Set Up Your MIDI Devices
All MIDI-capable hardware devices are collectively referred to as External Devices in Studio One. There are three types of External Devices: Keyboards, Instruments, and Control Surfaces. While each device type functions in a slightly different way, there is one menu to add and configure any External Device. The menu can be found by navigating to Studio One > Options > External Devices > Add Device (macOS: Preferences > External Devices > Add Device).
Set Up MIDI Keyboards
A MIDI keyboard controller is a hardware MIDI device that is generally used for playing and controlling other MIDI devices, virtual software instruments, and software parameters. In Studio One, these devices are referred to as Keyboards. Before recording a performance with a Keyboard, the MIDI keyboard controller must first be set up in Studio One. Once a Keyboard is set up, it is available at all times for use in Studio One.
To set up either your keyboard, drum pads or any MIDI device that sends MIDI note messages, navigate to Studio One > Options > External Devices (macOS: Preferences > External Devices) and follow these steps:
- In the Options > External Devices menu (macOS: Preferences > External Devices), click on the [Add...] button.
- Choose your device from the predefined device list or set this to New Keyboard if you do not see your device in the list. If set to New Keyboard, you may wish to type in a Manufacturer Name and a Device Name in the appropriate fields. This makes identifying your Keyboard easier.
- Specify which MIDI channels to used to communicate with this Keyboard. All MIDI channels are selected by default. If you are unsure of the appropriate MIDI channels to use, just leave this at the default setting.
- Engage Split Channels if you would like to create a separate Instrument Track input for each MIDI channel from the Keyboard.
- Specify the device to which the Keyboard is sending and the device from which it is receiving via Studio One. Select your device driver name from the drop-down menu for both Receive From and Send To.
- You can choose to use this Keyboard as your Default Virtual Instrument Input by checking the appropriate box. If you are using only one Keyboard with Studio One, you should check this box.
- Your Keyboard is now ready for use in Studio One. Click on the "+" button in the External window of the Console to quickly set up a new Keyboard or other External Device.
Set Up External Hardware Instruments
In Studio One, an External Instrument is an external MIDI hardware synthesizer, workstation, or other device that can generate or manipulate sound. External instruments are set up globally and then are available for use in any Song.
To set up your Instrument, navigate to Studio One > Options > External Devices (macOS: Preferences > External Devices) and follow these steps:
- In the Options/External Devices menu, click on the [Add...] button.
- In the left-hand browser, choose your device from the predefined device list. Set this to New Instrument if you do not see your device in the list. If set to New Instrument, you may wish to type in a Manufacturer Name and a Device Name in the appropriate fields. This makes identifying your New Instrument easier.
- Specify which MIDI channels to use to communicate with this Instrument. MIDI Channel 1 is selected by default. If you are unsure of the appropriate MIDI channels to use, just leave this at the default setting.
- Specify the device to which Studio One is sending MIDI and the device from which the software is receiving MIDI. Select the appropriate MIDI device from the drop-down menu for Send To and (optionally) Receive From. It is likely your external instrument is not connected directly to your computer. In this case, your external instrument must be physically connected to another MIDI device (such as a MIDI interface) that does connect to your computer; you need to select the driver for that device.
- You can choose to send MIDI Clock to this Instrument and/or use MIDI Clock Start by checking the appropriate boxes. You should send MIDI Clock to your Instrument if it has a built-in sequencer or components (such as LFOs) that need to sync to Studio One. Enabling MIDI Clock Start sends MIDI Clock Start signals to your Instrument.
- You can choose to send MIDI Time Code to this Instrument. You can set a Display Offset under Song/Song Setup/General to correct for time-code variances with external devices.
- You can vary the speed at which Automated MIDI CC messages are transmitted, using the CC Automation Interval slider. You can vary the value between 10-100ms, with the default value being 10ms.
- MPE(MIDI Polyphonic Expression): Enable MPE if your Instrument is able to receive MPE data.
- Use the Pitch Range field to specify the range of the instrument.
Your external instrument is now available for use in any Song. To use an external instrument in a Song, be sure that an Instrument Track is routed to it and that the appropriate Audio Tracks have been added and configured. Refer to Monitoring an External Instrument for more on this topic.
