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Presonus Quantum and Studio One
Old 26th July 2019
  #1
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

Presonus Quantum and Studio One

I recently made the switch from Pro Tools to Studio One after using Pro Tools for decades. I've had many computers and systems thru the years and until now my favorite was my old Digidesign HD4 with Pro Tools HD10. I had that running on a Hackintosh and it was rock solid, it never got in the way of making music.

At PT v11, I had to give up the HD4 and the cost of HDX was just too much so I went with a UAD Apollo. It worked, sounded good, and the plugins were nice, but I was never a fan of the external mixer app that it required. Coming from the HD system, it just felt klunky somehow.

After spending a fortune thru the years with Avid, their obvious path to subscription based made me decide it's time for a change so I took advantage of a crossgrade offer to Studio One.

Studio One has been a refreshing change. I really like the workflow and I found that it was so much more efficient that except for vocals the Apollo mixer app wasn't even necessary. Then I kept reading about how fast the Quantum was and since I had become a S1 convert I decided to just go all in. I sold the Apollo and bought a Quantum.

I can honestly say that Studio One with the Quantum is now my favorite system ever. I'm running a pretty recent PC with lots of RAM and Solid State drives and the overall performance is pretty great. The first thing I did when I hooked up the Quantum was pull up the vocal recording template and test out the vocal monitoring. I'm happy to say there is so little latency that there is no delay or comb filtering whatsoever in the headphones. Even using a couple of plugins the performance stays the same. All of the controls are integrated within Studio One just like my old HD4 system. Gain, Phantom Power, and routing options right in the program with no switching back and forth. Just the way it should be. The sound quality is easily as good as the Apollo if not better. The Preamps are clean and smooth. This is a killer combination for sure.

The only regret I have is that I didn't make the switch earlier!
Old 27th July 2019
  #2
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Jim Rosebrook's Avatar
 

Thanks for sharing your satisfaction with this combo of Studio One + Quantum interface.

Have been considering putting such system together too as a test bed vs Pro Tools + Apollo.

Your positive experience has moved up this experiment on my dev timeline.

Thanks.
Old 28th July 2019
  #3
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S1 + Quantum is a sweet system except if you happen to have a fondness for recording old school keyboard workstations or new school cool small hardware synths (Minilogue, etc.). Then you discover the Presonus Achilles heel. If that's not something you care about, you're golden.
Old 28th July 2019
  #4
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
S1 + Quantum is a sweet system except if you happen to have a fondness for recording old school keyboard workstations or new school cool small hardware synths (Minilogue, etc.). Then you discover the Presonus Achilles heel. If that's not something you care about, you're golden.
I'm curious. Whats the issue?
Old 28th July 2019
  #5
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Jim Rosebrook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
S1 + Quantum is a sweet system except if you happen to have a fondness for recording old school keyboard workstations or new school cool small hardware synths (Minilogue, etc.). Then you discover the Presonus Achilles heel. If that's not something you care about, you're golden.
Hmm.... what are you referring to?
Old 28th July 2019
  #6
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Forgive me for not going into heavy detail as I've been down this road many times in the past. I'll offer the condensed version; if anyone has the type of hardware sound sources I mentioned, you can confirm everything I said via a S1 demo

First I'll say that the Presonus combo is very good at handling VSTIs. Since that's what the majority of people do ... it's a direction Presonus has chosen to focus on.

The problem with opting for hardware instead of software sound sources is this: If you record a VSTI track using, say, a Nektar Panorama controller keyboard, you will see what you expect to see, 1) a track on the main arrange page, and 2) a track in the mixer. You can instantly control volume, pan, etc. via the track in the mixer, as expected.

With a hardware synth, what you probably are not expecting is a track to not be created in the mixer. There will not be one. You will not be able to instantly control volume, pan, etc. If you want to control such parameters, you will have to commit the track to audio ... oftentimes before you're really ready to do so, while you're still uncertain you have the right performance.

I could go deeper, but that's the gist of it right there.

In other words, long ago Presonus decided that hardware synths were dinosaurs unworthy of properly supporting since the vast majority of users were moving to controller keyboards and VSTIs. You'd think the recent emergence of so many cool and affordable hardware synths would cause them to reexamine their stubborn position -- but you'd be wrong.

Compounding the issue, Presonus won't even talk about it ... and they'll delete your posts on the user forum when you bring it up.

