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Studio One: Lead Architect

PreSonus Studio One: Tips & Techniques By Robin Vincent
Published June 2024

The main Lead Architect page features at its heart a triangular vector control, with which you can balance the three source sounds.The main Lead Architect page features at its heart a triangular vector control, with which you can balance the three source sounds.

We put Studio One v6.6's new Lead Architect synth instrument through its paces.

I’ve been reviewing Studio One for SOS since version 3, and in every review since, I’ve moaned about the fact that PreSonus haven’t come up with any new instruments since Mai Tai. That was nearly 10 years ago. Well, guess what they snuck into version 6.6? That’s right, it’s a brand‑new and sparkly virtual instrument. Let me introduce you to Lead Architect.

Lead Architect is a sample‑based virtual instrument with synth‑style filtering, modulation and effects. With a stylish, sci‑fi‑looking front end and a bit more depth hidden behind the scenes, it has the aroma of one of those Kontakt‑based instruments that comes with a large library of sampled sounds and the impression of synthesis. Lead Architect builds its sound through the combination of three parts, each with its own editable synth engine. There are over 140 presets, made from a selection of around 100 individual sound parts. The marketing tells us that the sounds come from sampled vintage synths, field recordings and more.


The presets themselves are very bold and full of crackling energy. The sounds are high‑velocity, dramatic and very, very loud. Designed, perhaps, to knock your socks off with aggressive hits, stabs, strikes and other acts of synth violence, underpinned with dirt and distress. The presets are quite dry and don’t have a whole lot of movement going on, but they certainly have an impact and throw you right into the melee if you’re coming up with your latest club banger. More liveliness can be found in the Arpeggiator section, and some of those pads are deep and pendulous in all the right ways. I expected a bit more mystery and spacey meanderings, but as a synth for being the architect of leads, it definitely does its job.

The instrument comes with a bunch of ‘musicloop’ files designed for specific presets. You’ll find them under Files / Sound Sets / Lead Architect. If you drag them into your project, Studio One will load the right preset and you have instant lead lines, bass lines and EDM‑style loops that you can arrange and edit into your own tracks. They are pretty funky and a great way to get to know Lead Architect.

Front End

On the Global page, most of the action revolves around the translucent triangular panels in the centre of the window. They form a sort of three‑sided X/Y pad where you can move a small floating white triangle to create a mix, in a vector‑synthesis style, between the three loaded parts. You get one part on each side of the triangle array, and they are colour‑coded yellow, red and blue. The triangular sections work really well in guiding you towards interesting ratios between the parts. There are also three small triangles at the points of the inner triangle that essentially solo the part they are pointing at. The triangles are definitely working for me.

To the left we have a macro filter control that globally controls the filter cutoff of all three parts. To the right is an envelope that affects the shape of the amplifier envelope for each part, either individually or globally. Both these controls are extensions of the part editors, rather than something applied over the overall sound. They provide some handy quick control without having to page through the parts. 

Sample Shift, next to the cutoff, is designed to fool you into thinking you’re...

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