Track Comping in Studio One v2.5

PreSonus Studio One is building up a reputation as the new DAW on the block, and the credit is well deserved. Gary Hiebner discovers the joys of comping in version 2.5 of this new and popular DAW.  

I have used most of the big DAWs on the market, but have always been very intrigued by PreSonus Studio One. After I had eventually made the jump, one of the features that really impressed me was track comping. In version 2.5 this feature has been updated to allow for extremely quick and fluid comping. Let's take a look at how this is done.

Step 1 '"  Layers While Recording

By default Studio One v2.5 is set to record layers to takes automatically. You can see this under the Options menu. I am going to leave this checked as I want to record to multiple layers. From these layers I will build up a composite of the audio. I'll use the best bits from each layer to build up a good take. 

Draw in a selection on the timeline of an area that you are going to record to. Make sure Loop mode is enabled (The shortcut is / on the NumPad). Start recording in the audio. Record a few different takes so we can examine how take comps in Studio One works. Once you have recorded your audio, unpack these items to layers. Right click on the audio event, and go to Unpack Takes > Unpack Takes to new Layers.

tracks to layers

Now you can see each layer in its own separate lane.

layers unpacked

Step 2 '" Quick Swipe

PreSonus have also introduced Quick Swipe that really speeds up the comping process. Let's take a tour through this and we'll see how easy comping is in Studio One. Using the Arrow Tool you can quickly swipe in different comps on each layer. As you make changes, they are sent up to the main audio part.

Quick Swipe Comps

You can go in and edit these quick swipes. As you hover over each comp a double arrow icon appears. You can drag this to change the size of the comp. This helps you build up complex comps fast and easily. As you edit the quick swipe comps these changes are reflected in the main audio track part.

Adjust Quick Swipes

Step 3 '" Edit the Crossfades

Crossfades are inserted between each comp on the main audio part. These crossfades can also be edited. You can move them around using the Arrow Tool.

Edit Crossfades

The fade type can also be changed. If you hover over the middle of the fade a hand icon appears. Now drag either up or down to change the fade type from an exponential fade to a logarithmic fade.

Change Fades

Change Fades

Step 4 '" Layers Duplicate Events

These track comps can be copied across to different locations in your arrangement. The best way to do this is to select all the event comps that have been pushed up to the main audio part. Then go to Event > Merge Events. This will merge all the comps into one event, but you will still be able to see the individual layers.

Merge Events

Now make sure that '˜Layers follow Events' is enabled here for this event. Select this merged event and press F4 to bring up the Inspector. Now press the i icon to show the information on the event, and make sure this parameter is ticked.

Layer Follow Events

If you copy the event across, the event and the related comp layers are copied across as well. So, if you decide to change the comp in one layer they are automatically changed in the copy of the event too.

Copy Layer Events

If you want to make any changes and edits to the merged event, you can by double-click it. This will bring up the event in the Audio Editor, and you will see in there that all the crossfades and edits are still visible.

Audio Editor


As you can see track comping in Studio One v2.5 is quick and easy. With Quick Swipes you can create a comp of your recorded audio in no time. Studio One gives you the flexibility to go back and edit these comps with ease and these advanced track comping features really help smooth out this editing process. 

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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