a dream for production and editing.

oneway
KVRist
148 posts since 11 Dec, 2017

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:14 am

Jopol wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:11 am
The single biggest issue for me is the cpu spikes I get despite having a iMac 2019 core i9 with 40gb ram and 2tb m2 ssd. It seems multi threading leaves something to wish for. Though this mainly occurs when using virtual instruments.

Another issue, that I believe most Daws struggle with, is the fact that when a plugin crashes the whole app crashes.

Functionality and feature wise I find S1 to be a dream for production and editing.
I’ll tell you exactly why this happens- macOS is pretty restrictive about what can sit on the first core. The audio driver is on the first core. Presonus designed the virtual instrument monitoring system to always be tied to the audio driver / first core. So basically VIs that you are monitoring (always gets much better after I’ve played my part in) have no choice but to go on the busiest and most limited core in the OS. Oops!

There’s a feature request that has to do with this you can vote on:

https://answers.presonus.com/47939/opti ... nstruments

I’m working in an all-audio project right now with just TONS of plugins and multi threading is working just fine

Jopol
KVRist
31 posts since 4 Apr, 2019

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:44 am

oneway wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:14 am
Jopol wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:11 am
The single biggest issue for me is the cpu spikes I get despite having a iMac 2019 core i9 with 40gb ram and 2tb m2 ssd. It seems multi threading leaves something to wish for. Though this mainly occurs when using virtual instruments.

Another issue, that I believe most Daws struggle with, is the fact that when a plugin crashes the whole app crashes.

Functionality and feature wise I find S1 to be a dream for production and editing.
I’ll tell you exactly why this happens- macOS is pretty restrictive about what can sit on the first core. The audio driver is on the first core. Presonus designed the virtual instrument monitoring system to always be tied to the audio driver / first core. So basically VIs that you are monitoring (always gets much better after I’ve played my part in) have no choice but to go on the busiest and most limited core in the OS. Oops!

There’s a feature request that has to do with this you can vote on:

https://answers.presonus.com/47939/opti ... nstruments

I’m working in an all-audio project right now with just TONS of plugins and multi threading is working just fine
Voted.

Yes, I’ve noticed it’s a lot better with audio only projects. I also know this has been an issue for sometime and read somewhere that it’s basically impossible to correct because it’s integrated too deep in the software core, that they would more or less have to rewrite the whole thing from scratch.
But idk. Just what I read somewhere.

oneway
KVRist
148 posts since 11 Dec, 2017

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 12:28 pm

Jopol wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:44 am
oneway wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:14 am
Jopol wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 4:11 am
The single biggest issue for me is the cpu spikes I get despite having a iMac 2019 core i9 with 40gb ram and 2tb m2 ssd. It seems multi threading leaves something to wish for. Though this mainly occurs when using virtual instruments.

Another issue, that I believe most Daws struggle with, is the fact that when a plugin crashes the whole app crashes.

Functionality and feature wise I find S1 to be a dream for production and editing.
I’ll tell you exactly why this happens- macOS is pretty restrictive about what can sit on the first core. The audio driver is on the first core. Presonus designed the virtual instrument monitoring system to always be tied to the audio driver / first core. So basically VIs that you are monitoring (always gets much better after I’ve played my part in) have no choice but to go on the busiest and most limited core in the OS. Oops!

There’s a feature request that has to do with this you can vote on:

https://answers.presonus.com/47939/opti ... nstruments

I’m working in an all-audio project right now with just TONS of plugins and multi threading is working just fine
Voted.

Yes, I’ve noticed it’s a lot better with audio only projects. I also know this has been an issue for sometime and read somewhere that it’s basically impossible to correct because it’s integrated too deep in the software core, that they would more or less have to rewrite the whole thing from scratch.
But idk. Just what I read somewhere.
Maybe. When they re-wrote the audio engine somewhere in 3.0 to be a dual buffer system they set it up this way, probably thinking, “well the first core is crowded but clock speeds will increase.”

Years later, clock speeds have increased and the OS and other programs’ and virtual instruments’ requirements have as well so annoyingly half of my virtual instruments I can’t even monitor a single track if I’m using the Dual Buffer system for virtual instruments. If you disable Dropout Protection it’s actually much better, but that kind of defeats the entire selling point of it (low latency monitor a single virtual instrument natively near the CPU-intensive end of your complex mix)

If you’re not big on virtual instruments or are OK with working around some quirks with virtual instruments (like I’ve become) then it’s all good. Every dual buffer DAW except Logic seems to have this problem on Mac btw. I bet Logic is able to have higher priority threads because it’s made by Apple.

