Studio One Prime is a brand new free version of the Studio One digital audio workstation by Presonus. The free version is fully functional, although it is based on a limited set of audio processing tools and factory sounds.
The great thing about Studio One Prime is the fact that it functions like a full product (as opposed to a demo version), in the sense that you won’t be interrupted by annoying nag screens, time-outs or track number limitations. The program does have its fair share of limitations when compared to commercial versions of Studio One (Artist and Pro), but these limitations won’t pop-up out of nowhere to interrupt your music making workflow and nag you into purchasing the actual product. On the contrary, Studio One Prime provides a basic but solid sequencing platform for recording and mixing music, podcasts and other audio projects.
So, what are the limitations of Studio One Prime? First off, there’s no third party VST/AU plugin support, which means that you’re stuck with the set of nine built-in effects and the Presence sampler, at least when it comes to software instruments and effects. Of course, you can record any number of hardware instruments and effects through the audio input. Secondly, Studio One Prime doesn’t support groove extraction, transient detection, macros, and several other neat features that were introduced in Studio One 3.
On the other hand, you get unlimited tracks and automation lanes, a really useful collection of effects (including a channel strip, a distortion unit, chorus, reverb, delay, etc.), multi-track comping, 1.5 GB of high quality sample content and a great virtual sampler, high resolution audio processing, along with all of the other core features of Studio One. An in-depth comparison of all Studio One 3 versions is available here. If you’d like more power, you can activate a 30-day trial version of Studio One, or purchase one of the extensions in the Presonus shop.
Although it definitely isn’t a full-featured DAW like Podium Free (which is listed in our freeware VST host round-up), Studio One Prime offers a fantastic workflow which is great for beginners, or even experienced musicians who are looking for a free solution to record and mix their music. Due to the fact that it doesn’t support 3rd party plugins, Studio One Prime isn’t a good choice for people who are used to working with virtual instruments and effects. But if you’re looking for a platform to record your band, your guitar, your own voice or your awesome collection of hardware synthesizers, the free version of Studio One is definitely worth checking out.
To download your free copy of Studio One Prime, add the product to your shopping cart on the product page linked below and proceed to free checkout (you’ll also need to sign up for a free Presonus user account). Once you’re done, simply download the installer and activate Studio One Prime using the provided product key. The free 1.5 GB collection of sample content is available as a separate download.
Studio One Prime is available for free download via Presonus (90.7 MB download size, EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit standalone application for Windows & Mac OS).