Instrument Tracks

Instrument Tracks are where performance data is recorded, drawn, and edited. This data usually comes from a Keyboard, which is used to play a virtual instrument or hardware sound module. Performance data is not audio; the virtual instrument or sound module is the audio source.

In Studio One, MIDI controllers are referred to as Keyboards. If you have not set up a Keyboard, refer to the Set Up Your MIDI Devices section of the Setup chapter.

Creating an Instrument Track

To create an Instrument Track, navigate to Track/Add Tracks or Press [T] to open the Add Tracks menu.

The following options are available in this menu:

  • Name Click here and type in a name for the new Track.
  • Count Choose the number of Tracks you would like to create.
  • Type Choose Instrument.
  • Color Choose a color.
    • Auto-Color Check this box if you would like your Tracks auto-colored.
  • Input Assign a MIDI input Device to the new Track(s). Choose All Inputs | Any to accept input from any connected MIDI Device.
    • When creating multiple Tracks, you can engage the Ascending option to assign inputs to each Track in ascending order of device and MIDI channel.
  • Output Assign an Instrument to the new Track(s). To create a new instance of a software instrument for each new Track, choose New Instrument and select an instrument from the provided list. To assign the new Tracks to a hardware instrument or to a software instrument already in use in the Song, choose Existing Instrument, and select from the provided list.
    • When creating multiple Tracks, you can engage the Ascending option to assign Outputs to each Track in ascending order of Instrument and MIDI channel.

Once these options are configured, click OK, and the Tracks appear in the Arrange view, below the currently selected Track. It is important to note that Instrument Tracks do not appear directly in the Console, as they do not output audio. The virtual instruments generate sound and are represented in the Console by Instrument Channels.

Alternatively, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click in a blank space in the Track Column of the Arrange view and select Add Instrument Track from the pop-up menu to quickly add an Instrument Track.

Configuring an Instrument Track

In Studio One, an Instrument Track can only receive input from a Keyboard that has been set up in the External Devices menu. To set up a Keyboard, refer to the Set Up Your MIDI Devices section of the Setup chapter. If you have a Keyboard set up as the default Instrument Track input, all Instrument Tracks default to using that Keyboard.

An Instrument Track can trigger a virtual instrument that has been set up in a Song or an external instrument. The Instrument Track Input and Output can each be selected in one of two places:

Selecting an Instrument Track Input or Output from the Track Column:

  • Set the Arrange view Track size to medium or larger to be able to access the current Instrument Track Input.
  • There are two I/O selectors on each Instrument Track. Click the top selector to choose an output to any previously set up virtual or external instrument. Click the bottom selector to choose from any configured Keyboard input.

Selecting an Instrument Track Input or Output from the Inspector:

  • Open the Inspector window by clicking on the [I] button above the Track Column or by pressing [F4] on the keyboard.
  • Click the Input or Output selector to select from any configured Keyboard input or to trigger any previously set up virtual or external instrument.

Press [F11] to open the instrument editor for the selected Instrument Track.

Note that it is possible to select All Inputs as the input for Instrument Tracks, which combines the input of all defined keyboard devices. If Default Instrument Input is not checked for any Keyboard device, new Instrument Tracks automatically use All Inputs.

This item is always in the inputs list, even if no keyboard device is defined. However, for any MIDI input to be received on an Instrument Track, your MIDI input device (Keyboard Controller, etc.) must first be set up in the External Devices menu as a Keyboard.

Set Up a Virtual Instrument

Studio One supports VST and AU virtual instruments, ReWire applications, and Studio One's Native virtual instruments. The difference between these types of virtual instruments is transparent to the user in Studio One, as they are all handled in the same manner. To use any VST or AU virtual instrument, you need to be sure Studio One knows where they are installed on your computer. Refer to the VST Plug-ins section of the Setup chapter for more information on locating your plug-ins.

Add a Virtual Instrument from the Browser

To add any VST, AU, ReWire, or built-in virtual instrument to your Song, open the Browse view and click on the Instruments tab to view your virtual instrument. Then do one of the following:

  • Click on and drag any virtual instrument to an empty space in the Arrange view to simultaneously add the virtual instrument to your Song and create an Instrument Track with its output routed to the virtual instrument. The Instrument Track conveniently inherits the name of the virtual instrument.
  • Click on and drag any virtual instrument on top of an existing Instrument Track to replace the Track’s current virtual instrument.
  • Click and drag any virtual instrument from the Instruments tab to the Console to simply add the virtual instrument to your Song. In order to control or play this virtual instrument, you need to select it as the output for an Instrument Track.
  • The virtual instrument is now set up and ready to play and has one or more dedicated Audio Channels in the Console.