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teilo
KVRist
460 posts since 30 Mar, 2008

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:44 pm

original flipper wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:36 am
I have always quite liked Reaper, but yes the simple test of getting a midi track up, loading a VSTI, creating a send track, loading up a send FX VST and doing some basic automation was just a nightmare!
Really? I have found Reaper easier than most DAWs for the things you mention. Once you know where to load a VSTi, where to change routing, the rest works much easier because there's literally nothing you can't do.

In S1, Ableton, Logic, and Bitwig, the manner in which you are expected to do routing is not at all intuitive either. Once you know where it is, you hit roadblocks and are left wondering what you are allowed to route where, and every DAW (except for Reaper) has different rules that are entirely unintuitive. Ableton won't let a track output MIDI and Audio at the same time to destinations, leaving you do have to do multi-track hacks. Bitwig is weird in that you are expected to so a lot of routing using note and audio receiver plugins.

But in Reaper, everything just works. You can have multiple sends, multiple receives, audio, MIDI, etc. It all works, and it's all explicit. No guesswork. Further, any track can be an audio or MIDI or bus track or all of the above at the same time, because there's only one kind of track. I have other gripes about Reaper, but VSTs, routing, and automation are not among them.

In S1, I find automation infuriating. Not only is it entirely unintuitive as to HOW you gain access to a specific parameter, CC, etc. (change the track to Automation view, click a blank unlabeled box, scroll through a big list, add a parameter to the other side — seriously?), once you do, the curve editing is horrendously bad. Curves are not bezier, but are a single slope parameter than scales from square to round to square, or you get an S curve that works the same way. Setting the slope on a tempo curve is stupidly difficult because you have to zoom really close into the curve to do any kind of editing, or it just jumps around wildly. But you can't zoom the tempo curve unless you manually change the min / max tempo values (which is completely unintuitive - why is that even a thing???) to a reasonable range, or else you temp curve is more of a flat line at the bottom of the lane. And try selecting a part of an automation curve and copying it. Cmd-C doesn't work. You have to right-click to copy. And then pasting is erratic. You have to click a few times just right, and then you can paste (and here Cmd-V DOES work).

And in S1, there is NO event list. You can't, for example, edit program change events without clicking and dragging automation lines. Ridiculous.

Reaper isn't great with tempo either because it doesn't even support curves. Just straight lines. But aside from that, automation editing in Reaper just works.

Logic Pro has the best tempo curve editing, but they broke copy-and-paste of the curves somewhere around version 10.1, and it still isn't fixed. Now option-drag is the only sure-fire way to copy a curve.
macOS | Bitwig 3.x | Logic Pro X | Scarlett 6i6 v2 | DX7 w/SER-7 | Adam Audio T7V & Sub8
U-he all | Melda all | TAL synths | Komplete 12 Ult. Coll. | Arturia V 7 | Fabfilter Pro all | Rapid | countless others

oneway
KVRist
148 posts since 11 Dec, 2017

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:04 pm

teilo wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:44 pm
original flipper wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:36 am
I have always quite liked Reaper, but yes the simple test of getting a midi track up, loading a VSTI, creating a send track, loading up a send FX VST and doing some basic automation was just a nightmare!
Really? I have found Reaper easier than most DAWs for the things you mention. Once you know where to load a VSTi, where to change routing, the rest works much easier because there's literally nothing you can't do.

In S1, Ableton, Logic, and Bitwig, the manner in which you are expected to do routing is not at all intuitive either. Once you know where it is, you hit roadblocks and are left wondering what you are allowed to route where, and every DAW (except for Reaper) has different rules that are entirely unintuitive. Ableton won't let a track output MIDI and Audio at the same time to destinations, leaving you do have to do multi-track hacks. Bitwig is weird in that you are expected to so a lot of routing using note and audio receiver plugins.

But in Reaper, everything just works. You can have multiple sends, multiple receives, audio, MIDI, etc. It all works, and it's all explicit. No guesswork. Further, any track can be an audio or MIDI or bus track or all of the above at the same time, because there's only one kind of track. I have other gripes about Reaper, but VSTs, routing, and automation are not among them.

