This is an extremely well-written book that I can easily recommend to almost anyone that uses Studio One 2, the award-winning DAW from PreSonus. The only people that would not benefit from it are those that already possess the daunting amount of knowledge that the author obviously does. The writing style is smooth-flowing and easy to read; I found I could just sit and read it, away from the computer, and still take most of it in, unlike a typical software manual. That said, this book does not replace the Studio One manual as a complete reference guide, because not everything is covered. What is covered is start-to-finish detailed instruction of the functions most people are likely to use in a typical music- production workflow. For instance, the book does not cover every effect that comes with Studio One, but it does cover the ones that the author considers essential: Channel Strip, Dual Pan, Compressor, Pro EQ, Limiter, and Open AIR Reverb. Also, the index spans just over two pages and is not comprehensive. For example, the book discusses Exploding Pitches to Tracks, which is great for MIDI drums. I wanted to re-read the section. I could not remember the word "explode". The only reference to the word "pitch" is "pitch snap" in the index. So I leafed through the book, eventually found the section, and then found that "explode" is not in the index either.

But that's also an example of many features I hadn't discovered in Studio One until I read this book. Another trick I didn't know is using the Melodyne integration to derive the tempo of an audio track. That's covered in the included DVD- ROM, which has 103 minutes of video tutorials as individual MP4 files (H.264 encoded) that can be easily copied to a hard drive, smartphone, or tablet. The videos are just straight screen- captured movies with the author narrating as he works through the example. They are great in terms of instruction, but the production value does not match the high-quality layout of the book at all. Ironically, they could use a lot more editing. I found myself importing the videos into a video workstation to speed them up. In contrast, the book is a professional presentation with an average of five black-and-white screenshots per page.

One approach of the book that I appreciated a lot is the author noting the terms that other DAWs use for similar functions. So, we find that Audio Bend in Studio One is called Elastic Audio, Audio Warp, Audio Snap, and Flex Audio in other DAWs. The downside is that since these terms are not in the book's index, if you are trying to switch from another DAW, you can't just look them up. Most thoughtfully, in the "Getting Started" chapter, the author lists popular DAW features that Studio One does not have yet, so at least you can avoid digging for something that is not there.

The only aspect of the book that truly annoyed me was the use of QR codes (the pixelated-looking squares you see in advertising everywhere) for web links. At first, I thought this was a genius way to keep certain information current, but there are a few fatal flaws. First, the QR codes are linked directly to third-party websites, so when those sites change, the QR codes go to broken links. The publisher should have set up a site with forwarding links so they could be kept current. QR code #2 in the book is already broken. Second, the most convenient way to scan these codes is with a smartphone, but that's not the funnest thing to surf the web on. I starting pasting the links into emails and sending them to myself so I could view them on a computer. This got tedious. At this point, I wished I could just type them in, but the actual link is not listed. I stopped using the QR codes.

The chapter titles are: "Getting Started," "Songs," "Tracks," "Recording Audio," "Editing Audio," "Audio Bend and Quantize," "Melodyne Integration," "Instrument Parts and Virtual Instruments," "The Studio One Console," "Working with Effects," "Essential Built-in Effects," "Automation," "Mixing and Exporting," "The Project Page," and "Releasing."

I switched to Studio One pretty soon after it was released [Tape Op #76]. With a few years under my belt, I am pretty capable with the DAW, but I learned that I was doing a lot of things the hard way. I said, "I didn't know that!" to myself quite a lot while reading this book. It's clear that the author knows Studio One - and a few other things about audio production - inside and out. Since it is not intended to be a reference manual, you'll probably need to read the whole thing from start to finish at least once. The upside is, the author makes this easy and quick to do. Chances are, you'll learn a lot. This is an easy $16.99 if you're a Studio One 2 user. If not, it may help you decide if you want to switch from your current DAW. ($16.99 MSRP;

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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