Once a virtual instrument is added to your Song, be sure that an Instrument Track is routed to it so that the instrument can be played.

Set Up Multiple Virtual Instrument Outputs

Many virtual instruments have the capability to send audio on more than one channel. In Studio One, only the first output or output pair of any virtual instrument is active by default.

To activate the other possible virtual instrument Output Channels in the Console:

  • Open the Console by pressing [F3] on the keyboard, then open the Instruments panel (open by default) by clicking on the Instr. button to the far left of the Console.
  • Click once on the virtual instrument in the Instruments panel, and the Output Channel activation menu expands.
  • Click on the checkbox next to any output to activate that output for the virtual instrument.
  • Each active virtual instrument output has a dedicated Audio Channel in the Console.

You can also activate virtual instrument outputs in the plug-in window. Any virtual instrument plug-in that offers multiple Output Channels has an Outputs button near the top of the plug-in window. Click on this button to view and activate the available outputs.

Set Up a ReWire™ Application

ReWire applications are set up in a similar way to virtual instruments. Any ReWire applications known to Studio One Professional are listed in the Browser Instruments tab, along with all known virtual instruments. You can drag in the ReWire application just like an instrument, and Studio One has a special ReWire object to represent the application.

The ReWire interface window is similar to the virtual instrument interface windows. There are also two special controls, Open Application and Close Application, which can open and close most ReWire applications, so you do not need to leave Studio One to open or close the ReWire application.

If clicking on Open Application does not immediately launch your ReWire application, this means that the ReWire application does not support this function, so you need to manually launch the application. The application should launch in ReWire slave mode.

Engaging the Allow tempo/signature changes option in the ReWire interface window allows the ReWire application to make tempo and time signature changes within Studio One. To suppress these changes from the ReWire application, disable this option.

Record Enabling an Instrument Track

To record musical performance data to an Instrument Track, the Track must be record-enabled. To record-enable an Instrument Track, click on the Record Enable button once; it should turn red.

Also, note that monitor-enable is, by default, automatically engaged when Record Enable is engaged. This behavior can be configured in the Studio One/Options/Advanced/Devices menu (Mac OS X: Preferences/Advanced/Devices). If musical data arrives from the Track’s selected Keyboard, the Instrument Track’s meter moves up and down, corresponding to that input.

Once an Instrument Track is record-enabled, you are ready to record musical performance data to that Track. Refer to Activating Recording for more on this topic.

Monitoring an Instrument Track

Instrument Tracks record and output musical performance data, not audio. The virtual or external instrument to which the Instrument Track is routed generates the audio. The following describes how virtual and external instrument audio output is monitored.

Disabling an Instrument Track

When working in large Songs with high Audio and Instrument Track counts, it can be useful to disable certain Tracks that are not currently in use, to free up CPU and RAM resources for use elsewhere. Disabling an Instrument Track also disables and unloads any Insert effects used. To disable an Instrument Track, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the Track in Arrange view, and choose "Disable Track" from the pop-up menu. To re-enable a disabled Instrument Track, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the Track and choose "Enable Track" from the pop-up menu.

Monitoring a Virtual Instrument

Virtual instruments usually load with a default sound; however, you should be sure that the virtual instrument you wish to monitor is set up correctly to generate audio. With the Output of an Instrument Track routed to the virtual instrument you wish to monitor, click on the Monitor button, and it turns blue.

You should now be able to play the Keyboard that you selected as the input to the Instrument Track and should see the Track meter moving, as well as hear the audio output of the virtual instrument. If you cannot hear the audio output of the virtual instrument, make sure that your virtual instrument is set up correctly and that the corresponding Audio Channels in the Console are not muted.

If you select the Instrument Input Follows Selection option in the Options menu, any Instrument Track you select automatically has Monitor and Record enabled, and all other Instrument Tracks have these disabled.

Monitoring an External Instrument

To monitor and record the hardware audio output of an external instrument, one or more Audio Tracks need to be created to receive that output. This means that your external instrument needs to be physically connected to one or more inputs on your audio interface. Thus, monitoring an external instrument involves the following:

  • The Output of an Instrument Track is routed to the external instrument, which has been set up to receive MIDI input from Studio One.
  • The Instrument Track is monitor-enabled.
  • One or more Audio Tracks have been created and configured to use the Input Channels to which the external instrument’s audio output is connected.
  • The Audio Tracks are monitor-enabled.

With the above conditions met, you can play your Keyboard and see the Instrument Track meter moving. You will also see the related Audio Track meters moving, as well as hear the live audio input from the external instrument.


Studio One Version 4.5

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