Is Studio One Good For Film Scoring?

If you are looking for DAW software for Film Scoring you may be wondering, “Is Studio One Good For Film Scoring?” Let’s take a look at some of Studio One’s strengths and weaknesses and how Studio One stacks up.

Is Studio One Good For Film Scoring?

Yes, Studio One is a great tool for film scoring. You can compose with traditional notation, drum notation, and even tablature. Studio One is a complete DAW platform that will allow you to build your compositions from scratch, use unlimited tracks, incorporate any virtual instrument you need, compose and edit with MIDI, track, mix, and master your productions all in one DAW software package. Studio One currently has some limitations on how many videos you can incorporate to work with on a score project and also large projects with hundreds of tracks have a slow save time.

What Is Film Scoring?

Wikipedia defines film scoring as, “A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question.”

So, film scoring is creating original music for films that enhance the emotion of the people watching the film to help create a better viewer experience.

Music created for film will set the mood, create different emotions, and helps immerse the viewer into the film by adding an audible emotional experience to a visual film.

The film score is a very powerful tool that breathes life into the film.

Video Credit: Anton Holmbom

Is Studio One Good For Composing?

Studio One Professional is a great tool for composing your own music.

If you want to work with traditional notation you can compose with Studio Ones Notion software.

You can create unlimited tracks to compose any style of music that you like.

You can view your composition in multiple tracks or single tracks.

Also, you can print off your work directly from Studio One.

So, if you are into traditional music notation Studio One Professional has some great tools that you can work with.

Some folks prefer to compose with a midi keyboard and Studio Ones Notion Software will also let you write your composition with a MIDI keyboard.

You can play your composition directly into the Notion software to create individual tracks.

Once the tracks are created you can play back your composition in real time to see how your work sounds.

You can even load the video you are composing for into the video player to compose in real time along to the video you are working on.

Midi And Virtual Instruments

Another thing I really like about Studio One is that it is designed to seamlessly work with MIDI and Virtual Instruments.

EastWest Virtual Instruments

Studio One Professional comes with a nice selection of Virtual Instruments that you can use on your projects.

You are not limited to only using Studio Ones virtual instruments.

Studio One Professional has designed their software to be compatible with almost any Virtual Instrument on the market today.

If you are serious about composing great music then you will want to use some great virtual instruments like: EastWest Sounds, Spitfire Audio, Luftrum Sound Designs, and many other Virtual Instruments.

Studio One Professional makes it very easy to compose with limitless tracks and virtual instruments.

Get yourself a MIDI keyboard and a good library of Virtual Instruments. There is nothing that you can’t create.

The only things that may limit you are your own creativeness and the power of your computer.

Relevant Article: Can You Play Any Instrument On A MIDI Keyboard? Great Information For You!

Is Studio One Good For Composing And Scoring To Video?

PreSonus Studio One Professional

If you are composing for a film or video project, it will be very important to be able to watch the video while you are composing.

There will be scenes where you will need to start or end a music cue.

This will be important to you as the composer because the music has to be timed exactly to the video in order to be effective.

There are grumblings amongst some film composers that Studio One is limited in how many video clips you can work with in a project and the number of tracks you can use without having long auto save times.

When you are in the creative process you don’t want the DAW software you are using to completely take over the screen for an auto save function and have to wait 2-3 minuets to get back into your work flow.

Sometimes a creative idea comes and goes quickly and it’s important to be able to get the idea sketched out while it’s on your mind.

So, I can see where this would be frustrating when you are trying to be creative.

Hopefully Studio One will make some improvements in this area in the near future.

Studio One Professional is a great DAW software and can work well for any type of project you need but there may be some other DAW software packages that work better for Film Scoring.

It’s just going to depend on how many tracks you will need and how many video clips you will need to work with.

What Other DAW’s Are Good For Film Scoring?

If you have a look around the internet you will find many film composers like to work with Logic Pro and Cubase.

I think the main reason for this is that these DAW software packages have better video functions and quicker auto save times that do not interrupt the creative flow.

Yes, there are other DAW packages that film composers like to work with and I’m not trying to exclude anyone here.

I’m just sharing with you that a lot of film composers like to work with Logic Pro and Cubase.

In fact, while I was doing some research, I learned that many film and video composers have tried Studio One Professional.

Everything went great except when they needed to work with hundreds of tracks the auto save was slow and the ability to reference more than one video clip to compose with.

