Instruments and Audio Effects

The Browser makes finding and using your virtual Instruments and audio effects fast and easy. Studio One provides many ways to view, sort, and search for items, both internally and externally via the Cloud and Shop tabs. The Thumbnail and Gallery views can be helpful, and you can even add an image for a 3rd-party plug-in if needed.

Browsing for Instruments

Click on the Instruments tab in the Browser or press [F6] on the keyboard to browse your virtual instruments.

Sorting the Instruments View

The list of virtual instruments can be sorted to help you find what you are looking for. Click on the Sort by options at the top of the Browser to sort by one of the following categories:

  • Flat Sorts the instruments in alphabetical order in a continuous list.
  • Folder Works much like Flat, but adds category folders. Folders can be used to quickly sort and find available instruments by function (such as Synth or Sampler). For more information, see Folders.
  • Vendor Sorts the instruments in folders by vendor.
  • Type Sorts the instruments in folders by type (PreSonus, ReWire, Audio Unit, VST2, VST3).

Dragging Virtual Instruments into Your Song

When you have found a virtual instrument you wish to use in your Song, you can simply click-and-drag it into the Arrange view from the Browser. If you drag the instrument into blank space, the virtual instrument is loaded in the Instruments Device Rack, and a new Instrument Track is created that is routed to the instrument. The new Track is record-enabled and monitor-enabled by default, so you can play it immediately with your default Keyboard.

If you drag-and-drop an instrument from the Browser on top of an existing Instrument Track that is routed to another virtual instrument, the previously loaded instrument is replaced by the new one. A pop-up menu appears, giving you the choice to Replace (remove the old instrument from the Instrument panel and replace it with the new), Combine (place the new and existing instruments into a new Multi Instrument), or Keep the old instrument (re-route the Track to address the new instrument and retain the old instrument in the Instrument panel).

Dragging External Instruments into Your Song

If you want to use an existing external instrument in your Song, simply click-and-drag it from the External Instruments folder onto an empty track in the Arrange view. A new Instrument Track is created that is routed to the external instrument, which is already mapped to any Aux Channels that were previously added to the instrument. The External Devices control mapping window opens when the new track is created, which provides an opportunity to add or disable Aux Channels as needed.

The new Track is record-enabled and monitor-enabled by default, so you can play it immediately with your default Keyboard.

Note that if you drag-and-drop an external instrument from the Browser on top of an existing Instrument Track that is routed to a virtual instrument, the previously loaded instrument is replaced by the new one.

Instrument Presets

The presets for Studio One’s built-in virtual instruments, as well as those associated with any 3rd-party instruments, can be loaded into your Song in the same way as an instrument. Drag-and-drop a preset from the Browser to load the instrument into your Song with that preset pre-loaded. Alternatively, when the instrument is open, you can load any preset for that instrument by simply double-clicking on the preset in the Browser or by clicking on the preset to select it and then hitting [Return]. If the editing window for an instrument is open, you can load any preset for that instrument by dragging the preset from the Browser onto the instrument window.

Browsing for Audio Effects

Click on the Effects tab in the Browser or press [F7] on the keyboard to find your audio effects.

Sorting the Audio Effects View

You can sort the list of audio effects to help you find what you are looking for. Click on the Sort By options at the top of the Browser to sort by one of the following categories:

  • Flat Sorts the effects in alphabetical order in a continuous list.
  • Folder Works much like Flat, but adds category folders. Folders can be used to quickly sort and find available effects by function (such as Distortion or Reverb). For more information, see Folders.
  • Vendor Sorts the effects in folders by vendor.
  • Type Sorts the effects in folders by the type of plug-in (FX Chains, PreSonus, VST2, VST3, Audio Units).

Searching for Effects

The Effects tab has a search function, as do all parts of the Browser. You can enable search by clicking the search button in the upper-right corner of the Browser. When searching for effects, you can type in an effects category (such as "Reverb" or "Dynamics") to show all effects in that category.

Dragging Audio Effects into your Song

Audio effects can be dragged into your Song in a number of ways, with slightly different results. To load an effect on an existing Audio Track, drag-and-drop the effect from the Browser onto any area of the Track in the Arrange view. You can also drag-and-drop an effect onto any Channel in the Console. If you prefer, you can even drag-and-drop an effect from the Browser directly into a particular position in the Insert Device Rack of any Channel. This also lets you to replace any currently loaded plug-in by dropping another plug-in on top of its slot in the Insert Device Rack.

To create a new FX Channel in the Console with a particular effect pre-loaded, drag-and-drop the effect from the Browser into any blank space in the Console or into the Send of any Channel. The new FX Channel is automatically given the name of the effect.

When dragging in effects from the browser onto Tracks in the arrangement, hold [Alt]/[Option] to load the effects as Event Effects instead of Insert Effects. Note that the drop target changes from the entire Track to specific Events when doing this, as every Event can have its own Event Effects.

Send FX Mix Lock

Inserting an effect into the first slot of a Bus/FX Channel sets dry/wet mix to 100% and enables a lock for the mix. The lock state is saved in the Song but is not overwritten/saved by presets. This exists in:

  • Beat Delay
  • Analog Delay
  • Groove Delay
  • MixVerb
  • Room Reverb

Audio Effects Presets and FX Chains

The presets for Studio One’s built-in audio effects and any 3rd-party effects can be loaded into your Song in the same way as the effects themselves. Drag-and-drop a preset from the Browser into your Song to load an instance of the effect with your chosen preset loaded. Alternatively, if the window for an Audio Effect is open, you can load any preset for that effect by dragging the preset from the Browser onto the Effect window, or by double-clicking on the preset in the Browser, or by clicking on the preset to select it and then hitting [Return] on the keyboard. FX Chains can be loaded in the same way, as described in the FX Chains section. This makes configuring even the most complicated mix quick and easy.

