Studio One has a neat trick for updating your master when editing tracks
As mentioned over the years, I use several different DAWs because each has its own attributes. Of these, Studio One has a unique integration between its multitrack Song page and mastering-oriented Project page. If only other programs had the same feature…but fortunately, it turns out that even if they don’t, they can make friends with the one that does.
In Studio One you can mix your song down to stereo, and export it directly into the Project page for mastering. The unique aspect is if you’re putting together a collection of songs and find that, for example, the vocal on one of the songs is a little soft compared to the others, you can switch over to it in the Song page, make the change, then remix it automatically back into its place in the Project page. The Project page then contains the new mix.
It’s easy to assume that to take advantage of this, you need to start your song in Studio One. But that’s not quite the case. I often taken songs created in other programs, and export all the song tracks as individual files (“stems”). I then import them into a new Studio One Song, verify that it sounds the same as it did in the original program, and mix the stems down to the Project page.
For example, the screen shot above shows the export process for individual Cakewalk by BandLab tracks prior to loading them into Studio One for mastering. Of course, this same technique works for other programs as well.
Now I can proceed with the mastering. But if a tweak is needed, it’s easy to make any changes to the individual stems—change levels, EQ, even add processing if needed. And if the stem has some horrible flaw that the Song page can’t fix, it’s always possible to go back to the original program, make the fix, and re-export the stem.
Oh, and if you’re thinking “but then I have to learn another DAW”—what I’ve described uses only a fraction of Studio One’s feature set. I figured out how to do it a couple hours, so I’m sure you can too. It’s definitely a “best of both worlds” situation.