Is that reason enough for others to eliminate S1 and Quantum? While I personally will never upgrade from V 2.6 because of this, even I admit that the program handles just about everything else very well. And it's not like you can't use hardware synths ... it's just that the Presonus way is more convoluted than the way every other major DAW player handles hardware synths (as in they create a Mixer track for hardware synths you can instantly manipulate).
Old 28th July 2019
  #7
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Jim Rosebrook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
With a hardware synth, what you probably are not expecting is a track to not be created in the mixer. There will not be one. You will not be able to instantly control volume, pan, etc. If you want to control such parameters, you will have to commit the track to audio ... oftentimes before you're really ready to do so, while you're still uncertain you have the right performance.
Your issue seems not about the specific combination of Studio One + Quantum interface.

Instead, your issue seems about Studio One in general.

If so, not quite relevant to this specific thread.
Old 28th July 2019
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rosebrook View Post
Your issue seems not about the specific combination of Studio One + Quantum interface.

Instead, your issue seems about Studio One in general.

If so, not quite relevant to this specific thread.
I apologize for trying to save you from potential disappointment. It won't happen again.
Old 28th July 2019
  #9
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Jim Rosebrook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
I apologize for trying to save you from potential disappointment. It won't happen again.
Your first comment on this thread could be perceived as if there was a specific problem using the Quantum interface with hardware synths.

That perception of your first comment might give people considering this combination undue concern.

That's all.. thanks for the clarification that your issue is not with the Quantum.
Old 29th July 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rosebrook View Post
Your first comment on this thread could be perceived as if there was a specific problem using the Quantum interface with hardware synths.

That perception of your first comment might give people considering this combination undue concern.

That's all.. thanks for the clarification that your issue is not with the Quantum.
"I can honestly say that Studio One with the Quantum is now my favorite system ever." That's exactly how the thread started. It was never a thread solely about the Quantum. So maybe my contribution didn't need your policing -- especially since you didn't start it and moderators are around to perform that task.

But I agree the Quantum is innocent.
Old 29th July 2019
  #11
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

Studio One is relatively young when compared to other DAWs. Perhaps hardware midi features will come with future releases. In researching S1 before I switched, I found that much of the team that is writing the code are ex Steinberg guys so they have the know how...

The only midi I use are VSTi's with an Akai and NI controller so I did'nt notice any shortcomings. I can see where not having features when using hardware midi sound modules could be a limitation.

My past experience is with Pro Tools so I'm pretty used to limited midi features.

If you're into old school midi workstations or sound modules I'd say Cubase or Logic might be a better choice.
Old 5th August 2019
  #12
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Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
Forgive me for not going into heavy detail as I've been down this road many times in the past. I'll offer the condensed version; if anyone has the type of hardware sound sources I mentioned, you can confirm everything I said via a S1 demo

First I'll say that the Presonus combo is very good at handling VSTIs. Since that's what the majority of people do ... it's a direction Presonus has chosen to focus on.

The problem with opting for hardware instead of software sound sources is this: If you record a VSTI track using, say, a Nektar Panorama controller keyboard, you will see what you expect to see, 1) a track on the main arrange page, and 2) a track in the mixer. You can instantly control volume, pan, etc. via the track in the mixer, as expected.

With a hardware synth, what you probably are not expecting is a track to not be created in the mixer. There will not be one. You will not be able to instantly control volume, pan, etc. If you want to control such parameters, you will have to commit the track to audio ...
I could go deeper, but that's the gist of it right there.
This is quite simply incorrect though, in many ways.

Firstly, what you 'expect' to see is what you're used to seeing in Cubase for example.
S1 isn't Cubase, or Logic, and doesn't blindly follow the paradigms of their workflow.
But for me your whole premise is wrong.
In hardware, if you record an instrument to a multi-track recorder, you don't stare angrily at it because it's not a mixer.
I would argue that S1 shows people that understand analogue workflow what they expect to see:

Mixers/consoles/desks whatever you want to call it/them, don't have tracks.
They have channels.
Multi-track recorders have tracks.
Channels route audio from tracks.

It's really that simple.
In S1 the console shows channels, and the tracklist shows tracks.
This is in effect what you're complaining about and I just don't see why.
It's the way it always worked before the daw and it makes sense even with daw tech to still approach it this way.

S1 honours this division of labour.
I find this a simple, refreshing, clean and neat methodology.
I do not expect you to agree!

Whether you like it or not, or whether you're used to it or not though, the logic is straightforward and is not a failing, it's a different workflow.
As soon as you stop using the word 'track' for both (which is patently incorrect), then things make perfect sense.

