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Studio One: FX Chains

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

FX Chains let you apply complex processing chains using an unlimited number of stock and third‑party plug‑ins.FX Chains let you apply complex processing chains using an unlimited number of stock and third‑party plug‑ins.

Get creative with Studio One’s FX Chains.

You’re probably very familiar with dropping effects onto mixer channels or creating effects buses. You have a range of plug‑ins to choose from — Studio One Professional comes with nearly 40 plug‑ins as standard, and you can add countless third‑party ones until you have them coming out of your ears. While a stack of your favourite plug‑ins might well do the job nicely, Studio One’s Extended FX Chains have the ability to transform your plug‑ins into something else entirely. You can design your own signal flow, combining and splitting plug‑ins in interesting ways to produce creative and sometimes surprising results.

Chain Reaction

With regular chains of effects you stack up plug‑ins in the insert section of the mixer channel. You can rearrange their order, turn them on and off, and access the GUI for each one with a single click. Or, if you have keen eyesight, you can edit them in place in the mini editor that appears in the insert space. Once you’ve put your chain together you may find that you’d like to use this same combination of effects on another track or in another project. You can drag copies of those effects over to other channels, or you can save the settings of each plug‑in as a preset and then make a note of the ones you’re using and re‑insert them in another project. It’s not very difficult, but it is a bit long‑winded.

If you look under the down arrow next to the Inserts you’ll see the FX Chains folder, which not only contains a whole bunch of preset chains using Studio One’s stock plug‑ins, but also the ability to store your own FX Chains, containing however many plug‑ins you want from any source. Preset and user‑generated FX Chains also exist in the Browser under the Effects tab.

The presets are worth exploring for an instant solution to many mixing scenarios, and these could at the very least be a good jumping‑off point for your processing.

Extended FX Chains

So, at what point do FX Chains become ‘Extended’? Well, once you start fiddling with their routing, and for that we need the Channel Editor. The Channel Editor is used in all sorts of scenarios, often without the user knowing that it’s working. It forms a wrapper around all the plug‑in GUIs and is there whenever you open an effect editor. If you were intending to edit the plug‑in parameters then what you see is the GUI for that plug‑in. Along the top there are tabs for all the other plug‑ins inserted onto that channel. If you didn’t realise this...

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