Folders

The Instruments and Effects tabs in the Browser each feature a sorting method called Folders. In this view, plug-ins can be sorted into category-specific folders, making it easy to choose from all available plug-ins that specialize in the function you're seeking (such as Distortion or Delay effects, or Synth or Sampler instruments). A set of category folders are provided by default, and some plug-ins are placed into their appropriate folders by default. You can move plug-ins into whatever folder makes sense to you, and create folders of your own to suit your needs.

  • To move a plug-in instrument or effect into a folder, drag-and-drop it from the list to the folder of your choice. You can also move plug-ins from folder to folder in this way.
  • To create a new folder, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click in the Browser, and choose [New Folder...] from the resulting pop-up menu. If you [Right]/[Ctrl]-click on an existing folder, your new folder is created as a sub-folder to the selected folder. If you [Right]/[Ctrl]-click in the list of plug-ins below the list of folders, your new folder is created as a top-level folder. Enter a name for the new folder, and click [OK] to create it. To cancel, click [Cancel].
  • To delete a folder, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the folder in the Browser, and choose [Delete Folder...] from the resulting pop-up menu. You will be prompted to confirm this deletion. Press [Yes] to delete the selected folder. Press [No] to cancel. You can also delete a folder by selecting it and pressing the [Delete] key on your computer keyboard. If any plug-ins are in a folder when it is deleted, they are moved to the list of non-categorized plug-ins below the folder list.
  • To rename a folder, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the folder in the Browser, and choose [Rename Folder...] from the pop-up menu. Enter a new name for the folder, and click [OK] to rename the folder. To cancel, click [Cancel].

Favorite and Recent Plug-ins

The Instruments and Effects tabs in the browser each offer a drop-down list of Favorites (chosen by you), and a Recent plug-ins list, which displays the 10 most recently used instruments or effects.

To mark a plug-in as a Favorite, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the plug-in in the Browser and choose [Favorite] from the resulting pop-up menu. That plug-in is now displayed when you open the Favorites list, for easy retrieval. To remove a plug-in from the Favorites list, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the plug-in (in the Favorites list or Browser) and choose [Favorite] from the pop-up menu.

You can also add and remove plug-ins from the Favorites list using the wrench-shaped button, as described below in the Managing Plug-ins section.

Hiding Plug-ins

To hide an effect or instrument plug-in, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click the plug-in in the Browser and choose [Hide] from the resulting pop-up menu. This removes the plug-in from the Browser list, hiding it from view. You can hide and un-hide plug-ins individually, by Vendor, or by Type using the Plug-In Manager as described in the next section.

Managing Plug-ins

There are two ways to manage the plug-ins in Studio One. Either locally as part of the Browser, or in a dedicated window with additional options.

The Manage Plug-ins view

Click the wrench-shaped button in the upper-right corner of the Browser to toggle the Manage Plug-ins view. A list of all plug-ins is displayed, sorted according to the currently selected sort method. To hide (or un-hide) a plug-in, click the circle to the left of its name. To add (or remove) a plug-in from the Favorites list, click the star to the left of its name.

To return to the normal Browser view, click the wrench-shaped button again.

The Plug-in Manager

To access the Plug-In Manager, click the Home tab in the Browser, then click on the Plug-In Manager button at the bottom. Alternatively, select the Plug-in Manager from the View menu. A window will open with all of the Plug-ins listed on the right and various filters on the left. From here it is possible to hide (for example) all of the plug-ins of a particular type, such as Audio Units, or all of the plug-ins from a particular vendor. You can search for particular plug-ins by name and hide only those plug-ins by clicking the dot to the left of their name.

A separate section of the Plug-In Manager lists all plug-ins that are currently blocklisted. These are plug-ins that failed during the plug-in scan for whatever reason. This could be missing resources, missing activation or any type of incompatibility with Studio One. In any case it may make sense to remove plug-ins from the blocklist so they're scanned again when Studio One is launched the next time. In this case you have two options. You can remove a single plug-in from the blocklist by selecting it and pressing the backspace/delete key. Or you can reset the entire blocklist by clicking the Reset Blocklist button.

In addition to the above, the Plug-In Manager has two links for more advanced options (you should only use if you cannot solve a particular problem any other way). Clicking "Turn Plug-In Formats on or off" will take you to the Advanced>Services tab of the Preferences window. Here you have the option to disable plug-in formats such as VST2, VST3 or Audio Units completely. Clicking "Change settings for VST Plug-Ins" will take you to the Locations>VST Plug-Ins tab of the Preferences window. See Setup > Managing Your Content for more details.

Reset and Revert

At times, you may wish to restore the Browser to its default hide/show and Favorites state, or to the state it was in before a recent change. To reset the Browser to its original state, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click in empty space within the Browser and choose [Reset] from the pop-up menu. This shows all hidden plug-ins, and removes all plug-ins from the Favorites list. To revert the Browser to its most recently saved state, [Right]/[Ctrl]-click in empty space within the Browser and choose [Revert] from the pop-up menu. This state is saved each time you exit Manage Plug-ins mode, and when quitting Studio One.

Sound Sets

The loops, samples, and instrument presets included with Studio One are bundled into Sound Sets and can be quickly located and used by clicking on the Files tab in the Browser and navigating to the Sound Sets folder. Sound Sets are carefully organized for easy exploration. Loops can also be browsed directly, by clicking on the Loops tab in the Browser.