In S1, I find automation infuriating. Not only is it entirely unintuitive as to HOW you gain access to a specific parameter, CC, etc. (change the track to Automation view, click a blank unlabeled box, scroll through a big list, add a parameter to the other side — seriously?), once you do, the curve editing is horrendously bad. Curves are not bezier, but are a single slope parameter than scales from square to round to square, or you get an S curve that works the same way. Setting the slope on a tempo curve is stupidly difficult because you have to zoom really close into the curve to do any kind of editing, or it just jumps around wildly. But you can't zoom the tempo curve unless you manually change the min / max tempo values (which is completely unintuitive - why is that even a thing???) to a reasonable range, or else you temp curve is more of a flat line at the bottom of the lane. And try selecting a part of an automation curve and copying it. Cmd-C doesn't work. You have to right-click to copy. And then pasting is erratic. You have to click a few times just right, and then you can paste (and here Cmd-V DOES work).

And in S1, there is NO event list. You can't, for example, edit program change events without clicking and dragging automation lines. Ridiculous.

Reaper isn't great with tempo either because it doesn't even support curves. Just straight lines. But aside from that, automation editing in Reaper just works.

Logic Pro has the best tempo curve editing, but they broke copy-and-paste of the curves somewhere around version 10.1, and it still isn't fixed. Now option-drag is the only sure-fire way to copy a curve.
Agree to disagree. Strongly prefer a few limitations in Studio One over everything being possible but with zero usability in REAPER. Automation in particular. In Studio One they listened to people who write automation all day long. In REAPER you just get... whatever works for Justin I guess. Tons of flexibility but clunky af

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teilo
KVRist
460 posts since 30 Mar, 2008

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:36 am

Oh, and there's no clip looping in S1. You have to clone clips one by one. It is nice, however, that those clones are linked, and do not have to be consecutive.

Also, plugin loading works like no other DAW in that plugins are not directly tied to tracks, but live in their own world. Once a plugin is loaded, it is available to all tracks, but isn't specifically tied to any of them. In fact, when you open a plugin's GUI, you get a windows with ALL active plugins in separate tabs.

This actually works really well for plugins that are multi-channel (such as Kontakt), as sending a particular MIDI channel from a track to a VST is very straightforward. It wins points over Logic for this. In Logic it's a real PITA to link multiple tracks to the same VST on different channels. Entirely non-obvious.
Last edited by teilo on Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
macOS | Bitwig 3.x | Logic Pro X | Scarlett 6i6 v2 | DX7 w/SER-7 | Adam Audio T7V & Sub8
U-he all | Melda all | TAL synths | Komplete 12 Ult. Coll. | Arturia V 7 | Fabfilter Pro all | Rapid | countless others

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teilo
KVRist
460 posts since 30 Mar, 2008

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:41 am

oneway wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:04 pm
Agree to disagree. Strongly prefer a few limitations in Studio One over everything being possible but with zero usability in REAPER. Automation in particular. In Studio One they listened to people who write automation all day long. In REAPER you just get... whatever works for Justin I guess. Tons of flexibility but clunky af
To each his own. I find certain things in Reaper clunky, but "zero usability" is hyperbole. IMO, people tend to confuse usability with aesthetics. Reaper isn't as pretty as S1, but once you learn how a few things work, usability is no worse than any other DAW, and in most ways much better. For the record, Reaper is not my main DAW. I use Logic Pro for heavy MIDI editing, and Bitwig for most electronic composition. I picked up S1 for a song, and do like it, except for its automation workflow.
macOS | Bitwig 3.x | Logic Pro X | Scarlett 6i6 v2 | DX7 w/SER-7 | Adam Audio T7V & Sub8
U-he all | Melda all | TAL synths | Komplete 12 Ult. Coll. | Arturia V 7 | Fabfilter Pro all | Rapid | countless others

Steve Bolivar
KVRian
642 posts since 25 Aug, 2006

Re: Is Studio One the best alternative to Protools?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:40 am

teilo wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 7:36 am
Oh, and there's no clip looping in S1. You have to clone clips one by one. It is nice, however, that those clones are linked, and do not have to be consecutive.
This is a real head scratcher for me. S1 is on v4.5 and you still can't click and drag out loops. :dog:

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