The reason S1 allocates a channel in the mixer for a VSTi or audio track automatically is because the source is internal, just as it is on a multi-track tape recorder, and you won't hear it until it's run through a console channel.
S1 knows this (duh) and so it does it for you.

So let's go the midi issue.

The 'problem' you're describing is that when you add a midi track to the tracklist, an audio channel is not created as well.
Why would it be?
Midi doesn't transmit audio!

You see where this goes?
S1 doesn't know what inputs the audio generated by your midi track is coming in on.
Neither does Cubase, you still have to do a manual setup in Cubase for each instrument and define its I/O.
You can do this too in S1 simply by saving a preset.
There is no 'saved time', or 'easier process', it's just done differently.

Bend your mind just a little from its usual pattern and reap the rewards.

What you're used to is the illusion of a midi track being presented as an audio channel, but even this only works because you pre-defined it manually.

Or does Cubase now know which audio streams belong to which midi track without you telling it?
Of course it doesn't, because it's impossible, unless it's a VSTi.
Hence, a VSTi gets given an audio channel, and hardware devices don't (until you set them up manually, just as you have to do in every daw).

I bet you my entire kingdom that if all daws worked this way, there would be far less n00b confusion about what midi is and how it works in relation to audio, because the two are separated. As they should be (in my mind).

The other aspect of your complaint is that you can't manipulate the sounds from your device like panning and volume without committing to audio.
Eh?

Wow, all those stereo/multi-out hardware synths that can only play sounds straight down the middle at one volume level.
IF ONLY THEY HAD A PAN KNOB AND LEVEL CONTROL.

And god, if only that was also a more precise and tactile way of controlling them compared to a software mixer.

I've had this idea as well for a system that would let you manipulate controls on a hardware device and record them to a software program so you didn't have to do everything in software!
Ah well, we can all dream.

Maybe they'll address that in a future update.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, you have this notion that S1 is marketed at/has a feature set geared pretty much exclusively towards electronic composers/producers.

That was partly true before the 4.5 update, but is not true since 4.5 I think it's fair to say.
Old 5th August 2019
  #13
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Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by troggg View Post
Compounding the issue, Presonus won't even talk about it ... and they'll delete your posts on the user forum when you bring it up.
This, however (for a bit of balance ) I agree with completely.

And check this out, if you've been banned by one of their hopelessly emotionally unintelligent fanboi mods, you are effectively banned for life until you buy a certain amount more Presonus hardware or another version of S1 PRO, even if you own both 3 and 4 already.

So even though I own both Studio One 3 and 4 Pro, a pair of their R80 monitors and have bought their orchestral library etc, I can't create another account to post, even with a different ip address, because you can only have full access from an account that has S1 pro registered on it.

I don't know of any other forum that imposes a gag on product owners unless they buy more product.

Is that not the most cynical, disgusting thing you've ever heard?

Well, probably not, but it's a huge smear on their image and even more so when you know that they know exactly what's going on there.

That's a massive PR fail for them, their forum should be a place for open debate, not a fascist regime, it's pathetic.

I will sing the praises of S1 where warranted, but Presonus.. you're a bunch of dickheads.
Old 5th August 2019
  #14
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
This is quite simply incorrect though, in many ways.

-snip-

(Insert clear explanation of midi hardware vs VSTi)
Thank you for this clear, detailed explanation.

As I said, I don't use any midi hardware so none of this occurred to me but you're explanation makes perfect sense. If I were to go out and buy a midi sound module this is exactly how I would expect it to be. If I weren't using an external mixer, I'd add a channel in the S1 console to bring in the audio signal from the module.

I also agree with the comments about the Presonus forum and I'd extend those sentiments to the Facebook group. Both of those seem to be aimed at tech support and leave no room for any other discussion. Presonus should use these for discussion and promotion as well. I little debate might uncover an opportunity to make an improvement in the software.
Old 5th August 2019
  #15
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Jim Rosebrook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCat View Post
I can honestly say that Studio One with the Quantum is now my favorite system ever. I'm running a pretty recent PC with lots of RAM and Solid State drives and the overall performance is pretty great. The first thing I did when I hooked up the Quantum was pull up the vocal recording template and test out the vocal monitoring. I'm happy to say there is so little latency that there is no delay or comb filtering whatsoever in the headphones. Even using a couple of plugins the performance stays the same. All of the controls are integrated within Studio One just like my old HD4 system. Gain, Phantom Power, and routing options right in the program with no switching back and forth. Just the way it should be.
I'd like to hear more about your tracking workflow and how the S1+Quantum has enabled you to do things due to its low latency.