Note: If your instrument is also a controller (such as a keyboard workstation), you need to set it up twice. First, set it up as an External Instrument without a Receive From selection, and then set it up as a Keyboard, without a Send To selection. This allows the keyboard-controller section of the workstation to be used as a source for Instrument Tracks, while allowing the synthesizer section to be used as an external instrument.
Set Up Control Surfaces
In Studio One, a Control Surface is a hardware device that includes transport controls, faders, and other specialized controls. The control surface might use MIDI directly or via a special control layer such as Mackie Control.
To set up a Control Surface, do the following:
1. In the Options > External Devices menu (macOS: Preferences > External Devices, click on the [Add...] button.
2. Choose your device from the predefined device list. Set this to New Control Surface if you do not see your device in the list. If set to New Control Surface, you may wish to type in a Manufacturer Name and a Device Name in the appropriate fields. This makes identifying the Control Surface easier.
3. Specify the device to which the Control Surface is sending and the device from which it is receiving via Studio One. Select your MIDI device driver name from the drop-down menu for both Receive From and Send To.
4. You do not need to specify the MIDI channels your Control Surface should use, as control surfaces use alternative protocols, such as Mackie Control, to communicate with Studio One.
5. Your Control Surface is now ready for use in Studio One.
For more information on using Mackie Control devices with Studio One, see Mackie Control in the Studio One Manual.
Custom Placement of Control Surfaces
If you are using multiple surfaces with motorized faders, you can customize the placement of the fader banks so that Channels in the Studio One Console are spread across your surfaces in the desired order.
To customize this placement, click on [Placement] in the Options > External Devices menu after adding your surfaces. All ungrouped surfaces appear under the Ungrouped tab. To place a surface in a group, select a Group tab, then click-and-drag the surface from the Ungrouped area to the selected group area. To adjust the order of the grouped surfaces, click-and-drag them left or right. Channels in the Console appear in order across the surfaces from left to right.
Up to four Groups can be created, to allow for mirroring of Channels across multiple surfaces. This is helpful if you have more than one location in the studio where you wish to use control surfaces (e.g., an A room and B room or a control room and live room).
Only supported and predefined Control Surfaces appear in the Placement window. User-defined devices do not appear in this window.
Use Your Computer Keyboard as a MIDI Keyboard
You can use your regular QWERTY computer keyboard as a MIDI Keyboard to play virtual instruments and record musical data in Studio One. To do this, add a new device in the Studio One > Options > External Devices > Add Device menu (macOS: Preferences/External Devices > Add Device), choosing the QWERTY Keyboard device from the PreSonus device folder.
With the device added, to use your keyboard as a MIDI Keyboard, open the interface for the QWERTY Keyboard device by double-clicking on it in the External panel of the Console. Any record-enabled Instrument Track then receives input from the QWERTY Keyboard, as shown in the QWERTY Keyboard device interface. Your keyboard only transmits data to Instrument Tracks while the QWERTY Keyboard device interface is open.
Using the PreSonus FaderPort
If you have a PreSonus FaderPort connected to a computer running macOS or Microsoft Windows, Studio One automatically recognizes it and configures it for use. Just open a Song or Project to use the FaderPort immediately.
In most applications, when MIDI devices become disconnected while the application is running, you usually have to restart the application, and the software may crash. In contrast, if an external MIDI device becomes disconnected while Studio One is running with a Song or Project open, the device can be reconnected without restarting Studio One.
If this occurs, navigate to Studio One > Options > External Devices (macOS: Preferences > External Devices) and click on [Reconnect] at the bottom of the menu. Then reconnect your devices and click OK. The devices should now work normally in Studio One.
If an external device is not present when Studio One is started—for instance, if you’re traveling and don’t have some of your gear with you— the application still runs normally. You should see a warning message that makes you aware of the situation. If your setup frequently changes, you may wish to turn off this warning message by disengaging the Notify Me If Devices Are Unavailable When Studio One Starts option.
Later, when you start Studio One with the device connected to your computer, Studio One recognizes the device automatically, and it can be used exactly as before, with no further setup required.