Monday, November 23, 2020

FREEWARE DAW REVIEW: Presonus Studio One 5 Prime


Further to the Freeware/Entry level DAW review from last month, I can now add a brief rundown of another contender, Presonus Studio One Prime which you can download free of charge from the Presonus website

Major point right from the start is that there is no third party VST support so anyone looking for an open ended freeware DAW that supports the vast range of third party VST plug-ins available, then you should probably head straight over to Soundbridge's website at  

Good news is that 'Prime' is supplied with a couple of instrument soundware packages. Pack 1 (155mb) and Pack 2 (1.53gb) As I write this I'm currently spending 2020's COVID lockdown 2 in the North East of England with a limited broadband package so I've only downloaded the smaller of the two packages, but the sounds seem of pretty good quality and variety, ideal for most songwriter applications. So Pack 2, being ten times the size, will hugely expand the available sounds. I'll check out Pack 2 and update this post when I have access to a faster, unlimited broadband connection.  

So 'Prime' as it stands is really useful only as an introduction to the larger Studio One packages with VST support or maybe for singer/songwriter/demo applications where a set of 'Rompler' style 'everyday' sounds is all that is required. 

Prime presented no real challenges in terms of setting up audio and MIDI and I was able to quickly set up my Alesis i02 audio/MIDI interface. 

Prime is essentially supplied with one instrument: PrescenceXT, a sample and preset player that is used to load the Presonus sounds. It has synth style editing and an effects suite and you can load up many instances of it and load them with different sounds to make up your song/track. 
Further good news here is that I did get PresenceXT to load some .sf2 soundfont files,though not .sfz type soundfonts. There are still quite a few sources of soundfonts around so this further expands 'Prime's' sound generating possibilities.  

Studio One Presence XT Instrument

So what you have is a really tidily and professionally presented multitrack audio/MIDI DAW with the 'standard' piano roll style editing with more 'in depth' inspection editing available within each piano roll 'block' (see below).

Studio One Prime Inspection Editor

Double clicking a track opens the mixer page where inserts and bus effects and processing can be setup and edited and, of course, track levels can be adjusted and mixed. 
A really nice suite of processors is supplied including a 'channel strip' processor for compression and 3 band parametric EQ, a reverb, chorus, flanger and a great sounding phaser with up to twenty stages are also supplied.

Studio One Prime Mixer and FX Browser

A guitar amp emulator called 'Ampire' is supplied with a single 'Marshall' virtual amplifier and cabinet choice which gives the guitarist/writer at least one amplifier option. When scrolling over the 'Ampire' logo the cursor becomes a hand in the shape of the 'sign of the horns'. An amusing touch. A distortion pedal called 'Red Light' is also supplied for guitarists.

Studio One Prime Ampire.

Presonus Studio One Prime Conclusion

So the 'elephant in the room' so to speak is the lack of third party VST support which really makes 'Prime' useful primarily as an introduction and training platform to Studio One. Given that Presonus' software DAW is gaining in popularity all the time, this is an important role for it. 
However the generous and varied supplied soundware packs for the 'Prescence' instrument and the powerful effects suite may provide enough ongoing facilities for songwriters and guitarist/writers for developing and producing songs and demos.

Automatic latency compensation is employed and finished works can be exported as MP3 files. 

Presonus Studio One Prime Essential Info:

Number of Tracks: . Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks. Limited only by CPU power.
Supplied Plug-Ins: Prescence XT with two additional soundware packs.
Third Party Plug In Support: No. 
Cost: Freeware. 

Quick and easy to setup and use. 
Varied and high quality instrument packs supplied. 
Unlimited audio/MIDI tracks.
Perfect training platform for the very popular Studio One DAW.

No third party VST plug-in support. 

Hope you found this post useful and informative, why not follow/like my Facebook Page for more software reviews, FREE instruments and soundware and music technology news and information. 


The information contained within this blog post is offered on an informal basis and is correct to the best of my knowledge. I accept no responsibility for outcomes arising from the mis/interpretation or use of this information and/or associated download files. Always download files via security/scanning software. 


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