Tracking with plugins... how does S1+Quantum compare to your prior experience with Pro Tools hardware or Apollo hardware?
Old 5th August 2019
  #16
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rosebrook View Post
I'd like to hear more about your tracking workflow and how the S1+Quantum has enabled you to do things due to its low latency.

Tracking with plugins... how does S1+Quantum compare to your prior experience with Pro Tools hardware or Apollo hardware?
It allows you to track in S1 Native Low Latency mode and use any plugin that has 3ms latency or less. I don't track with plugins but I've been putting a little reverb on the cue for vocals and it works just fine. S1 will allow you to set your buffer as low as your computer can handle vs PT having an artificial limit. It's not possible to get these kind of low latencies in PT even with the Quantum because of that.

With the quantum, everything is integrated within S1. You can control the mic preamp, phantom power, and even the talkback right on the S1 console.

It works in principal just like TDM or HDX except it depends on the power of your computer instead of having interface DSP.

I had an Apollo and it worked but I never liked having to use an external app to setup cue mixes or use tracking plugins. Maybe it's a placebo but I also think it sounds better than my old Apollo MK1...
Old 5th August 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
This is quite simply incorrect though, in many ways.

Firstly, what you 'expect' to see is what you're used to seeing in Cubase for example.
S1 isn't Cubase, or Logic, and doesn't blindly follow the paradigms of their workflow.
But for me your whole premise is wrong.
In hardware, if you record an instrument to a multi-track recorder, you don't stare angrily at it because it's not a mixer.
I would argue that S1 shows people that understand analogue workflow what they expect to see:

Mixers/consoles/desks whatever you want to call it/them, don't have tracks.
They have channels.
Multi-track recorders have tracks.
Channels route audio from tracks.

It's really that simple.
In S1 the console shows channels, and the tracklist shows tracks.
This is in effect what you're complaining about and I just don't see why.
It's the way it always worked before the daw and it makes sense even with daw tech to still approach it this way.

S1 honours this division of labour.
I find this a simple, refreshing, clean and neat methodology.
I do not expect you to agree!

Whether you like it or not, or whether you're used to it or not though, the logic is straightforward and is not a failing, it's a different workflow.
As soon as you stop using the word 'track' for both (which is patently incorrect), then things make perfect sense.

The reason S1 allocates a channel in the mixer for a VSTi or audio track automatically is because the source is internal, just as it is on a multi-track tape recorder, and you won't hear it until it's run through a console channel.
S1 knows this (duh) and so it does it for you.

So let's go the midi issue.

The 'problem' you're describing is that when you add a midi track to the tracklist, an audio channel is not created as well.
Why would it be?
Midi doesn't transmit audio!

You see where this goes?
S1 doesn't know what inputs the audio generated by your midi track is coming in on.
Neither does Cubase, you still have to do a manual setup in Cubase for each instrument and define its I/O.
You can do this too in S1 simply by saving a preset.
There is no 'saved time', or 'easier process', it's just done differently.

Bend your mind just a little from its usual pattern and reap the rewards.

What you're used to is the illusion of a midi track being presented as an audio channel, but even this only works because you pre-defined it manually.

Or does Cubase now know which audio streams belong to which midi track without you telling it?
Of course it doesn't, because it's impossible, unless it's a VSTi.
Hence, a VSTi gets given an audio channel, and hardware devices don't (until you set them up manually, just as you have to do in every daw).

I bet you my entire kingdom that if all daws worked this way, there would be far less n00b confusion about what midi is and how it works in relation to audio, because the two are separated. As they should be (in my mind).

The other aspect of your complaint is that you can't manipulate the sounds from your device like panning and volume without committing to audio.
Eh?

Wow, all those stereo/multi-out hardware synths that can only play sounds straight down the middle at one volume level.
IF ONLY THEY HAD A PAN KNOB AND LEVEL CONTROL.

And god, if only that was also a more precise and tactile way of controlling them compared to a software mixer.

I've had this idea as well for a system that would let you manipulate controls on a hardware device and record them to a software program so you didn't have to do everything in software!
Ah well, we can all dream.

Maybe they'll address that in a future update.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, you have this notion that S1 is marketed at/has a feature set geared pretty much exclusively towards electronic composers/producers.

