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Studio One 5.4: Plug-in Nap & Real-time Chord Detection

PreSonus Studio One Tips & Techniques By Robin Vincent
Published December 2021

The new Plug‑in Nap feature puts your plug‑ins to sleep when they’re not passing audio, to free up your CPU. The crescent moon icon next to a listing in the Performance Monitor indicates when a plug‑in is putting its feet up.The new Plug‑in Nap feature puts your plug‑ins to sleep when they’re not passing audio, to free up your CPU. The crescent moon icon next to a listing in the Performance Monitor indicates when a plug‑in is putting its feet up.

The new 5.4 update includes intelligent chord detection, plug-in nap, M1 compatibility and much more.

The Studio One 5.4 update contains some good news for Apple M1 users, adds intelligent chord detection and display so you can really see what’s going on, saves you minutes by exporting to every format all at once, and catches a load of plug‑ins napping on the job — for good reason.

Dynamic Plug-in Nap

Most of us will be familiar with the idea of managing our plug‑in load. When those super‑big projects get a bit intense, we find the CPU performance meter starts to flirt with the overflow, and we’re rewarded with the odd pop and click, or things start to slow down to crawl. To free up a bit of processing headroom, we might render out or bounce a track or two with their effects to a new track, and disable the original track in order to unload the plug‑ins. A better way to do this is what everyone else calls ‘freezing’ but Studio One calls Track Transform. It’s an automated way of bouncing that track and releasing those plug‑ins, but one where you can quickly return to the original state if you need to edit the plug‑ins or instruments in it. It’s become a handy and common feature in every DAW.

PreSonus have had some further thoughts on this, and they’ve come up with an idea that should help reduce the amount of freezing/Track Transforming you need to do. They are calling it Plug‑in Nap, which is an adorable way of describing how Studio One will dynamically turn off plug‑ins that are not doing anything in order to free up CPU cycles for those that are.

Plug‑in Nap can be found in the Performance Monitor window (shown above). The Performance Monitor in version 5.4 shows you a list of all the loaded plug‑ins and their impact on the CPU. It’s actually an excellent place to spot where a particular plug‑in might be hogging the CPU or misbehaving as you play back your song. When you enable Plug‑in Nap, Studio One will detect when an effect plug‑in is not in use and quietly and humanely send it to sleep. The CPU usage value will be replaced with a crescent moon (shhh, it’s taking a nap). You can imagine how you often have a structure where different sections of a song are using other tracks,...

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