Intended for beginners who don’t yet need the advanced features in Presonus Studio One Artist, Producer, and Professional, Studio One Free provides all of the recording and editing features needed for basic music production—and as its name implies, it’s free. Many free versions of Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) are missing some pretty fundamental features, but not so with this one:
1. Unlimited Tracks
Unlike the old M-Powered ProTools and bundled Cubase LE packages, Studio One Free doesn’t limit the amount of Audio or MIDI tracks within a project, which removes a whole lot of hassle summing, audio exporting, and juggling between multiple project files in larger projects.
2. Drag and Drop
So easy to take for granted, the ability to simply dump an audio/MIDI file straight into your window is one of the most simple time-savers in the world of DAWs.
3. Layered Comping
As with the new Studio One 2.0, any track recorded in loop mode will save each take to a separate “layer”, giving you the ability to highlight the best sections from each to create the perfect take. Amazingly for free DAW software, you can use this function on single and multi track material.
4. Real-time resampling and timestretch
Usually reserved for top-shelf software, these powerful editing tools make for easy “fixing”, and also open the doors to some incredibly creative sonic options.
5. Built-in software instrument
The Presonus Presence virtual instrument ships with over 100 presets, making it an excellent entry into the world of EDM, dance, or dubstep genres.
6. Unlimited FX instances
Although Studio One Free doesn’t support third-party plugins (and in any case, you should be looking to buy software before upgrading your effects!), it does come with 8 native effects to get you started – Dynamics, EQ, Delay, Mono/Stereo Reverb, Distortion, Phaser, Flanger, and Chorus.
You can insert these effects directly into each track, or set them up on an effects channel and send as many channels to them as you like. You can even route them via side-chains, which is a lovely touch!
7. Instant access
Despite being free, many similar DAW packages require a lengthy install, internet access, and/or license key. Studio One Free doesn’t need any of that, and will run as soon as it’s installed.
Even better than that – if you choose to demo one of the premium options such as Studio One Professional, you can choose to revert to Studio One Free once your demo expires.
With pro editing features, FX, and time-saving workflow additions, Studio One Free looks to be one of the most comprehensive entry-level software packages on the market. Download it – free of course – at http://studioone.presonus.com/free/