What Others Are Saying

Direct QuoteSource
“But the biggest issue for me and the reason I’m considering going back to Logic is that autosave takes forever the bigger the template. In Logic I have 400 tracks and autosave is happening in the background every 5 minutes without me noticing anything. But in Studio one I started building a template and it already takes liek 1-2 minutes everytime for autosave, which is not happening in the background, but actively in the foreground, stopping everything you are doing at that moment so you have to wait until the autosave is over.”
“Studio One isn’t really that great for video scoring, there are few controls over the video. There isn’t really a way to scrub through the video in Studio One which makes it very difficult to use. You also can only work with one Video at a time in a project.”
“PreSonus knows about these video feature requests you mentioned. Last year they’ve added the video export function which is a great improvement if you ask me. And I’m sure we will get more video features but it will take its time.”
“First, S1 is brilliantly better than Cubase for writing quickly and naturally. I love the software, but Video in S1 is almost unusable for film. These two requests will make S1 both a film scoring equal and even a challenger to other DAWs, given other S1 features.”
“Without question, the two most popular DAWs for film scoring are Apple’s Logic Pro X & Steinberg’s Cubase.”
“Digital Performer is the best for large project scoring (ie: films). It does 98% of what Cubase and Logic do, but it can manage your cues and multiple videos, revisions, trailers, etc, all in one project which the others can’t do. All three of those leading DAWs can do everything the other can, plus a few unique features. But only MOTU Digital Performer has cue and revision management where you have every cue up at one time with the ability to compare and copy and paste.”
“Writing for the virtual orchestra is an art that has come a long way in the last two decades or so. With the advances in computer hardware, sequencing software, MIDI and instrument sampling, it’s now easier than ever to create astonishingly professional sounding orchestral music using readily-available tools, even for the beginner.”
“We all know the power of music when it comes to filmmaking. Just think of any John Williams or Hans Zimmer score. Nowadays, there are so many music software programs to choose from. And choosing the “right” one can feel quite overwhelming. But film scoring is all about creativity. So the best music production software is one that allows you to be the most creative.”
“Studio One has no pretensions to take on Premier or Davinci Resolve when it comes to video editing, but it does have some rudimentary video support to allow you to write and compose in perfect sync to moving pictures.”

Final Thoughts

Is Studio One Good For Film Scoring? My answer is yes.

If you are just getting started composing and scoring for film or video, you will more than likely only be working with short video clips to start with.

Also, most people do not need hundreds of tracks to complete their composition.

If you do find yourself with the need to create hundreds of tracks, you can simply bounce your tracks down and freeze tracks you are not using to reduce auto save times.

If you like playing, writing, recording, composing, mixing, and producing music then you are in the right place.

I have many articles that you will find helpful to get your home recording studio setup moving in the right direction.

Take a look around my website. I’m sure you will find something helpful and interesting to you.

Feel free to leave your questions and helpful comments below.

6 thoughts on “Is Studio One Good For Film Scoring?”

  1. I’ve actually used Studio One for my personal projects, and I’ve truly found it really easy to use. I’ve thought about switching to FL Studio, and I did for a while to compare them with each other, but I found FL Studio just to messy. Studio One was a lot more organized and up my alley.

  2. Thank you very much for this valuable post about studio one. I made a youtube channel before and I used photoshop to do that. But it is very difficult. And very slow. I will definitely use Studio One to create the music for my new videos.  Also, the video you have attached is very valuable. I looked at that too. Keep posting like this. I will surely share this.

    • Studio One DAW software is a great tool for creating your own original music for video.  Once you have your video you can upload it to Studio One and create your own soundtrack for your video.  You can create tracks with narration and other tracks with music. It’s a great DAW software and pretty easy to learn.  

  3. Hi Mitchel

    I have got a personal project underway hopefully soon to be a great business project! Early days yet. I really like it that Studio One Professional software is compatible with other Virtual Instruments too. I have been looking at various options, given I am a beginner. I thought Studio One was the least complicated to use for a beginner? Would that be correct? 

    If I am way off key can you please direct me on the right path! Thank you immensely. 

    • Hi Shelley, I’m excited to learn more about your upcoming project.  Do Tell!  Studio One is a great DAW software package that is pretty easy to learn how to use and will give you the ability to do anything that you need.  Let me know if you have more questions and I look forward to seeing your latest project.  


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