The Browser is an awesome tool for finding fx plugins, virtual instruments, and files of various types. It starts with a simple Home window that gives you linked buttons for:
· Instruments [F6]
· Effects [F7]
· Sounds [F8]
· Files [F9]
· Pool [F10]
It’s a very important part of your production toolkit and makes quick work of finding what you’re looking for. It also allows the working producer to perform certain processing of files without ever having to leave the browser window. Let’s dig in and see what it has!
As you can see from the screen shot, the Home browser window is very simply laid out and easy to understand. Just click on an icon and the browser will change to a Mac/Windows-style file browser that specifically shows files of the type you selected.
Clicking “Instruments” [F6] shows you the installed virtual instruments in your system and their associated presets. Select your instrument/preset and drag it to a new track.
The “FX” [F7] works in similar fashion. Click on an effect/present and drag it to a track (or create a new track by dragging it into an empty space). “FX Chains” are included here. This nifty little folder shows preset and user defined plug-in chains. That’s really cool because you can insert several FX plugs on a track and then save them all (with their individual settings) as an FX Chain – making them easy to recall instantly!
A very handy feature is the “Update Plug-Ins” button which rescans your plug-ins folder for any newly added plugins. There’s also a “Re-Index Presets” button that rescans to see if any new presets have been added. Once clicked your new presets should appear in the list.
The “Sounds” [F8] section shows what is says….sounds. All your installed Presonus Soundsets are shown here. Nuff said!
The “Files” [F9]section looks like your standard browser window that shows a link to your desktop, your documents folder, the Studio One folder (also known as the Content folder), your computer volumes (handy for navigating to your samples folder), and any attached servers (Exchange/SoundCloud). You can even create TABs to point directly to your Samples / Audio drives.
The Pool [F10] icon shows any files used in the current song. This includes full audio tracks, Audio and Instrument Loops, Instrument presets, MIDI, and REX files. In the case of Audio and Instrument Loops, and REX files, the browser has an arrow next to these files. Clicking the arrow shows the individual slices that make up the loop file. This is very handy if you want to single out one particular slice for individual processing or for very detailed micro editing.
Speaking of editing, when an audio file is selected in the browser, [RIGHT]-clicking brings up a context-sensitive menu that allows you send your file to SampleOne – Studio One’s very capable sampler – for use as an instrument. This menu also allows other options like:
· Convert to Audioloop
· Convert to Wav File (from non-wav files, including AudioLoops and REX files! What? For FREE?!?!) **
· Split to Mono Files (when you select a stereo file, obviously!)
· Merge to Stereo File (when you select 2 mono files! It seems Presonus are trying to make this easy!)
** MP3 is included here but is done automatically when you import the file…again, for FREE! And the new wav file inherits the song’s settings (frequency, bit rate).
By the way, you can also drag in MIDI files from the browser AND it will separate a MIDI file into its individual MIDI channels and create tracks for each. How cool is that? All you have to do then is drop an instrument on the track and you’re rolling!
One last thing: You can audition audio and MIDI files from the Browser’s Audition window. Not only can you audition files in their original tempo (looped or not); but also in your song’s tempo. There’s even a volume slider so you can mix the audio file in with your song without ever leaving the browser.
There’s more to the Browser that I’ve forgotten and I’ve had a couple of forehead slapping moments when I remembered something it can do, so dig in and check it out. It may save you some time and headache.
B is for Browser: Simple. Powerful. FUN!