The evolution of Studio One (2009 – 2019)

One of the newer DAWs out there has hit an important milestone today.

That’s right — PreSonus’ Studio One is now ten years old. The DAW has gone through several iterations since its initial launch on September 27th, 2009. In this blog post, let’s take a look at how Studio One has evolved over the past decade.

Studio One (2009)

Studio One actually began as a project spearheaded by KristalLabs Software Ltd., a start-up founded by former Steinberg employees Matthias Juwan and Wolfgang Kundrus. It was originally developed under the name “K2” before it (and KristalLabs Software Ltd. at large) became part of PreSonus in 2009. Version one launched with all of the standard features one would expect, as well as new features such as the “Project” panel. This allowed users to load multiple finished songs in a single environment for mastering.


Studio One 2 (2011)

After gaining some initial traction, PreSonus released the second version of the DAW, which brought important feature updates including Melodyne integration, transient detection / quantization, multi-track MIDI editing, and an overall cleaner UI. They also improved the browser and added a few new native plugins.


Studio One 3 (2015)

PreSonus took a little more time with this iteration, and it paid off. They introduced major features such as scratch pads and chains for effects and virtual instruments. Scratch pads allow you to fork your project and create multiple versions for experimentation, while chains opened up sound design possibilities exponentially by allowing for more flexible signal flow (similar to Ableton’s racks). PreSonus also introduced the free version of the evolving DAW, Studio One Prime.


Studio One 4 (2018)

Studio One’s most recent fourth iteration brought trailblazing features such as the Chord Track and Patterns, alongside fantastic additions to their sampler instrument collection including Impact XT and Sample One XT. The Chord Track in particular provides users the unique ability to extract chords from audio, and then apply them to other audio and MIDI tracks; it’s a truly unprecedented feature that’s sure to intrigue those who use other DAWs. Patterns brings a step sequencer editor that FL Studio users will love, while also boasting distinct capabilities that set it apart.


Given Studio One’s track record, the DAW is sure to continue evolving in the future and we’re excited to see where it goes next. Do you use Studio One? If so, let us know which version you started on in the comments below, and if you’re not a user, consider trying the DAW out for free on Rent-to-Own.

September 27, 2019

Nick Chen Content Marketing @ Splice. Nick Chen is a producer, performer, and educator under the aliases "nickthechen" and "Enix."