Skip to navigation

PreSonus Studio One 2 review


A terrifically usable audio workstation that makes everyday music production a pleasure

Review Date: 20 Feb 2012

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: Artist, £67 (£80 inc VAT); Producer, £135 (£162 inc VAT); Professional, £270 (£324 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

PreSonus Studio One is a relative newcomer to the digital-audio workstation market, having only recently hit its second major release. But with no need to keep continuity with entrenched workflows, it can offer a fresh approach to digital composition and production, one tailored to modern methods and modern hardware.

This starts with a front-end that exploits today’s generous display sizes to allow you to record, edit, arrange and mix compositions all from the main window. Things can get a bit pane-heavy if you want to access all the program’s advanced controls, but it’s still a much smoother experience than fiddling around with subwindows and floating panels. If you’re on a smaller screen, or want to make the most of a multimonitor setup, you can choose to pop out the mixing console and the note editor into separate windows.

A single-window interface puts almost everything at your fingertips

This mixer itself is another up-to-date idea. In place of the old one-channel-per-track paradigm, you get a mixer channel for each virtual audio output in your project – a smart approach for an era in which virtual instruments are the norm. It becomes a breeze to EQ only the kicks from a multichannel drum machine, or to route a specific sound from a sampler through an effects bus. K-System metering support is built in too, to help studio professionals hit consistent levels.

This sense of simplicity permeates the interface. A huge range of everyday operations can be achieved via drag and drop, including assigning instruments to tracks, quantising MIDI and audio phrases, creating automation envelopes and comping together multiple audio takes. To assign a physical MIDI controller to a programmable parameter, simply wiggle the controller, select the desired parameter with the mouse and click the “link” icon in the Studio One toolbar. If you’re coming from Cubase, Logic or Pro Tools – or continuing to use one of those packages while you try out Studio One – you can switch to that program’s keyboard shortcuts, to ensure you hit the ground running.

The Studio One mixer presents a slider for each audio output in your project, rather than sticking to a strict one-channel-per-track arrangement

These excellent first impressions are backed up by a solid feature set. More or less everything we wanted to do in Studio One, from time-stretching audio clips to drawing smooth controller curves, proved straightforward and fully achievable.

1 2
Subscribe to PC Pro magazine. We'll give you 3 issues for £1 plus a free gift - click here
User comments

Numeric pad advantage

I like the numeric pad shortcuts, you just need a logitech usb numeric pad with unifying usb micro adapter! This actually gices you a handy remote control.

By nassiball on 22 Feb 2012

You are able to open the editor in a different window. It's the button next to X on the right side.

By TheInsurgent on 23 Feb 2012

Thanks for pointing this out - I didn't originally spot the pop-out icon in the note editor because it's in a different place to the corresponding icon in the mixer view. I've now updated the text.

By DarienGS on 23 Feb 2012

Leave a comment

You need to Login or Register to comment.


Latest Category Reviews
Citrix ShareFile review

Citrix ShareFile

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £21
DataCore Software SANsymphony-V10 review

DataCore Software SANsymphony-V10

Category: Software
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £2,104
Apple OS X Yosemite review

Apple OS X Yosemite

Category: Software
Rating: 6 out of 6
Price: £0
Netgear ProSafe WC7600 review

Netgear ProSafe WC7600

Category: Switches
Rating: 5 out of 6
Price: £1,404


Most Commented Reviews
Latest News Stories Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Blog Posts Subscribe to our RSS Feeds
Latest Features
Latest Real World Computing


Sponsored Links


Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.