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Using Studio One's Mixing Console

PreSonus Studio One Tips & Techniques By Robin Vincent
Published May 2023

The fully expanded console view.The fully expanded console view.

We explore the mixing possibilities offered by Studio One’s console.

You’ve recorded your audio, programmed your MIDI, and your arrangement is complete. Now it’s time to turn your attention to mixing. That’s not to say you must follow those steps in producing your music. You may find that you mix as you go, rearrange as you mix, or only touch the faders as an absolute last resort; we’re open to all workflows in Studio One. But you need to have at least something done before you begin mixing.

Studio One refers to the mixer window as the console, and you switch it into the space usually held by the editor. You can also detach it and spread it across multiple screens. It’s wonderfully fluid and dynamic, squashing and stretching depending on how much height you give it. You may find some of the sections are hidden, only to be revealed as you pull the window up.

You can have all sorts of track types represented in the console. There are input channels, audio tracks, instrument channels, auxes, buses, FX channels and outputs. What’s the difference between an aux, a bus and an FX channel? Good question. Aux channels are for mixing in external sources through your audio interface that you don’t want to record (because if you did, you’d use an input channel). Bus channels are for creating submixes of other channels. FX channels are for creating send effects. 

Channel Strip

What you see on a channel strip is very configurable. If you click on the little spanner at the top left of the mixer, you can show or hide a bunch of different components.

If all of them are present, you’ll have input gain and polarity controls at the top, followed by insert effects, and then sends. In the next section, around the fader, we get panning, mute/solo, monitoring/record enable, the fader with level monitoring, a peak indicator, and VCA assignment. Then track type, grouping and automation mode. The section at the bottom holds channel notes (as in text notes, not musical) and the track icon, followed by the track name.

Most commonly, you’ll find that your console will show just the inserts and sends, and then the basic fader, panning and mute/solo controls; otherwise it can all get a bit busy. Talking of which, there are a couple of buttons to the bottom left of the console that can help tidy it up. The first one is a button with two triangles pointing at each other vertically. This removes the top half of the console. The one beneath it with horizontal triangles makes the console super‑narrow and compact.

The channel strip actually appears in three different places in Studio One. You’ve got it in the console along with every other channel, ready for that big mixer experience. But you’ve also got a version of it in the Inspector, to the side of the arrangement window. A larger, more expanded version is available in the Channel Editor, which is new in version 6, and comes up if you click the little pack‑of‑cards icon to the bottom right of the fader.


FX Chains are selections of plug‑ins bundled together for specific tasks. Here’s a selection of FX Chains intended for processing guitar.FX Chains are selections of plug‑ins bundled together for specific tasks. Here’s a selection of FX Chains intended for processing guitar.Inserts are plug‑ins...

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