6 Audio Editing Tips for PreSonus Studio One

PreSonus Studio One makes sculpting and manipulating audio to make it sound like you need it to a breeze. In this tutorial Gary Hiebner share 6 top tips for the audio editors among us.  

Studio One has some real handy ways in which to edit and manipulate your audio. These methods can be useful in speeding up your workflow and in creating new audio ideas. Let’s take a look at some helpful audio tips that will improve your Studio One production techniques.

Tip 1 - Using the Volume Handles

On each audio event you’ll notice a black horizontal line. This is the volume handle for that audio region. You can make quick volume adjustments by tweaking these handles. Grab this handle and lower it to decrease the volume on that particular audio event. This comes in handy for vocal volume level editing. Take your vocal track and cut up the audio region into manageable sections. Wherever you hear a break of silence in the vocalist’s voice make a cut there. Then select each audio event and go in and tweak the volume handles so that you get a clean volume level amongst all the regions. You see the waveform change as you adjust the volume handle, so it gives you visual feedback as well on the audio waveform shape.

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Tip 2 - Managing Your Audio with Folders

When your songs start getting bigger and bigger and you have quite a few tracks, a good way to manage these tracks is to use folders. Let’s say you have eight drum tracks. Select the first track, hold down Shift and select the last track. This will select all the tracks in between. Then right-click on one of the tracks and choose Pack Folder in from the pop-up contextual window.

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Rename the Folder to Drums. You can simply click the folder icon to expand or collapse the tracks in the folder, and you can also mute and solo this folder. Great way to isolate elements in the mix.

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Tip 3 - Grouping Audio Tracks

Another way to manage your tracks is to group similar tracks together. This way if you want to edit the volume, the other grouped tracks will be edited simultaneously. A good example is grouping guitar tracks together. Select the tracks you want to group, then right-click on one of the tracks and choose Group Selected Tracks from the submenu, or use the shortcut Command-G (Mac) or Control-G (PC). 

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Now move the volume fader on one of the tracks, and the volume on the other grouped tracks will change as well. If you want to make changes to one track but not the rest in the group, then hold down Option (Mac) or Alt (PC), make the necessary changes and then release the key for it to go back to the grouping.

Tip 4 - Hide and Show Tracks from the Track List

Another way to manage your audio tracks is to use the show/hide function to show and hide tracks in the Arrange area. Let’s say you’ve got quite a big project of 30 tracks, but only want to see the guitar tracks you're working with, then open the Track List panel. This is the horizontal line icon next to the Inspector Icon above your tracks.

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And then click on the white circle to hide the track. See how this can neaten up your arrange view. Click it again to show the tracks. You can also quickly swipe up or down across these circles to show/hide multiple tracks.

Tip 5 - Adding Crossfades

It's very easy to add crossfades between two audio events. Let’s see how this is done. Take one of your audio events and slide it over another audio event so that they overlap, Select the one audio event and then hold down Shift while you select the other so that both audio events are selected. Now simply press X and a crossfade is created between the two audio events. You can see from the waveforms displays in the audio events that the two crossfade between each other. How easy it that! You can go in and fine-tune the fade-in and fade-out points by going to the Inspector, and then down to Event FX. Here you can fine-tune the fade points. Either type in an amount or drag up and down on the box to change the fade times.

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Tip 6 - Creating Automating Lanes

When you get into your audio mixing, you're going to want to start automating parameters on your channel strip and plug-ins to add some interest. For example, you may want to create dynamic changes to the volume and pan, or automation to your effects like reverb increases to create reverb swells. With Studio One you can create automation lanes. Let's say you want to automate the volume of the channel strip. Select a track, then open the Track Inspector and click on the volume fader. Now in the top left of the transport panel you’ll see the Volume name and its current amount. Next to the volume is a hand icon.

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Click and hold on this hand icon and drag under your track to create an automation lane for the volume. You can create automation node points by clicking on areas in the automation lane and then drag these around, or you can use the pen tool to draw in these nodes.

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What if you want to automate a parameter on a plug-in? Then do the same thing. Open the plug-in, select the parameter, and its name will show up. Select and drag the hand icon under that name to the track list, and there you go. It’s that easy. Remember to rename your automation lanes so that they make sense to you.

You could even create folders and put this track and its associated automation lanes in the same folder. That way all your automation for that track is neatly packed into a folder, and you can expand that folder when needed when you want to edit the automation.

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Or you could even hide these automation lanes when you don’t need to see them by going to track list and hiding them like explained earlier.

Conclusion

That’s how you can improve how you work with your audio events and audio tracks in Studio One. Try this out and see how they can really improve your workflow and song project management, especially when you're working in big songs with lots of different types of tracks. Group similar tracks together, bundle them in folders, and show and hide tracks when needed. And really get in there with your audio automation and build up some interesting dynamic productions. For more Studio One tips and tricks check out the following tutorials:

https://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/songwriters-musicians-toolbox

https://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/studio-one-102-producers-and-engineers-toolbox

https://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/advanced-midi-toolbox

https://www.macprovideo.com/tutorial/studio-one-104-mixing-and-mastering-toolbox

Gary Hiebner is an enthusiastic South African Sound Designer and Apple Tech Head! Gary has been involved in the South African music industry for the decade, and in this time has also been involved in the sound design and music production for many advertising agencies and media houses. Gary is a devoted Logic and Ableton user, but he al... Read More

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