That was partly true before the 4.5 update, but is not true since 4.5 I think it's fair to say.
We've already had this cage match. Not interested in a rematch. Suffice it to say others confirm my experience.
Old 5th August 2019
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
This, however (for a bit of balance ) I agree with completely.

And check this out, if you've been banned by one of their hopelessly emotionally unintelligent fanboi mods, you are effectively banned for life until you buy a certain amount more Presonus hardware or another version of S1 PRO, even if you own both 3 and 4 already.

So even though I own both Studio One 3 and 4 Pro, a pair of their R80 monitors and have bought their orchestral library etc, I can't create another account to post, even with a different ip address, because you can only have full access from an account that has S1 pro registered on it.

I don't know of any other forum that imposes a gag on product owners unless they buy more product.

Is that not the most cynical, disgusting thing you've ever heard?

Well, probably not, but it's a huge smear on their image and even more so when you know that they know exactly what's going on there.

That's a massive PR fail for them, their forum should be a place for open debate, not a fascist regime, it's pathetic.

I will sing the praises of S1 where warranted, but Presonus.. you're a bunch of dickheads.
True, there is something we agree on. Maybe fascist and dickhead are "strong" but the accessible caring humans who once worked at Presonus have left the building. They used to communicate way better than other companies, which was a selling point that initially lured me in. All this said, there isn't a whole lot I can't do with version 2.6 and I certainly feel like I got my money's worth several times over. I don't do the final mixes, though. But for tracking ease 2.6 never gets in the way and I have no complaints about the sound or the MIDI timing or how S1 handles VSTIs.
Old 5th August 2019
  #19
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Quetz's Avatar
We can agree to disagree on the midi, it's all good

It's a real shame about the forum, but hey it is what it is and although it irks me I don't lose sleep over it, there's nothing on there that I can't find out elsewhere (and in fact a lot of important stuff you have to find elsewhere because it's forbidden to discuss on the forum!)

Crazy really, although I hear the Cubase forum is much the same.

Give stupid people a little bit of authority and watch the world burn

Edit: Apologies TexasCat, back to the Quantum!
Old 6th August 2019
  #20
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I was hoping this would be a constructive thread about the SYSTEM usage of a Studio One + Quantum. What this COMBINATION brings to efficient workflow as compared to dominant combinations.

For those that want to track with plugins-the choices have largely been limited to systems that require interface DSP.

Is this combination of Studio One + Quantum finally breaking this requirement?

Shame that this thread got off track and also that moderators pushed it to the Studio One area.

This is a broader topic that goes beyond Studio One as a DAW and should be looked at by all who are using interface-DSP based systems.
Old 6th August 2019
  #21
Gear Addict
 
TexasCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rosebrook View Post
I was hoping this would be a constructive thread about the SYSTEM usage of a Studio One + Quantum. What this COMBINATION brings to efficient workflow as compared to dominant combinations.

For those that want to track with plugins-the choices have largely been limited to systems that require interface DSP.
Computers have gotten powerful enough today and I'm sure this is what the future looks like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rosebrook View Post
Is this combination of Studio One + Quantum finally breaking this requirement?
So far for me it has been. Many times in the past I almost broke down and spent the money on an HDX system because this is the way I prefer to work. Anyone who has worked on an Avid DSP system knows how powerful the workflow is without having to resort to an additional app for routing or tracking with plugins. The latency of the plugin is still somewhat of a limitation but that is true for HDX or S1/Quantum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rosebrook View Post
Shame that this thread got off track and also that moderators pushed it to the Studio One area.

This is a broader topic that goes beyond Studio One as a DAW and should be looked at by all who are using interface-DSP based systems.
I agree and that's why I posted it in the general area. I guess I should have worded it differently...

Again, with the power that computers have today things are going to change. The other option that I had considered was Dante but Avid's artificial 32 i/o limit always held me back. When I switched to S1, Dante was my first thought but then I read about how the Quantum was integrated so that's the direction I went. I wish it had a Dante port like the Focusrite Red interfaces.
Old 6th August 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCat View Post
When I switched to S1, Dante was my first thought but then I read about how the Quantum was integrated so that's the direction I went. I wish it had a Dante port like the Focusrite Red interfaces.
I would presume that AVB is the likely ethernet option to anticipate with future products in the Quantum line. It would open up some excellent integration with the AVB cue system devices already offered by PreSonus.

All part of a well integrated solution for studio use.

Hope such an addition happens soon.
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